Drove out to Chuckwalla Raceway on Friday night with Rick and Beth (Rick will be my riding partner at Spa) to do a 2 day track day to shake down the Guzzi. I smelt gas while loading the bike but didn't think anything of it. Prepping the bike on Saturday morning I found that the gas tank had a leak. The tank had been brazed previously and somehow the braze had cracked. Time to break out the JB Weld Kwik. Couple of coats and in about 30 minutes it was fixed.
Saturday am session the bike felt horrible. Chuckwalla is really bumpy and the Guzzi was shaking and shimmering the whole way round. After doddering around and learning the track we had done a best lap of around 2.40 min. Useless!!
After some inspirational cereal eating I set about trying to go faster. Slowly I was able to relax and get more aggressive which definitely seemed to do the trick. Beth commented that the Guzzi needs a firm hand, just like some ladies..... her words not mine.
Rick was able to tap into his abundant talent and was soon nipping at my heels time wise. At the end of Saturday we were in the 2:18 min range. Not bad. We had figured the way around a bit better and learnt to accept that while the Guzzi would protest in the bumpy sections it wasn't going to do anything unpredictable.
Sunday was more of the same. The bike felt great, Saturday's worries were gone and we got on with going faster. Sunday's best time was a 2:15. Which was what we were shooting for so we came away happy. More importantly we didn't crash and had a great time.
An honorable mention should be made here for Rick. An endurance racer from 20 years ago who came up with Colin Edwards and the Hayden boys he has probably the most natural riding talent I have ever seen. He jumped on a bike that he had only ever taken around the block at my shop and proceeded to hold his own. Rick will be a great asset at Spa.