Tough conditions, comprising driving rain and cold temperatures, made life difficult for Hayfield rider Christian Iddon in the opening rounds of the 2018 Bennetts British Superbike Championship.
Aboard his Tyco BMW S1000RR bike at Donington Park, Iddon could manage only 14th in the first race after a fall during qualifying and a spirited ride in the second race the following day saw him take sixth spot.
The weekend began reasonably well as Iddon showed competitive pace to claim second spot during the second free practice session. But a tumble during qualifying, on cold tyres, down the Leicestershire venue’s infamous Craner Curves, left the team with plenty to do to get the BMW back on track in time for the first race.
After the TYCO squad had worked wonders, the former Supermoto champion left the grid in 15th, making good progress initially, but taking the chequered flag only one further place forward.
“There were a few strange things going on with the bike that I couldn’t quite understand,” said Iddon, “As the race went on, I realised that I was struggling a lot and there was no real way around it. It was a really frustrating race because I didn’t have the pace that I expected.”
For race two, Iddon took the start from 14th after another crash during warm-up. Bravely, he climbed to sixth, fending off Glenn Irwin, of Ducati, at the flag.
“I went and high-sided myself with two corners to go during warm-up,” he admitted. “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. At least I only had a a few cuts and bruises. Nothing to worry about.
“In the race itself, I was reasonably quick, but the problem was trying to get through. 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 point-scoring finishes and a lot of work to do. But that’s racing. We’ll keep on working and look forward to the next round.”
The Superbike Championship now moves on to Brands Hatch in Kent at the venue’s 1.2-mile ‘Indy’ circuit over the weekend of April 13 to 15.