Round 1 - British Superstock 1000 Championship - Silverstone

Round 1 - British Superstock 1000 Championship - Silverstone

Round 1 of the British Superstock 1000 Championship took place at Silverstone over the Easter weekend. I was really excited to be stepping up into this highly competitive class, with multiple Ex British Championships and previous Superbike riders in this class for 2019. There were 55 riders entered for the weekend, with only 38 grid positions, meaning that 17 riders would be going home without making it to the race.

I have landed a great ride for 2019 with IN Competition Aprilia UK. They have a wealth of experience and great results in Superstock 1000 in previous years. With the support of AJN Steelstock and IN Competition this season has been made possible.

We have had two test days at Silverstone prior to the race weekend, and both tests were extremely positive. I had a heavy fall at the final test however and did go into the weekend still fairly sore. Once I was on the bike though your thoughts are soon taken away from that and are focused on going as fast as possible!

Friday consisted of two free practice sessions. The weather was looking much hotter over the race weekends than at the tests, so we tried a few different set up options to suit the hotter weather.

On Saturday we had qualifying, where I ended 10th position. The times in this class are so close, the top 24 riders separate by 1.1 seconds, and the entire 38 grid that made the race separated by only 2 seconds. At 4 of our 12 rounds this year they run a special format called a 100 mile race. This consists of two back to back races, with a 10 minute break in between to change tires and refuel. This weekend was one of those rounds. Meaning we had a 24 laps race, followed by another 24 lap race straight on the back of the first race.

I made a good start in race 1 and was battling well in side the top 10. My pace in the first few laps was strong and I was confident in the bike. As the race went on, I was having some handling issues, and tried my hardest to ride around the situation. Nothing major, but enough to make a few tenths of a second difference, which in this class means losing vital positions. There was an awful lot of crashes in the race, so we were lucky to stay out of trouble. I finished the first race in 14th position. In the second leg I again had a good start and managed to be strong for the first few laps. Perhaps pushing hard in the wrong areas, I only had to make a couple of minor mistakes to lose the tow to the front group. I was also given a penalty in this race, which was wrongfully handed out, meaning I had to take a long lap penalty, which was later revoked. Coming across the line in 12th position. I was happy enough with our first two races! Two point scoring rides in such a competitive field and to stay out of trouble. We learnt a lot and I learnt some important lessons in racing hard in this new class for me for 2019.

We made some big changes to the bike over night and it did feel much better on Sunday. The team around me are amazing to work with, from my mechanics, our data engineer and the team boss, the entire crew are a great bunch of people that I’m proud to have in my corner. We had a third 24 lap race on Sunday. I again got a good start and managed to be stronger for a longer time in race 3. I still felt I was missing some time in a few key areas that meant I couldn’t quite hang on to the group of guys in front of me. I finished 11th in race 3, and this ride felt stronger than the day before, so i’m really pleased we made some good steps forward. I am proud that the first weekend we came away with 3 point scoring finishers. There was a lot of crashes this weekend and I think we did well just to steer clear of the trouble. Our pace is there to have much stronger race finishes, and I’m working hard to get the improvements we need to be there. My team are 100% capable and I believe I am as well. There is plenty of positivity in the garage and with the support of my team, sponsors, wife and family, I’m really looking forward to Oulton Park in two weeks time to take on round 2 of the British Superstock 1000 Championship!