Saturday, April 17, 2010

Ducati at Taupo MotoTT Track Day

I have been to watch car racing at Taupo when the A1GP was running there - such a shame that it is no longer coming, it was a fantastic weekend of motorsport at a great venue. I have always liked the 3.3km Taupo Motorsprt Park track and then I realised that I could ride it on a MotoTT Track Day! The weather had been clear for so long that as the 10th of April drew nearer I was checking the Metservice every day.

The plan was for Dave and I to take the bikes down on a trailer Friday night and be ready and fresh for Saturday morning at the track. We stayed at the Bella Vista in Taupo which was very comfortable. With the two Ducati's in tow and a fine crisp Taupo morning we downed our Up-and-Go and headed for scrutineering - I admit to feeling a bit nervous in the stomach at the thought of tearing around Taupo, but once there and in our garage (yes garage!) there was only one thing on our minds.
I think it was Steve Spangler who put it so well... "Brrrm brrrrmmm"

Two cats waiting to spring. The yellow dot on the screen signifying Group 2.

The riding was superb! and the track was more than I had expected... its weird, you go there and watch others going around and you watch the big screens, study the youtube videos and the track maps - but until you get out there you really don't appreciate where the track is going. That turn 11 before the main straight I had always seen as a sweeper, not a reasonably tight decreasing radius corner, and the chicane before the front straight was alot more open than I had expected, although I did get caught out early on and arrive way to deep into T13.

We met Moonlight and his son Max, and we got them into our garage. Max is riding one of the new Hyosung 250 EFI bikes - a very good rider too!

The highlight of the day was still to come however... MotoTT have been running a draw for a set of Metzeler tyres since January - and I won them. Yes, $700 worth of tyres for the Ducati. I think that I will go for the new Sportec M5 Interact which are due in the country at the end of April.

I did make a purchase at the track, from QMoto, a set of knee sliders. I can report they are in pristine condition - maybe next time I will get-the-knee-down, as they say.

The thing that I was missing was lock-on... I need some grip on the tank. Dave has Stompgrip on the 998s and it feels really firm and secure (in the garage). I have some Techspec Gripster tank traction pads coming soon hopefully, so I will be able to give a review once they are on, and I have my next track day sorted.

There were 6 sessions in the day, and we left after the 5th - it was a long day, and the sun was getting quite low. Still, that is a good days riding, and after having done my first track day there, will be looking forward to another opportunity.


JohnHS said...

The Metzeler M5 Interact's are on the Ducati and after one ride I am impressed. Blog review coming soon. Thanks to Chris Mitchell at Motott and to Malcolm Gray at Forbes and Davies - and of course ME for winning them ;-)

JohnHS said...

No sooner said than done. Here is the post