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Linc race
2012 Australian Moto GP moto 3
Gilding 24th in World Championship Debut

After a long year in the Australian Championship it was finally time for what we had been waiting for, a wildcard in the Moto3 World Championship Grand Prix at Phillip Island. With the help of Top Rider’s Bernie Hatton, I was able to arrive at Phillip Island for some training and to get focussed on the weekend ahead, on the Saturday the week before. A week of light training and eating right before the Grand Prix, without the added stress of preparation at home, was exactly what I needed.

The weekend finally started when we arrived to the track on Wednesday morning and set up the Pit. With the help of Dellorto and Geo Technologies we got the bike running with the Control ECU and wiring harness.

 Friday Practice (2x40 minute sessions)

Friday morning finally arrived and it brought with it the good weather. It was to be so important to get a good start to the weekend and start to run with the world championship riders.

Approaching the opening of pit lane for FP1 my team and Dellorto, were having a lot of trouble with the bike. The bike would start but would not rev over 5,000RPM. As I tried to keep cool in the box, they were working quickly and thoroughly to find the problem. Pit lane opened and still no luck. I was ready to ride, but all I could do is sit and watch. Eventually the problem was found to be a faulty fuel pump, but we were not able to fix it in time and missed free practice 1. I was extremely disappointed to miss the 1st session but I was able to keep relaxed and focussed on the next session.

We were able to get the bike going and I was out for free practice 2 right on time. I rode around at a slower pace at first to get a handle on the new engine and electronics before really getting into it with about 35 minutes to go. The bike had good speed but coming into turn 1 at 225kph I was not able to get it turn and had to keep picking up the bike and running wide. We also had a new Linkage in the Rear Shock which changed the geometry of the bike and made it sit too low on the rear. We eventually finished the session in 31st position with a 1.44.0. A whole second quicker then I’d ever gone before.

 Saturday Morning Practice 3 (40 minutes)

Free practice 3, was by far my best session on the weekend. I was able to get out early and set some good laps in the 1.43s before pitting to change a bit of set up. With about 10 minutes to go I broke into the top 30 with a 1.42.5. I was able to keep this pace for the remaining laps and finish the session in 28th position.

 Saturday Afternoon Qualifying (40 minutes)

Qualifying was all important, but just before the session started the weather struck. Some drops of rain in the pits made us unsure of what the conditions would be like out on track so we put a wet front on to begin the session. By the end of the 1st lap it was clear that the rain had almost disappeared. I pitted to put a set of soft compound slicks on and we were out again and straight onto a 1.43.3 in 30th position. I was having some trouble with the front tyre and when the rain struck again we pitted. We thought maybe the session was over now. The rain cleared and the track dried and with 10 minutes to go we were back out again. I pushed hard and set a 1.43.0 moving us up to 28th on the grid, but a few big moments on the front made it clear there was something wrong. The chequered flag went out and we had qualified for the race in 29th position with a 1.43.0. Arriving in the pits the problem was easy to see. The Left hand fork had blown a seal and was leaking oil all over the front tyre. We were then asking the question of how I stayed on the bike.