Hi all, this is the report of my first track experience here in UK.
The track days here in UK are quite different comparing with the italian ones, here there are technical checks, briefings, explanations, instructors, on the contrary in Italy they care only about the money, and everybody can join without rules. Obviously here is better for the beginners but it is a pain in the ass for the “experts”.
Here the day is divided in 20mins sessions and there are two or three groups (beginners/intermediate/advanced or something like that…) on the contrary in Italy the “full day” track days are fully open, it means that you can ride all the time you want, stop and restart whenever you want.
I have chosen the intermediate/advanced group, considering that because I didn’t want to find a group of newbies that could brake in the middle of the corners!
The first session I started as last of my group to avoid to stop someone else, considering that was the first time on a track with the MT-01 and considering that my knowledge about Silverstone was coming from the Playstation and the TV.
The track is quite fast, there are some straight lines and fast “open” corners, it is not fast as Monza but it is not “perturbed” and fun as the Mugello.
My bike is a mix between sport and turism, all the “ciclistica” (brakes+forks+swingarm) is coming from the R1 the frame is an aluminium die-cast, therefore consirening these things the ride should be quite sporty; but then there is the engine 1.7 that weight as a pig, and it has only 90hp and a quite horrendous amount of torque at low rpm. Considering the italian weather I was use to fit my bikes always with sticky tyres. Actually I have the Bridgestone Battlax BT-002RS with a 190/55 instead of the 190/50. The problem is that this kind of tyres are right for the superbikes 1000 that are 70-80kilos lighter than the MT, have double of the power and half of the torque.
The results is that the MT pulverize the tyres.
Lap after lap I was improving my knowledge of the track and of the bike, therefore I have started to join the group to try to catch the right paths and brake points.
But it was quite hard because some of them were quite fast.
I was taked over everywheree, during the braking, in the middle of the corners, at the exit of the corners, on the straight lines. Everywhere.
The MT has the same brakes of the R1 but it is 80kilos lighter therefore during the braking everybody was quicker than me. A couple of times I have tryed to squeeze the brakes but considering the 1.7 engine, the 5speed 'box and without the slipper clutch, the ass was jumping as a kangaroo!
On the corner it is impossible to follow the “normal bikes paths”, the wheel base is 10cm longer than all the actual sport bikes, so when I was trying to catch their paths, the MT was going out of the line. So I had to use my fancy and I was “round” as I could.
At the end I had a quite nice average.
Moral: it was a nice, fun and relaxing day, the MT-01 is not born to be on a track and it is slower even than a 600, but it is still nice to drive on the tracks and wonderful to drive on the road.
Initially I did want to book all the day but here you cannot buy the ticket at the last minute or directly on the track, and considering the UK weather I didn’t want to riskt to waste £155 if it was raining and at the end it was available the half day only.
Half day, from 5pm till 8pm on the track (80 minutes of clean riding) it cost 55£, a very little bit comparing with the italian prices but between 6pm and 8pm the asphalt gets colder and the grip is weaker than the afternoon.
Here some pics