So then, here it is, the final “Race” diary of the 2010 season, unfortunately it’s going to follow a somewhat familiar pattern to all previous one’s this year which is a tiny bit frustrating but here goes anyway!!!
The following day after Imola we dropped Petra at the airport before Reggie and I went on a bit of a road trip up to Zurich, we saw the funniest car you’ve ever seen on the way up through Switzerland, in fact if you follow me on Twitter at @67shakey you would’ve been able to see the picture I posted, the funniest thing was after about an hour had passed since we saw it we pulled into some services and the car was in there, lets just say we better hope there’s not a World War 3 if that car is all the artillery we have in England ;-)!!!
After spending Monday night and pretty much all day Tuesday in Zurich we got back in the motorhome to make a steady start on the trip towards Magny Cours, that ended up turning into an all night affair though as Reg ended up driving all the way to the circuit, the last two hours or so were a little bit of a worry, we used Tom Tom to guide us there and obviously it fails to recognise the fact we’re in a 40ft long motorhome, we followed the directions and the roads and villages etc got smaller and smaller and narrower and narrower, I said to Reg after about an hour at it all we need now is a low bridge, can you imagine that, I would have been fuming ha ha!!!
As ever around this time of the year the paddock was rife with all sorts of gossip about who was going where and typically by the time you’d got from one end of the paddock to the other the story had changed completely which always amuses me!!
Riding wise I’d be lying if I said I dislike the circuit because I don’t it’s just something about the place that I can’t get on with, last year I struggled a bit there but this year I was determined to get on with it and try to work it out, let’s face it, it was the last two races of the year so now was as good a time as ever for a good result!!!
Despite having a much better feeling with the bike than 12 months ago I finished the session a little bit down the order, we were still in the top 5 or 6 but a little bit off and the bike never felt too bad at all, sure there were things we could improve but it wasn’t like we were miles out of the ball park, this theme continued right through all the practice and qualifying sessions but if you saw the results and lap times it was absolutely unbelievable, in one session there was 0.7 of a second covering the top 16 riders, that is just out of this world, no other championship in the world is ever that tight, it’s so cool to be a part of, it’d be even better if I was at the top of the tables though ha ha!!
In Superpole I got straight through the first session using just race tyres which usually bodes well, in the second one initially I went 7th but by the time I’d got back I’d dropped out of the cut, I decided to use my 2nd qualifier immediately but unfortunately I entered an empty track and had no option but to do a lap alone with no one to chase, I did a faster lap but ended up missing the cut off by about 2 10th’s and finished up in 14th, as I said earlier in this diary, following patterns……
Knowing that I was lining up on the grid for what was to be my final races with Althea I was determined to do a good job, as the lights went out I got quite a good start and made up 5 or 6 places through the first couple of turns, everything was going to plan until sector 3, basically in morning warm up for the Superstock class someone blew an engine in a big way and dropped oil all the way into the fast chicane, it was possible to go inside it or around it but definitely not where I had to go on the first lap, across the top of it, I ran on straight through the chicane but had to really anchor up hard to make it back onto the track through the designated entry road back onto the track so I dropped to last place, F’in great that’s all I need, I managed to get back on track and picked up as many places as I could before the end, I got stuck behind Tom Sykes which was real frustrating as he was like a bit of a road block, parking his Kawasaki in the middle of the track at every corner before firing it out down the straights, I passed him a few times but every time I did he simply out drove me on the exit so I ended up a pretty disappointed 9th right behind him.
Now though a couple of days have past, I’m actually feeling pretty chilled at the minute, I’m kinda down that some of the guys are already starting their preparations for 2011 in Magny Cours but I’m actually quite relieved that this season’s over, it’ll sound corny I know but I’m already ready for 2011, I have no idea yet what it’s going to bring but I’m ready regardless, it’s weird because right now I feel free and like a big weight’s off my shoulders I guess you could almost say I’m having a week completely off and away from it all!!!! There’s been plenty of stuff to try to get sorted both racing and non racing wise though so I’ve been pretty busy anyway, as far as the racing thing goes right now I have some possibilities in WSB, options in BSB so I’m off up to Oulton Park Saturday to pursue them and a couple of possibilities elsewhere too which we’re working on so I’ve no doubt something will come together quite soon, you can rest assured I’ll let you guys know exactly what’s happening so all that leaves me to say is a big thank you to all of you who’ve followed me this year, in the words of Vinny Jones or should I say Bullet tooth Tony…It’s been emotional!!!!!!
Big thanks also to my guys in my side of the garage this year, Alberto, Fabrizio, Pino and Luca, you’ve been mega thank you, thanks also to Genesio, to Shoei, Alpinestars, Express insurance, William and the boys at Stobart and finally S.I.S Science in Sport, lets hope we have far more to cheer about next year. Take it easy guys and girls, Shakey #67