This season I moved from Principal Insurance Pre-Injection up to the Superbike Cup class. I will be competing on the Aidan McNamara Crash Repairs Kawasaki ZX10R. Unfortunately due to weather & time constraints we had no opportunity for testing until the Friday of the first round. The first few sessions I found it very difficult to come to terms with the power & weight of the big bike. Peter Moloney helped me get my suspension settings somewhere that I felt a bit more comfortable and we were able to get the times down by the end of practice.
Saturday morning qualifying went well, I ended up P6 in Cup which put me 14th on the grid for the Pro race on Saturday evening. I got a horrible start in that race & ended up last into Turn 1 so I spent the rest of the race chipping away at the guys in front of me. I finished up 11th in the race and 3rd in the Cup. It was an amazing feeling getting a podium first time out on the Superbike especially after how tough I found it to ride on Friday.
Our races on Sunday were both after lunch. The first of which was going well until a nasty crash on the start finish straight brought out the red flags. In the restarted race I got another poor start. Unfortunately on lap 3 I collided with another rider on the brakes in to Turn One & we both went down. Again that race was red flagged and declared a result. We hadn’t much time before the final race but I was determined to fix the bike and get back out. A massive thank you to everyone who helped repair the bike and get me on the grid. I got a better start and was 8th overall and 3rd Cup rider by the end of lap 1. I moved up a place on lap 3 and set about trying to catch Gary O Brien. However on lap 5 the bike developed a small problem as a result of the crash so I had to manage the gap back to Darragh Trappe and hold on to 2nd place. The last few laps seemed to take forever but I held on to take 7th overall and 2nd in the Cup.
It was a very up and down weekend but I’m glad that we were able to compete inside the top 10 in the Superbike class. Hopefully we can chip away at the times and reduce the gap to the pro riders. A massive thank you to Trevor Landers, Kevin Dempsey, Trevor Foran, Donal & Shane O Donovan for the help over the weekend. Also thanks to my sponsors Aidan McNamara Crash Repairs, AF Autoservices, CrossFit Dungarvan, Printmaster Dungarvan & Unlimited Industries.
See you in a couple of weeks.
Joe Grant #85