Time was passing quickly with the first round of the Maxxis ACU British Motocross Championship looming and there was still plenty of prep left to do – so the team met up the week before Culham to run-in and test the race bike.
After a couple of sessions on the HCR-tuned DBC Yamaha, Hardcore Racing boss Roland Shaw said it was time to give it some fast laps and, wow, straight away I could tell the bike was very strong from the bottom-end.
I was loving it and felt really pleased – with one week to go until Culham everything was great.
On the Saturday before the race we popped to the Milk Run to double-check everything and run-in the new wheels plus some other new additions.
The track and weather was mint and I really enjoyed the few sessions we did.
We then headed off to the Maxxis which was only a one-hour drive away for us.
You could feel that everyone was chomping at the bit to get racing but overnight drizzle which lasted until mid-morning changed the circuit a little.
After a difficult qualifying session saw me only get 10th place dad put his hands up and said it was his fault for giving me the wrong qualifying strategy!
Phew, I thought it was me! Anyway, we went back to the van and re-grouped for the racing.
I got some great jumps out of the gate but in both motos halfway down the start straight I had a slide out and a clash of bars. I fought back from mid-pack in both motos to record fifth and fourth-placed finishes for fourth overall which I was happy about.
I would like to thank everyone who turned up to support me and wish me good luck as it was very much appreciated.
The following week flew past before we were back at Culham (yep, two weeks on the trot) for the first round of the British Youth Nationals.
Conditions were totally different to the previous week with the track looking in mint condition. This time I qualified in sixth which left me scratching my head as I thought I was riding well.
On day one I got two mid-pack starts giving me fourth and third-placed finishes.
The team made some changes overnight to the bike set-up and after a little track walk and chat with dad it was a different day two for me and I ran 2-1-2 for second overall.
Too Fast Films and the BYN released my Go Pro film from race one on Sunday showing the close battle between me and Howard Wainwright for the moto win.
In the last moto of the weekend I was on the receiving end of a great pass while leading the race when, on the penultimate lap, Jed Etchells had a fast downhill line and flew past me for the win.
I followed Jed on the last lap and thought ‘damn, I missed that one’!
What a great week I had this week with the clocks going forward and me turning 16 years old on Wednesday (thank you for all those birthday wishes).
I would like to say a special thank you to mum, dad and Martin Sandiford for hooking me up with a new Sherco 250cc trials bike.
I was so excited I didn’t waste any time and we went straight down to the local trials ground to run the bike in. I had a mega time riding it around and will enjoy the summer months training on it.
I am booked in to race an Eastern Centre motocross at Blaxhall this Sunday.
The racing is always good at Blaxhall as the Woodbridge club does a brilliant job prepping and maintaining the circuit.
Blaxhall was voted best Maxxis track of 2016 and will be great preparation for round two of the Maxxis at Lyng the following weekend.