Did a track day today with Flight at Brands, but unfortunately arrived with a nail in the rear of my Michelin Pilot Road 2. The front Pilot Power 2CT was nearly worn so I went to the tyre guys to get a new set (wanted to try the Pilot Pures).
Anyway, they didn’t have any Michelin tyres only Smelli and Metzlers.
The tyre guy offered me a set of the new Bridgestone Battalax R10s, which are a new road legal track / race tyre, the profile of which is quite different to the Michelins, allowing a riding style where you can brake hard straight up with good stability, tip in off the brakes before the apex and still have good traction when turning in to the corner, and then use the grunt of a litre bike to power out very hard.
This isn’t my idea of powering out hard, but ex WSB and MotoGP rider Simon Crafar, hard. He couldn’t get his race tuned GSX-R 1000 out of shape under power out of corners when recording the soon to be released Motovudu DVD, and he only got through two sets of tyres apparently.
Anyway, back in the slow lane, the tyres did feel different but not alien. Even brand new with the release agents still yet to be…er…be released, I could tip in and power out of Clearways pretty hard with no movement from the rear (Michelins would squirm a little on a day like today).
Front and rear were scrubbed in after two moderate laps and I was getting my knee down on the third.
Absolutely astonishing grip. I was riding like a fool for how cold it was today and made a few mistakes running wide, turning to early and having to correct my line, braking hard whilst banked over because and R6 rider kept stopping mid corner…The tyres just took it all in their stride and I never once felt like I was over the edge (which is a first for me…although running off at Surtees onto the grass did cut it close).
All I can say is, this tyre is astonishing.
The best thing though was seeing my lap times improve from Monday’s track day, which was wet, but there were some dry sessions towards the end of the day.
1:06.021 - SHOCKINGLY SLOW (hadn’t been to Brands for two years or ridden the GSXR on track in as long but still crap).
0:57.751 - shockingly slow
The tyres have unfortunately highlighted how badly set up my suspension is however. The bike was wallowing a lot, but it helped when I smoothed out my riding.
Anyway, these tyres are awesome and I’d recommend you try a pair (although not cheap at about £290 :w00t: )