In the first edition of a new blog for Crash.net, Australian Superbike champion and 2013 British Superbike rookie Josh Waters reflects on his new challenge - and reviews round one at Brands Hatch...
2013 is going to be a big season for me! New challenges and, probably the biggest thing, moving to the other side of the world. It is something I've dreamed about for years, so when the opportunity came I jumped at the chance.
The last few years back 'down under' in my national championship have been good and I soon became accustomed to the paddock as well as the tracks. Last year was probably my best, winning my second Australian Superbike Championship.
In recent years I've also had the chance to race at the famous Suzuka 8 Hours. I look forward to bringing you my reports on this year's race as I am riding for the Yamaha factory team and aiming for the outright win.
But back to BSB, I arrived in England at the start of March and from then it has been all go.
Testing this year has been hard for everyone with the weather being so cold! The lead up to round one wasn't perfect, but hey that's Mother Nature! Getting accustomed to new tracks in the dry is hard enough, but in the wet and cold it makes life even more tricky.
Still, it is what it is and I know that I'll just have to jump in the deep end and learn fast.
Last weekend was good to have my first hit out in the British Superbike Championship with my new team, Milwaukee Yamaha.
The team are great. I have a really good Crew Chief in Pete Jennings and my two mechanics are also really good guys. I couldn't ask for a better team-mate in James Ellison - he is great to be around and has been really helping me adapt to riding in the northern hemisphere.
Session one at Brands was wet and cold and session two was dry, but freezing cold! Not ideal conditions for my first time out, but it was good to ride the circuit in the dry eventually. Believe me, it's a heck of a lot different to what I'm used to down under.
Free practice on day two was also dry. Then I moved into my first Qualifying shootout. I made it through Q1 and in Q2, but didn't go fast enough to reach Q3. I knew the competition was tough and there are a lot of fast guys. I'm hoping to gather momentum from here and climb up the ladder in the coming rounds!
Morning warm-up I was able to go faster than I did in Qualifying. We had made some changes - not big ones - just to try and make me feel more at home on the R1.