Tough conditions for the opening rounds of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Donington made life difficult for Stockport Superbiker Christian Iddon.
Despite the rain, Iddon showed competitive pace around the Donington Park GP layout, claiming two point finishes and second spot during the second free practice session of the weekend. But a tumble during qualifying left the team with plenty to do to get the BMW back on track in time for the first race – the timetable having been altered to bring racing forward a day with the weather forecast showing terrible conditions likely the day after.
After the TYCO squad worked to get Christian back on track, the former Supermoto champion left the grid in fifteenth but took the chequered flag in a disappointing fourteenth place.
“There was a few strange things going on with the bike that I couldn’t quite understand” explained Iddon, “I had a few big moments on the first lap, as the race went on I realised that I was struggling a lot and there was no real way around it. I had to settle really.
“We had a front wheel that span on the rim, that created a terrible vibration, but then we had a small technical thing with the bike, to do with the setting, it made it very difficult for me to ride. It was a really frustrating race because I didn’t have the pace that I expected”.
Race two saw the Stockport Superbiker start from fourteenth despite a fall during warm-up, climbing to sixth place, fending off Glenn Irwin [Ducati], by 0.001secs at the flag.
“I went and high-sided myself with two corners to go warm up” admitted Christian. “It wasn’t a big crash, it was probably the slowest crash I’ve ever had, but it slapped me down pretty hard, and it was quite a shock to the system. It was all ok, just a few cuts and bruises, nothing to worry about.
“I opted for the inter[mediate] front, and slick rear [in the race], which was probably quite conservative for what I would normally go for, but I know that the inter front’s a pretty good one so I opted for it.
“I was reasonably quick but the problem was trying to get through, so while I had the tyre for the job early on, over the other boys, I was struggling to get past because there was only one line.
“I certainly had the pace for the group in front, for sort of a top four position, but sixth is a reasonable salvage from where we started on the grid. It’s little consolation, but it’s some consolation. We’re leaving the first round with two points scoring finishes, a lot of work to do but that’s racing. We’ll keep on working and look forward to Brands in a couple of weeks’ time.”
The Bennetts British Superbike Championship moves on to Brands Hatch, in Kent, where the next round takes place on the venue’s 1.2mile ‘Indy’ layout on the 13-15 April.