It's far, far too quiet on here nowadays...used to enjoy the banter 8 odd years ago.
A few videos from last trip.
Apologies for wind noise, first time using a video camera on the bike. I also lost one round the track somewhere...lesson learnt, don't put sticky pads onto something which gets hot with race use, and a bumpy Nordschleife...
Weather was fantastic, 30 degree heat and bone dry. Almost too hot for wearing leathers. Spa was epic, no other words required. First time there and first time on slicks. Bike failed the noise test initially (104.7db), so a quick ride back to the garage to put the catalyst back on and re-tested before I was allowed out(98.7db). Missed the first session before lunch as a consequence, so the second session (last of the morning as running 4 groups and I was group A) was figuring out which way the track went...but what a fucking place though. Eau Rouge was taken at 130mph and just hit 170 on the straight afterwards before braking for the next corner.
Thanks. The white BMW 2 series was a complete cock in the NS video - followed him out of the cones (think it was a 235i), and it took off well enough, obviously the bike beat it on pure acceleration but didn't give it much thought. I was on cold tyres so thinking about that more than anything as it was my first lap and I'd just rolled up. As I tipped into the slight left / right / left by the GP track (I still don't know any of the corners names...), I saw him in my mirror right up my chuff, he was that close I though I was going to be hit, so pulled over. I tucked in behind him and on the left (just googled it) between Tiergarten and Hatzenbach he went very wide and almost put it on the grass on the exit. I thought I'd keep this cunt infront of me where I can see what he is doing so didn't bother to overtake despite a couple of chances (Schweden Kreuz). I followed him quite happily keeping the cock infront, and as we dropped down Adenaur Forst, there were some yellow flags and a couple of cars. He overtook the 3 cars on the yellow flags while I stayed behind - couldn't be doing with being around twats like that if that's how they drive, so waited until the end of the flags before opening the taps again. Mildly surprised I didn't catch him up, but there were 2 oil spills later (Bergwerk and Eschbach) which slows bikers down more than car drivers - you can see the dust and contaniment on the apex on the video...rest of lap went without incident and enjoyed it.
Spa was my first time there, and in the fast group / group A. By the end of the day I was just about getting some lines sorted for a few of the corners, and a couple of braking markers, but it's a difficult track to learn as it's so long compared to the others. Times were 2min 50's - didn't quite dip into the 2 min 40's but that's the goal for the next trip (only a couple of seconds out). It's also very physical. I play a lot of squash (used to play county level, now just local league stuff), windsurf, MTB and snowboard - old habits from my racing days and keeping my fitness up for that. I have never ached after a session on a bike before, but the day after Spa I could feel it in my shoulders from wrestling with the bike at 140mph plus speeds and turning it from one side to the other (Eau Rouge, Blanchemont). You know what it's like holding a pushbike wheel and spinning it, then trying to turn it sideways - the thing buckles and wants to stay upright - imagine that with the weight of a motorcycle wheel, spinning at 180mph. the forces that a frame and swinging arm go through are tremendous (this is the structural engineer in me coming out...), so you have to physically push on the handlebars and footpegs to turn 200kgs of metal from one fucking side to the other. And in a race dodge 31 other twats doing the same thing...
All most excellent fun though, and I wouldn't swap it for the world.
Some pictures below.
Will be doing Spa again next year, and hopefully a few other European tracks - as well as a few trips to the 'Ring.