Talan #83 MRO600
There are only two motorcycle events that race the full Brands Hatch circuit - BSB and BMCRC, so racing at the historic GP circuit is a real treat for us Club level racers. Test Day is held on the Indy Circuit, so effectively only three of the corners ridden on test day would be the same for the race day - turns 1,2,3 (I’m always instructing on test day so it doesn’t make such huge impact on me).
Both race days were extremely hot. When I wasn't on the bike I was laying flat in my van, damp towel over my body trying to keep my body temperature under control. Due to the lesion of my injury being above T6, I am unable to regulate my body temperature, so in anything over 22oC I have to be really careful. In the paddock, the temperature was close to 30oC, so I was in a real danger zone.
My starts used to be a real strength in my racing and I would often get past four to five other racers into the first corner. However, with the GSXR I have gone in the total opposite direction, now the start is my complete weakness. I bounce and leapfrog as the lights go out, with all the other racers heading off at great speed whilst I simply attempt to get the clutch out. Once racing I am fine and can make up ground, but when you start about three rows behind where you qualify it is vital to get past the slower riders as soon as possible, as they hold you up and then the racers you should be battling with have all got away. That said, I had three really enjoyable races, with Sundays first race being an absolute corker. At one point there were three of us abreast in the braking zone and heading to Hawthorns corner - a high speed right hander. I decided to keep the brakes on for a bit longer as the racer on the outside of me made a sweep across my nose towards the apex. Good decision on my part! I finally managed to get past both of the two racers when they ran deep into the second corner (a hairpin bend) by diving to the inside and effectively parking the bike on the apex. Dropping my lap times down to a 1’40.1sec lap was nearly two seconds faster than I had been around the track before, so improvements have been made in my riding.
Very sadly, in the race before my second Sunday race, there was a serious incident in which a rider was critically injured. The racing was abandoned for the last two races as the medics worked to stabilise and save the fallen rider. Tragically the rider succumbed to his injuries and the news impacted greatly on all the club members. The sport is beautiful, but the sport can also be very severe and we are quickly reminded of our own mortality. Mine, and the teams, condolences are with the family and friends of the rider.