You can buy power but you can't buy talent
I guess I was naive to think that I could get a crashed road bike, strip the fairings, fit race plastics, bolt on a set of end cans and be competitive in the 848 Challenge: my first season of racing.
My first race at Assen was probably more fluke than anything; a 13th and 15th weren't bad results for a race meeting at this level. Then I went to Monza, where issues with my gear change meant I only got a handful of laps of the track before qualifying. I was bound to get trounced ...and I did.
So after Monza I took my 848 to well-known engine builder, Mark Brewin from BSD. We ran my 848 up on the dyno and it punted out 120bhp. Not bad, but the series' limit is 135bhp. It wasn't just the outright power I felt I was lacking, it was the drive out of corners. I was getting so frustrated at Monza when I got on the power earlier than the guy infront and then watched him pull away down any of the three long straights. Even slipstreaming didn't work. The dip in torque on my bike at 8,000rpm was huge, more than 20% less than a fit bike. So that's what I'm looking to change.
I'm not sat here thinking the bike's letting me down, far from it. I know a better rider could get a lot more out of it. It's just so frustrating to put in all the effort a race weekend requires and to have such a clear Achilles' heel. I end up pushing much harder than I want to into corners, just to try and make up for my lack of punch out of them and straight-line speed.
I'm on a mission to tick boxes, so that when I get to the race weekend I can forget about the bike and concentrate on my riding. I've had to admit defeat with the slip-ons and have opted for a full Termignoni system, which, together with a proper setup on the dyno means I will be very skint but should mean I don't have any excuses when it comes to power.
Cadwell Park next weekend will be my third 848 Challenge race and the first with a bike that's properly up to speed.
When I started racing, Emma Franklin from Performance Bikes told me all I would think about would be about how I could find that extra second. Unfortunately for me: she wasn't wrong.
Posted: 18/08/2011 at 12:55
I don't know what you mean. I sold my flat to fund it and now live in a neo-urban modern, open plan home, with my own river frontage...
Posted: 18/08/2011 at 14:37
Posted: 18/08/2011 at 17:33
Posted: 19/08/2011 at 16:23
Posted: 19/08/2011 at 20:58
Posted: 23/08/2011 at 10:22
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