Coming soon: Donnington Trackday report!

Aprilia RiderSite (Riders Site) - The independent & international community website for Aprilia motorcycle riders with chat, discussion forums and much more: General Aprilia Chat: Coming soon: Donnington Trackday report!
By Screeeech on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 06:13 am:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

watch this space for a full report on the Donington trackday just completed by myself and Singlesman: Topics will include tyre choices and suitability for the very hot conditions, barnett clutches, r&g's 'upgraded' crash protectors, Moko crash protectors tested and TLR comparisons! just going to move my fridge nearer to the computer so i don't have to keep stopping to get a beer! Later!!  

By Befbever on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 10:02 am:  View Befbever's Profile Search for other posts by Befbever Edit this post

Go on!

By Spoof on Tuesday, June 04, 2002 - 05:44 pm:  View Spoof's Profile Search for other posts by Spoof Edit this post


Bust out with it. We are anxious for this "report"  

By Screeeech on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 09:49 am:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

only if you ask nicely!! 

By Befbever on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 10:21 am:  View Befbever's Profile Search for other posts by Befbever Edit this post


By Daz on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 11:18 am:  View Daz's Profile Search for other posts by Daz Edit this post

with bells on!  

By Screeeech on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 01:47 pm:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

After borrowing my mighty Mille race bike a number of times last year, and doing pretty good on it, Lynn G and her brother Paul aka Tuft, decided to do the decent thing and get themselves a V-twin. Owning a small Suzuki dealership reduced the choice of steed somewhat and as the Mille was out of the question, the only choice was either a TL1000S or the racier R version. It was decided that as the bike had to be on display in their shop when it wasnt being used, and as the S version was no longer a current model, a secondhand R had to be found and made race ready. One came up at the right price and the project was started in march this year. Every time a rep came in the shop from then on, they were tapped up for a small contribution towards it: pretty soon goodies started arriving from their various suppliers. Tuft gave it a thorough service, i stripped and rebuilt the forks and fitted an ohlins rear shock and steering damper, Lynn G designed the paint scheme and continued to blag stuff from anyone that would walk through the door! after Tuft had managed to get the fibreglass bodykit to fit, I painted it as directed, then took it for a couple of rides on the road to get a base setting from the suspension.
Donnington was to be the first test! The sun was shining, we got there early enough to grab a pit garage to ourselves and got set up. First thing to do was to get a couple of shots of the bike while it was looking its best: had to have a pic to show off to all the people who had helped them out, and something to show off in the shop!
-My Image- 

By Screeeech on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 02:30 pm:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

it was decided that I would ride the TLR first, just to make sure it was ok and Tuft rode the Mille with me in the Fast group. First impression was that it was superb! the first few laps were behind the instructor, no overtaking, which was a good was to scrub tyres, bed in brakes and take note of how it steered, steering damper settings etc. as the pace picked up i noticed it squirmed about when braking hard, and the rear unloaded a bit too quick after hitting bumps at speed so a quick detour through the pits, two clicks of compression on the forks and two of rebound on the rear and back out. Much better. The biggest difference between this and the Mille was the power delivery; there's no point reving the Mille, but the TLR just seems to have a little extra power band at the top end, which is great, except for the fact that as soon as you get the extra power, it cuts dead on the revlimiter, which you really have to concentrate not to hit. I was impressed with it, though it was real good to get on my bike afterwards. The weather got hotter and hotter, as did the pace. Although my arch rival, Singlesman was out in the same group, we had agreed not to get involved with too much scrapping with each other, so went out at different times and hardly saw each other for most of the morning. still got on with the task of scrapping with anyone else who was out there though until my rear dunlop 207gp, new on that morning, decided the heat was too much and let go big time while i was on the power hard coming out of the right handed coppice. Had me right out of the seat, and feet off the pegs: Scary! took it steady for the rest of the session and pulled in early, confidence shattered! Seems Singlesman had a similar problem with his Metzlers, so during the lunchbreak we decided to hit the credit cards and buy some fresh rubber. Enquired at the 'official' tyre guy for a price on a decent rear and he offered me a metz rear slick for £176! So, i got back up off the floor, and luckily spotted a guy setting his tyre bay up for the following day's race meeting at the other end of the paddock. 208GP rear for £120, all in, deal done! Got back to fit my bike back up to find Singlesman fitting a pair of pirelli slicks to his Falco, bought from the same guy for £190 the pair. SLICKS??? Cheat! Never mind! just finished fitting my rear wheel when i noticed the front left R&G crash protector was missing: This was one of the new designed ones so thought it must have worked itself loose somehow, which was odd because i remembered using a torque wrench to put it on after all the problems i had with the earlier ones. Closer inspection revealed that this one had snapped too, as the threaded part of the mounting bolt was still in the hole! Bummer!  

