The team once again made great progress throughout the three days but suffered a minor setback when Sam crashed out of the race on lap seven.
Knockhill is one of the less familiar circuits for Sam, and she hadn’t ridden the Moto3 machine there before, so the two free practice sessions on Friday were used mainly to dial herself in and gain more confidence. She adapted well, and during the second twenty minute session she achieved a personal best time for the circuit ending the day in 13th position on the time sheets, an encouraging start to the weekend.
During the evening Sam and her crew walked the track and had a close look at her lines in certain areas prior to the following day’s qualifying.
Saturday morning’s qualifying was held in damp conditions, which was a little frustrating but Sam felt good on the bike and looked forward to hopefully a dry final qualifying later in the day.
Sam’s wishes were granted as conditions had improved in the afternoon, but despite setting another personal best time on her way to 17th place on the grid for Sunday’s 22 lap race, she admitted to being somewhat disappointed and made some changes to the suspension which she would test during Sunday morning’s warm up.
Unfortunately damp conditions prevailed once again for the short morning warm up, which prevented Sam from fully testing her new settings.
With Tarren MacKenzie not able to start the race, Sam had moved up to 16th place on the grid, her best ever British Championship grid position.
Sam made a good start to the race and was circulating in 16th place on the back of a close group battling for eleventh position, but just after setting yet another personal best lap she crashed out of the race on the exit of the hairpin at the end of lap seven.
“I’m gutted to have crashed out of the race as we had the potential for a strong result. I set my best ever lap time whilst being held up by a group of riders ahead and was eager to make up some places when I messed up the entry to the tight hairpin corner, on the exit I wound to much power in trying to make up for my mistake so I wouldn’t lose out down the straight, the rear tyre lost grip and through me off. I was so frustrated but I believe it’s coming, I’ve got to grips a lot more with the Knockhill circuit this weekend, I’m learning more and more each time we go on track and the bike feels great, I can’t wait to get back out there at Snetterton!”
Round five of the 2013 Monster Energy Motostar British Championship takes place at Snetterton over the weekend of 5th-7th July. By Martin Knighton