MRO Powerbike blog: Silverstone 18/19 June 2011
First rides & tests
22 June 2011 10:11
That was the best weekend’s racing I’ve ever had –three out of three wins (two in the dry, one in the wet).
I just scraped the fastest lap of the weekend on Silverstone’s national circuit, ahead of fast-charging Mike Goodfellow on his superstock-spec Carbontek BMW S1000RR and set the lap record for the MRO Powerbike.
Strangely, it’s my first ever win wearing a black visor. All my others (and there hasn’t been one since 2008 on my old R1) have been in the wet or in dull conditions. I never thought I’d ever win a race in the sunshine.
To be fair, I’ve got a brilliant bike. It’s blindingly fast and each time I ride it, I’m learning more about the Ohlins suspension to maximise grip from the superb Dunlop Ntec slicks and improve steering and stability. It’s perfect.
The HP Power and Calibration kit BMW Park Lane fitted a few rounds ago is superb. The power delivery is far smoother and there’s more of it. The traction control is infinitely adjustable and really gives me the confidence to lean on it now.
New MCN Road Tester and ex-BSB and WSB champ, Neil Hodgson rode my bike at the Brands GP circuit last week. It was a BMW Park Lane trackday, run by Focused Events. He was genuinely impressed and couldn’t believe how powerful it is, even compared to some of the factory superbikes he’s ridden in the past.
I loved racing at Silverstone, I like that you can use all the kerbs, which is unusual for a British track and it’s really grippy wet and dry. It was pretty bleak in the bad weather, though and it was chilly sleeping in the back of the van for three days.
It was good fun to hang out with my buddies Jim, Spencer, Lloyd, Mark, Dan (a brilliant rider who beat me on his R1 in race two) and my brother Ben. It was sweet to win in front of them (sorry Dan).
It was also cool to instruct some of the MZ and Superteen boys and girls on my GSX-R750 on the Friday practice day.
A lot of people are asking me where I’ve got my new-found speed from – I’m two seconds a lap faster than I’ve been in my life, around every track I’m visiting. Lots of it is down to the bike, suspension and tyres, but it’s much is down to fitness and diet too.
I’ve punished myself since the new year, losing two and half stone and trained so hard, I fractured my shin a couple of months ago by over-running. I thought it was shin splints, so carried on training and racing on it, until I had a X-Ray.
The weight loss is down to an App called myfitnesspal, it’s life-changing. I can now move around the bike easier and accelerate faster!
I’m off to Monza at the weekend to ride Toseland’s Team Italia WSB S1000RR and their superstocker. Then it’s straight to Snetterton on Monday to ride my bike again on another BMW Park Lane trackday – it’ll be interesting to see how mine compares with a factory bike
After that I’ll be riding my trusty No.5 up the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Come and say hello if you’re there.
Neevesy. MCN Senior Road Tester
Next MRO Powerbike round: Snetterton 8/9th July