This past weekend Donington Park hosted round 4 of the European Junior Cup and what a great weekend it was.
I arrived in the UK the week prior to the race planning to get on track before the race weekend, but things didn’t quite work out so I was left to learn the track during practise on Friday. We were very lucky that despite the overcast conditions the rain held out all weekend which made things much easier in that regard. Donington is an amazing circuit; the tarmac flowing with the undulating English countryside and the first five corners including Craner curves are spectacular as you drop downhill. On the cbr650f it was nearly full throttle in 5th gear so you can imagine it is pretty exhilarating to ride.
I ended Friday in 20th position, a wee way off the front guys so my head was spinning laps all night trying to familiarize myself with the track and improve. Fortunately, during the weekend I was also helped out by 2013 championship winner Jake and we worked a little on the set up of the bike as well in hope for better things for qualifying and the race.
Saturday’s official qualifying went well as I got faster all session, riding by myself not able to find a tow. I ended up in 22nd position on the grid for Sunday’s race ahead of all the other females.
As the lights went out on Sunday I got a good start but stuffed up turn 1 and dropped a few positions. Being so far back did have one advantage in that I avoided another first lap crash which took out four riders, so maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing.. I quickly got into a groove and made my way up to 19th position where I finished the race. I’m not afraid to admit the DNF’s in the last two races made me approach this weekend very differently. My goal is to win the women’s championship and I have to do all I can to make that happen, which means finishing every race. Its hard because you always want to beat the people in front of you (especially when they are boys!) but I need to be careful not to take too many risks in the race.
Having said that, my goal is still definitely to drop the time gap to the front in practise and qualifying to put me in a better place on the grid.
During the weekend it was awesome to meet so many passionate local fans, many of whom were with Pole Position Travel – an agency that sponsored me for this event. If any of you are looking to going to a MotoGP or World Superbike event check out www.polepositiontravel.com for a package deal as it is well worth it for all the extras you receive including entry into the team’s pit boxes and VIP passes. We even got to have dinner in the Kawasaki Hospitality joined by World Superbike championship leader Jonathan Rea and also the boss of the team.
The next round of the championship in Portimao, Portugal which should be another cracker.
Don’t forget to follow along on facebook, www.worldsbk.com and also Sky Sport New Zealand who are showing the races live on TV.
Until next time,