1 of 4
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image
 

MRO Powerbike blog: Snetterton 300

By Michael Neeves -

First rides & tests

 12 July 2011 16:12

Another good weekend racing in the bag, with two second places and a third. It’s the second time we’ve visited the Snetterton 300 circuit this year and we’re back again in September racing on the smaller ‘200’ layout.

It’s very hard to grind out a good lap time around this place. There’s a real mix of ultra-fast, heart-in-the-mouth turns and tight, nadgery technical ones. With so many corners littering the track, you’ve got to get every single one right, or else you’ll blow your lap. It’s such a long way round now that if you muck it up, you’ve got to wait a long time before you can try again.

I reckon that along with Cadwell, it’s one of the toughest places to race in the UK, from a physical point of view too. I’m not a massive fan of it, though, it’s too stop/start for a 1000.

My BMW Park Lane S1000RR is developing nicely, the Ohlins suspension is dialled in, the Dunlop N-Tec slicks are amazing and we’re making nice little improvements along the way.

I’ve now got proper Renthal handlebar grips, which make it feel really racy (no more road grips, for the first time in my racing career!) and a quick action throttle, which is as much of a help slowing down as it is accelerating.

Most significant is the addition of an STM slipper clutch, which helps the Beemer launch off the starts far smoother than before. The standard clutch was so bad at starts that I used to panic on the start line and jump the red lights occasionally.

It must be muscle memory, as I did it again on the last race of the weekend and got a 10 second penalty. We fitted a softer diaphragm spring to give it some extra slip into the corners too.

Thanks to Paul Cooper for coming all the way up from BMW Park Lane’s base in Battersea, all the way to Snetterton on Friday afternoon fit it.

I had some great battles over the weekend, especially with the talented Byron Beckett. I felt a bit sorry for him as he was definitely faster than me in the corners and my S1000RR blasted his old R1 down the straights. Rob McNealy brilliantly won two MRO Powerbike races, with Peter Baker winning the other one (both on GSX-R1000s).

Dan Fowler won all three Superstock 1000 races on his R1 and BMW-mounted John Waghorn set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1:55.7 (my best was a 1:57.3). My awning buddy, Lloyd Sutton-Foster also had a good weekend and scored a podium in the Rookie 600s - during the rest of his waking hours he was always texting...

Next MRO Powerbike round: Brands Hatch Indy 30/31 July

Pictures by Bryan Lancaster.