By Screeeech on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 03:18 pm:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

Right, lunch break was over, my tyres had been on warmers long enough to restore my faith and i only had to scrub in the rear. Singlesman was on two new, cold slicks. I had one chance; as soon as his slicks were scrubbed and hot, he'd have the advantage, and i knew how well he had been going all morning. i left the pits a few bikes behind him, but as this was the first session after lunch, the rules were two laps behind the instructor again, no overtaking. I could see him working his tyres to get them up to temperature, but would the two laps be enough? my heart was pounding, in all the meetings we've done together, i've never overtaken him; been able to follow and learn and hang on to him before, for a while at least, but this guy is fast!there was a lot of traffic bunching up on those first two laps, so i hung back down the dunlop straight, to give myself a run up as we crossed the line for the second time. I could see him as i tipped into redgate, did a couple of people up the inside of hollywood, two more down craner, he was getting closer. Went under one through the old hairpin and fired up towards schwantz, right on his tail! As he got blocked slightly by traffic i made my move; right up the inside through the fast schwantz left hander taking the two others at the same time. I only wish i could have heard what was being said as he saw me come past! He came straight back at me, red rag flying, But i held on and passed him again: must have scared a few people with the noise and speed of the two bikes roaring past them! i led onto the dunlop straight, but could hear him behind me, sensing him tucked right into my slipstream. i waited as late as i could to hit the brakes but a R7 was ahead and broke a bit early for the esses. Sure enough, the green Falco came storming through on my right, crossed up and squealing as the R7 was still there! a brave move, which allowed him through and left me to follow the Yam through the esses. This just took too long and singlesman was away, head down and going! still, i'd done what i wanted to do, and that was enough to make me smile!
I pulled in a couple of laps early, as Lynn G was struggling a bit to feel comfortable around the circuit, and the guys at 100% bikes said i could go out with her to give a bit of instruction. quick breather then out in the novice group. Lynn followed me for threee laps, then i followed her, noting where she was good, and where she losing out. I must say that i would never go out in that group again though: they were all mental! no idea on lines, banzai braking, no corner speed, and some scary overtaking! we got taken by a few guys that really needed to be 'SCREEEECHED', but i was under strict instructions that if i was spotted going at my usual pace that they would call me in and i wouldn't be able to help Lynn again, so i resisted all temptation! Managed to give a few tips, and it was clear that just following my line around there had given her the confidence she needed and from then on she was smoother and quicker than she'd been all day, and had got to grips with the TLR.  

By Crmc33 on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 11:09 pm:  View Crmc33's Profile Search for other posts by Crmc33 Edit this post

......did the barnett clutch slip???
......did the barnett clutch slip???
......did the barnett clutch slip???

please Mister, do tell!  

By Daz on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 11:18 pm:  View Daz's Profile Search for other posts by Daz Edit this post

Sounds like you all had an excellent day!! Would you recommend Donington for track daying then Screeeech?  

By Screeeech on Friday, June 07, 2002 - 01:49 am:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

rest of story to follow soon!  

