Race Report CIV Supersport Round 4 Vallelunga
As the season ends, I’d like to recap quickly on what’s been a different year for everyone, with all that’s going on we have been very lucky to have a season of racing. I must thank the people close to me, my sponsors and everyone that helped me get onto the track in 2020 even in these difficult times.
The last race of the season was at the iconic Vallelunga Circuit, fifty kilometres north of Rome. I haven’t a lot of experience around this track and the little laps I did were in the thunderstorm with a lots of rain, so I was excited to get out and dig into this round. The weather is always ominous in and around Vallelunga and you never know what to expect, very similar to my home city Melbourne with four seasons in one day. That is exactly what we were dealing with this weekend, which causes quite a headache for choosing wet and dry setups as we need to adjust the motorcycle substantially for both conditions luckily, I have great mechanics!
Thursday morning practice it was not much over 10 degrees and a wet track, I went out and gained a good feeling lap by lap. In the afternoon we were blessed with some blue skies and a drying track, I managed to get some dry laps in and make myself familiar again and start working with a setup to use for the weekend.
Friday consisted of one official free practice and provisional qualifying one, Free practice still was not fully dry and in the morning, it was the cold conditions. I felt quite good and made some good laps but unfortunately suffered quite a fast fall going through the dip at turn one. I was okay, but the bike had a lot of damage. With four hours until Q1 and I want to thank my team for working like crazy until the last minute to get me out for qualifying. FP1 – P8
Q1 was the first fully dry session of the weekend and unfortunately we had some problems from the crash that hindered me to make a clean lap, we knew the problem during the session but had no time to fix it. QP1 – P18
Saturday morning was wet again so no one could improve the provisional time from yesterday, so we were left to fight from P18 on the grid, I had a lot of work to do in the race. Race one I made a great start and made my way up to p10 by lap two, I was following the group and usually I don’t suffer from arm pump but after the crash I was using a new set of gloves and the new leather was tight and I lost some feeling in my hands. It was difficult to open the throttle and my pace dropped and I crossed the line in twelfth. Race 1 P12
We hadn’t had the chance to do the test the week before and with not much dry time on the bike, we were still chasing a setup I felt comfortable with, so we made some big changes for morning warm-up. I was pumped for the last race of the season; it had been quite a short year of racing and I was excited to put in a good result. I had made another great start and my feeling with the bike was instantly much better than the day before. I managed to dodge a big accident out of the second corner, but this had separated me from the main group. I closed the gap over the next few laps and made my way to p10. I felt great on the bike and had a good rhythm going, it was a long race, eighteen laps and the track is quite physical. I was in a group of three and the pace was good we were catching the group ahead fighting for sixth. Then as the laps went by the pace dropped off slightly so I made a pass for ninth at the start of lap eleven and then made another pass for eighth by the end of the lap. I had clear road ahead but then missed the braking point on the fastest point of the track, I ended up riding through the gravel trap and lost everything. Unfortunately, I made a mistake, but I was quite happy to have made good progress up to that point, this only helps me keep improving and I know what to work on for next season.
I know what to work on for next season and as a team we know where to work to be where we know we can be. I would like to thank everyone for the ongoing support and a I wish everybody a safe and positive end of 2020!