After a great couple of tests, one at Calafat and one at Silverstone I was buzzing to get round 1 under way and what a crazy weekend it was!
Friday practice started well but in FP1 I only got about 4 laps in and the session was red flagged due to oil and then was cancelled, FP2 was damp so I worked on my confidence and set up in difficult conditions.
Saturday qualifying and sprint race was eventful we had rain, sleet and sun! The qualifying session started damp but was drying out quickly, I started the session on wets and after 2 laps came in and changed to dries. I got into a rhythm but I rode a bit to cautiously for the damp conditions and ended up qualifying 18th, not ideal! I knew I needed a strong start in the race later on.
I was feeling great on the grid ready for the start of the sprint race and I knew my goal was a top 10 finish, the race was started under dry conditions and I got an awesome start jumping up to 12th by lap 2 but then there was a big crash involving 3 riders and the race was red flagged and here came the rain! I got back to the pits and by this time the rain had soaked the track, we fitted the wet tyres and relined up on the grid for a 7 lap restart, the race started I got another good start and was up to 8th but on lap 2 it was carnage, as about 5 riders went down and the race was red flagged yet again, so back we went and we had no idea what was happening whether or not the race was going to restart, they then decided to restart for a 6 lap dash and by this time it was 6pm the track was cold and wet and it wasn't looking fun! We went off for the warm up lap, 3 riders went down and the race was then cancelled and rescheduled for another meeting. It was manic!
Sunday I was feeling confident for the feature race and believed I could get myself into that top 10 with some battling. I got another wicked start and battled my way through the bunch up to 10th and then Allingham passed me and we started to catch Paulo in front, I passed Allingham back and got my head down chasing Westmoreland and Paulo, Westmoreland past Paulo and gapped him and then I got into Paulo into Maggots and moved up to 7th, Allingham and myself had a good battle and I finished the race 8th. I was happy with the result and so were the team after a difficult Saturday it was a solid start to the year, although I wasn't over the moon as I know with a stronger qualifying I can get away with the front boys and get amongst it!
Massive thank you to Mark Hanna for all his hard work over the winter and building me a bike capable of winning, also thank you to Alan Cook, Pinky, Grant, Dad, Mum and Ellie for their hard work over the weekend. Thank you to all the team sponsors and my personal sponsors Road and Racing, Pro-Bolt, Pipe Werx, Oxford Products, Kushitani, Motul, Maxton, NGK, Performance Friction, HJC, Motor Parts Direct, Aztec Construction, Tudor Installations. M&C Training, Purbrook Garage and Holland Autos.