when i started practicing for the race last wed i was only doing consistent 2:10-2:11 on 50% Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SC2 tires (180/55 rear), come thu it went down 2:09's consistently but the thing is once i started the roll on the throttle earlier & harder the rear would start to slide but it's predictable, cornering precision was very good though after i lowered the front end back to oem height, turn in also became quicker as a result. the right side was was worn down very much after thu afternoon, started the psi at 32/26 on the warmers & 34/28 hot which gave a lot of grip, the front handled heavy trailbraking very well but you can feel the bike standing up if you exert too much, acceleration grip was very good with the slide quite predictable when you're really on it, midcorner grip is excellent even on the edge.
after thu practice the rear tire was worn on the right so i changed out the Pirelli for the Dunlop D212GP Pro UK NTEC (120/70 med front & 190/55 med/hard rear), mounted them that afternoon but took the next day (fri) for a break as i had to rest my aching muscles & help the other racers on setting up their bikes for the race. sat was the start for FP1-2-3 & QTT, i didn't know what to expect from these tires apart from they're very hard carcass so immediately thought they were similar to the Michelin Power One's in feel & carcass stiffness. my first session (FP1) with them proved what i was expecting all along, turn in proved to be heavier, the bike understeers on entry & corner exit plus the bike was wobbling mad on the final corner where i had to come in at 180kmh which scared the sheet out of me. i had to give it maintenance throttle to stabilize the rear so it doesn't buck me off the seat, the plus side is it had plenty of grip which gave me confidence on trailbraking & acceleration.
before the 2nd session i checked my rear shock settings i was surprised that my low speed compression was set to 0 (full hard), somebody messed with my suspension when i left it at the track the day before so i had a full look over on my suspension settings using my last saved data on my cellphone, reset it to SC2 specs & wrote the settings on the swingarm, lower fork leg & upper triple so i don't forget. at the lat corner the handling was much improved, the wobbling was still there but not as much anymore, it was quite manageable & looking at the wear i had to adjust the LC HC & rebound for the rear shock so i added 2 clicks of LC, 1/6 turn HC & 2 clicks rebound (stiffer), the front end was left as it is. for the pressures i started with 29 front & 18 rear cold psi, after 45min on the warmers i set the psi to 33 front & 21 rear, after FP1 pressure was up to 35 front & 23 rear hot off the track. the front was wearing nicely but the rear was balling up chunks of rubber so i added 1psi more (24 hot) to make it last longer as i only had this set to last for FP3, QTT & the race itself.
FP3, after the adjustments i noticed an immediate improvement in handling & stability, the bike didn't understeer on entry & exit this time plus the wobble was minimized further, getting on the gas earlier harder didn't make the rear tire slide & i was easily doing 2:09's consistently so i pitted in & stuck with the last settings in preparation for QTT. something happened before QTT, it drizzled which made the track very damp so i had to install my rain tires as i was expecting a wet QTT session but the track started to dry again so i had install my dry tries again, dammit i was getting tire swapping out wheels in 5min. the track had cooled down which affected the grip of the tires & the track had no electricity which meant the tire warmers didn't work. the best i could muster under the conditions was a 2:09, just under a sec off the 2 faster guys in front of me.
i know i was in trouble for the race tomorrow if i couldn't find a break though in my riding but i also had to conserve my tires as i was only using race takeoffs from the start, i skipped WUP in the morning & took the bike out of the track & started practicing my starts until a security guard stopped me after the 3rd run. for the race i set the tires to 32 front & 20 rear on the warmers because now i will need every bit of grip these tires can give.
my practice starts paid off as i got to T1 before the 2 guys in front of me & i had the inside line, braked later than usual & just leaned the bike over, i was scared because i had never entered that corner from that point before but the tires held very well. entered T2 in front of the pack & started ride harder with my knee, toe sliders & pegs scraping on both sides, i have never experienced this before since riding on Michelin Power Ones but only this time it's much deeper. accelerating out of the corners i have felt the tire slide for the first time since using them the other day but it was very predictable & the rear still felt it had more to give so i rode like that on every corner for the next 3 laps, the bike held the line very well on the fast sweepers, i was braking later & doing late corner apexes & the front tire didn't even budge, i was amazed that i can even do that. after the race i looked at the tires & they don't look worn at all, the rear still had plenty of tread left, same with the front, i was expecting the rear to be shredded but it was clean after 7 laps on a very hot & abrasive track.
here are the lap times i did during the race, they only started timing after the 1st lap.
00 - me (Honda CBR 600RR3) Dunlop D212GP Pro UK NTEC 120/190
lap 2 - 2:06.174 - best lap
lap 3 - 2:06.398
lap 4 - 2:06.790
lap 5 - 2:07.653
lap 6 - 2:09.611
lap 7 - 2:08.537
23 - 2nd place guy (Honda CBR 600RR7) Bridgestone R10 120/190
lap 2 - 2:08.891
lap 3 - 2:09.337
lap 4 - 2:08.186
lap 5 - 2:07.877
lap 6 - 2:08.790
lap 7 - 2:06.524 - best lap
28 - 3rd place guy (Yamaha R6 2009) Bridgestone R10 120/190
lap 2 - 2:09.783
lap 3 - 2:09.869
lap 4 - 2:09.289
lap 5 - 2:09.304
lap 6 - 2:08.750 - best lap
lap 7 - 2:09.643
05 - 4th place guy (Yamaha R6 2007) Bridgestone R10 120/190
lap 2 - 2:09.111
lap 3 - 2:11.226
lap 4 - 2:07.942
lap 5 - 2:07.899
lap 6 - 2:06.710 - best lap
lap 7 - 2:39.583 - ran off track, got stuck in the gravel trap
here is how the tire looked like after the race, looking great even after 3 FP's, QTT & a 7 lap race.
these are farking awesome tires, i will never hesitate to use these tires even if they're race takeoffs, highly recommended.