Easter weekend and the 2023 British Superbike Championship season kicked off at Silverstone for Round 1. With it the 2023 British Talent Cup also commenced with its first of 9 rounds.
I had just turned 15 two days before Silverstone and I was fired up and raring to go.
A solid 2022 saw me finish 5th in the championship, completing and scoring points in every race with only two finishes outside the top 10. A busy winter schedule testing in Spain has put me in a strong mindset, determined to make that step onto the podium.
I arrived at Silverstone on Wednesday for the briefing and the official pre-season test, and worked my way back up to speed on my Amphibian Scaffolding / SP125 Racing Honda NSF250R Moto3 bike.
“I went into Practice still getting the feel of the 250 after spending a lot of time on my 600 over winter. Silverstone isn’t the most favorable track for me and we knew it was going to be a struggle due to my size. I finished FP1 in 7th, just 0.878 seconds from 1st, and FP2 set me back to 9th, still 0.937 seconds from the front”.
Having found my groove back on the bike I took to track again on Saturday morning for Qualifying, setting a lap time of 1m02.320s. This placed me 9th on the grid, 1.127s from pole position. “To be honest, I wasn’t happy with qualifying, I knew I could do better and I knew I had the pace to run higher up the order”.
Saturday afternoon saw the race 1 take to the track. “I got a good start and got myself into a race long battle with the lead group. Last year’s champion, had been given a penalty after qualifying and started from the back of the grid, we knew he’d fight his way through the pack to join the party at the front. I worked hard to make up for my disadvantage on the straights by attacking more into corners and was fighting for a place on the podium”.
Unfortunately, a coming together between two riders brought out the red flag with 7 laps to go. “I’m glad that both riders were ok, but the results were taken from the lap before the red flag so I was credited with 6th, whilst I was disappointed to miss out on the podium I was happy to be fighting for a podium position all race”.
The second race came on Easter Sunday and grid positions were decided by lap times from race 1 meaning that I started from 11th position.
“Again I got off to a good start and imbedded myself into the lead group, by the end of the race we gapped the next group by 14.4 seconds and honestly it was one of the closest races I have ever been in and any of the top 9 could’ve won or at least finished on the podium. After 22 laps I crossed the line in a disappointing 7th place but only 0.570s behind the winner. I also set the second fastest lap of the race, only 0.2s off the new lap record.”
“I left Silverstone 6th in the standings, after the first round last year I was in 13th place so I am more than happy with my progress. I am battling with the front group and have been on lap record pace at a circuit that doesn’t suit my size. I am taking a lot of positives into round two, I know I can fight for podium positions”.
As always, I am mindful of the help I receive to get me out on track. “None of this would be possible without my mum and dad, I would also like to thank my sponsors, as without them I would not be able to be out there, so huge thanks to SP125 Racing, Amphibian Scaffolding, Amphibian Apparel, Rock Oil, NGK spark plugs, Wiz Racing, Auritech, Coverwell, Facelift Home Improvements, L Brown Construction, Vircos Leathers and Muk Junkie Bike Cleaner”.