The track surface improved throughout the day enabling Sam to switch to dry weather tyres half way through the second free practice session.
Having suitably scrubbed in her tyres the previous afternoon, Sam set about improving her lap time during the first of two 25 minute qualifying sessions. She settled in well shaving almost two seconds from her best time before unfortunately suffering a high speed crash at Surtees approaching the left hander slightly off line whilst pushing hard on a fast lap with just five minutes remaining of the session. It was her first crash on the new Moto3 machine, but fortunately the damage to the bike was mainly superficial and Sam was uninjured.
Undeterred by her morning excursion, Sam once again improved her pace during final qualifying, taking another second off her time, but would eventually be disappointed with her grid position of 25th place overall and eighth place of the Moto3 riders. Sam’s preparation prior to the season commencing had obviously been compromised by a distinct lack of quality track time due to the continuous poor climatic conditions, although her potential was never in doubt.
Lining up on the grid onboard her WNT/Burman Racing Moto3 machine, now sporting its stunning new blue colour scheme, Sam made a good start, only for the race to be halted in the early laps due to a multiple accident.
The re-started race was run over a reduced distance with Sam making up a number of places during the opening exchanges, completing lap one in 17th position. Over the coming laps she would enjoy battling with Taz Taylor before making a small error and running wide enabling Taylor to build a gap. Sam became more comfortable with her bike as the race progressed, setting her fastest lap of the weekend in the closing stages, eventually taking the chequered flag in fifteenth place overall and fifth of the Moto3 riders rewarding her with 11 valuable points from the opening encounter.
“My goal for the first round was a top fifteen finish and some good points in the Moto3 category and we managed to achieve both so it’s been a good start to the season. We can now try and build on this result and I’m excited for the season ahead. I’m looking forward to Thruxton this coming weekend as it’s great to be able to get straight back on the bike and continue our progress!” Sam Burman.