@pricetta and I did a trackday at Bedford Autodrome yesterday with No Limits. The weather forecast was terrible leading up to the day - heavy rain, and neither of our bikes were setup for wet riding, me with a fresh pair of Pirelli Supercorsa SC1’s. Still, we did what we always do - attend and hope for the best. Good job we did
We drove up in hire van the night before and stayed at a very random Indian Inn. Not great digs, but the food was nice. Got to the circuit the next day, for it to start raining as forecast. We were the 5th van in the queue, so felt good about getting a garage. Eventually got let in and got setup in a garage.
This was the first time I took tyre warmers and our new Constands. Set those up with no problems but didn’t get changed into leathers - instead we signed on, attended the briefing, and then spent the morning working from the briefing area as it was pissing down by this point, and neither of us wanted to risk our bikes.
The forecast said it would stop raining at lunch time, and it did. During lunch time, they got one of the Forumla 3 type race cars to go round and help disperse the puddles of standing water. They did a great job, and it was good entertainment hearing it rag around
We decided to go out for the first afternoon session. I was doubtful I would do more than the sighting lap as I couldn’t see the conditions of the circuit from pitlane, but took the instructors recommendation to go out. Got out and it was much drier than expected, with only a couple of corners with water on the apex, so just took it easy through those. At this point I was amazed at how confidence inspiring the tyre warmers made things right out of pit lane. Obvious, but wow, what a great new experience.
We both stayed out for the full 30 minute session and really enjoyed getting to learn the circuit (we hadn’t been before). By the second session I got a feel for the circuit and could start to push on, having fun overtaking peeps (it was a very mixed group).
30 minutes is really tiring. It’s such a fast circuit and very flowing, with some very heavy braking areas, so it gets tough on the arms after a while. I had to keep reminding myself to relax and flex my clutch hand on the straights, where I got up to an indicated 162 mph - think I need to shorten my gearing a bit. There’s performance left on the table seeing as the V2 seems to hit 174mph on a very, very long road.
The circuit was still damp in places for most of the day, and you had to dodge some puddles but you could still get a really good pace on and have fun. One person did come off as a result of gassing it through a puddle on one of the straight though.
Mistakes - made a couple: hit a false neutral and ran super deep into one corner. Think there’s something you can get for V2’s to help with this by strengthening the gear selector shaft. Also out-braked myself into one of the chicanes, but didn’t leave the circuit. Quite hard to do really as the track is so wide and there’s a lot of run-off.
For some reason I didn’t feel super confident to chuck the bike in fast and hard to corners, so corner speed was way down on normal, despite feeling really high levels of grip. Going to see the LB resident suspension guru @B to see if it’s a setup issue (have changed tyres, so that could be a factor).
All in all, we had a really good time, we thoroughly love the circuit. It’s a great ride, if a little flat and lacking in visual markers at time to time, but one we’ll definitely be happy to go back to. We even got to shepherd a couple of enthusiastic first-timers, helping set expectations, offering suggestions on tyre pressure, and then some on track line examples with one of the faster riders.
By the last session though, my lower back was aching and I slowed my pace and came in a lap or two early to avoid making any mistakes. I definitely could do with a massage today
Loading the hire van up. New rearsets look shiny
Our random Indian Inn
Wasn’t expecting a curry, but happy to induldge!
Bikes and gear all setup. Riders definitely not. It was pissing down outside. Constand worked quite well. Only bad points is one bike mount coming loose. It gets red-hot as it’s mounted so close to the engine. Think the heat broke the threadlock I’d applied. Did try to re-apply and tighten, but the same thing happened again. Thankfully only once. Same with a rearset bolt. The V2 gets hot!
Walking back to the garages in the morning after taking the van to the carpark, as you have to do after loading as no vehicles are allowed in the pits after setup. Super odd.
Getting to know the circuit. Having fun with some riders.
You can see the circuit’s still a bit damp here, though it felt fine grip wise (you wouldn’t know it from my avoidance of the ground).