MWR Motorsports stand in rider Josh Corner was thrown in at the deep end somewhat this weekend when asked to deputise at the last minute for the sidelined South African James Egan on the teams Ducati Panigale R at Silverstone in the latest round of the Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship. The 18 year old from South Shields showed just what a mature head he has on young shoulders by taking his time to learn and set up the Ducati Panigale R in not a lot of time through free practice and qualifying, constantly reducing the gap in lap times between himself and the front to post a qualifying time in the 2m 14s putting him 32nd on the grid.
Starting from near the very back of the grid for the race Josh immediately took full advantage of the set up changes the team had made after qualifying and started his progress through the field, catching and passing some 15 riders who were far and away ahead of him the previous day with somewhat ease reducing his lap times down to the 2m 11s and ending up with a 17th place finish only 2 places outside the points on a bike he only sat on for the first time on Friday morning.
I’m really pleased with how the race went! The weekend started off a bit difficult having never rode the bike and trying to get a set up as well. But as the weekend went on I got more confident on the bike and felt more comfortable. I’m pleased with my result and looking forward to Brands now. Thanks to Mark at MWR for sorting this out for me and Moto Rapido, Ducati UK and team sponsors Pawson Commercials.
I knew from the start it would be a very difficult weekend for Josh, jumping on a bike for the first time at a race meeting in a class he had only ever ridden in once before as well as not riding any sort of bike for 5 months. But I did not choose Josh to ride the bike without knowing what he is capable of and the talent he has at such a young age and he didn’t let me down.
He just showed a maturity beyond his years the way he went about the weekend and the way he handled a lot of pressure put on him by many in the paddock, not by the team I may add. He did a similar thing for us earlier on in the year on a different bike in different circumstances with no pressure on him, but I really do think this ride was even better than that and the chance to now move on to Brands which he really likes with the Ducati Panigale R is very exciting.
A huge thanks to Dan who dug deep this weekend to get the bike to suit Josh and to the Moto Rapido lot for all their hard work with us over a race weekend. Thanks also to Pawson Commercials and to Ducati Uk for their continued support.