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Discussion Starter #1
... and it hurt!!!

Firstly I have to thank a few people for their help and advice since the last posting including; Rich at ‘Louigi Moto’ for providing tyres, Dave (Nogaromill999 on the Ducatisti forum) for supplying some parts and then personally delivering them to Donington so I had them for the race and in addition taking some parts of his race bike for me to try before buying. In addition to the support from the Ducati fraternity I also have to thank Angel Engineering in Westbury for their welding and repair assistance – we will get to that bit!!

After all that what is there to add – well we arrived at the circuit to set up on Wednesday as our race was on the Thursday during the day of champions event. We walked the circuit that night to find people still painting lines and rumble strips. Dave had let me use his rear shock to see if that would help with the lap times in addition to a pair of Ducati performance igniter units. So I spent some time checking the sag and adjusting the ride height to suit my bike.

Thursday arrived and the weather did not look promising with the odd light shower. By the time we were due on track the drizzle had stopped and the track looked dry.

We were in the holding area for some time. Others had moved generators and tyre warmers to the area to keep tyres warm. I did not. I had warmed them in the paddock and as I was planning on a few sighting laps to learn the circuit (first time at Donington) and scrub in the new tyres.

Just as we were released on track a few spots of rain started to fall – not a problem as I’m taking it easy to start with. The rain never worsened but was a constant light drizzle.

First lap over and as usual a few slightly panicked late brake in to corners that just arrived. Second lap and all feels good, the new igniter units free up the engine at the top end so that it revs a little more and feels a little more willing. Also the tyres are starting to give confidence so much so that the Melbourne hairpin is an edge to apex to edge line at (for me) a good pace. Goddards was taken quite easy as the off camber is a little off putting but Redgate ant then especially Craner curves are a dream. The old 900ss really likes these flowing long curves leading from one to the other.

I am now starting to catch people who look terrified of the corners. Yet my confidence was building – you can tell already what happened cant you!!

I caught up to one of the Suzuki GSXR600s on the way in to McLeans. He was going quite slowly. I planned to start accelerate a little earlier than previous to overtake on the straight and be ready for the next corner in front. With about a quarter of the bend remaining and starting to pick her up I gently started to wind the throttle on.

I did notice the rear starting to spin up. I also remember the back end flicking back, at which point I still had hold, it was then that I was highsided. I came down on top of the bike and then we parted company. She travelled of in to the gravel whilst I, as always it seems, tumbled up the track finally coming to a halt just on the grass at the end of the gravel trap. Now get your circuit guides out and see how far it is from the corner to the end of the gravel at McLeans!

A fellow novice who was following me latter commented that he now wished he was not as close as he had firstly a face full of tyre smoke as mine spun up and then a face full of my bike and me in the air. He had no idea how he missed me.

Any how the upshot is one damaged bike, gravel in the airbox (stripping the engine today to see how far the gravel travelled) and some sore ribs. Whilst sat on the tyre wall the sun came out and for the remainder of the grid all was well. To give an idea of quite how steady I was taking it the best lap time immediately prior to the ‘event’ was 2:19!!

Roll on Brands Hatch!!!
 

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Well that sucks but good to hear that you walked away from it. Live and learn I guess. Bike actually doesn't look all that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not to bad until you get close up - the frame is in the welding shop. Engine is in bits - checking for gravel in the intake. The clip-ons are all bent. Both front and rear master cylinders are destroyed.

But hey up to that point it was fun!!!

PS - the ribs are getting better but that may change when sympathy turns to rage at the credit card bill!!!
 
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