Video: Whitham rides the new Snett 300

Whit's thoughts on the new Snetterton 300 layout

I've been reading all sorts of shit about this place - I needed to ride round it pre BSB so I could get a good idea of what was what.

In all the blurb, Jonathan Palmer (the owner) takes all the credit for its design and he says certain corners  'draw inspiration from the Parabolica and Montreal hairpin'. Well, I couldn't find a Parabolica in there and trust me, I looked. I'm not sure I'd know Montreal hairpin if it bit me. They've got all the names up for the corners including the slightly self congratulatory 'Palmer'.

Turn one is just as it was (thankfully), then you get more of a blast in a straight line than you used to.

The next right hander is a lot tighter than it used to be but the straight goes on another hundred yards or something before you actually reach the new corner. It goes on to the old crumbly bit that you used to crash up when you got it wrong going into Sears. The new right hander is first gear - proper, proper tight. On a road bike it's a half way thing between first and second. It's as flat as a kipper in second. Nice and wide exit. Plenty of room and less gyro issues because the speed's quite low.

It cheeks you in a bit early the next left, you can't quite see the exit so it's one of those corners that you want another two foot of road coming out. I was doing this in third on the ZX10. Just coming into its purple patch in third on the exit.

Then you've got a blast round the back of the cafe. There's some more (new) pit garages for when they run these tracks separately. Then you've got another second gear right hand hairpin with a really, really late apex. It's flat. No camber.

Up to third and the next one is a fast left hander, kinda like an 80mph left hander but it's a second gear corner. That kind of helps you get in with the engine braking. Next, it's a nice little squirt down to turn six. It's a double right onto the back straight. You think 'fuck me I'm going to run wide'. It's awkward.

This corner is a little bit of a faster version of the old Sears. It leads you onto the straight probably only 100 yards further down the back straight from Sears. It's a fast, fast corner. Then it's exactly the same: Esses and the Bumhole. I think the Bombhole is resurfaced. But I might be wrong.

Corams is the same going in but they've made a right cock up, I think. They've given the curve of Corams more of a curve so there's no straight approaching Russells. You have to nearly stop or coast and brake. That  bit is the biggest cock-up, I think it's going to be messy. People are going to flick themselves into the pit entrance with boring continuity.

The whole place is nice to ride, though - really smooth. There's new tarmac in the paddock, even. It just looks professional, the whole place.

Riding round it I just think there's going to be a right load of crashes. It's going to be carnage. All those new corners are plum for those up-the-inside-skittling maneuvers.

Having said that, there weren't many crashes on this track day I did but come BSB I think it's going to be messy.

Gives me and Jack something to commentate on, I suppose.

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