Team Joe Rocket Suzuki's Australian Supersport Championship rookie standout writes in after taking his first race podium at Eastern Creek on Sunday.
How are we all after Eastern Creek Sunday?
What another awesome ASBK event by IEG. Every round gets better, although it always better when you have a good weekend.
My weekend at the Creek was a memorable one. I started off the weekend on Friday pretty steady and tried to settle in at my own pace, which worked great. Being at a track I know well meant I could think about what my bike was doing on the day and, knowing my pace was good at the test, I knew that when Saturday qualifying arrived I could be at the front.
The winds in the final practice on Friday were quite scary – my teammate Shawn Giles had a plastic chair blow out in front of him!
Qualifying Saturday morning went well for me and I decided not to wait most of the session before attempting my lap and it worked in my favour because there was a fall and stoppage, which left me sitting at the top of the time sheets until the second qualifier, where Jamie [Stauffer] pulled out a ripper of a lap with a few minutes remaining.
I must say it was probably more nerve racking in the shed watching the computer and sector times then actually being out there. Watching Bryan Staring on his lap we were so close that I had no idea who would end up faster. I was really happy with the front row start and also to split the main championship contenders with second on the grid.
Sunday’s opening race was a nervous one for me. Turn One was my main trouble because although I knew how to go through it when arriving at the turn at 250+ kilometres per hour, I wasn’t sure from a standing start how fast to wheel it in there.
I had the holeshot, which is usually great, but I took the safe option and backed off early and that sent me back to fourth. I felt really comfortable and started picking them off, setting the fastest lap in the process, which I am very happy with – I just wish it was 0.020s faster so I could have the lap record.
Obviously things were going a little too well because entering Turn Nine on lap five, just as I had got on the back of Jamie, I lost the front. It all happened very quickly but I think I still had time to tell myself how stupid I am for doing that before I had even hit the ground.
I was lucky the bike didn’t flip and get too damaged, and also that my team and mechanic Chris worked so hard to make sure I had the same bike for the second race later in the afternoon.
Race two was a cracker. I grabbed the holeshot again and lead my first road race all the way to Turn……..Two haha – not far at all because Bryan was straight up the inside!
I ended up settling into third place right behind the leaders, hoping for a mistake, but eventually settled for third and my first race podium in Australian Supersport. I had some opportunities to pass, but I felt it was best to finish race two and learn something from the two more experienced riders.
I don’t think I’ve ever sat so close to the leaders without having a go, but I really had a blast and next time I am in that position I will have more confidence for sure and will hopefully give them something to worry about.
We’ve got the Mallala round in South Australia in a few weeks, so I will keep you all posted.
Until then, ride safe and enjoy it!