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Didn't do this on a Ducati, but still pretty cool. Flew over to Ireland this past summer and participated in a "real" road race. For those of you who are not familiar with road racing, Ireland is the birthplace of road racing. They race through public roads (closed down for the weekends). People complain about run off here on U.S. tracks. In Ireland, if you miss a turn you are likely to hit a house, stone wall or a pub! They are the only place in the world, that have an entire season dedicated to road racing





I've been planning this trip for about 2 years and spent a s**tload of money doing so. I went with my girlfriend and we flew in a day before the race. We were greeted by regular Irish weather when we stepped off the plane (rain!). When we got to the actual circuit, we went for a quick spin in a car. The first thing in my mind was "what the hell am I doing here." There are parts of the circuit that are barely 15ft wide, where you're going well over 100mph.

We stayed with friends of the late Martin Finnegan in Lusk Co. Met Martin Finnegan's family, old boss etc. Saw his MV Agusta. A guy came up with his kitana and let me take it around the course to see what I was getting myself into. Here's a shot of Duke's Bends. During the race, someone ran off here, hit a stone wall. His gas tank came off and lit 4 spectators on fire. Very sad scene.



Here's a video of the above corner, at race pace:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBJnfH0yOKI

Martin's bike:


Practice Day:
We woke up in a rush, my gf and I overslept due to jet lag. We had 30min to get to the circuit before they closed the roads for the race. I didn't realize how big this event was. There were over 40,000 people spectators and about only 70 racers Met up with the person providing me my bike. Was on an '04 R6 with a superbike motor. (This thing was wheeling out of the corners with ease!)

Long story short, I ended up qualifying ahead of 5 racers. I only got 8 laps to learn the circuit. 15min before the start of the race, it starts pouring f***ing rain. Keep in mind, the irish are used to racing in the rain. Me? I've never done it. I pussyfoot it home, but glad to finish. Afterwards, had an after-race party. Hung out with Archibald, McGuiness.

Here are some pictures. The first one is the jump, called Gilley's Leap. When you land, you literally have 1 ft margin of error

I'm number 7:


paddock:





Here's an onboard lap someone recorded
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtTEO1FF9mQ&feature=related

Overall a great experience I'll never forget. Was glad to come home on my own terms (and not in a bodybag!)
 

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So cool. Good onya. Been around it all my life but haven't been there. My wife and I have it as one of our life goals - Isle of Mann, NW 200 or any of the real road races!!!
 

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Truly amazing...thank you for sharing!! Did the chap that hit the wall survive? And how bad were the burns on the spectators?
 

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thanks guys. Two guys actually collided and hit a stone wall. They suffered regular racing injuries (broken collarbones, scuffs, scrapes). The tank on an R1 came off, hit the wall and injured 4 people. One was an elderly man who was burned pretty badly. Everyone survived and I do not know the status of him.
 

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we had the killalane roadraces here this weekend,near same place as skerries 100,ryan farquhar became double irish champ,keith amor was great on the day,and the 2 dunlop lads on the strokers...
heres some clips

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcfeL-Q0b-8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMqenGHkD0Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6zDbMfcow4

Sebastian i remember you over to skerries,fair play to you for making the trip,i suspect your on most of the irish roadrace sites???but if ya ever need any info just shout...great weekend at kilalane,races cut to 5 laps as rain was predicted,a great safe days racing...all results are here if anyone wants to look

here is all the practice and race results from killalane the weekend gone

http://www.mylaps.com/results/showevent.jsp?id=356507

chat soon
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey there greencoat. Where did we meet? Yes I am on a few of the irish sites :)

Do you know Pat Corr? Tell him Ryan sends his regards. I may be back next year
 

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hi a sebastian,no we didnt meet in person,i was admiring your skills when you were over for skerries this year,i dont know pat on a personal basis,but i read a bit about you when you were over here..please do try and come back next year,maybe try fit the kells roadraces in???now theres a track and a half,or even come this time of ear and fit killalane in,thats it now till next season for us over here....it will be interesting to see whos riding for who next season...
ps
ill defomget that regards msg to pat corr
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hey greencoat, sounds good! Yes I see that KIlalane races just finished. Was a pretty good season. I had a great time over in Skerries. I am on irishbikeracing. I will be deciding this winter if I'm going back (gotta work things out with the "boss" if you know what I mean :D )

Cheers
 

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This is just about the coolest thing I've seen here yet!! Congrats on doing this, and thanks for sharing it!!

