Going the “right” way on a racetrack


When was the first motorcycle race? As soon as the second one was built.

A track day is not a track day until you get into a race with your mates & this particular track day was no different. What was different was the direction of the track. If you’ve ridden the same track in the same direction for years & suddenly go in the opposite direction it just doesn’t feel right or left or anywhere in-between. Imagine being forced to walk in a different manner than you have been for the last 40 years. Kruger Jnr was so confused he almost exit pit lane to the left on more than one occasion. Pit exit to the right! Right? Right! I was close to a short-circuit of the brain during the first laps.

Before I go any further let me introduce the participants;

Vin on his GSX-R 750 fitted with fresh Pirelli Rosso 3 rubber. Only fitting that the largest contestant brings the smallest weapon. Malcolm was on the R1 fitted with Pirelli Rosso II. Kruger Snr brought the Blackbird on Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres. Although he has a track bike Kruger Jnr insisted on bringing his CBR1000RR Fireblade road bike fitted with Pirelli’s high mileage Angel GTs. He probably wanted to test the new motor which was fitted recently. Why a new motor in a Fireblade? Those engines are bulletproof! Well, if you are hitting rev limiter while doing a monster long-distance wheelie then apparently the crank is not so bulletproof & neither are the bearings. I brought my trusty CBR1000RR with the same old motor the factory installed way back in 2008. I did not have Angel GTs, or Rosso III or even Rosso Corsa tyres fitted but instead opted for a set of Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa race rubber.

As the day went everybody got stuck into their practice & worked on their individual goals, Vin found where Suzuki hide the throttle. Malcolm was getting on with his body positioning as explained in the 1979 book “how-to ride bikes & look like a pro”. Kruger Snr was practicing avoiding death by not braking way too late (this is of course in no way related to making a VTR SP2 do cartwheels on a previous track day) Kruger Jnr set out from the starting blocks to find the limit of a road tyre & did so very quickly. His 2014 motor didn’t seem to do much for top speed but truth be told, I was very glad for this. I was always lacking in straight-line speed & got left behind on the 1km back straight but today was different & I liked it. I liked it a lot. I also liked the Supercorsa tyres. I liked the front so much that I could put a superb block pass on the Repsol. Did I forget to mention the newer CBR with its fresh motor also has the fancy linked ABS brake system. Dani Pedrosa would be very disappointed with this performance.

Dani would however not be dispointed with the lunch that Vin prepared. Usefull track day tip number 1; the load bed of a Chevy Utility makes a great work table & doesn’t absords sausage juice. Usefull track day tip number 2; Pink Stuff cleans suasage juice very well from various surfaces.

After lunch we were comfortable with the flow & got faster. By this time many people decided they didn’t want to play & went home. This meant more free play time for us which led to much fun a few scraps on track. Even with the slower top-end the new motor still managed to leave thick black tracks out of the tighter corners. The Angel GT rubber obviously won’t shatter any lap records (or even personal bests) but it certainly is very capable & never caused any oh-crap moments. I think the 2014 Repsol CBR might have its PowerCommander on a default map & the Angel GTs are obviously no match for top shelf race rubber but whatever the case, a track day is not a track day without a race & I won.

The end


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