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OK firstly hi to the regular posters on here who I've had some in depth discussions with in the past and who without their advice and guidance I would not be able to ride as well as I do today! I used to post on this forum regularly, I also spent a bit of time on a few other forums until I got to a point where I was spending way to much time on forums and not enough time focusing on other priorities in my life. I had to cut myself off from my online world and re-establish balance in my real life! So over the last few months I have turned my CBR600RR into a track bike, I have totally worked on my fitness, I have basically been alot more pro-active than I've been in a few years, I have decided that forums are a great way to interact with people with common interests as long as you dont let it affect other area's of your life, so for this reason I have pulled out of a load of other sites, I am however remaining a member of the cornering forum as its the one where I find people all around the world who like to talk about the the same thing I am interested in, Keiths books and finding the fastest way around a corner!

 

So let me tell you about my trip to Almeria!

This was 3 days on track, and a week of firsts for me. We had 3 guys on hand for advice and instruction, they were Jeremy Mcwilliams, Randy Mamola, and Simon Crafar and they were as normal and as down to earth as you and I. At first I was a bit starstruck as I'm getting the safety breifing and am just thinking, s#%t thats Randy Mamola right there! The good thing about this event was that you all got transponders and the laptimes were put up throughout the day, this is something you just dont get in the UK!

The first of my week of firsts came on day one, this was dragging my knee, something I just thought I wasn't flexible enough to do so never really bothered trying before, so anyway after my 2nd session I'm having a chat with Randy Mamola and he says, this is a good flowing track take turn 3 for example (long left hander) if your not dragging your knee your going to slow, increase your entry speed till your knee hits the ground! I went out and by the third lap I was dragging my knee round turn 3, by the end of the session I was dragging my knee at both sides on almost every turn, After that session I was buzzing!

The track day organiser put on some optional fun races for you to enter, I wasn't going to do this but on day 2 changed my mind, so this was my 2nd of my week of firsts, participate in a race, the first was a 1 hour endurance race which I never had a team mate but was allowed to start at the back of the grid just to get the tracktime, I stayed out there for the hour and learned a how to control slides, for those that have been to Almeria the last turn onto the long straight, I was getting more and more aggressive with the throttle till the rear was spinning as I was picking up, I probably overdone that a bit between the point of good laptimes and showing off but I didn't care as was having so much fun feeling like I was in control of a big slide!

Day 3 I woke up and it was raining, I was gutted, all I had was the tyres that were on the bike, a pair of 110 lap old roasted pirrelli BSB supercorsa's, and I had entered an intermediate 6 lap race today, it didn't look good! When we arrived at the track the rain had stopped and the track was patchy wet-dry, a few people ventured out onto track, mostly race teams doing pre season testing, I decided to go out and it was slippy but I was enjoying myself and a dry line began to form, I was lapping when something passed me fast, I knew there were fast guys out there testing, (James Westmoreland and Billy Mconnell with the came Yamaha team and Richard Cooper on the BMW S1000RR) but this was different this thing passed me like a sonic boom, I pulled into the pits and it turned out to be Alex Debon's Moto2 bike out testing!

In the afternoon I had my 6 lap race, the temperature was low so the track had not dried out very much and was still quite patchy, I had to start at the back of the grid as I hadn't done qualifying, this was an intermediate race and was done as a rolling start, as a trackday rider I am not very confidant at passing people, I had spoken to Simon Crafar about this in the bar the previous night and he had given me a few pointers! I knew that I couldn't get anywhere near the front in this race but my goal was just to work through the pack! My plan was to back off from the guy in front during the warmup lap and use the rolling start to my advantage, I crossed the line fast and gained 2 positions before turn 1, then I was stuck behind 2 bikes that were fighting it out, I knew I was faster but I couldn't find a way past and got stuck for a few laps, then I remembered Randy Mamola's advice from day one and what I did gave me the biggest grin factor In my motorbiking life, I went into turn 3 fast, late and passed both bikes on the outside with my knee dragging, in the end I had started in position 24th and finished in 16th, on the downside everyone behind me DNF'd so I still finished last but I know whst I did out there so am not bothered!

 

Bobby

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