June 9, 2015
Coming to the Portimao weekend was extremely exciting. Especially after not having planned to do this race. I got the call from Lucio Pedercini of Pedercini Kawasaki to fill in for an injured rider. I don’t think they could have asked me to do a race at a circuit that I would enjoy more than Portimao. it’s my Favorite track on the calendar and it is the track that I podiumed at last season.
Thursday was meet the team and I was super excited To be back there. I had raced 4 races for Pedercini in 2012 with strong top 5 finishes.
Free Practice 1
Fp1 went ok. I just got a few laps in to get used to the bike and find base setting to work from and general feeling on the bike. We ends in P15 and I was happy with that as I wasn’t chasing a lap time.
Free Practice 2
Fp2 saw us make a few set up changes and a decision to do the complete session on the same old tires. This was to try find a feeling of the tires as they start to go off toward the end of the session. We ended in P21. I was not happy with the feeling from the bike.
Free Practice 3
Fp3 had a few more changes made and a new set of tires thrown at the ZX10. Our aim with this was to get into top 10. Unfortunately it didn’t work as we only got P17. It seemed things just were just not coming together as planned.
Next up was qualifying. We hoped that with some changes in the right direction we could pull a Rabbit out the hat. Sadly there were no rabbits to be had and it just did not come together. We ended up Qualifying 21st. We just didn’t get the bike dialed in the way we wanted. In addition we struggled with acceleration and the bike was down on top speed. We knew that, starting from P21,the race was going to be difficult no matter what we did.
I got a poor start not improving my position off the line and being on the inside of the track I got pretty boxed in. We slowly started to pick positions off one by one, one lap at a time. However, by the time we had got in to the first point in 15th I already had used too much rear tire. Lack of grip was something we had struggled with all weekend and now, trying to work my way through the field to 14th, we landed up losing a place and finished in 16th. We are happy that we made progress in the race, moving up positions and improving lap times. Overall we aren’t happy with the outcome of the weekend as we do feel it was a missed opportunity for a good result for both the team and myself.
In a weeks’ time it is the Misano round of WSBK and I am really looking forward to it. Last season Misano was the first track I raced my first Superstock 1000 race at. It was my first top 5 result and showed me I had pace to run up front. This year I will be on the factory backed Team Suzuki Europe entry looking to get it up into the mix.