By Screeeech on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 12:44 pm:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post


By Screeeech on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 12:45 pm:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

Right, where was i? ah yes, i remember! Donnington, and the afternoon went pretty smoothly. Achieved my task of passing Singlesman and got on with enjoying the fantastic circuit. It IS a great place for a trackday, although a do prefer the national circuit as we were using ,as it misses out the Melbourne loop which doesn't fit in with the flowing nature of the rest of the place, (and frankly, i've never got the hang of it!) . If you can get an entry there, do it! Such a contrast to the stop-start, low corner speed, fairly flat Rockingham. This place is fast and flowing, feature-full, and so satisfying! Plus when Rossi and co are flying down Craner on the tv, you can appreciate how fast it really is (and probably offer them some tips on lines etc!!)
next time out, Singlesman and i decided to set the lap counters and instead of chasing each other, try to see what sort of times we were doing.took a bit of random button pressing, but got it set up, and just had to remember to hit the 'pass' switch as we crossed the line. Quite a simple thing to remember eh? I went out a batch ahead (they were letting four or five out at a time), did a couple of laps to heat the tyres up (i'd given up on the warmers as the weather was so good i didn't want to cook the rear again) and came through the esses thinking "hit the switch, hit the switch". Got a little held up exiting goddards then nailed it towards the start/finish line, " hit the switch, Hit the ... it's him, Singlesman, get him!!!!". the distinctive sight of the red helmet and green bike driving alongside totally distracted me and it wasn't till i was half a lap round that i remembered the lap counter, DOH! I did set it on the back straight, under the Dunlop bridge once, thinking that it would remind me as i braced the 'bars for the big bump there, but the next time i remembered to look down the counter was getting near three minutes so i had no chance of remembering to do it anywhere; there's just too much else to think about! did think i felt a tiny bit of clutch slip a couple of times as the revs pulled past 9k with the throttle pinned against the stop, but couldn't really tell, so i'll say i was just being paranoid!  

By Screeeech on Tuesday, June 11, 2002 - 02:28 pm:  View Screeeech's Profile Search for other posts by Screeeech Edit this post

last session of the day was looming, but i was surprised at how fit i still felt! Last time i did a trackday here i think i missed the final session because i was so tired, whereas this time i was still raring to go even in the heat and the fact that i'd done some extra sessions in the novice group; the gym must have been worth it after all! went off in the session with Tuft, followed him for a bit then made a bit of a break, found myself alone on the track for a bit which always seems to slow me down slightly; i seem to need a target ahead of me to go fast! Little did i know though, that i was being used as a target myself; by Singlesman of course! as he came past me i thought that here was a chance to follow him for as long as i could and learn some of his smooooth sweeping lines that he learnt doing nothing less than a world superbike support race,impressive eh?! Got tucked in behind and nailed it, clear track ahead, and cool enough not to try some desperate passing move and try to learn something instead. Three corners later and the orange lights/ flags were out; a sign that someone had binned it somewhere, and that usually meant a stopped session. Damn! I slowed down expecting to have to pull into the pits, but they kept us circulating, as it was just someone run off the track but he was getting back on unaided. I'd lost my metallic green tow-truck by the time the lights went out and the green flags were out again, and was not full on it as i went down the dunlop straight. Next thing i knew was the mighty blue TLR coming past on full chat down the straight! Going to have to paint a target on my back to make it easier for them to pick me out (in fact, Singlesman later admitted to not recognising anyone out on track except me; glad i made an impression!)!! Then came the realisation that he would be ahead of me as we crossed the start/finish line and that his sister,Lynn, would have seen that he'd passed me, and this was the last session of the day and time was running out and there was no way i'd of lived it down if he beat me! Time to get SCREEEECHY! Tuft was trying hard, knowing i was breathing down his neck! I was right on him down craner but traffic all over the place meant no room to do anything, same through schwantz, which was my favourite passing place as it is a bit of a wierd corner that a lot of people seem intimitated by ( maybe because thats where the great Kevin crashed on oil some years back!) whereas i just seemed to be happy to nail it through there. I held back on the approach to coppice, knowing that my slightly faster corner speed and slingshot line would help me outdrag the similarly paced TLR. ( still, i did remember for a moment that the last time i tried that line in a race i ended up with my YZF750 parked in the gravel trap! won't think of that any more!) the line paid off this time: gaining ground through the double apex right handers i was right on his back tyre as we got upright on the straight, and i swept to the right under the bridge for the classic outbraking move into the esses. Waiting for the front of the TLR to dip, wait a sec, then pull on my front brake lever as hard as i could physically pull. The bike juddered harder than it had all day ( had a disc start to warp on me earlier on but it had got bad by now) but i was the first into the esses and that made me first past the line. Still no chequered flag so, on a bit of a mission, kept my head down and made a break. Down the dunlop straight again and the red lights came on, session stopped. I sat up and put my hand up to show i was slowing and waited for Tuft to catch me back up, to say how well he was going. We went through the esses much more civilised this time and there we saw the reason for the stopped session: SINGLESMAN! on the exit of goddards there he stood, looking down at the green falco on its side. After much sounding of my horn and gesticulation to show what i thought of him, i pulled into the pits, leaving him to push the grass filled green falco back to the pits. Seems he lost the front exiting goddards which is odd as the usual thing to do there is highside it when the back lets go as you're on the power by then. Put it down to being slightly wide on the exit and catching some debris on the track. I stayed on the bike, and got out with Lynn G again in the novices; I was impressed wth how she�d improved throughout the day; smooth, good use of the full width of the track and the body language to show she was enjoying it! The 20 min session went without incident, and that was it, event over! A quick look at the falco revealed that the mokos had done their job, restricting the damage to being mostly cosmetic, and keeping the bike rideable if needed.
The sweaty leathers were peeled off, the bikes loaded into the vans, and the tales of heroism went on late into the night! A most excellent day!

