Brands 7th May - OPEN PIT LANE!

I’ve just noticed this on their site and I think I’ll do it. The weather should be decent enough.

It says no first timers on the site, I would suggest that novice group riders may find it a bit intense TBH.

Anyone else fancy putting in some serious numbers of laps?

I might squeeze this one in too. Checking with some mates and I’ll let you know if we’ll be there. Open Pit Lane events are the don.

you could stay out as long as u want. depending on fuel and fittnes. sounds cool shame its @ brands as i`ve done that already wana do different tracks this year as last year i only done 1 trackday b4 i had me arm broke in an accident

I’ve booked this now along with a Kiwi mate on a RSV factory.

Bueller, … bueller…

I’ll be there for the evening session so will watch out for you on your last session. Will you be wearing those orange leathers?!

Would’ve loved to do the whole day but as it’ll be my first trackday I think you’re right that it’d be a bit too intense. Such good value compared to the standard trackdays, but must leave you aching like hell!

Have a good one. See you there.

Tom, please pop in and say hello to team orange.

If the weather is good I’ll do a lot of laps.

I did about 50 laps or so a day at Jerez recently, 150 miles a day. My legs ache a bit but I’m pretty fit so it’s not too bad. TBH it’s my hands that get tired first, really wierd that!

Will do Pete.

The weather is set to be perfect so you should get a lot of laps in. I can’t wait till I can do open pit days. One step at a time for me though.

How comes your hands end up aching so much; all the late braking and clutch slipping?! My left hand is in agony after the wheelie school a few of us went to yesterday, but it is a little less well excercised than my right!

Jerez must’ve been a great experience. I would love to live out in Andalucia in the future; 3 great tracks and endless twisty roads on a backdrop af the sun baked Andalucian landscape - a rider’s paradise!

See you on Wed. I’m buzzing just thinking about it!

The weather does indeed look quite scrummy.

How was it then Pete?

Righto, sorry for the delay.

Everyone still had to do the dreaded sighting laps. I pottered around, refreshing my memory as far as landmarks I use as brake and turn in points.

I came into pit lane, and decided that I didn’t want to put my tyre warmers back on, so lined straight up and went out again proper.

Taking it easy, getting dialled in, still catching and passing bikes fairly easy.

I then was gaining fairly rapidly on a yellow 996 when I saw a familiar puff of smoke from his right side crankcase whenever he up shifted. I backed off a bit and then pulled alongside him in the braking area for druids and tried to let him know he had a problem – I think he thought I was trying to outbrake him though!

I gave up and pulled in, let Barry know there was a problem with the guy’s bike.

Next time I went out I was having a ball, until I came over the crest through clearways to see my mate’s RSV Factory spinning ‘round on the deck and Chris running off in the opposite direction!

Turns out he’s lowsided. The bike was hardly marked but Chris had torn open a seam on his leathers and they insisted he couldn’t ride in them again. So he jumped in the car and went home for a spare set!

I carried on, and despite my original intentions, I ended up running fairly long stints, mainly due to the fact I was enjoying it and my fitness is good. My hands didn’t get tired, not sure if that’s down to excessive ******* or the fact I was so relaxed.

There was a number of riders from BMRC and new ERA there getting their eye in for up and coming meetings, there was also a number of riders I’d guess would be in inters on a regular day.

So, while I was steadily progressing through the field, I’d lap someone, and then the odd guy would fly past me.

During the longer runs I had a number of little slides from the rear while exiting clearways. Iwas using one of my “Bargain Rennsports” I’d picked up over the winter. This was a mix of RS2s and the road version, the later being on the bike on Weds. I was pretty sure there was no problem with the tyre; rather the very high temp of the right side caused the slides.

The obvious solution was to stick to no longer than 20 minutes “sessions”

Around mid afternoon I forgot myself and stayed out for considerably longer. Just after passing a Kwacker I was on the way out of Clearways, past the marshall post when I had a rather big slide. Luckily, maintaining the pinned throttle it gripped again; I got to enjoy the full foot-off-pegs front going mental result!

Straight back to the garage for a FIM approved check of my underpants, soon to be joined by the Kwacker rider who exclaimed “That was massive – smoke from the tyre and everything.”

So the last hour or so saw 2 shorter stints where TBH, I was a little gentler than usual on the gas out of turns.

The last session featured a very entertaining scrap with a fireblade. He was pulling a dozen bike lengths on me down the straight but I could close up on the brakes into paddock and was right on him into druids. At one stage I pulled alongside him into druids and he started to turn in on me. Luckily, by that stage in the day I had a fair bit in hand and I was able to anchor up a bit more and save us both from going down.

After that I glued myself to his rear wheel and just followed him around, everytime he glanced behind I was right there.

I was a bit annoyed afterwards ‘cos all I had to do was switch up to the mornings pace for a lap and I could have easily passed at Druids. Nevermind, it’s only a trackday, we both went home happy little bunnies.

So, 189 miles in a day around the indie circuit, perfect sunshine all day. I was surprised how little red flags there was on the day.

Once again the Superduke proved to be a great track tool. The brakes were as sharp at the end of the day as they were at 0900. God bless brembo pads (and discs). The motor used a bit of oil but nothing unusual.

