Round 5 of the 2017 British Championship - Ducati Trioptions Cup - Brands Hatch GP

Round 5 of the 2017 British Championship - Ducati Trioptions Cup - Brands Hatch GP

Round 5 of the Ducati Trioptions Cup was held over the weekend at the iconic Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit, in Kent. After a trio of podiums in the last 3 races, my confidence was high and the team and I have been making good progress with the bike and our pace in general. Brands GP is similar to Oulton Park, with it’s undulating bends and blind turns. Where it does differ is a lot of the turns are much faster, making for a heart in mouth lap of exhilarating high speed corners.


We had a practice session and qualifying on Friday. It remained dry all day and I felt comfortable straight away. We were able to work out our setup and make solid progress from practice into qualifying to put it 4th on the grid. The times were close between 2nd- 4th, that I felt we would be in the battle for the podium come race day.


Race 1 was held in mid afternoon on Saturday. Rain was predicted right at the time of our race, and the weather reporters were right about the weather, for a change! The rain came down and got heavier and heavier as our race went on. It eventually got red flagged due to the worsening conditions. I crossed the line in 15th place. Obviously not a position I want to be finishing in when we have been so strong recently. The wet is something I have struggled with for a few years now racing in the UK. We have a plan on how to tackle that and I do really need some more wet riding to boost the confidence in that area of riding. It’s frustrating when I am so comfortable on the bike in the dry and happy to have it moving around, that I am much slower in the wet. The grid for race two was set off the lap times from race 1, which put me down in 21st! Rain was predicted again for Sundays race, at 5:15pm. I was looking at that positively as it would allow me more wet practice as such, and try and work on the issues my team and I had talked about.


For the first time this season, we were given a morning warm up. I managed to go equal my qualifying time to go second quickest in dry conditions. None of us were holding much hope for the weather to hold out, as the radar was showing rain coming through in the afternoon, with Brands Hatch being right at the top of where the weather would be hitting. Fortunately though the weather men got it wrong for Sunday and it amazingly stayed dry for our race!


All the riders got on to the grid at the usual time as specified by the schedule. The organisers never hold us on the grid for long, so we don’t have power for out tyre warmers or anything. They held us on the grid for much longer than usual this time, doing the presentation and victors lap from the superbike race held just before our race. On the warm up lap to begin our race, a rider came through a few positions and rode straight into the side of Rob Guiver, who is currently 2nd in the championship. This knocked Rob off and caused a chain of events that saw 4 riders go down. I wish all these riders all the best in their recovering from an accident that should of never happened.

The race was shortened from 12 laps down to 6, due to the set backs, and I was moved up to 19th on the grid, due to the fallers. I managed to get away well and put in plenty of passes on the opening lap, to cross the line after lap one in 7th place. Over the next two laps I worked my way through to 4th, to be lapping at the same time as the leading 3 riders. With only 3 laps to go, I tried my best to see if I could catch them, but was not going to be possible with such little time left. I came across the line in 4th position, which I’m really pleased with from starting 19th on the grid! We had the pace to be dicing with the front 3 and certainly would have been, if I’d started from a reasonable position. But to finish off the weekend with that result has really helped keep the positive dry momentum going into Thruxton in two weeks time. My team worked tirelessly all weekend in all conditions to give me a great bike, as always. Thank you to my team, BPS Racing for sticking by me through some tough results, I’m glad I could give them a solid end to the weekend. A big thank you to my major sponsor AJN Steelstock and to all my other sponsors, as this season wouldn’t be going the way it is without the amazing support I have received, so thank you!