Donington Park, UK – Race

Matt Bond, 23/05/09 – 25/05/09
British SuperBike Cup
Round 3

Saturday – Practice

Being back at a circuit I knew was good, and after riding at the MotoSix event, I still had a clear idea of what lines I’d need to take, what gear to use and a rough idea of braking and reference points.

Practice went fairly well. We had to make a lot of changes throughout the session in terms of bike set-up and also how I was riding, due to the bike being so different from when we last rode at the circuit. The changes were progressive and helped a lot, making the bike turn faster but also be more stable on the brakes. We were having a few problems with the bike constantly lifting the front wheel on hard acceleration, but we had some ideas on how to counter act this.

Sunday – Qualifying

For qualifying we tried some softer rubber in the bike and it seemed to cause us a few more problems, due to the softer carcass making the bike push mid turn. Being it was the first time we’d used a very soft compound, our inexperience had showed. But we had a good set up for race day and I was confident we could get a decent result.

Monday – Race 1

I got a decent start and just focused on the group in front. I settled into a nice rhythm and kept the pace of the guys ahead for the first five or six laps. After that they began to gap me and I just focused on being smooth, consistent and finishing for the first time this season! It was a pretty lonely race, and not much happened, but we got some excellent data and feedback form the bike. Plus we didn’t have any electrical problems, like what we had experienced in most sessions over the weekend. I was happy to finish, and I think the team were too!

[Matt forget to mention that the he got a great start in the race but it was red flagged and the restart didn’t go so well. To make matters worse we didn’t have another tyre to use so had to continue on the one that had completed several laps. On the restart he chased down and overtook four or five more experienced riders which everyone was very happy about – Mike]

Monday – Race 2

The start wasn’t as good as race one, but I got my head down and pushed as much as I could and began to reel in the guys just ahead. It took most of the race but once I got by I kept going. The changes we made in between the races made a real difference, and the race time was much better, as was the feeling that I got from the bike. It felt like we had moved forward quite a lot and by finishing both races we’d got some points up on the scoreboard, which was nice!

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