That's it. My three trackdays in three weeks bonanza is over - and boy, did it end on a high. Following on from my first time at Donnington Park, I rode at the ever faithful Cadwell Park before catching up with old friend - Oulton Park.
Another evening preceding a full day affair with the added bonus of meeting a few fans of the site - and Luke.
The evening was pretty brutal. There were a few really fast guys on track. I enjoyed myself trying (and failing) to get a tow.
The next day felt like a bit of a waste in comparison.
600s really accentuate errors in your riding - it's one of the reasons I love 'em to be honest. It's all about corner speed and keeping up your momentum. Get in the wrong gear or roll off slightly and you're going backwards.
Hitting traffic then, can be pretty frustrating - and on this hot, humid and fly ridden day - it was.
For the first time ever. I skipped the last session.
With a clear track, my best lap time was a 1:48.401. An improvement, but I think I could've gone faster.
You can hear how dejected I was feeling from the sound of the engine. I didn't even rev the thing!
Something I've noticed from all of my previous trackdays: I'm not braking hard enough, fast enough. I'm easing into and out of brake pressure when I should be braking hard right away and trailing it off into the corner.
Best. Trackday. Ever.
The weather was cracking, and, as a circuit - cost, travel, etc excluded - Oulton Park is now my favourite circuit.
It's an absolute animal: not a flat piece of tarmac and it's super tiring - there's nowhere to rest, you're always doing something.
I've been to Oulton Park once a year for the last 4 years - this was my first visit since taking trackdays a bit more seriously and actually working on my riding, instead of just doing laps. It's interesting to see how my lap times reflect that.
I initially focused on finding my lines and markers before moving on to working on the aforementioned braking problems.
I figured I'd go out with an instructor in the first session of the afternoon. I was struggling with the tight chicanes and he gave me some tips on tackling them.
He also said that I would hold my own in the fast group and that should move up next time - so that's good to know.
I ran 2:00 - 2:05 laps most of the day before surprising myself in an almost empty1 last session of the day when I laid down a 1:57.309.
I'm not using all of the track. I'm not getting right up to the paint/curbs when I should be.
I just need to work on being faster in, through and out of corners. Using all of the track should help a bit - but growing a pair will help more.
As the instructor said though: Rome wasn't built in a day, and hitting less traffic in the fast group should allow me to keep up my momentum and rhythm.
It was a hot day. Lots of people skipped the last session. ↩