SIC Round one
1st 1st Away – Shanghai Formula One Circuit, SIC 25th –27th March 2005
After a mad rush of parts from Singapore and bikes from Singapore it all came good on Thursday of last week at the circuit. I have had the bike kitted out in a similar fashion to my old R1, rear shock full system brakes etc. Putting a slipper clutch on it, quick shifter and may have to change the ECU since the power commander is not loosing the rev limiter.
Claim to Fame
This weekend was the first ever motorcycle event held at the circuit. I was the third guy ever to ride a motorcycle round Shanghai Formula 1 track!!
After about 5 laps of the circuit I considered the bike “run in” so I was set. I was using stock pads and stock road tyres for all of the practices and one of the qualifying. Was putting in respectable times however they were holding me back or even NOT holding me back as the case may be.
The course itself is awesome, same designer as Sepang. The first corner is a mean right hander!!!! enter in third gear (after the front straight), you are slowing down all the way through to reach about 5000 revs in third, drop it into 2nd mid turn and then go straight into turn 3 (another right hander with an even tighter decreasing radius, oh yeah – there is a height change of about 3m between 2 and 3). This is the first of about 3 double apex funky turns, sorts the men out from the boys. First lap is interesting!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First qualifying I put in a pretty poor 2.33 (middle of the pac) The standard is pretty similar to Malaysia with maybe a little more on the extremes, the fastest guy has a wild card entry in the 250’s for this MotoGP in Shanghai and the slowest guy….. Well….. he was slow.
Open rules on this one so I automatically had slicks, cut slicks and full wets coming out my ears. Had one session in the wet on the stock tyres, really good – the blade is so user friendly, even in the wet. Bit of a wolf in sheep’s clothing if you really want it to be. My mechanic was a legend, did all my entry forms, took my bike to scruteneering, changed endless sets of tyres, serviced the brakes and clutch at the end of every day. And he DID get me a fantastic pit chick for the start of the first race, I was one of the most photographed riders!!!!!!!
Riding on the Michilin pilot race was really nice, didn’t like going in a straight line but was stable as anything mid corner, the lean angles you could develop were impressive as well as how far you could brake into the corner. They would tend to break out very slowly so giving it beans outta the corner was fantastic!!!!!!!!!
They guys riding in this series all tend to be deadly serious about the racing, what I mean is there tend to be far more accidents than there need to be. Seems to be a matter of life or death!
A mate of mine Rob Healey, BC – you may know him, lives in Hong Kong. Brand new 10. During the warm up lap, someone started to weave at about 150K down the straight, someone, coming up fast behind collided with the weaving bike, putting one of the 2 down. The bike shot across the track infront of me, hit the barrier and bounced back across the track. Rob was coming up at close to 250, nowhere to go but into this flaming wreck.
He cart-wheeled like a rag doll. The race was delayed about 20 minutes while they cleared things up. No-one was not keen on racing after seeing that.
Rob broke is left lower leg in about 4 places, along with his left shoulder, compressed his vertebrae and had a wicked dose of concussion. He was doing a Boycie all evening, “ Turn 2, oil on the track, ooooooooooohh, musta hurt!” His was funnier though. His wife is 8 months pregnant and so could not fly up to meet him so i have been doing the organizing. Anyway, The look on his face each time we told him his wife was pregnant was classic!!!! Even funnier when we told him she was 8 MONTHS pregnant. We got it all on camera for his little one, his delirious state in the hospital that is.
Planning to medivac him out tomorrow evening, operation on Wednesday in Hong Kong. Robs brain is back to normal now however his bones may take a little longer to heel. His bike is almost finished, split frame etc etc….. The funny thing is that the guy who caused the accident has not held his hand up. Pretty rough since rob was definitely an innocent bystander who came off worse by a long way!
Anyway, fantastic weekend had by me, apart from the reoccurring nightmare down the back straight.
Next race is in 2 weeks time at the circuit and then the following one is the GP – WoHoO!!!!!!!
My best time was a 2.21, MotoGp wild card guy was doing a 2.16/17 on a 10. Overall position was about 7th or 8th overall, have not got the final results yet.
Photos on their way.