On the 26th and 27th of August I visited Anneau du Rhin in France for a couple of days on track with FVP organisers. Unfortunately I went alone as no one else was available, but I was keen to visit Anneau du Rhin again and try out the longer 3.7km version of the track.
It’s the closest track to us in Switzerland which makes it very convenient to reach; the only down side is that you are not allowed to camp, so I decided to drive home over night.
Bike & Prep:
I hadn’t made any changes to the CBR1000RR since Magny-Cours a month earlier; in fact I didn’t touch the bike at all between track days. I dropped it off in the garage after Magny-Cours and then just loaded it up again for Anneau du Rhin.
This would come with a little inconvenience as it meant I didn’t check the front brake pads at all. They only lasted 2 sessions on the first day and I’d completely forgotten to pack my spare new pads.
With immense luck I still had the old Brembo performance pads from when I bought the bike in a box, which I could swap in until I went back home to pick up the new pads.
Although I’d already ridden on the 3.0km version of the track, this would be my first time navigating my way around the extra 0.7km section, which is the tightest and trickiest part of the track.
It took me a few sessions in the morning to understand the braking points and the lines but it would take me most of the two days until I was comfortable with them.
The tight, slow chiccane is tricky and it’s difficult to understand where the best line is as it can have a big influence on the corners that follow.
At the mid-point of the first day I was gaining a lot of confidence on the bike; maybe a little too confident as I had a big moment and my first instance of front end slip.
The front tucked at full lean for what felt like 5 meters. Outside foot in the air, I was ready to low-side.
As I began to fall my elbow dug in and managed push the bike up which regained front grip; I somehow come out unscathed other than a scuff on my leathers.
The weather on the Monday turned a bit for the worse, but other than a few very light sprinkles of rain we could continue uninterrupted with slicks.
At the end of the Monday I’d managed to set a 1:36.856, which I’m relatively happy with as I was in the top-10 of fastest times of the day.
Every time I ride the CBR I am amazed at how good it can perform out of the box. My suspension and engine are still stock yet it can keep up with a lot of the field; of course the lack of a modern 200hp engine means that I do suffer on the straights.
I’ve yet to service the suspension or perform large maintenance on the engine, but this winter I plan on reviewing a lot of parts in more detail. I’ve never opened the suspension since I bought the bike, and who knows if it was ever serviced, so I plan on rebuilding the forks and review options on the rear shock.
Only one more weekend is planned this year in October, and we should be heading to Franciacorta for the final round of the Time Attack championship.