My first race report! Yeah!
Day 1 - Heavy rain all day long! Nice we had fresh wet rubber, gave us all the confidence!
Started slow, it was impressive how much that tires gripped! The biggest fight was with in my own brain, that sucker.
This was the first time on the 954 which got crashed a week early, in some occasions I noticed the rear "kick" every time I got into 4th gear under acceleration, mostly into the Estoril back straight (corner 5), which isn't really a straight but was the highest speed corner of the MOTOGP, and in the last corner, a 80mph+ one. Not funny in the rain when everybody tells you "smooth".
Conclusion: Broken Gearbox! 4th gear is unusable, into 5th is difficult as the 4th jumps instantly into 3rd, and 3rd gear jumps out sometimes if using the quickshifter (how can this be?!), and I'm (we are) f*cked, partially. Strategy: Atempt to engage 5th gear avoiding 4th, and using clutch every time. Not even clutchless (throttle)upshifts went well.
My dry time on my bike is 1:56 in the K5, and we started at 2:40 in the wet on that 954RR, dropping to 2:27 in the Superpole 1. Couldn't get to SP2 but my buddy did much better than me going around 2:17 or so in the superpole 1 ,2 and 3, making its way to the 2nd row, on his 600RR.
Started the race, got into a 3 group with 2 other guys that are usually slower than me. But every time I was approaching the freaking gearbox gives me a false neutral, a 6th gear , or still in 3rd after 4,5,6 up shifts! One of them started getting away but crashed, managed to stay with the other guy until the end of the race.
Funny how in the whole morning couldn't get my times down, but during the race managed to shave 9 seconds comfortably. Ended with 2:18, but was the second last place. :-(
My friend did 2nd in his class (up to 850cc).
Race start:me at the rear, white bike, just after the yellow jacket guy. Friend on the orange bike at the front)
Pics have the name of the photographer for credit purposes, I could easely remove them as it's not a watermark. They are freely available.
The whole morning was between rain and sunny with wind, drying the track quite fast.
We waited until the last 15 before the race to change the wheels, to dry wheels.
The gearbox got worse, and the leveling effect of the rain wasn't there.
It was unbelievable the gap changes between me and the next one in my class. Sometimes I was 10 secs away, in the next laps there was a 20 secs gap, in the other 14 secs.
In the last lap, in one of my attempts to get into 5th, it would only stay in 3rd and I did that straight in the limiter, which got passed by a slow 600.
That was the final nail in my coffin, ended up last in the 1000's class.
My friend was doing a great race, battling with the front 1000s in his anemic 600 (its a Honda), but one track exit and crash into the gravel another nasty crash ended the race for him.
But he will be doing podiums in his class, for sure.
I hope to race again in July, but with my K5, based on my pace with that bike, I hope to get into the middle of the grid.
The top places in my class are not in my range yet, they are riding in the 1:52 mostly, which is not my pace (yet) and there is a world of a difference in investment, gear and track time.
Just check my friend in front of the 1000's, Marquez style: