Dan’s Blog – CEV Repsol, finale at Valencia
From the moment I exited pit lane something felt different, I felt confident and I knew I had a team who believed in me. We had some new parts on the bike to try and by turn 3 I already felt more comfortable then I ever had done on the bike. By the end of the first session I had been faster then I ever have been at Valencia.
The second session was even more positive, with the track conditions getting hotter we could go faster. I felt I had a lack of weight on the front due to the new parts, so we played around with the set up and it worked. So to end Friday we put a new set of tires in and I went for it, I did a 1:40:8 which is 0.6 faster then I had ever been at Valencia. It was a very positive start to the weekend.
I was confident I could go faster during qualifying, with slipstream and getting closer to the limit I was hoping to do a 1:39. During the first session it was quite cold, I managed to do a 1:40:2 which put my 10th in my group, I was very happy with this as it was another improvement.
The second session was less positive, I couldn’t improve my time. With the heat reaching it’s hottest point all weekend, we found there was a lack of grip and I couldn’t push as hard as I would have liked for the 1:39 I wanted. I had qualified 23rd on the grid, but being 0.9 seconds off pole was a very big positive.
Before race one I was very very nervous, I knew with Racing Steps Foundation coming to an end I had to get a good result. I put too much pressure on myself and ending up making myself sick. During the opening laps the race was red flagged due to a crash. This gave me a chance to calm down and re focus. The re start was good, I was in a group for 12th. But unfortunately I pushed to hard going in to turn 1 and crashed out. It was disappointing but I knew I had another opportunity to make things right in race 2.
The start of race 2 was very good, I was in a group for 12th and felt strong. But on lap 6 my seat pad came lose and started moving around when I changed direction, the glue stuck to my leathers and I found it very difficult to ride. I lost more and more time during the race, I crossed the line in P14. My first points since my injury, I was very satisfied with the work the team had done. I can’t thank Racing Steps Foundation and the team enough for what they have done for me, I hope we can continue to work together in 2018.