The determined Messingham racer onboard her Moto3 machine recovered from last place in the early stages to finish in sixteenth position overall. The result moves her up into third position in the Moto3 Championship after two rounds.
Friday’s opening free practice session was held in wet conditions with Sam using the twenty minutes to familiarise herself with the circuit, as it was her first visit on the Moto3 machine. The weather gradually improved for the afternoon practice although most riders including Sam still preferred to run with treaded tyres as certain areas of the circuit remained damp. She settled in well, moving up into eleventh position at the end of the first day. Particularly pleasing was her speed in the speed trap located between village and church, a very fast section of track where the machines are still accelerating. Sam was equal second fastest in this part of the lap, demonstrating her ability, confidence and bravery on the Moto3 machine.
Thankfully the riders had a dry track and were able to use slick tyres for the opening timed qualifying session; Sam significantly improved her lap time and would provisionally be placed in 18th position on the grid, her best qualifying position competing at this level. Rain started to fall prior to final qualifying later in the day with several riders electing to sit out the session. Sam, however, was determined to make good use of the track time, and gained further confidence in her bike during the unfavourable wet conditions, completing the session in eleventh position, but remaining in 18th place on the grid based on the times set on a dry track in the morning.
With the track drying but still damp, Sam made excellent use of the short morning warm-up on race day. Electing for slick dry weather tyres, she impressively set the eighth fastest time overall and was equal fourth fastest through the speed trap between village and church.
During the warm-up lap for the 14 lap race, Sam experienced an issue with her brakes and had to pull in to pit lane. The front brakes were binding on, and her WNT Burman Racing team had to quickly cure the problem. Unable to take up her grid position, Sam had to start the race from pit lane after the pack had gone through, and quickly set about hunting down her rivals. At the end of the first lap she had caught and passed Joe Thomas and Daniel Costilla, and would then dice with Jayson Uribe for several laps before pulling away and getting embroiled in a battle with Jason Douglas and Asher Durham. Sam made a pass stick on Durham during lap eight and in doing so set her fastest lap of the weekend, finally taking sixteenth place by one tenth of a second at the chequered flag.
Reflecting on her weekend Sam was pleased with her performance overall and her improved pace on her Moto3 machine. Starting from pit lane was a small setback and maybe her result could have been ever better had she started from her grid position. She had good pace all weekend and improved further towards the end of the race.
“I really enjoyed Thruxton and I’m pleased with my bike. It was a good result considering I had to start from pit lane. I felt good in morning warm-up which boosted my confidence, 16th overall wasn’t quite the result I was hoping for but to pull through the field and score a fourth place in Moto3 was pleasing. I now feel more competitive in all weather conditions and look forward to Oulton Park in three weeks time!” Sam Burman. By Martin Knighton