Another great day at Willow Springs.
During tech inspection, Fastrack staff install a lap timer to keep track of sandbaggers riding in the wrong groups.
Didn't know they required safety wiring the crankcase. I don't even know where the drain plug is located.
After the rider's meeting, I had Randy from Inhouse Suspension dial in the Tuono. He stiffened the shock to help with the tracking and the forks for less input at turn-ins. The bike handled like a dream, especially on the bumps in the Horseshoe (Turn 14). Turning was almost effortless. Worth every penny of the $40 fee.
Talked to the Michelin guy (no, not the one on the side of the tires) from Racer's Edge about tire pressures. He recommends 32 f/r for the DCIII, and 36f/34r for the Power 2CT. When I told him everyone else, including racers, recommended 30 f/r for the 2CT,he just asked "Are they Michelin dealers?".
First session was a little cold, fogging up the shield, but not as bad as I had expected. Rode easy to get the feel of the suspension adjustment.
In session 2, I started working on my lap times. The best at California Superbike School a couple of months ago on the 919 was 1:54:740.
My best for sessions 2,3,4, and 5 were 1:47, 1:43, 1:41, and 1:41.
Session 6 was delayed by 10 minutes. Someone's lap timer had fallen off the bike and the staff and corner workers were combing the track searching for it.
Once we got on the track, I was held up over and over again by slower riders screwing up my lines. That was the most frustrating time in all the track days I've done so far. It was a waste of time on the track. My lap times went up to 1:45s.
After the session, I asked for a bump up to level 2. After Dave, the main guy at Fastrack, checked my lap times, he went ahead and updated their computers and gave me a new number sticker.
Session 7 was the best one for me. I ended up behind a pretty girl (yeah, I can see through helmets
) on a Gixxer. I had a great time chasing her and learning from her lines. Out of 8 laps that were clocked, I had four low 1:40s, and I know which part of the track I need to work on. I can pick up some time in the Bowl, still not nailing the best line.
At the end of Session 7, they removed all the lap timers from the bikes, so in Session 8 I concetrated on keeping the corner speed up and working on hitting the proper line through the Bowl. I had a KTM supermoto bike tailing me, so was riding a clean line trying not to block him. Midway through the session, I took the outside line through Turn 14 and got stuffed off the track by the KTM. He was taking the inside line and went wide on the exit and almost ran into me. I reacted quickly by chopping the throttle and steering off the track to give him room. Needless to say, my concentration was off for most of the next lap, but I recovered and finished the session. I hunted him down in the pits to find out what the problem was, I thought he was pissed at me for some reason. He was very apologethic and told me he was riding a friends bike and wasn't used to the KTM. He rode his sportbike all day and was checking out the SM bike. The owner of the bike came over and confirmed his story. Oh well, stuff happens.
The ride home was great. I had a grin from ear to ear. What a track day is all about, having fun while you're learning.
See you at the track