Too Cool!!! You've full-filled a fantasy of mine from way-back...Thanks!

BTW, that haybale chicane looked a lot scarier than any of the lack of run-off. But then, I wasn't looking at the outsides of the corners on purpose!

Nice!
 

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Thanks for the replies guys.

This is just about the coolest thing I've seen here yet!! Congrats on doing this, and thanks for sharing it!!

Too Cool!!! You've full-filled a fantasy of mine from way-back...Thanks!

BTW, that haybale chicane looked a lot scarier than any of the lack of run-off. But then, I wasn't looking at the outsides of the corners on purpose!

Nice!
Chuck, thanks! That chicane was a bit scary. You were coming out of the forrest section (called Sam's Tunnel). It looks kind of like the Isle of Man in the "tunnel." It's a mix of light and shadows. That right there is probably the scariest part of the track. There is a blind right-hand turn around 140mph maybe. Then there is a small jump while you are leaned over. Then you land and meet the chicane. Someone actually hit the chicane during the Saturday race. He was ok though.

I felt like I was in a video game, spectators were lining the circuit, probably a foot from the racers in some sections! :eek:
 

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Thanks for the replies guys.



Chuck, thanks! That chicane was a bit scary. You were coming out of the forrest section (called Sam's Tunnel). It looks kind of like the Isle of Man in the "tunnel." It's a mix of light and shadows. That right there is probably the scariest part of the track. There is a blind right-hand turn around 140mph maybe. Then there is a small jump while you are leaned over. Then you land and meet the chicane. Someone actually hit the chicane during the Saturday race. He was ok though.

I felt like I was in a video game, spectators were lining the circuit, probably a foot from the racers in some sections! :eek:

sams tunnel is scary for sure,try get hands on kells dvd,check the jump there,and brady came off the bike over the kells jump and was a lucky man..just for ye lads to get an idea,some of the roads these guys race on would be no wider than a car...lol
the best bike racing on the planet....
id admire every man that lines up on these grids.......
 

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Awesome, takes some big ones to race there, especially in the rain. I've done plenty of racing in the rain on circuits and don't think I'd have the nerve on the road.

Been to (watch only) the Isle of Man for TT but it was way long ago, I need to get back again. Everyone once in a while my Irish relatives send me a road racing mag, good stuff.

Congrats!
 

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Awesome, takes some big ones to race there, especially in the rain. I've done plenty of racing in the rain on circuits and don't think I'd have the nerve on the road.

Been to (watch only) the Isle of Man for TT but it was way long ago, I need to get back again. Everyone once in a while my Irish relatives send me a road racing mag, good stuff.

Congrats!
yya should plan a week over here that has racing on each weekend,or just get over for one meeting,id reccomend kells,but to be honest there all as good as each other...if ya ever need any info from this side of the pond as i always say just shout....
 

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Discussion Starter #18
greencoat, do you get Road Racing Ireland magazine? Leslie interviewed me while I was over there and I'm not sure which issue its going in. Do you know if they ship overseas? I emailed the site, but it bounced back
 

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greencoat, do you get Road Racing Ireland magazine? Leslie interviewed me while I was over there and I'm not sure which issue its going in. Do you know if they ship overseas? I emailed the site, but it bounced back
howya i dont know if they ship overseas,but ill find out when your in it,if they dont post overseas ill pop one in the post for ya....that be no probs.....
 

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