The beautiful piece of bent yellow-painted metal you see in the picture is the spring for my Ohlins TTX2 rear shock.
More important than that, it’s what determines my happiness and whether or not I have the right petrol pump for the week following a race.
For the last two seasons I’ve been running a 10-weight spring and my Beemer has seemed fine, but over the last few rounds I’ve realised that I’m actually going slower at each track than last year.
It’s starting to become a bit of a problem and my confidence has been on a downward spiral – my last three rounds have been a grind.
Last weekend it was the Brands GP round of Bemsee’s Team Respro Premier 1000 championship and I made a mood-changing discovery. Changing the 10-weight spring for a lighter 9.5 has transformed my bike and I’m smiling again (I’m so shallow).
I should’ve thought to change it sooner, now that I’m a lot lighter than the start of last year, but better late than never, I suppose.
During the Friday practice (which they run on the Brands Indy layout) I was straight down to race pace on old tyres and all through the weekend I was going faster than I’ve ever been around the GP track, which is one of the finest circuits in the world, I reckon.
In the three races I scored a first, second and third. The drive back home in the van after a good weekend is always nicer when you’ve had a good weekend and I sulk less in the week.
The rain also made another angry appearance on the Sunday, after sweltering heat on the Friday and we even got a couple of hailstorms, one of which lifted my awning up and snapped one of the legs off.
But, one of the most eerie things I’ve ever experienced on a bike is seeing steam rise off the track at Sheene curve when the rain stopped, as I was leading the last race on the Sunday – it was like riding through a horror film!
My next outing is next Tuesday at a Park Lane/Focussed Events trackday at Snetterton where my MCN newswriting buddy, Andy Downes (and occasional trackday rider) will be swapping his long term test BMW S1000RR road bike for my racer for a couple of sessions.
I’m going to plug in the BMW HP Datalogger for his and my sessions, to see how we compare at different points around the track, which should be interesting...
Next round: Cadwell August 18/19