Donington Park Trackday Report May 2023

@pricetta and I did a trackday at Donington Park today. Crap weather to start, but around midday the sun came out and we found the right settings for our bikes and started to enjoy the new tarmac.

Could not get my head round turn one though, kept missing the apex and lost all speed. Messed it up every lap fs. Oh and someone’s oil filter fell out and so a river of oil was dumped all the way from the esses down to the Melbourne loop, resulting in cement dust making the braking point and apex interesting.

Also, guy in our garage crashed on track and the proceeded to drop his bike in the garage whilst trying to repair it. Wasn’t his day.

Oh and then stuck in start stop 5mph traffic on the M1 coming back. Not fun in a manual van.

Love it though, can’t wait for the next one🙂

Installing Claire in her Hotel alcove for the night before the trackday.

Queueing to get into the circuit at 7am.

Getting setup in our garage.

Claire about to head out for a session on her Aprilia RS660

Claire leading a pack.

Every now and then there’s a problem caused by substandard maintenance. Unfortunately for the owner of this bike, the oil-filter on this beautiful R1M came loose and completely detached, dropping a river of oil down the run from the Esses to the Melbourne loop. He was thrown off, dazed and needed some medical care. He was okay in the end though thankfully. The bike lived. Just needs a damn good clean-up and a service. Marshalls fixed the track oil spill with cement dust. Kinda ruined Melbourne Loop for us though.

Time for lunch!

Claire returning to the pits after a session.

Claire’s Aprilia RS660 resting between sessions.

@pricetta pics:

I was there a few weeks ago, and had an instructor for a session. Really helped, you can usually just ask the instructors for tips without booking on I think
i kept getting the first few corners wrong, but once you get them right it flows really nicely.

Actually, no, they had hardly any instructors available yesterday. The event was over-subscribed and when Claire spoke to an instructor, he said, sorry he can’t help, he’s not been to the track in two years!

But I take your point. In this case, I knew what I should be doing, but was having problems with the bike. I wasn’t getting the turn-in feel I needed. My working hypothesis is the non-standard profile tyres I went for due to stock shortage issues. The profile is shallower. I think this affected the handling more than I was lead to believe it would.

Going to move to tyre warmers and some dedicated track rubber next. Plus, we’ll do some upgrades to Claire’s bike, starting with replacing the clipons for a more track-focused rider layout.

she’s using the track/lap counter settings on the RS! how’s that? any good?

I have no idea. @pricetta ?

@silveR6 I actually didn’t use the lap timer - I just had it in race mode for the accessible traction settings.

It wasn’t my best ever track day tbh, bit like Jay. Struggled to get my head around Turn 1, which meant much of the next few corners are messy, and the Melbourne Loop is my nemesis, so I think it would’ve been depressing to watch the lap times :smiley:

Got better and better each session, but definitely not my best.

Also didn’t help that it was a lot of really fast riders - even in Intermediate Group. Appreciate that getting comfortable with fast, close passing is all part of the experience, but holy crap I could smell their armpits they were so close sometimes!! LOL


thanks. It happens at Donington, loads of amateur racers.

never attempted the personalised settings yet, one day :slight_smile:

Exiting the Old Hairpin after Crane Curves. Love this section.

Exiting the Melbourne Hairpin. Weeee…

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