I’ve just got back from our first test on the Honda Fireblade Superstock bike at Monteblanco in southern Spain with the Honda BSB team and it’s back to reality with a bump. It was a two day test and it went really well. It took a few laps to get myself back onto the swing of riding, and the Fireblade is a lot different to the Gixer, but once I had got my eye in I was loving the Honda. Everything about it seemed effortless to ride so before long I was really ready to start pushing the boundaries and seeing what the ’Blade could do.
The team were great too; they really are as professional as you would expect, but it’s still a pretty relaxed atmosphere in the pit, which is good. My old mechanic, Marsh, has come over to Honda with me and he is helping look after me and my bike. I’ve also got Daz Nicholson in my corner and Paul Williamson as my crew chief, who are all really experienced working with the Fireblade. It was a mega test and we got loads of good laps in; by the end of it I felt really good on the bike so I’m looking forward to getting back out on it.
We have got another test at Monteblanco in the New Year, that’s a three day test, and then it’s straight to Portimao, in Portugal for another two days on track. We have also got the official BSB test at Silverstone before the season so by the time we get to the first round we should really be able to hit the ground rolling. I proved last year that I could be competitive having not really ridden properly for months, so to be able to get all this testing in is amazing, and should only give us a better chance. And the bike is great but there are a few bits that I’m sure we can improve – but that’s mainly just to get it to work as best as it can with my riding style.
Now I’m home its back to work on the farm. It’s fairly quiet here as Timmy Tarmacker, my twin brother, is out somewhere pretending he knows how to lay tarmac, which makes a change from having him here strutting round the farm like he runs the place, bossing people around. Joking aside, we do get on really well, but it’s nice to be out of each other’s hair for once. He’s signed with Morello Racing Kawasaki, and I’m with Honda so we are racing with completely separate teams next year, but will still be on the same grid, so we are both pretty excited about that.
By the time you’re reading this it will be the 2019, but as I write we are just getting ready for Christmas. The cows are all inside now, fattening themselves up nicely on barley and silage, but there are still plenty of jobs to do around the farm… I’ve left all the rubbish jobs for Tim to do when he finishes tarmacking for Christmas. Christmas should be good, as we always go to my grandparents’ house for Christmas dinner, but I’m looking forward to getting into the New Year and training hard ready for the season. It can’t come soon enough!
To m’s ‘back’ on a Honda.
More fun than feeding the cows.