McCormick was still seven seconds off the leaders pace, but given he had been out of action for over three months and has ridden a total of 17 laps around the famed 5.9 km long British venue, he wasn’t upset with his efforts in his return race bike outing.
“I have caught up with the central group, and I know I can mix it with those guys with a little more time back on the bike and a little more time learning the track,” explained 20-year-old McCormick, the reigning Canadian Superbike Champion. Unfortunately, both his sessions were interrupted by rain, a major problem when McCormick is rejoining the SBK tour after a lengthy layoff.
“I have to be realistic about the whole risk/reward situation right now,” continued McCormick, happy to be back racing after his most serious career injury. “My neck is good, it isn’t giving me much trouble, and I think the layout of this track, clockwise, helps in that regard.”
“Right now, the plan is to ride again tomorrow, but we won’t race. Everything is in place for my racing return, there is no rush, and I understand the value of playing it safe. I want to race, and I’m ready, and I’ll be out there again soon.”
McCormick opted to skip riding on a wet track during both sessions, but believes the time he got on the Silverstone circuit was productive. “I’m relatively satisfied with my time, given that I was playing it cool, not pushing at all. It’s great to be back on the bike, and I’m looking forward to working my way into a race situation.”
McCormick’s short term plan was to attend this evening’s Olympic quarter final woman’s soccer event at nearby Coventry stadium. McCormick has befriended one of the National football team members who also trains at his home town of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Kawasaki mounted Tom Sykes was fastest in the afternoon session, skipping the wet running early to lay down a best late lap of 2:06.1. World Champ Carlos Checa was again up front, this time second best at a close 2:06.14 on his Althea Ducati. New PATA Racing Team recruit Sylvain Guintoli was third best in his debut for that privateer Ducati squad, FIXI Suzuki having a very encouraging day with Leon Camier fourth quickest on the top GSX-R1000. The final grid for Sunday’s two races will be set during SuperPole on Saturday afternoon.