And it was all go­ing so well…

Break­ing your pelvis in a for­eign land isn’t the best start to a race sea­son

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

Va­len­cia cir­cuit, 9.04am, Tues­day, Fe­bru­ary 21, 2017. It’s my third lap out and I’m pretty sure my Pirelli slicks are warm enough to start push­ing. But I’m about to find out the rear is still cold.

Full lean into Turn 4, off the throt­tle. The back comes round, grips, flicks me un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously into the crisp Span­ish air and I slam down on to the tar­mac. It’s not the best way to start my 2017 Thun­der­sport GP1 Elite sea­son.

Skim­ming across the track and through the gravel trap, I can’t be­lieve I’ve dam­aged my brand new Prime Fac­tors Mo­tor­cy­cles BMW S1000RR. I re­alise I’ve bug­gered my­self when I at­tempt to stand up and can’t work out why I can’t. I’ve frac­tured my pelvis.

The next 15 hours see a painful schlepp from the cir­cuit med­i­cal cen­tre to Va­len­cia A&E, then the lo­cal crutch shop (they don’t give them out at the hospi­tal) and a twohour flight back to Gatwick, crammed into seat 24A.

It was all go­ing so well. Good mates Bob Stock­ley and Paul Cooper had trans­formed my Beemer from show­room-fresh road bike to racer over the win­ter and at this two-day Bike Pro­mo­tion track­day at Va­len­cia we spent Monday dialling in the elec­tron­ics, sus­pen­sion and tried a few dif­fer­ent set­tings. By the end of the day the S1000RR was rac­eready but you al­ways want more, so Tues­day was all about tin­ker­ing to find ex­tra speed.

I should’ve waited un­til the track warmed-up and skipped that first 9am ses­sion, just 20 min­utes af­ter the sun had come up. I should’ve won­dered why the lo­cals were still drink­ing their cof­fees in their pit garages in their civvies, bikes on stands and tyres in warm­ers. But hind­sight is a won­der­ful thing…

I missed the first round at Brands a fort­night later, but made the next at Don­ing­ton four weeks af­ter the break, get­ting a fourth place and a cou­ple of top 10 fin­ishes. Hope­fully that’s all the dra­mas over for the rest of the sea­son.

‘I should’ve waited un­til the sun had warmed the Va­len­cia track’

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