Cadwell Park's Mountain, September 2003
Trackdays - why? Well why the hell not? I've learnt more about my bikes high
speed handling and general performance that riding on the road. In fact, until
July this year, I didnt have the FZR so my tracktime was spent using my road
bike, a Kawasaki ZX6R.
I decided that I didnt want to risk crashing my PAJ & so decided to look for
a suitable track bike. The 400 was decided upon as I could learn more about
actually riding it & general corner speed than I could with a bigger bike
with more power etc.
Riden properly, a 400cc can outperform a lot of faster machines on the track.
Thats been proven to me when i've been on track with various bigger bikes.
Below is a summary on the days i've done & how things went:
- Sat 20th September 2003 - track map
Was looking forward to this one after I did it last month. I went down with my
mate woody (on his Aprillia Mille) & arrived early Sat am. Wet isnt the
word, it absolutely pissed it down non-stop all day. We got signed on when we
were asked if we'd like to join the fast group instead of the intermediates
(me) & novice (woody) that was originally planned due to low numbers. Why
not we said.
Our group was 1st out on track @ 10am - all five of us & two of them were
the instructors from the trackday organisers! There was standing water
absolutely everywhere & it was really slippery. My biggest problem was i'd
had a brand new Dunlop GPR70 front tyre fitted & this was it's 1st time out
- not even scrubbed in!!!
Took it relatively easy for the 1st session, well 1st 5 or so laps anyway then
started to open it out more. Back end was sliding all over but always fully
controllable so didnt sap confidence at all.
During the morning, another guy joined us on a Ducati with full wets. He
absolutely anialated us all, lapped me once but he was just so smooth and
consistent. Anyways I didnt feel so bad when even one of the instructors could
not keep up with him on his blade with full wets, in fact he binned it in front
of me trying to catch him!
Weather got worse, threatened to dry up at one point but then changed it's mind
again :(. Another two riders joined us after lunch, both on race bikes and both
on full wets. One on what looked like a hodna was doing well & managed to
lap me towards the end of the session, the other just couldnt get near me for
the 1st 5 laps, then took me on the hairpin then didnt lose me after that. I
was ready to line up to take him on the next lap round when he pulled into the
pits - bah humbug!
Overall it was an ok day, not fully enjoyable cause of the weather but I lapped
everyone bar the racers on full wets. Gotta get me a 17" rear & some wet
rubber for next time.