Dan’s Blog: Looking back on the Sachsenring Red Bull Rookies Cup weekend

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“For Friday we would have two 30 minute practice sessions, I had been to the Sachsenring circuit last year so I already knew the track. The only change was they’ve re surfaced the entire track in a new asphalt. My FP1 would consist of me familiarising myself without the track and getting a feel for the new asphalt.

For FP2 we only made one change, FP1 went well with getting a feel but I felt I needed more off the bike. Both sessions were dry, very similar conditions therefore I got a good understanding before qualifying. I was happy with how both sessions went, I kept on improving which is all I can ask for really.

Going in to qualifying I was confident I could do well, I felt we were always improving and learning so I felt we could get my best qualifying result yet. The conditions were the same as free practice so I had a good understanding of the track conditions. Even on old tires I kept on improving and set my fastest lap at the end lf the session, putting me in 11th on a lap time of 1:31:1, only 1.2 seconds off 1st.

Going in to race 1 I was confident I could stay with the front group, but as we were ready for face 1 it started to rain. I was lucky that I have a good feeling in the wet as we’ve had no wet track time, the only thing we had is 3 sighting laps. On the warm up lap the rain got so heavy that our start got delayed, in all of this stress I just true to keep a cool head so I could focus on the job I had ahead of me.

Our race was shortened to 11 laps, the initial start wasn’t the best but on the first lap I made a couple of positions. But as the race went on I never really improved until the fins couple of laps, I had a good feeling in the end and was very fast but I had left it too late. I crossed the line in 14th, I was disappointed with this result but I was determined to work at it and do well in race 2.

The conditions for race 2 were so much better, the track was completely dry and it was similar to free practice and qualifying so I had a good understanding of the track conditions. My plan was to stay with the front group and put up a fight at the end of the race. I had a goose start to the race and got away with the fight for 6th, on lap 12 the rider in front of me let a gap form for the battle for 6th.

I passed him as soon as I seen this, but going in to turn 12 I was trail braking and hit some bumps. I lost the front and slid in to the gravel, my pace was really good and I had closed so much in a couple of corners. I am not disappointed with this result because I tried my hardest and crashed giving it my all whilst battling for 6th.

Overall it was a good weekend, the results aren’t the best but it doesn’t show how much I’m improving. The bike and team were great, I only made one change all weekend and the bike just worked, the conditions weren’t the greatest but the bike was. I enjoyed the weekend and I hope for more and better in the next round.

Thanks for all your support – I really appreciate it!

Dan”

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