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Home sweet home…

Last weekend at Donington was the best weekend for us so far this season and a definite step in the right direction after Assen, which was a difficult round because of the unpredictable weather. Hopper qualified well, but because of the wet track we ended up with the wrong tyre choice and Leon had a big crash and hurt his foot. We had to put this behind us, and had a lot of work to do moving forward.

Since my last blog, we’ve also been to Monza. Hopper qualified in ninth position but because of the horrendous weather yet again, we had serious problems with the tyres, which were ruined after just five laps. The first race was cancelled because the weather was so bad. In the second race Hopper had a great start and was fourth until he had to avoid a crash by Melandri, causing him to stop and pushing him back into sixth position. Hopper then had a crash, damaging his left side, breaking his right foot and damaging his hip. Leon had a steady race but was only able to complete eight laps due to the weather.

We then had a lot of work to do ahead of Donington, which is a favourite track for both Leon and Hopper. Unfortunately for Hopper, the damage to his hip turned out to be quite extensive, with scans revealing bone damage from previous accidents; in 2008 he sustained a serious hip injury. As he was in quite a lot of pain and had limited movement, he had to pull out of the Donington event. After specialist scans in the Midlands and America, we’re now waiting on a third opinion. This left me with the task of finding another rider to fill Hopper’s spot. British rider Peter Hickman was keen, and since I’ve always rated him as a rider, it was nice to give him the opportunity to ride.

Leon was running at the front of the pack for the duration of the Donington round and while we missed Hopper of course, Donington saw us back in contention, with Leon third in the warm-up. While the first race saw him finish in ninth due to a braking problem, he came fourth in the second race – only four seconds behind the winner, which is a massive step up for the team and something to definitely build on for Millar next week. Thankfully Hopper will be joining us; despite still experiencing discomfort he is up for the challenge at his home round. We’ll be heading to America a couple of days in advance to chill out, visit Vegas, and have some fun!

On a personal note, I’m looking forward to the delivery of my new Suzuki Kizashi this week, which will make the ride from north to south more enjoyable. It was nice to have Doris with me at Assen and Monza; she rode over to the former with a friend in horrendous weather. She’s recently picked up her new, fully restored 93 Harley Sportster, which has just been rebuilt and repainted; she’s chuffed with it.

The short break I was hoping for after Assen didn’t happen in the end, but I’m looking forward to the breather in America before the race. Before packing for America I managed to fit in a long walk on the moors with my two dogs Bodo and Willie who I’ll miss over the next ten days.