Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spent Tuesday 16th May at Cadwell Park.

An amazing circuit; I vacillate between it and Oulton Park as being the best in the UK. I usually end up deciding whichever I've just ridden is the best.

Anyway, was my fifth trackday on my new bike and, finally, I really started to feel at home on it. I'm a creature of habit and my old bike, nicknamed Old Smokey as the bores and piston rings were starting to get a little tired after 45k miles around most of the UK's and several French and German tracks, felt like a comfy pair of slippers. I felt that I could really push it and know what it would do.

However, when I first got the new bike despite it's massively higher performance potential I was actually a bit slower. Not surprising really. So, I set about learning its quirks and setting it up the way I like it.

I ditched the standard fitment tyres for Pirelli Diablo Corsas, replaced the pads with Carbone Lorraine SBK3s, fitted braided hoses and, most importantly, got the suspension properly setup for my weight and riding style.

Well the end result was stupendous. With the more familiar feel of the tyres and brakes I was able to start to push it a bit more and ...... wow ! Was at least 20mph faster into both Coppice and Park and then held most of that extra speed all the way around.

Barn was a revelation; it's an off-camber fast bend which is absolutely critical because it slingshots you onto the start/finish straight. It's also where Steve Hislop lost out on a BSB championship and broke his collarbone like many riders before him because it can be slippery under the trees and there is very little run off if you get it wrong.

However, amazing, the new bike just shimmies sideways a little as you reach the limits of grip; not a scary feeling at all and you can control it really nicely. I know a real racer would be going a lot faster but, for me, it was really exhilarating.

So, a great day and I can't wait for the next one at Mallory.