Running as a support series to the World Superbike Championship, the European Junior Cup (EJC) usually provides some pretty close racing among the CBR650F-mounted competitors. Following on from her success as Women’s European Junior Cup Champion last year, Avalon Biddle is fighting it out at the sharp end of this year’s competition.
Here’s an update from her about the race weekend:
“My mechanic James and I flew in on Thursday morning and headed straight to the track for a walk of this 4kms of glorious circuit with the EJC crew. I truly love the fast, flowing layout of Donington despite it being very tricky to get correct.
Fridays are a long process for the EJC this year as we don’t have any riding until Free Practice 1 at 5pm. This gave me the chance to watch some of the world Supersport and Superbike riders in the difficult parts of the circuit and learn as much as possible before hitting the track myself. In the meantime, super mechanic James prepared my bike and by 5pm we were raring to go. I ended the session in 18th position overall, a positive start to the weekend with good feelings from the bike.
Saturday brought more sunshine and another free practice session in the morning. This didn’t go quite as well as we didn’t make enough of a jump forwards, and fell back to 20th position. I knew I needed a fast lap to improve upon this in qualifying but also wanted to do very few laps as we race on the same tyre for Sunday. I put in a time good enough for 16th place early on, just 0.1 seconds off 15th spot on the grid which was my goal. Close but no cigar.
It was awesome to have such great support from Pole Position Travel and all their happy customers throughout the weekend, along with Kiwis and also ex-pats who dropped by the EJC village throughout the weekend. I certainly felt a lot of love and really enjoyed meeting many really big fans, almost as much as I enjoyed the Whittakers peanut slabs we were presented! We even managed to get one visitor - ex Auckland Motorcycle Club champion Nick Odermatt - on the grid with us to give a hand with tyre warmers etc which was really helpful.
My race early Sunday morning got off to a great start finishing the first lap in 12th position. Unfortunately I lost the tow from the front group after about three laps, and was soon swallowed up by the group behind. From there it was a good battle as this group was fierce and I dropped back as far as 17th place at one stage. I managed a few overtakes and even on the final lap to finish in 15th position and score one more EJC championship point! I won the Women's Cup part of the race once again, being fastest female on track in every session so far this year.
This year has been full of opportunities and I'm really glad to be able to make the most of them! We are so excited for round 4 of the European Junior Cup next weekend in Misano, and for what the rest of the season will bring.”