After sampling BMW Park Lane’s MRO Stocksport S1000RR at Brands GP on Thursday I got the amazing opportunity to race it at the historic Kent track at the weekend.
Team Vari-Trac BMW Park Lane looked after me alongside regular riders: young hotshot Stefan Capella and the super-fast Steve Mercer.
The team is headed up by Rick Capella and runs with all the slickness of a top BSB outfit, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as he used to run Shakey Byrne in his BSB privateer days on a Suzuki GSX-R750.
I have to admit to feeling like a fish out of water having such a professional team around me, including my own technician, Paul, instead of my usual routine of racing out the back of a van.
If I’m honest I found it a bit overawing and didn’t like asking the team to make any changes to the set-up of the bike at first – don’t ask me why, I think I felt a bit embarrassed!
But after a poor qualifying performance of 20th out a 41-strong grid I eventually used their experience to help me dial in the Biturbo-equipped forks and shock.
I ended up dropping my times and brought home two third place trophies in the MRO Stocksport class.
Stefan Capella got two fine second places in the MRO Stocksport Clubmans and despite getting pole position, Steve Mercer unfortunately had two DNFs on Sunday race day, but did win Saturday’s Superpole race by a country mile.
The S1000RR is an incredible machine and blisteringly fast. We did have to turn the traction control off and it was holding us back in the first three gears as the rear tyre slips slightly under race conditions.
The Metzeler Racetec Interact K2 tyres have incredible durability and grip given the S1000RR’s mighty 191bhp rear wheel power output.
You can read more about what a superstock-spec S1000RR is like to ride, how you can buy the same machine from dealers, BMW Park Lane and even ‘try before you buy’, in MCN in a few weeks.
We’ll also post a video on www.motorcyclenews.com.
Before I sign off, I’d just like to say a big thank you for a great weekend’s racing to my technician Paul, Team Vari-Trac BMW Park Lane’s Rick Capella and Bruce Charman, and all the staff, officials and marshals at top racing club, Bemsee.
Next race: Ducati 848 Challenge, Assen 30 May (and maybe another shot on the S1000RR in the future...?)