Hopefully you were able to see the EJC race provided live on Sky sport NZ by WIL Sport this past Sunday as it was exciting stuff! If not you can still watch on-line at www.worldsbk.com but in any case here is a run down of the past, action-packed week.
After arriving in Spain a couple weeks ago, Jake Lewis, mechanic Rob and I headed from Madrid to a small beach side town called Calafat where the European Junior Cup shake down test and training camp were to be held. The two days of introduction into the EJC were a huge success all round; it was great to meet all the other competitors and their families as well as the other females competing in the new Women’s Cup. When we arrived each rider drew a number out of a hat which allocated the Honda CBR650F we will race all season. These bikes were obviously brand new so the first two sessions were spent running the engines in and learning the circuit. From there on in we could ride as fast as possible and set up the suspension to our liking. We also went through many briefings, practise starts and received loads of tips from the two rider coaches Kyle Smith (PATA Honda world super sport rider) and Maria Costello MBE. WIL riders Josh Harland (UK), Kyle and I were able to do some riding together which I found really beneficial to know where I was strong and where I needed to improve a little.
After the tests it was looking like I could mix it up near the front and was mega excited to head to the amazing circuit of Motorland Aragon for the opening round of the World Superbike Championship.
Friday kicked off with free practise at mid day which gave me a chance to learn the track and ride with some of the competition again. I ended this session in 19th place which was good considering most of the other guys and girls had been here practising over the last couple of months. We then had one qualifying session on Friday and one on Saturday which I ended in both in 17th position. I was a little disappointed with this as we were aiming for me to be closer to the top 10 but I had to stay level headed the race was yet to come.
On Sunday our race was delayed due to a incident which left us waiting until 5pm. Obviously impatience got to some riders as there was a big four bike pile up in turn one which I had to run wide onto the artificial grass to avoid, losing a bunch of positions. From there my race was a matter of staying calm and passing as many riders as possible. I crossed the line on the first lap in 19th Position. By the end of the 8 laps I had caught up to a large group if riders ahead and passed one to finish up in 13th position overall. I was first female as I had been all weekend which gave me a place on the podium and the biggest trophy I have ever received!
It was an absolute privilege to stand on a World Superbike podium. I’m really grateful, on behalf of so many females, that the FIM created the women’s championship this year and the chance for us to be recognised at this level. I hope it inspires many other young women to achieve great things in the sport and gives them something to aspire to.
I am also endlessly grateful for my sponsors who are making this happen. So, to WIL Sport, CIG, Geoff and Gaye, Ozzy, NGK Australia, Formula Fit, Auckland Motorcycle Club, Pole Position Travel, Deepweb Web Design, Backflips clothing, Racesupplies NZ and Sidi – thank you!!
We are now on the way to Holland where the next round of the championship will be held this weekend at the historic Assen circuit. Its amazing to get to experience all over again this weekend and I can’t wait to see if I can improve my position.
Until next time,