Sunday, July 12, 2009

Croix trackday

Earlier in june, I went to Croix-en-Ternois for a little track action. Since I had to cancel every earlier events (like two days to Le Vigeant track and 2 more to Les Ecuyers track), this one meant my first track sessions of the year and the first one since a little training session back in september on a local frightening track. As it turned out this also were my last track action of the year ... It's funny how this year does not look like expected with so little time spent on the track. Hopefully, this is going to change but it's going to take some time to come back.

Well back to Croix sessions, I went there with a Suzuki SV650 I preped up during a whole year. Yeah I took my time a little on that one.

The weather forecast was not very good with rain during the night and local storms and showers for the afternoon. As exptected, the track was all wet for the first session and since I was in the 'expert' group we had the chance to dry the track up. With a bike to discover (it hadn't been ridden yet except a couple of yards in my hood) I must admit I wasn't the faster of the group. Some experts bikes were fully fitted with rain tires and with my Pirelli slicks there's nothing I could really do again a ZX10R in the straight and out of every corners.

So the first session ended on a drying tarmac and a mixed feeling about the bike. The front was still too soft despite Öhlins springs and thicker oil while the brakes gaved me a dodgy feeling when applied hard. The lever flet way too spongy as I could jam my fingers between the lever and the bars at the end the Croix long straight. I cannot imagine what it would have felt without these braided line I had fitted ... The front master cylinder is definetly a joke on that bike.

By the time of the second session, the track had dried enough to apply full throttle on some corner exits. I still had to stay distrustful on some other points of the track. One part still wet is one I just hate about this track. It's the double-curved right hander before passing under the bridge. It must have something to do with that "near-highside" moment I had there 2 years ago.

This second showed up a major problem on the bike : the clutch was still splipping when it supposed to be applied. It was either fried or not properly setted up. In any case, the result was exactly the same since the clutch was slipping when applying at least 3/4 throttle. This led to a wasted second session and an aborted third after only 2 laps. I had kind of a scooter at that time instead of a proper track bike. Have you ever tried to battle against a ZX10R with a scooter ? Well I did and guess what the 10R wins.

Between session #2 and #3 I really thought I had solved the problem, but it seemed like there was nothing I could do without opening the clutch cover. So I packed everything up in the car and off I went home to fix that. While driving home, I thought about my track times as really disapointing ones. But I when realized I had succeeded in shaving one and a half seconds off of my previous times with a bike that felt like a scooter, I just came to realize I did some major progress in 2 years.

While I was about to leave, the rain came back to wet the whole track again. From what I've been told, almost everybody left after me.

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