Back home after the Anglsey weekend.
After failing to get a weekend in with last weekends glorious weather, I was anxious to get as many practise miles in as possible, for my 3rd race weekend.
The weekend started really badly as I'd had the RV in for a service and after picking it up , had an RTA with a bus. Idiot foreign driver went to overtake a parked car when I had nowhere to go and as he tried to get back on his own side of the road, my mirror smashed against his window, above the rear wheel. A couple of small children had some cuts from flying glass and the driver emergency stopping after the collision. Fortunately no injuries were serious. My RVs mirror was ripped off, puncturing the side and smashing the front cab window. How it wasn't worse I have no idea. So that's now in the hands of the insurance and I was 3 hours late, with no offside mirror, window and a holed panel in a LHD American RV.
Fortunately, I had a spare mirror and got some large sheets of perpex from B&Q, so lashed a repair together, before setting off at 10 pm, Thursday for my 200 mile drive to Agnglesey for practise. Arrived 2.45 am, knackered.
Friday was cracking the flags, so I was happy to crack on and get some track miles in
I'd fitted a pc3 and k&n filter as well as having dialled in some suspension changes. A quick chat with some Michelin guys who do the race tyres for the Michelin cup also convinced me to go for another tweak, which I decicded to try. On track, the bike felt ace. None of the under steer on lift off tipping in to corners, just tracked lovely and traction felt good. A couple of sessions were needed to suss the lines and build confidence to do the fast left flat beyond the final kerbing, before braking for the tight left. Last corner is horrid and never felt I got a good line.
Tyres which were half knackered from BH & snetterton started to clean up nicely, with the Pilot race rear taking lots of abuse but was well & truly finished by the end of the day. That was the plan ask had a brand new Dunlop N tec, KR108 to slap in for Saturday.
Only issue was, as a novice I get put with desmo due class, with 60 something bhp, so being fast in that group was no guide to race pace and no timing available.
Saturday morning dawned bright a sunny, like Friday, so the settings were fine, I just had to slap in the new slick rear and go up a couple of teeth on the back to help take a higher gear in a few of the short squirts and still no max in top on the long uphill right hander.
Problem was, the 195 N Tec was too tall for my shortish chain, so I was pulled in by the marshalls as it was growing and rubbing on the swing arm, bellowing smoke on my out lap in qualifying. After a little discussion they agreed to let my try to get a time, so I was cautious, but in 3 laps got p6 on the grid.
Off with the old chain, new chain fitted to push the wheel back and 46t rear sprocket fitted. On the grid after lunch break all felt fine on out lap and off we went. Bike was amazing and after one of the bikes in front started dropping fluid on every braking zone, I took a different line into and through every apex, which meant it took 3 laps to pass on the brakes into the hairpin, but onced passed I was able to get back onto the quick lines I'd worked out on Friday. Lap after lap I was able to keep runaway series leader Dean Skipper in sight. 3 rounds earlier I had nearly been lapped, but here I was only about 10 seconds off the race winners pace and second overall. Most of all, my confidence in the bike, he handling, the fantastic brakes and my fitness and concentration was fantastic. Top result, second on the road and second in class.
Time for a spot of smiling, some lunch and talk about the weather forecast for Sundays 2 races. Rain!
At Snett, with dry set up & wet tyres I binned it after half a lap, so a new game plan was required.
Looked at the Aprilia manual and decided to go close to stock road settings for wet, with the Avon wets I'd bought that hadn't been scrubbed in even. Confidence not high, but I managed a decent number of laps with no moments in the very wet morning warm up. Ok for the race 2 I thought, which was straight after lunch.
All morning, the rain slowed, then stopped and as the other sessions went on, the track started getting drier & drier. Those who know the circuit will know half of it stays wet for a very long time due to the amount of ups downs and camber the place has.
Tis place is the UK's Philip Island.
So called for race two and some on worn wets, one with a wet front and slick rear and mark dicken in the super bike class on intermediates.
The track was half dry and half wet.
I made an ace start and got second, but mark just disappeared on his r6. He is very quick (qualified with a 1' 34" lap in the dry on a 600). I was happy to run at my own pace as I was petrified of binning it again so when a few others passed me, I left them room. When dean skipper passed me on his slick I could see he wad similar lack of grip to me on my hot sets, but as the drizzle started on the back half of the track, I was able to close back in. Confidence in the wets was high, but rear traction was low, with easy comedy slides exiting the slower corners surprising easy and amusing. Another lap and I would have passed him, but 4 th on track and 3 rd in class was a result and moreso, lots of confidence building laps on my avon wets. When I got to the pits I thought they'd be knackeredm but they were remarkably in good shape, so I put the sliding down to getting a little too hot but not like the wsb bridgestones at monza scenario. Result.
Final race due at 4 pm and it looked like it was going to dry up completely at this time and the forecast suggesting the chance f rains would drop. I said I was off to put slicks in, but the wife suggested I wait and see. 45 minutes later the drizzle started and 15 minutes before the race we had really pissing rain. Tope wifey. Se even hadthe idea of of putting the bike in the trailer with warmers on. Top bird!
When we were called we all tootled down to the assembly area, to see the red flags go out and a DD rider getting a lot of medical treatment at the side of the track, before being carted off the the 'ambiwlans'. Hope he's ok!
Not what you want to see and left us with cold tyres and cold stomachs!
Another good start, good pace which I was able to build up during the race and 4 on the road, 3rd in class again.
Biggest positive for me is my race time now within a spit of the race winners, the extra feel I have in the bike, the changes did exactly what I wanted and lots of mile of wet racing and some confidence. The tinware is a lovely bonus.
I was always impressed with marshalls, but the team at Anglesey deserve medals, so friendly too. Top job one and all.
Oulton park in 2 weeks! See you there?
Oh, bought a contour hero hd, but forgot to fit it. Should have it on for the next round.
I think my points haul this weekend has put me second in the championship too.
Quali 1' 45"
Race 1 slicks/dry 1' 37"
Race 2 wet/dry wets 1' 46"
Race 3 monsoon wet/wet on wets 1' 55"http://www.tsl-timing.com/hottrax/2012/122278csb.p...
Loving my racing!