Sounds like you had a wicked day, despite nearly highsiding!!! Good to hear you saved that one or you might have needed to go out and buy new leathers and I don’t think they do them in orange anymore :smiley:

Funny to hear about your srap with a fireblade. Probably a good thing you cooled it and as you said it’s a trackday and the important thing is you both went home with bikes and limbs intact. I too noticed that it was all too easy to get competitive and after passing a few people it can get all too addictive to keep going for more! Fine line between good fun and danger, as I also found out that you cannot count on people to stick to predictable lines! I think a bit of competitiveness is good though, it drives you to go faster, brake later, and lean lower, ultimately meaning you have more fun (until you take all that beyond your limits and bin the bike!).

Nice on for the write up. You’ve got me hungry for open pit; but first I need to i)get fast and ii)get a track bike. Out of interest is the Superduke your road bike or purely track?

Nice write up Pete glad you had a safe day.

Tom, competition is good but you need to ride to your abilities. I did the Indy circuit back in 2003, it was april and the weather was great. Went out with a couple of BMCEE guys that raced in the 600 Supersports. I was on a GSXR750 and was going well (52 secs) until i tried to get on the power too soon out of Paddock and highsided, breaking my pelvis in 5 places and my right shoulder. Not had the nerve to go back since, but the point is to ride to your ability and let those that want to push it go past, so long as you finish the day in one piece.

Tom, the superduke is taxed and insured, it’s pretty much as they roll out of the showroom too.

I’ve added the Akro Ti cans and link pipe, some crash bungs and the black headlight cover.

I hardly ever ride it on the road though.

I like a bit of competition, it makes it fun. As the last post said though, you have to keep a cool head. On track days I’ve usualy got a bit in hand.

Sorry to hear about your accident, and that it has stopped you going back out on track. I’d rather break my bones hitting a tyre wall on track than getting crushed by a lorry on the road but that’s just personal preference.I appreciate what you’re saying about riding within your abilities. The only times I felt I was pushing my luck out on track were actually on overtakes when other riders would do something I wasn’t expecting (partly my inexperience and partly that it was novice group so unpredictability rules!). On the corners I was “finding” my abilities if you like, as I never push the bike that hard on the road. That’s what is so appealing about trackdays but also where the danger lies. The track is the only place to find your’s and the bike’s limits and so it’s when misjudging these that mistakes are going to be made. I am at the beginning of a steep learning curve when it comes to track riding and no doubt I’ll have many a hairy moment and some accidents ahead of me. Easy for me to say it’s part and parcel of track riding but we’ll see how I feel after my first off!Regarding the competitive side of track riding; I am not advocating going on the track wanting to overtake everyone and getting into scraps with anyone who tries to overtake you! That’s what racing is for! I am simply saying that “a bit of competition is healthy” and that it drives you to push yourself and ultimately get more from your experience, assuming you stay within your abilities. Last Wed I was letting those faster than me pass me no problems and I accepted that they were faster than me (although I only remember this happening in the first session, maybe second), but I’d be lying if I said that it wasn’t enjoyable outbraking people, passing people round bends and powering out of bends, and then looking back to see the gap widening. It was f***ing awesome. And I’m not saying I’m fast, just that in that group on that day that I went round Brands faster than most in the group, and that I was bloody chuffed as it was my first time on track.It sounds like you were really bloody fast round Brands - 52 seconds! That’s mighty impressive. Hope you get back out on track soon mate :wink:

Cool! I don’t need a trackbike to do open-pit then. I just need to get fast!!!

Tom, a good tip: Be carefull when going around the outside of slower riders.

If they have a drama they will always go to the outside.

Cheers Pete. It’s funny how I got complacent with doing that on the day and did not once consider what would happen if one of them had lost it round the corner! Any tips on overtaking or is that a bit of a minefield?!

pete’s spot on about that, esp in novices. its less of a danger as you progress through the groups (its more spin ups than freak-outs at that point).also good that you’re not too worried if people pass you at this stage. when you move to inters, people will prob pass you more to start with so best not to let the competitive side turn into frustration - you stop enjoying the ride and can make you make mistakespassing - generally the best ways to over take are on the brakes or outdriving underneath the rider after the apex. outbraking is simple in principle - brake later than the other dude with decent space that you dont collect him. takes judgement and sometimes a bit of trail brakingoutdriving - line up the rider for the next corner, and get on the gas earlier than him to out accel down the straight. often riders will run out to the edge of the track out of habit, not because their speed is running them out (again, less true as you advance). this may mean you holding a tighter line and getting the bike upright sooner and therefore hit the gas harder, or taking a wider/better line into the corner with more corner speed to get a better exit speed. may simply that you just have more power/balls to get ahead once the corner opens up.if you’re passing on the outside, it wants to be a fast clean pass - you dont want to be sat outside the rider through the corner and exposed to danger for a long period of time if you can help it. not only is there the risk that the rider might do something and lose control, if the rider is less experienced when they notice you and their attention focus on you rather than the corner. if they do, they then ‘may’ drift towards you and either hit or run you out of golden rules tho - its about assessing each bike ahead of you. just try and ensure that there is enough space that if you misjudge it, you aren’t going to get tangled upin the advanced group i’m struggling with this a lot more. i dont have the same margin of pace advantage over the relatively slower riders as when i was riding in inters (and nothing like the pace of the top guys), so the outbraking/acceleration requires more committment and timing/technique. sometimes get stuck behind slower riders but end up in their rythmn and not mine. last thing i want to do is judge it wrong and collect 'em tho!

Tom this is what your body position should look like…



Nice picture, very dramatic.

There’s no real need to have your head on the tank, or even to to keep your body that low though.

Look at the sharp end of a WSB or WSS race, they haven’t got time to pose for the camera.