Round Two report:
I finally managed to do some work on the bike before this round.
2mm larger throttle bodies off a 954.
Full-titanium Akrapovic race system (from Fireblades member) wrapped to keep radiated heat out of the engine.
Removed stator, rotor, regulator, starter motor and made replacement engine cover - saved 8kg.
Fitted oil pressure, coolant temp and voltage gauges and made a dash to carry them as well as the instrument cluster and lap timer.
Removed everything related to riding on the road - left switchgear, mirror and headlight supports and such.
Removed PAIR system and made cover plates.
Planned to do the MCRC tuning day on Saturday to sort the fuel injection and log a whole day of air/fuel ratios on the Dynajet Wideband Commander so I could make a new map on saturday night before the race day.
Was also going to run identical 180 and 190 Corsa rear tyres in alternating sessions to determine which size I prefer.
The Wideband Commander is arriving Tuesday (along with brake pads) so that idea went out the window :-)
The tyres arrived this morning so that idea went as well :-)
I'd ordered a thermal blanket to go over the motor to keep heat out of the airbox and fuel tank but that arrived Friday arvo just too late to fit.
I got the magnesium rear wheel ready to go finally but forgot it runs a Ducati sprocket which I hadn't ordered - doh! Since my tyres hadn't arrived it hardly mattered anyway though.
I decided to do the tuning day on my old rear slick (since I fully expected to be flat out trying to get the bike to run on the bigger throttle bodies anyway) and would throw in a mate's 1000RR Corsa-shod rear wheel on Saturday night for the race day.
Saturday was fine and amazingly the bike ran okay on the bigger throttle bodies. Very rich of course but it pulled through to redline hard with no stumbles. Opening the throttle from closed was horrendous which was much more of a problem on Sunday and a sharp step in the power around 9000rpm or so was spinning the rear up. With the headers wrapped the temperature never went above 93C even when sitting on the grid with no thermo fan so I'm very impressed with that as well.
I'd worked out the rear tyre had done eight race days, two tuning afternoons and two private track days before the weekend started - roughly 1000kms and 65 heat cycles. But I was doing regular 67's without trying at all while sorting the bike so I decided it'd do just fine for Sunday's short circuit races since the forecast was just a few morning showers - we ended up having over an inch of rain! It meant we could go back to the place we were staying in Caramar and not have to mess with the bike at all. Of course, Saturday also put more than another 200kms on the tyre :-)
I did seven sessions and didn't get any kind of rythem happening until the final two.
I was concentrating on what the throttle response was like initially and then trying get comfortable with the gearing which was thrown out by the things I'd changed. I was getting more power, the engine was spinning up faster and I was accelerating quicker so my gearing wasn't even close. I eventually settled on third for turns one, two and seven and short-shifting fourth exiting turn two and holding it all the way around the Basin onto the straight as third was spinning way too much out of the Basin due to the tyre.
Saturday was also a time to test the longevity of the battery but I had no trouble at all over the fifteen-minute sessions. With the charger on after each session it was never under 12.5V when I came in so the fifteen-minute charging periods were sufficient to top the battery back up with exactly what I'd drawn out of it.
I knocked the bike over in the morning and shattered the screen so I decided not to run the camera without anything protecting the lens from sand. Sunday I didn't run it either because it would've been flooded with rain and the footage was unlikely to be much good anyway.
Sunday was fine at 0600 but the rain started at 0700. Rose has been crook since Thursday night and spent Saturday at Caramar in bed in front of a fire so she dropped me at the circuit and went back to rest up some more before coming back after lunch.
First practise was very wet, too wet to be able to see where the puddles were, but I was doing 11's which was going to be just fine since most of the normal C&D Graders hadn't showed up. Steve Bekkers was riding very, very well in the rain and was clearly going to be the guy to beat - and I wasn't even going to try :-)
He'd brought a mate along for his first race day and he also was riding well on another Duc.
