A race to forget, with the injuries to prove it

I’m the fifth bike out of 14 as we all start from the pit lane after opting to change tyres following our practice lap. It was scary stuff with so many riders so close with no grid

I’m the fifth bike out of 14 as we all start from the pit lane after opting to change tyres following our practice lap. It was scary stuff with so many riders so close with no grid

First published in Sport

IF I was lapping a couple of seconds slower than the leaders and finishing with a few points each race, I would be a lot less happy than I actually feel at the moment.

The solution is simple – I must rule out the mistakes because we have the pace to be right up there.

I’m sitting here with a hole in my shin right down to the bone, no skin on my little finger and trying to get my head round the weekend.

Five crashes, a start from the pit lane and lap times in the race that could have put me in fifth place – it is a weekend I will certainly not forget in a hurry.

I understand how people must think when they read this column and I keep saying we are so close to some big results and that there are some positives from a weekend of crashes, stitches and no points.

I believe – and I know the team believe – we are very close and it’s down to me to translate those practice, qualifying and testing times into some big point-scoring finishes.

The team, right from the top with my boss, Herve Poncharal, are giving me so much support and I feel so bad for them.

Those results do not reflect on them and it’s up to me to bring them some rewards and I genuinely believe I can do just that starting at the next round in Indianapolis.

At the moment, everything seems against us – although I’m making no excuses for the crashes.

I put my hand up and accept total responsibility.

To say things did not start well would be an understatement with a big crash at the fast turn ten in the first five minutes of the first practice on Friday morning.

To make matters even worse, I got out on the second bike and crashed that five minutes from the end of the session.

I’d taken plenty of skin off the little finger that I broke in Italy last year in the Friday crashes.

Then on Saturday, a rodeo style crash at turn two when I nearly held onto the bike, put a big hole in my left shin that had to be stitched.

It was hardly the ideal preparation for qualifying, but I was confident of at least a second-row start when I went down again at turn three.

I still qualified on the third row of the grid.

We got through the morning warm-up on Sunday OK, but then the weather took overfor the second grand prix in succession when it started to pour with rain 30 minutes before the start of the race.

Then, of course, it stopped and it started to dry.

We kept the wet tyres on, but on that final sighting lap, aside from turn 12, the track was almost dry.

That saw 14 of us pull back into pit lane to change to slick tyres.

It meant we all had to start the race from the pit lane and that was very scary.

There was 14 of the most powerful bikes in the world lining up with no grid – it was more like the start of a minibike race on a karting track and very dangerous.

We escaped this time, but I think all the riders agree it must not happen again because that may well not be the case next time.

I’m sure it will be the main discussion at the next safety commission meeting with the riders in America.

Once I’d settled into the race, we started to carve our way past the riders who’d started from the grid.

I was following Valentino Rossi and saw him pass Mike Di Meglio at turn one and I knew my race pace was more than good enough to follow him.

I got up the inside of Di Meglio and overtook him, but as he came back to the apex of the corner, I ran onto the inside of the curb, which was still damp, and down I went again.

I could have packed up there and then after those five crashes, but the bike was not damaged and so I got back onto the Yamaha.

She deserved better and I managed to finish the race out of the points, but at a pace which could have seen me finish fifth or sixth in the race.

But if you crash, you don’t score points.

The three-week summer break will give my finger and shin time to heal and, maybe more importantly, give me time to clear out my brain to prepare for a massive second half of the season.

It all starts again at Indianapolis and within a few days of the summer holiday, I will be desperate to get out there – although my finger and shin may not agree.

Latest Sport news

FOOTBALL: Mike Ford appointed new Banbury United manager

Oxford Mail:

11:47am Friday 22nd May 2015

Banbury United have appointed former Oxford City boss Mike Ford as their new manager.

Oxford United stepping up interest in striker Ryan Taylor

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

Ryan Taylor remains firmly on Oxford United’s radar despite the signing of Kemar Roofe, according to head coach Michael Appleton.

LONDON WELSH: Olly Barkley to have role in attack plans

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

OLLY Barkley will have a say in London Welsh’s coaching set-up for their Greene King IPA Championship campaign.

POINT-TO-POINT: Harbour Court in fine form for Kingston Blount

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

HARBOUR Court is set to be the star attraction as the curtain comes down on the South Midlands Area season at Kingston Blount, near Chinnor, on Sunday (2.30).

RUGBY UNION: Berry returns for second Chinnor spell

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

PROP Andy Berry has rejoined Chinnor ahead of next season’s National League 2 South campaign.

ROWING: Teddies and Abingdon get taste for success

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Friday 22nd May 2015

ST Edward’s and Abingdon warmed up for this week’s National Schools’ Regatta with encouraging wins, writes JOHN WIGGINS.

CRICKET: Will Eason backs debutant Harrison Ward to make mark for Horspath

Oxford Mail:

7:10am Friday 22nd May 2015

HORSPATH skipper Will Eason believes 15-year-old Harrison Ward will be an instant hit on his Division 1 debut at Henley tomorrow.

TENNIS: Shoot-out keeps St Helen girls on course

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

ABINGDON pupils have dominated the local section in the year eight and year ten AEGON Team Tennis Schools National Championships.

GOLF: Pepperell has action-packed first day at Wentworth

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Friday 22nd May 2015

Eddie Pepperell had an eventful opening round at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth yesterday.

CRICKET: Ian Crosby confident of Oxford recovery

Oxford Mail:

6:50am Friday 22nd May 2015

CAPTAIN Ian Crosby is calling on his Oxford side to bounce back from a winless start to their Division 1 campaign when they host promoted Reading tomorrow.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:44pm Thu 17 Jul 14

EvangelinePagano says...

my aunty recently purchased a nearly new gold BMW M6 Convertible by working parttime off of a home computer. view

==>>>>>>> x.co/54nPd
my aunty recently purchased a nearly new gold BMW M6 Convertible by working parttime off of a home computer. view ==>>>>>>> x.co/54nPd EvangelinePagano
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree