raced with the Banovallum club on Sunday at an old favourite - Aby near Louth. went with James - Arkley123 and took the pooch as well.
the track is dry, a loam sand mix, lots of very fast straights and 3rd gear corners in the farmers field. a terribly rutted railway cutting that we do 2 x 100m in and generally a lot of fast riding.
the bike remained unchanged from last Sunday and by now the rear tyre is really, really poor. I. MUST. CHANGE. THE TYRE!!!!!
the front though is like riding with a flat. I think the mousse inside is destroyed! but, DIGaF? no!
the forks that were so impressive in deep soft sand were about to be tested on fast HS going.
usual format: 2 x 1.5 hours of hare 'n' hounds course with an hour for lunch.
26 of us lined up on the fourth row the home of the ageing "over 45s" class.
I found a gap in the front row and awaited the start, at the last moment I decided to start the bike in second gear and what a mistake that was! I must have a warped plate in there because the bike tried to drag forwards and would only start on the third attempt!
I get away about 20-23rd and tore through the field, after about a mile I could see 7 riders in front of me but the railway cutting was next and no room for overtaking. i worked my way through and after 4 laps or so, top of the championship rider .... House signaled to me that I was second and then the next lap he was showing his hands 'squeezing' together. no idea what that meant! at a guess: "you're closing".
I then got behind a 2T and we had a right ding-dong-doo. passing and re-passing, I was quicker but would that batsrad let me get on with it? I caught an XR600 that a member has had for years and I couldn't get by him except at the corners he was slow so i guess the engine has still got it but the chassis is 'old' now...
the 570 has it over the 450s for rideability and pulls smoothly on adverse cambers etc where they have to be careful: talking CRFs and WRFs here.
as for the suspension, the forks are now superb over small stutters which it has never been before but large chop remains a real problem. however, the work I've done to get here on the small stutters makes me sure I can handle the big chop in the future. I used all bar 50mm of travel AND in the afternoon, despite 10 clicks in on the front comp I didn't feel much difference so i learnt a great deal about my MV and BV stacks doing this.
pretty sure as well that I must try a set of 50s in the front. also the new shorter wheelbase is a great improvement with plenty of dip on the rear when accelerating. all in all more steps forwards. another nice feature of the 570 is it's softness leaving corners and then the rasping mid rev power!
that and the gearing being absolutely spot on for third gear exits and I was really enjoying it with the bike on the second power setting and 'wheelies' abounding everywhere. I hope the photographer got some of them. not wheelies for show but just flat out wheelies.
for the first time I found a new 'brave' line that nobody else went for: we had to clear a ditch using a bridge made of simply three railway sleepers and you arrived, turned 60d on and then 60d off it. I started coming up and riding from the right to the left sleep then jumping off to the bank from the halfway across point and thus facing the way i wanted to go!
dinner was partaken with James as butler! jolly, jolly good it was too I must say! rice pudding from the can! a real favourite!
in the afternoon I started with the bike in neutral and was away in 4th or so, everyone was riding like an idiot and breaking the tape everywhere. I then pulled up behind 651 who I didn't see in the morning at all? anyway, I got by him once but he kept the throttle open open around me at the fastest corner on the track: a flat in 5th left - and got me back. slowing for the end of lap "walk-by" I got him and a backmarker in one fell swoop, considering the effort out on the course - to overtake at less than 10mph was ironic....
I couldn't touch the leader though on a 2T and he was gone. too hot for me! I also felt I rode poorly and didn't work very hard for it concentration being part of it. I suddenly remembered for instance to leave corners in wide open sweeps and take people around the outside. brain dead? probably!
so unless the 2T stopped for fuel like I had done previously at the last meeting I guess I came second.
Dunno where I am in the championship but third place must be close to hand and there's just one round to go.
Footnote: came second to the 2T and now lay third in the championship with one round to go but can't realistically catch either of the Howe brothers. one would have to fail to finish again and the other would need to be 7th or lower while I win.....
what a shame I decided to have a day off and miss a round....