In the morning practice session, we blew away some cobwebs and got to enjoy some laps around Donington Park again (our last visit was in 2011). By the end of the session, we were on pace with our rivals.
As we are leading the NG Supertwin championship, we started the Saturday Qualifying race started from pole position - and we won the Qualifying race! - meaning that we would also start the Final (points) race from pole position in our class. We also established a new class lap record in the Qualifying race! But it wasn't all great news because in the Qualifying race the rear tyre was moving around a lot, which is unusual with our machine setup. We had reduced the rear tyre pressure by 2psi (from 26psi cold to 24psi cold) earlier in the day, so thinking that this may be the reason for the rear tyre squirming around, we reverted back to our previous psi setting for the Final race.
A good start in the Saturday Final race meant that we managed to take the lead into the first corner. The rear tyre was working better and we continued to lead the race all the way until the final lap when Kevin Davies overtook us on the inside line into the Old Hairpin - but we managed to hold the outside line and then retake the lead into the following corner, hold the lead to the line and won the Final race by 0.44 of a second, taking the 25 championship points. During the race, we beat our own lap record time but whilst chasing us, Kevin went even faster and took the lap record from us. On returning to the pits, our Kawasaki Supertwin had a rattling sound coming from the engine area, so overnight we stripped the bike down and found that the lower exhaust mount bracket was at fault - so this was repaired and we were ready for another day of racing on Sunday.
We started the Sunday Qualifying race from pole position once again but this time Kevin Davies managed to carve through the 'Sound Of Thunder' traffic better than us on the first lap and pulled out a gap that we were unable to close, despite setting a new lap record on the final lap, so finished in 2nd.
Onto the Sunday Final race and a choice of a 'cautious but safe' inside line at the first corner meant that we got bogged down at first corner and dropped down into 3rd place. It took a few laps to catch and pass Stephen Sweetman who was in 2nd place before continuing the chase to leader Kevin Davies. Lap on lap, we were slowly catching the leader until eventually we ran out of laps! Our 2nd place finish was gratefully received, especially since there was a 'leg dangling' moment coming out of the last corner on the last lap (see video).
The Donington Park results increased our championship points tally to 180 points, as well as providing a further 45 point increase in our championship lead (now 109 points). With a maximum of 125 points still available over the final five NG Supertwin races, we have managed to put ourselves into a good position to potentially secure the NG Supertwin championship at our next race meeting at Anglesey on 16th/17th August.
Before then, we are hoping to make some further chassis modifications - so watch this space... :-)