Our big French thrash

Published: 22 September 2004

Used Bikes Editor Angus Farquhar has just called from the pits at the Nogaro circuit in France, where he's improving his track skills with the European Superbike School.

Farquhar is sweltering in 25 degree heat under a cloudless sky waiting for the final track session on his first day of the course.

So far his used CBR600, on loan from DK Motorcycles, has held up well to the challenge. Leaving on Friday he made the overnight ferry at Portsmouth before two days of riding to Nogaro, with the pace increasing as they neared the circuit and found some A-road detours to liven up the journey. Not a spot of bad weather hindered them, leaving the group to enjoy the open sweeping French bends. Compare this to his Ireland trip (see link right), and so far his only complaint is one speedo bracket has snapped on one side.

After a rest day, he arrived at the circuit at 7.30am for briefings and was on track by 8.30am. The schedule is one 20-25 minute track session, followed by a rest session and a classroom session covering anything from setting up your suspension, to setting up your mind. This continues all day, meaning around two track sessions per morning and three per afternoon. Pupils are assigned in twos or threes to a single instructor for the day to help chart their progress.

And it seems to be doing Farquhar good. He was immediately placed into the Red group (Blue is for introduction, Yellow for racers), and felt out of his depth at the start of the day. But with the tuition and track time has come a new confidence and he's enjoying himself in amongst Fireblades, GSX-Rs and Milles. Mind you, there's also a VFR800 VTEC and a BMW R1150GS out on track.

After his last session today it'll be straight back to the hotel for drinks and an early night, before returning early tomorrow morning. We'll keep you updated with how Farquhar and the Honda hold up.

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