After missing some valuable testing time in the sand through the week, it took some time to find the right gearing set-up and tire choice on Saturday. In the free practice session, I had the 9th fastest time, which was not too bad. In the pre-qualifying session, I had some clutch problems and came in after a couple of laps to grab my spare bike. The track was much rougher in that session and I struggled to find my rhythm on the track.
In the qualifying race, I had 17th gate pick. I got a so-so start but I got caught up in a pile-up in the third corner. I worked my way into 19th position by the end of the race. The first moto on Saturday was a nightmare. My 17th place finish was not the result of a lack of effort by any means. In fact, I think I was trying too hard. After getting a bad start I seemed to revert from the sand technique back to my traditional style which uses a lot of energy and just doesn't work.
In the second moto, I started in about 16th position. This time I acquired a rhythm with the track which allowed me to carry my speed through the turns and over the millions of bumps a bit better than before. I kept my head down and slowly but surely found my way into 10th position. On the last lap I battled with Arnaud Tonus until the last possible second to defend my position and finished the race in 10th place. I was pretty pleased with the result as I scored some valuable points and finished the day much better than it began. It's safe to say that I am happy to have that race out of the way as it is definitely the hardest one of the season for me.
On Monday morning I dropped Brittney off at the airport for her return to America after staying abroad with me for the past 9 weeks. As I was driving back towards Lommel, the tooth pain I had been experiencing since my crash at Foxhills became increasingly worse. When I reached Mel & Holly (my teammate and his girlfriend) and asked if there looked like something may be wrong with my tooth, they agreed it looked black. I remembered hearing about a dentist not too far away who had done some work for a friend of mine so I called him and arranged to see him later that evening. Next thing you know, I'm having a full-on root canal in Belgium! Apparently, when I crashed and displaced the tooth a bit, the blood was not flowing to the tooth properly causing the blood within the tooth to dry up, hence the black color. Fortunately, the tooth was saved and all is good. So, if you're ever in Belgium and need a root canal, I've got the guy for you to go to.
Today Mel and I did some cycling and then met up with my friend Jimmy Albertson to see a film, Knight and Day. Tomorrow we are riding here in Belgium and then on Thursday we begin making our way in the camper to Czech for the GP of Loket. I really enjoy the track there, so I'm hoping this weekend will go better for me.
As always, thanks for reading. Have a great week!