Sam’s confidence was high leading up to the event and this showed as she achieved her best ever lap time of the picturesque Cheshire circuit. Unfortunately her race was cut short due to a small misjudgement whilst making up places on the opening lap leading to an early retirement.
The opening free practice got underway on Saturday morning but was soon to be red flagged due to a serious accident. Once the riders got back out on track there were a few drops of rain in the air making some of the riders slightly cautious. Sam was determined to make the best use of the track time and settled in nicely setting the seventh fastest time.
Sam quickly got into her stride during the second free practice setting lap times consistent with her previous visits to the 2.69 mile Oulton Park International circuit. This was pleasing for both Sam and her team as she was matching her 125cc times on the new Moto3 machine early in the weekend therefore giving her confidence for the upcoming official qualifying sessions taking place the following day.
Although improving her lap time by over a second, Sam was a little disappointed with the opening qualifying run which prompted the team to make some set up changes ahead of the final qualifying session which took place later in the afternoon. With the Moto3 project still very much in its infancy the team are experiencing a steep learning curve but are very much up for the challenge of developing the machine to Sam’s requirements. With some adjustments made to the front suspension a more relaxed Sam was ready for final qualifying.
The improvements had worked and Sam enjoyed the session and was pleased with both the bike and her riding, setting her best ever lap time at Oulton Park on her way to 17th position on the grid of the 28 riders competing.
Still eager to improve further, Sam and her team walked the circuit in the evening studying where she could find more time as she becomes more confident with her Moto3 machine.
As the huge Bank Holiday crowd rolled in for race day, the weather was glorious with blue sky and sunshine, which made a pleasant change for all the competitors. Sam’s eagerness to continue her progress was clear to see as she was first out of pit lane for the eight minute morning warm-up and once again improved on her personal best time by almost half a second on her final circulation.
Heading up row five of the grid, Sam made a good start to the race with her plan being to follow Tarren MacKenzie who had flown in from Spain to start at the back of the field after competing in the Red Bull rookies at Jerez. Both Tarren and Sam made up several places in the early stages of lap one, but as Sam made the descent to Hizzy’s chicane lining up another overtake, she made a small misjudgement and clipped the rear wheel of another rider resulting in a crash.
“Although I am gutted to have crashed early in the race it was good to be in a position to fight for a strong result. I’m looking forward to the next round at Knockhill and I’m really enjoying the bike. I’m sure a good race result will come soon!” Sam Burman
Sam and the WNT/Burman Racing team now look forward to their corporate track day at Cadwell Park with their title sponsor which takes place on Thursday 23rd May.
Round four of the 2013 Monster Energy Motostar British Championship
takes place at Knockhill over the weekend of 14th-16th June.