GW x GTM Racing: Mugello August 2019

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At the peak of Italian summer, GTM’s Archie, Dio, and Franky and I headed down to the gorgeous Tuscan valley of the river Sieve, to spend 2 days on, what can only be described as, one of the most incredible tracks in the world: Mugello.

The drive down to our Airbnb the night before already began giving me hints at how purely beautiful this area of Italy is.

We visited the track on Friday night before the weekend, to unload all the gear and bikes. We opted to book-out an entire box so that we had space for us and our guest, and to keep out of the relenting August heat.

The CBR1000RR was unchanged from the previous outing at Franciacorta, as it’s been running as reliable as ever (minus the occasional misfires).

The first day, Saturday, was spent getting to grips with this immense and undulating track. The weather was perfect, but the heat was making me suffer, with plus 35 degrees I was only able to do around 5 laps per session before I was fatigued and dehydrated.

A lot of time was spent simply trying to find the right line and gears through the numerous corners present at this track, and understanding how to best deal with the undulation. The track is like riding a rollercoaster, except much faster!

Hitting the limiter in 6th gear while at lean and cresting over the end of the front straight is an incredible feeling. It is definitely one of the longest straights I’ve ridden, but it’s a real uphill climb.

At the end of the first day I managed to produce a 2:11 lap-time. It meant that a sub-2:10 lap-time wouldn’t be impossible to achieve on my old CBR.

Archie, unfortunately, had an impressive high-side and came out remarkably unscathed, but it meant that he wouldn’t be able to continue into Sunday.

I spent every session on Sunday trying to get an elusive 2:09 lap-time. 2:10.7, 2:10,4, 2:10:3, 2:10,5… it was not meant to be. I tried my hardest in each session, convinced it would be fast enough.

Overall I’m pleased with my personal best and I’m thoroughly convinced that this is one of my favorite tracks in the world. It’s hard to get close really. I ended the weekend with a 2:10.359.

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