By Befbever on Thursday, June 13, 2002 - 07:51 am:  View Befbever's Profile Search for other posts by Befbever Edit this post

You guys are addicts, you know that don't you?
Glad Singlesman didn't start his old habit again (racing/hospital).

Once again, great reading, albeit a bit difficult to focus: you write like my mum, only you do use punctuation marks.

By Diablo_Mille_R on Friday, June 14, 2002 - 12:45 pm:  View Diablo_Mille_R's Profile Search for other posts by Diablo_Mille_R Edit this post

Great report, and I thought Singlesman has been quiet for a while.....or is he still searching for the green meanie under all that turf he ploughed

I am probably going to do Donny on 19th October, how about another ARS group track day....?

I really love Donnington but know it can bite. CAR STORY, TURN OFF ALL NON CAR DUDES. I was setting up a Porsche Cup car for a customer so took his car out on a test day to see what it could do and get some benchmark times. All was going well and after 6 or 7 laps I had blown my cobwebs away and was getting the feel. Made a couple of adjustments and went out again to get some good laps. I has always lifted at the top of Hollywood and before the left craner but was convinced it could be done flat out. This was the lap, clear track in front and behind. Out of Redgate, floor it, up to 4th before Hollywood, hold it down, hang on and get ovr to the right for the left craner, turn left with foot still hard down, YES!! it can be done!!! then everything went VERY quiet, the car slewed sideways, then backwards faster than I could correct it. I got it backwards then straighted up so I could aim it into something soft using the mirrors as a guide. The armco of the old hairpin was rapidly approaching and I braced for impact, this was gonna be expensive and worst of all not even my car! SSCCCCHHHHHHHH as I hit the gravel backwards and the windscreen went blue as all I saw was sky, the back end dug in so hard it lefted the front off the ground. The armco was now 2 yards away and the front dropped. I had stopped just short, phew!! As the dsut settled a marshall ran over, I could not get the door open as the gravel had piled up so he dug me out and said "did you slip on that oil?"

The car before me had blown up and left a yard wide stripe of oil down Craner, and the marshal there had no oil flag. I hit it on my balls out lap and the rest is history

Anyway, damage was no paint on the lower foot of the car, and two tyres off the rims and everything full of gravel. Could have been a lot worse

So, Donny must be revisted, but not the gravel at the old haripin

Add a Message

This is a private posting area. A valid username and password combination is required to post messages to this discussion.

< <  back to previous page

Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only
Administer Page | Delete Conversation | Close Conversation | Move Conversation