BSB kindly gave the Superstock 1000 class dispensation to enter the No Limits Round 3 event at Donington Park ahead of our World Superbike support race the following weekend (usually, there is a testing ban held at any circuit you’re due to race at within 7 days).
After missing out on the Oulton Park test before Round 3 it was clear that additional testing prior to the WSBK event was needed to give us a better base to start from. Practice and Qualifying sessions in the No Limits Championship are half of what we are given in the British Superbikes so we had limited opportunities to make adjustments during the sessions.
We made a small progression in Free Practice and Qualified in 4th position. Rain was forecast for Race 1 but passed over earlier than expected. Although the track had started to dry quickly before the race start, we opted to use Wet weather tyres to minimise the risk of hitting unknown damp patches. With the first race only being 8 laps, tyre degradation wasn’t a concern of mine even if the circuit was dry.
There was nothing to gain during the race in regards to setup or sector improvements so opted to take it steady and get it over the finishing line. The bike felt very unstable through the final sector so I was overly cautious which allowed David Hall to pass into the Melbourne Loop and finishing the race in 2nd position.
No rain forecast for Sunday’s races which meant we could continue our work over from Free Practice and Qualifying to focus on improving the bike setup in the dry.
Race 1 was positive as it highlighted the area’s I was struggling with the most. The BMW wasn’t keen to close the corner which meant having to wait longer before picking the bike up and getting back on the throttle. Crossed the finish line in 3rd with a clear idea of what we needed to improve.
We made some small adjustments to the Fork and Shock for Race 2 which significantly improved the bike ability to finish corner exits. Race 2 was a 15 lap race which was a good marker for our 18 lap races due the following weekend. After passing Daniel Wagstaff in the early laps for 3rd, I held my position to the finish line to collect 3rd once again. Significantly dropping my average race pace by 2 seconds with my personal best lap being a second quicker than what I lapped back at Round 1. A very successful test which has proved to be invaluable in providing me with a much better base to start from at the WSBK support round next week.