Think my tyres are done
Or pressures too high. Took a suggestion from the tyre guy. Fair bit higher than I normally run. Not had a huge amount of feel all day (and had the mother of all slides coming out of paddock hill bend. Needed a sit down afterwards!
Have since lowered them for the next session
I had a really great day yesterday with @Jay and @pricetta at Brands Hatch GP. Day started off a little grey, then the sun burned through. A bit of light rain which slightly delayed the start of the second session but quickly moved on.
It was graduation day also for me. Started off in novice as I usually do, but got an instructor on the second session, gave me a few pointers on lines, and confident overtakes but gave me the green light to move up to the middle group . The first session was knackering because now I can run at my pace for the full 20 mins without being held up corner after corner by groups and less confident riders.
I always have had concerns about the middle group, where you get lots of “racers” just doing what ever they want. In every track day someone in the middle groups comes off on the very first session. But this one was different it felt more natural, was able to overtake a few with more confidence without worrying If they would change their line mid corner. Also having some past me close was a good learning exercise. The one thing I have definitely learned this season was to me more comfortable with being overtaken closely at different points and not being startled. That was one of the things the instructor said he did intentionally to see my reaction. On approach to westfield corner he came up on my inside as if to overtake then dropped off. Personally I just think I was to fast for him
I also switched the bike from dynamic to race mode which lessens the electronics and had a few light handle moments which was slightly worrying. So prob next thing to improve on is understanding the bike better under hard and full throttle acceleration.
All in all it was a good day, lots of fun, lots of learnings and still aint got my knee down. Hopefully I will get another in before the weather turns.
I’m glad you had a great time @kcoops! It was great to see you move up, and see you get into things. I watched from our spot and you looked good through Surtees, which is quite a hard corner on the GP circuit I think.
Yes, it gets very tiring. You have no excuse though, you’re fit and young I had to sit a session out as I was knackered. Had a bit of a doze in the back of the van!
The day was not the best for us. Some positives for sure, i.e. getting back to the GP layout after so long away from it, and something new for Claire to learn, though we both had issues. Combined with red flags in her sessions and then the staff giving her the wrong information and her missing a whole session, she was fuming at the end.
For me, it did not start well. I thought I would be smart and take advice from the official tyre pro there. He suggested pressures about 5 psi higher than I would normally run. I asked as I had previously had issues with tearing on the rear. After running these pressures, it all felt good, but then in the first session, once we got let loose and a few laps in and the tyres up to temp, I was at max lean, knee down coming off the apex at Paddock Hill, just about to gradually get on the gas and the rear started to slide, and slide, then slide some more, until I was at pretty much full-steering lock and still with knee down, expecting to low side any second. It felt like the longest slide in history. It then gripped a bit, I got thrown up a bit over the screen, not all the way mind, but then managed to bring it back in line and not run off track. MAJOR MOMENT!
I came in after than, collected my thoughts. I later came to the conclusion that this was a result of probably three factors:
- Circuit not yet at it’s best due to it being morning, overcast and it having rained the night before (sun needed to burn the track and get rid of all contaminants)
- Running too high pressures in the tyres
- Tyres past their best after three trackdays previously
I ran the same pressures for the morning and was off pace the whole day as a result. My head wasn’t in it after that. I didn’t have full confidence in them, so was hesitant to get to full lean.
Thought on this over lunch and thought to go back to previous tyre pressures. Next session was a LOT better, but still I had some doubts, not sure I had full feedback and the TC light was super busy (I did dial it up a bit after the slide), so I think the tyres are actually past their best still. That said, I did all the rest of the sessions and had a good time, just not the best. Still, came home in one piece, so that’s a win
Can’t wait for the next one! Thinking Silverstone or Snetterton. Will get new tyres and some track fairings for the duke. Glad you took the plunge and tried a new circuit @kcoops! Let’s get to another soon
I took almost no photos. I feel most guilty. Here’s what I do have:
Took my 16yr old over yesterday as he’s getting into bikes lately and was really good to meet Jay and Claire. Fascinating array of different bikes there, even spotted a Pepsi RGV250 and interesting to see the different lines, braking points etc. Did take a couple of pics as well so will post them up.
It was good to meet you, and your boy, too , @Teflon! Nice one for making it down hope you get round to those project bikes at some point
Haha! One day, maybe, slight skill deficit at the moment!
Is there an issue uploading pics? Might be me or my phone/laptop but just sits there ‘processing upload’
Hrm, shouldn’t be. Though I did increase the max concurrent uploads from 5 to 10 before posting my post. Perhaps clear those lines and try again.
I think that is shown from the difference in the pictures of the loaded van on the way there and the way back.
I’m sure in a previous thread somewhere OCD was mentioned but it obviously wasn’t you.
Not as young as you might think, I would wager a bottle of Scotch I have a couple years on you, but I would take the compliment
Didn’t realise all those things went wrong for you, seemed to be going all well. The few cancelled sessions did make the day a bit sour. As you said all home in one piece ready for the next one. Funnily enough I have been eying up Silverstone also, the next GP track day is on the 12th Sep so might consider that or a trip back to Donnington. Snetterton is a bit far off and would require an overnight stay so not to sure about it.
I will keep an eye on the weather and see how it goes.
You’re welcome to win the age bet
Some of the pro shots of me from the day:
All images are Copyright Peter Wileman Photography
Oh nice, yes, you got @pricetta there on her Aprilia RS 660! Pretty much as good as the “pro” photographer!
Thanks Jay, haven’t mastered the blurred background shot yet though
You’re welcome to the hi-res version of the @pricetta pic if you like, just let me know.