Kyle Ryde returns to familiar ground this week as the World Supersport championship heads to Europe for the first time this year.
The Jacksdale teenager will be in Spain to race at the Aragon Circuit, located between Valencia and Zaragoza in the east of the country.
Ryde has had a mixed start to life in the World Supersport series, with impressive rides at Philip Island in Australia followed by technical problems and a crash in Thailand last time out.
And speaking to www.crash.net, Ryde acknowledged it has been a learning curve right from the off.
He said: “Some of it’s my fault and some of it’s not. If I hadn’t crashed at Philip Island I’d have got a couple of points and if I hadn’t had a technical problem in Thailand I’d have got more points so a lot of it was out of my hands.
“It’s annoying because at PI I was strong because it’s typically my kind of track, in that it’s flowing, very fast and there’s only one hard breaking corner.
“On the first day, with a bit of slipstreaming, I ended up fifth which I actually found very surprising. Pace wise, if you’d put me down for the whole race distance, I might have been tenth.
“The fifth one was more of a freak lap but I still felt that tenth wasn’t bad considering that they were my first couple of meetings.
“When I went to Thailand it was a totally new track to me so that again made things a little difficult.”
Ryde had suffered a broken bone in his hand in Australia which hampered his riding ability a little in Thailand, and then a coming together with another rider resulted in one of his handlebar grips coming off the bike completely.
He said: “My hand wasn’t much of a problem because they’d injected it so I couldn’t really feel the bone, I just sort of rode through it.
“I think it’s just in your head really, the problem is that when you’ve got an injury you can instinctively try too hard not to crash in case you make it worse. By Thailand I think it was OK but the timing sheets made it look a lot worse than it was because I was 19th but actually just 1.5 seconds off pole.
“I think that If I’d turned up on a Kawasaki or MV in Thailand I’d have found it easier, not because the bikes are faster but because they’ve got data for those bikes from last year and this is the first time the Yamaha’s been there.
“We were sort of starting from nothing. We were actually pretty chuffed by what we were able to achieve given that limitation. I felt OK with what we did in Thailand given what we had.
“It’s a distant fly away as well. When you’re in Spain you can get straight home so that you can think things over but from Thailand you’ve got a long flight where you can’t go over it in your head properly, you just want to get home so that you can think, watch the race and see what you did wrong. I suppose that would be less relevant to Thailand because my grip came off.
“I actually put it between my legs and tried to continue riding that way but it wasn’t really possible. Putting it there was just the first thing that came in to my head to do but that’s how you think in a race. But it was hard riding without it.”
Ryde has been supported by his dad Sean at both races so far, but with mum Janine back home monitoring his progress on television and via the internet, he is hoping she will also be able to be there in person for the European rounds.
He said: “My dad came out with me to Australia and Thailand and hopefully my mum will come to the European rounds as well.
“I’ve been with my dad for four straight weeks. He’s a really great guy but maybe four weeks on the trot with your dad is a bit too much for any teenager so I’m looking forward to the European rounds!
“With the friends and family aspect, sometimes at a British Supersport round you might have 40 or 50 people turning out to see you and that could make you feel nervous in case you didn’t do very well but with fly away rounds that pressure is off and you can just concentrate on doing your best.”
Following the round in Spain, the series heads to Assen in Holland in mid-April then Imola in Italy at the end of the month.