I couldn’t turn down racing in the 848 Challenge at Silverstone in front of packed BSB crowd but it was a baptism of fire, thrown in at the deep end learning a new track and new bike, but great fun.
First practice didn’t really go to plan, I wasn’t clicking with the 848 and was still learning the huge 3.6 mile track. But before qualifying Mike Edwards and his team came to the rescue. Steve Jordan helped transform the 848 and gave me a rough base setting and Mike talked me around a fast lap (www.mike-edwards.net).
I was still learning the track in qualifying, but went over six seconds quicker, resulting in 16th on the grid, Mike and the boys know their stuff.
I didn’t really know what to expect on the start, I’m more use to road racing starts on tight narrow little tracks like Oliver’s Mount, loads of aggression and elbow bashing.
I think I was too relaxed at Silverstone, made a terrible start and was near the back. But had some good battles, got in the groove and ended up making some places finally finishing 16th.
My lap times were improving every lap; the bike was working perfect and I was looking forward to race two on Sunday.
Sunday’s race just before the main BSB race one was more like it. I made a great start and was up to about 11th, but I couldn’t hang on.
I rode as hard as I could for the first few laps, trying to hold onto the faster lads, but I just made mistake after mistake running wide or getting all crossed up on the brakes.
On lap five I got into a groove and hung onto the battle between Peter Hesler and Wesley Pearce which was entertaining to watch, unluckily Wesley jumped off, but gifted me 15th.
I was a little disappointed by my lap times as I went slower in race two than race one, 15th was ok, the bike was faultless but I should have tried harder.
Lee Morris took the Rapid Solicitor Ducati 848 Challenge Championship at the previous round at Castle Combe and was awarded a brand new 848 at the Ducati Challenge presentation on the Saturday evening by multiple world champion Carl Fogarty.
Mike Edwards took second in the championship and Robbie Brown third with Mark Cheetham taking the riders award.
For the full results and to see how you can get involved go to www.ducati848challenge.co.uk.