Race Report: World SBK, Portimao 2018
My world championship debut at Portimao, World SBK round, was beyond words to describe, after a tough start and with a minimum of track time, working a new team, learn the bike and the track, I finished my weekend with something I didn’t expect.
I found out I could race in the Portuguese round of the world championship three weeks before the event, so I flew from Melbourne to Lisbon then to faro arriving on Monday at midnight. I usually try and find somewhere to sleep in the pits or team truck but because of the time we booked Airbnb but when I arrived it was locked up with no way of getting in, so it was back to the airport seats for a few hours rest.
On Wednesday I met the Terra e Moto team and helped setup the pit box, walked the track, sat on my bike and generally took in all the new surroundings, Thursday we made a plan for the weekend and a setup for the bike, also I had the first-time rider briefing and a photo shoot.
Friday finally I got out on track for two free practice sessions, we had a few challenges in each of the sessions but we knew it was important to stay calm and focused to make the most of the track time.
Saturday, I had qualifying we were improving the feeling and understanding the track more with each session, we realised the bikes gearing could be better with fifth teen minutes there was no time to change, I was on grid spot twenty-six.
The morning of race day we had a ten-minute warm-up it was an important session, the track temperature was cool and grip was low but somehow it helped me get a better feeling with the bike I was tenth fastest.
I had plenty of time to think about how to get past all the riders in front of me, so after a decent start and half a lap later I was fighting with the World championship regulars including the championship leader. We finished the race in thirteenth place and earned three world championship points.
I’m very happy because we worked well and competed well at a technical circuit with no testing and very little track time. I have learnt a lot from this weekend and I would like to thank the Terra e Moto team for the opportunity, Timber Panel Products, Jim Richards, Swim World Glen Waverly, Signpro, my sponsors, JM37 supporters, friends, family and everyone who supports and contributes to make these opportunities happen. I’m looking forward to coming back and fight, but for now I’m focusing on round five of the CIV Italian speed championship, at Mugello next week!