After only getting a half day test on Friday I was a little nervous for the qualifying session on Saturday afternoon, the bike felt as good as it did in Spain but the conditions were massively different, damp and cold track temperatures meant that I wanted to push on but risked crashing out if I did, I rode well but only managed to qualify in 19th position on Saturday morning. I knew I had work to do.
The first race on Saturday and I was up for it, I knew I had to get a good start. After pushing a little too much I decided to ride the bike home and take the points.
Sunday was a new day, after a long discussion with the team and trying different settings on the suspension the bike felt good, the track was damp and cold but I tried to push on, the track conditions for both races were a little concerning. Although I needed to be higher I knew I risked dropping the bike and all the hard work the team and I had done would see me at the side of the track watching the race if not worse, I just wanted to bring the bike home across the finish line and get some valuable points from the whole weekend.
I came away from round one quite pleased, I knew the weekend would be a damage limitation exercise, I am pleased with my overall performance and looking at the Championship standing I’m 6th with 31 points and in a position to go to Donington Park to build on what Ive done so far.
I Played the long game and aim for better results when the weather is right - Consistently is key for the longevity of the championship.
I would like to thank my sponsors for their support in 2017, without you all behind me It would be an impossible task to go racing, I would also like to thank Dave and Paddy from the Phoenix CFS race team for all your hard work and guidance over the Brands hatch weekend.
See you all at the next round.
Brands Hatch Round 1 Race Report
Brands Hatch Weekend Report - Ashley Milburn
Brands Hatch race report - Dave Ogden
This was always going to be a tough round and a start to the season that most did not want to do at the beginning of March at a cold, wet Brands Hatch.
Test day on Friday went quite well with both riders settling into the damp conditions, both having a few decent sessions.
Saturday qualifying was steady away with both riders in the low 50 sec lap times, Ashley was confused about his qualifying position but happy with the set up and felt confident he had more to deliver in race one.
Sam had pushed hard also but was disappointed at his position just outside the top 15. The plan was for both riders to go home in one piece and not risking the Bikes at the first round (damage limitation) these were indeed, very trying conditions.
With three races under there belts and only one small crash from Sam whilst pushing in very awkward conditions as he lost the front end going into Clearways, this type of crash was very typical for the track temperature and conditions on the day.
We have left Brands Hatch with Ashley joint 6th and Sam in 12th in the championship, a good footing to build on and from where I’m standing a great start to the season.
Both riders have accomplished so much on tyres they have never ridden, new suspension, and for Ashley his first season on a Kawasaki ZX6-R.
My feelings coming away from Brands Hatch is that we are heading in the right direction, more hard work and dedication from all involved will bring the results we want I’m sure.