Short version – I won!
The rain stopped an hour before the race and the sun came out so the track was drying fast. I checked the circuit with ten minutes to go and it was still damp so I went for my harder wets which work like intermediates. Thanks to brilliant help from good friends Rob, Sam and Martin I made the grid with seconds to spare and noticed that most other people were on dry tyres. At that point I realised that either me or them would be in for a tough time.
On the warm up lap I could see that there were still lots of damp patches but most of the track was dry. It doesn’t take much damp track to ruin your confidence on dry tyres so I knew I was on the right tyres, but also that the track could dry enough during the race that dry tyres could end up faster.
The tactic then was to bolt from the start and build up as much lead as possible while it was still damp. It worked perfectly and I pulled out a five second lead. Right at the end it had dried enough for the guys on dry tyres to be a bit quicker, but I had time to wait behind some backmarkers and win by three seconds.
It was a massively satisfying win, especially as two of my sponsors – RJW Consult and none other than the CEO of S&B Automotive Academy – were watching.
It was handy for the points too, as Matthews pulled in when he realised he was on the wrong tyres. Overnight, I lead by 110 points. I can’t wait for tomorrow.
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.