The ideal preparation for a race weekend probably doesn’t involve an 80-hour work week, massive sleep debt and a 4am start. It’s unlikely you’d choose to miss the practice day and sole qualifying session on the Friday, as you’d rather not be last on the grid. Nevertheless, that’s the situation I’m in this morning.
But the sun is out, my bike is pin sharp and the organic, rythmical ribbon of tarmac that is Oulton Park awaits. The pole time, set by Chris Matthews, is 1m49.4s. That’s encouraging, as I went well over a second faster last year in practice on old tyres. I just have to get up to speed quickly.
The best news, though, is that my BST carbon fibre wheels have arrived from HPS. Some of you may remember I raced on them two years ago and also used them on the road before that. They have always made a big difference to every bike and I’m really excited to get the 750 on them.
I’m up for it today like I can hardly explain. From last on the grid I’ve nothing to lose and it all to gain. It’s on like Donkey Kong…
The 2008 season was my novice year, and I entered Thundersport’s top class, GP1, on a GSX-R1000 K4. Racing on a shoestring, with no back-up at all and riding the oldest bike on the grid, I scored strong results against fierce competition. These performances earned recognition and praise from commentators, organisers, and rivals alike, culminating in the club’s Rookie Of The Year award.