After how things went at Knockhill I was pretty confident for Oulton, although It didn't go so good the first time we went there. Went out in practice and didn't do anything special, struggled a bit with lines and braking points, but equalled my best time from the previous meeting at Oulton. In qualifying, on the out lap, it started to spit, so I had to get on with it as soon as possible to get a good lap in case it hammered it down.
Midge ... on one during the race
After a few laps it stopped, and I found myself in a gaggle of riders with with Matt Whitman. I could see what he was doing differently to try and change some of the things I was doing wrong. I didn't do a great time, but my ideal lap time was pretty good so I was happy enough although I got knocked back to 9th on the last lap.
The Smart line ... mid-race at Oulton
In the race I got the best start I ever have done, going from 9th on the grid to 3rd place into turn 1 without jumping the start as the commentators on Sky Sports thought I had! After dropping back to 5th, BJ Toal was in front of me and there was no way I was letting him get away. I was chasing him down, putting in a fastest lap of 1:46.190, until lap 9, where my lap times suddenly dropped because my slipper clutch stopped working and I was getting way, way too sideways on the way into turns as I banged down through the gears and kept running wide. After a lap I kind of got used to riding around it until it caught me out big time on lap 11, where I had a massive highside going into Foulstone's chicane. The race was red flagged as my fuel tank split and puked fuel everywhere. I was gutted about crashing, as at this point in the season I need good results, but I couldn't have gone any harder just for a 4th place! My lap times were good, and not a mile off the leaders, but thats how it goes I guess.
Cruising ... Midge on his practice in lap
The worst bit of the crash was the hit I took to the chest. The medics held me back for observation because I was coughing up blood for a while. Still, my kit stood up amazingly well in the crash and I could definitely recommend Carrera leathers and Aplinestars boots! Read the next issue of RiDE magazine for a crash-test update...