The field was so small that even coming last I'd pick up a good haul of points so I wasn't concerned with trying to catch anybody else, just staying upright and enjoying the rain :-)
The 929 was wheelspinning everywhere. The front straight I was spinning through third and fourth and having to grab fifth when I ran out of tacho - and was still spinning until I grabbed the brakes for turn one :-)
I had to concentrate because my front Corsa allowed me to enter the turns a whole lot harder than the rear tyre could cope with so it was odd knowing I could brake a lot harder than I actually was. The rear was just floating around on the water especially at the top of the Esses, the Skyline hairpin and the right hander coming down the hill. Coming across the grid markings through turn seven I'd feel a little squirm from the front then a big slide as the rear crossed them which unsettled the bike more after each one so by the time I was getting the power on again the bike was already very loose and was kicking out badly. The left kink out of turn one had a big puddle that I couldn't see through my wet visor so I was running a very wide line through there which then messed up the top of the Esses. Not having a screen made it harder than usual to see in the wet but If I was following somebody I could see the wave as they went through it. There was the usual river running across the track exiting the left hander but it didn't cause me any problems because we weren't really on the power as we would've been on a full circuit. There was a smaller river just after the hairpin but also a big puddle right at the apex of the right hander coming down the hill which slid me very wide a few times. Second practise was similar to the first although perhaps not quite as wet.
Race one was the heaviest rain of the day. There were seven of us gridded and I was in sixth, left of centre, row two. Ambient temp was around 12C with no chance of getting any heat into the tyres. I grabbed a handful of brake coming into turn seven to get some heat into the discs but the front locked immediately so I could see the race was going to be difficult.
When the light went out my first thought was "You're in neutral you idiot!" because the bike didn't even move but I quickly realised it was just spinning. Steve had a lot of spin as well and Travis got to turn one in front from fourth on the grid. I was still deciding what line I should take into one when Travis locked the front as he turned in, went down hard on his right shoulder and slid into the sand. Unhurt but it was the end of his day unfortunately. Steve took off running consistant 11's with Bob Humphreys chasing him. Jack Coyle came past me leaving only Steve's mate Gavin Sullivan behind me. Knowing he was on wets I could only hope to hold him up which was pretty unlikely :-)
Bob crashed heavily at the top of the Esses on lap two but was unhurt. Gav Carlini was a couple of seconds ahead and I was determined to catch him. Every lap I was thrown from the seat out of turn seven but I was going to catch him regardless. On lap three I got bucked coming down the hill and Gavin Sullivan got past me. When I braked for turn one the front locked immediately and my right foot instinctively slammed the ground to hold the bike up. I was skating with the bike trying to drift left and my foot trying to stay with it. I was trying to get the front to steer but it was totally gone and I could only hope to hold it upright until the tyre got enough traction to catch back up to the speed of the bike. After forever I decided it clearly wasn't coming back and was preparing to join Travis in the sand when the bars finally solidified and I could use a little brake, lift my foot and turn it just before the edge of the track. Back into it I cackled for the whole rest of the race :-)
Gavin made the rookie mistake of passing under the yellows and was relegated two places after a very good ride. Steve though was outstanding and took a very deserved win nine seconds ahead of Jack Coyle. One more lap would've seen Steve lap both Gavins and myself!
I don't know what I've done to my leg but overnight it has stiffened up and the calf muscle is very painful if I try to lower or raise my foot. Walking is just a shuffle today but hopefully it's nothing serious.
Race two was wet but more a drizzle than the pouring rain of race one and we were down to a grid of five with Gavin Sullivan starting from the pit lane for being late :-) When the light went I was spinning again and spent the whole race doing very consistent flat 8's while Steve was doing 2's and 3's so I spent the race on my own just riding for the points and having some fun in the rain. Gavin Sullivan came past on lap three due to having to start after the rest of us. Steve took another good win although he had more of a battle and his lead this time was only five seconds over Jack and Gav.
Race three was dry - 18C! - and Steve and the Gavins had fitted slicks again. Jack didn't show this time so we were down to the four of us. When the light went out everybody else seemed to stand still and I was first to turn one but Gavin came around me and took off determined to pull a gap over Steve. While I brought up the rear Steve got ahead of Gav but Gav got down to 56's and slowly pulled him back to beat Steve by a second.
Was a very good weekend for me and a lot of fun. The Juniors were great fun to watch as usual.
I have a few more things to tweak before round four at Collie on July 13th. Hopefully there'll be a practise before then so I can make a new injection map.