Jacksdale’s Kyle Ryde had a steady start to life with his new Schmidt Racing team as the Supersport FIM World Championship series came to Donington Park last weekend.
The 18-year-old, who was recently left without a ride following his previous team Ranieri Med’s sudden withdrawal from the championship, signed a deal with Schmidt Racing last week and was immediately in action at the Leicestershire circuit.
With Ryde entirely unnacustomed to his new MV Agusta F3 675 machine, the pressure was largely off the teenager as he spent the weekend getting a feel for his new bike in what was his ‘home’ event in the calendar.
And while his 21st place finish in Sunday’s race was something for him to build on, it was a frustrating weekend on the whole for Schmidt Racing as Ryde’s teammate Nico Terol was forced to retire.
In sunny conditions on Friday, Ryde and Terol took part in the first two free practice sessions in front of a crowd of over 8,000 people.
However, a crash coming into McLeans due to Ryde being unfamiliar with the bike’s gearbox meant he could go no more than 28th fastest in the first session, improving to 27th in the second.
The sunny, mild conditions continued for Saturday’s free practice and Superpole sessions.
In the morning, Terol and Ryde were on track for the brief free practice session with Ryde this time closing 23rd fastest.
Superpole1 then followed but technical problems hampered the Schmidt riders with Ryde eventually going 16th fastest for a place on row nine of the grid.
Sunday’s race saw Ryde start out well and he was able to make up places throughout the race to reach a final 21st position but the race was only ever going to be a practice session for Ryde to accustom himself with the bike in race conditions and get a feel of what it can do.
Teammate Terol, meanwhile, had technical problems early on and was forced to retire on lap four.
Ryde said: “It was a difficult race but it was my fastest session of the weekend and I went a second quicker than I did in qualifying.
“I’m not looking at what everyone else is doing, and am just focused on learning and then learning some more.
“I’m only a second off what I did here last year when I was on the podium. I’m taking the positives and now we move forward.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy to adapt to a new bike, totally different to those I’ve ridden up until now. The chassis is great, but the engine doesn’t have great power and I’m still struggling to find the right feeling with the front.
“But I can say that the MV has incredible potential and I’m sure that it’s just a question of time before I’m able to make the most of it.”
The next Supersport world championship round will take place over the weekend of 17-19 June at the Misano World Circuit in Italy.