Donington National – April 2015

Donington Park – Nationwide Traffic Solutions Thundersport 500 Championship round 2. 


Friday morning we were up and getting ready for testing but we had some time because we only had the afternoon session, so in the morning it was nice and relaxed for us to get signed on and then watch a few sessions go around before we did.


After a few sessions testing me and dad we happy with where we were at and the times we were putting in, I was consistently putting in 1:22s without pushing my limits so I was happy with that.


Then it was a nice early night for us all. However, as we went to bed we checked the weather for the next day and it turned out to be wet for qualifying in the morning which I wasn’t fussed about at all as I like the wet so I was looking forward to riding Donington in the wet for the first time.


In qualifying I was struggling to get a good lap in because I kept getting held up by slower riders or yellow flags which was annoying but I managed to get one ok lap in just before the front went at Coppice and sent me off to play in the mud and gravel, I was ok and luckily so was the bike. Still gutted about crashing out but it happens, silly mistake from me going too fast and trusting the front just a bit more than I should have. A few minutes went on, and as I was sat there, dad did the exact same thing as me, which isn’t really funny but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I laughed a little bit when he got up and ran over to where I was sat. However that lap put me 4th in the group but 9th on the grid for the rest of the day.


Saturday Race 1


Race one came so we got the warmers off and out we went, I was feeling pretty confident for the race and where I wanted to be but I didn’t let myself think it was going to be easy in any case. I managed to get a second at Mallory park at the end of last year and 3 top 5 positions at round 1 so now the goal was top 3 and I kept my head focused on that and even if I went round in a position other than top 3 to be patient and work my way up through the race. So off we went and I managed to get a good start from 9th to around 5th into Redgate, all through the race the positions were swapping and people showing a wheel and giving some good battles about but I managed to get 3rd in race one so I was so happy with that plus the top 3 broke the standing lap record and Adam #49 held it after that race but it was so close between us. All of the hard work and training over the winter with getting the bikes ready, pitbike training up at M4 Karting and Swindon Karting whenever we had free time to in between working, it’s paid off.


Saturday Race 2


Race two came up and I was focused on podium and winning this one, I didn’t get ahead of myself I stayed relaxed and patient but I wanted to win so badly. We went out and as we went off I made sure I got up tight for the first corner and a good drive up which I did and managed to plant myself in 4th in the first corner, however I dropped back to about 8th about half way through lap one so I had to get my head together and keep focused on what I wanted so I got my head down stayed patient and picked people off as I could and managed to get up behind a good friend of mine Ben Coyle #14 and he had a great pace so me and him passed each other a few times until I managed to stay in front, when I was in front I knew he could have passed but we worked together for a couple laps to close the gap between us and the front two runners which we were able to do, as soon as we caught them it was no friends at that point and just went for it. Unfortunately there was a crash just behind me between a few riders which also clipped Bens back wheel so it put him out of it because another good friend of mine Jono Perry #42 went past Ben as he got clipped so it was between me and Joe Barton #106, we still had a few laps left and I managed to get in the lead a few times but he kept having a go and getting back past me, I really had to work for this and on the last corner, foggy esses,  Joe came up the inside and got in front but I managed to get a better drive out and get the win, my first ever win! I was so happy with it, it’s hard to describe the feeling.


After race two dad was so happy so was mum and other family and friends, all the hard work paid off and finally I was able to stick up the front with the fast boys, happy chappy.


Early night Saturday night because another full day the next day was ahead of us and of course it was TV day so big hopes for then!


Sunday Race 1


Sunday morning we went out for practice and I had a bit of a dice about with Adam #49 which was fun, came in and then we were out for race 3 of the weekend shortly after.


Race three of the weekend came up so we went out and gridded up. I needed a good start to be where I wanted to be. Because of mega laps I was 4th on the grid so I was happy with that because it got me closer to the front. As we went off I managed to get 2nd into Redgate but it wasn’t long until everyone was swapping places, stuffing up the inside of me and elbows rubbing. Loving every single second of it, there were some great battles all the way through the race and towards the end of the race it was me and Ben fighting for 3rd to a point where my elbow touched his exhaust, it was awesome we were so close and we kept trying to out brake each other. Last lap came out and all the way round was so close up to foggy esses where he went under me into the corner but I managed to get a drive out and just clinch 3rd off of him but that was a wicked race, I was over the moon with it.


Sunday Race 2


Before the final race of the weekend there was a bit of confusion with the weather because we didn’t know if we had rain coming or not, luckily it stayed away from us for the race so nice dry one for us, it was windy but dry.


Race 4 came up so off we went out for the final race of round 2! Hoping to get another podium so I can bring home some nice silver wear from every race.


Starting from 4th, I got 2nd into Redgate in the previous race so I thought I’d try a lot harder this time to get the holeshot and I did! I managed to time it how I wanted and get a good start off the line without any mistakes or without having to come off the throttle at any point. I lead down Craner Curves but I had company straight away and from then everyone was passing and regaining positions, one minute you’re leading one minute your 5th you just didn’t know how it was going to end, there were definitely some close calls, elbow rubbing and stuff ups here and there which was awesome to be involved in as motocross got me used to elbow rubbing and bikes being stuffed up into you, I was loving it out there. Came to a point where Barton was leading and had a gap between me and a few others battling for the remaining two spots on the podium, it was all out and no one holding back all the way to the line, happy to say Ben Coyle #14 clinched 2nd and I brought it back in 3rd so I’m so happy with my results over this weekend, best yet!!


As usual there are loads of people to thank but I’d like to say a big thank you to Thundersport GB, Bernadette for being amazing as always, the marshals and all the Thundersport crew for being there and taking care of everyone including myself in qualifying.


Also to people behind me this year; my mum, thanks for the sandwiches, sis and girlfriend for all being so supportive. My dad, owner of &, who’s got everything sorted with the bikes and making all of this happen for me. Also huge thanks to….


Martins Motorcycle Services in Reading for the work on the engines

Ride In Bike Tyres for helping us with tyres

MTC Motorcycles for their help with parts

Putoline for supporting me through this year with all the best oil and lubricants.


See you at Snetterton in three weeks time!


P.S. we’ll put more photos up when they arrive

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One thought on “Donington National – April 2015

  1. Brian Holmes

    Well done Jack what a thrilling weekends racing at Donington.
    Being on the podium in all your 4 races, was realy great . And a big pat on the back to your dad competing, and working so hard to make the weekend special, we wished we were there to see the action and give you support so sorry we could not make it this time.
    Keep the good work up from a proud Granddad and Vicky. xx

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