This past Saturday I was at Brands Hatch. What can I say. Up at 6am. Quick shower, small breakfast and a cold mug of lemon tea. Pootled over to Brands Hatch and arrived there at 7.10. Went to sign in, but No Limits had not arrived yet. Toilet break, then just after 7.30 signed in. My friend arrived on his lovely 2015 675 Street Triple, ABS, quick shifter and Diablo Corsas…
Went to noise testing where they laughed at my little CBF500 and passed it without testing (well I had to blip the throttle a bit)… off to Briefing and it was snowing hard. Well, by 9am it had snowed out the track, totally white everywhere. My brother arrived to fulfil the point and laugh features. Apparently I had the “slowest” bike there…
They delayed the start an hour, which did the trick. Rain and wind sorted the snow. By 10am inters were out and then fast group. Couple of red flags in those sessions. Graham Hill corner was greasy as anything, couple of very nervous twitches/slides/banzai sideways moments!
We went out at around 10h50. Track temp was -1C… But it was fun. Wobbled around and managed to slide it on Graham HIll without loosing the front. Slightly frightening, my friend had a full opposite lock sideways moment and so pulled back into the pits. Things got a bit better after that. By my last session we had a clearer dry line, but track was still wet.
Managed to lap a 675 Street Triple, managed to stay ahead of everything, except a couple of trackday bikes on full wets and my friend on this 675 on Corsa’s which finally warmed up. Someone was timing his son and timed me as well for some reason, apparently I was the “target” and the closest he got was 7 seconds to my 1.16 in the wet. Got a good feel for the track by the end of it all, and was pinning it down the straight and after some soft braking down the hill and hard on the throttle in 3rd/4th to take corner at the top in 3rd.
That final corner before the start finish straight is where I was getting my victims on overtakes as I was holding a 20mph higher corner speed (to make up for the dog slow straightline speed!!). I even passed a Fireblade around there, only for him to blow past me on the straight.
The CBF was quite comfortable in the cold weather, heated grips on and away I went. Must admit that it would be nice to have a bit more punch on the straights, but corner speed was more than adequate and I could maintain a good rhythm and enjoy myself.
I recommend heading out and doing a track day, it sharpens your skills and give you a good adrenaline workout. The weather should not be an obstacle. Most of us ride all year round, so it is just a case of moderating your riding accordingly.