By the end of the first session, I was back down in the low 2:13s which was pretty good given the lifetime of the front race tire, and the contrast with the street rear tire. I had some fun all morning, doing double sessions and getting lots of track time in.
Then came the final session before lunch. I ran into a group of 6 riders wagon-training through the course. They were running 2:13s, which was pretty much my pace but they were slower in the corners and faster (bigger bikes) on the straights and that's annoying. So I spent 5 hard laps making up time with really late braking, and really fast corner speeds and finally got through the pack.
This was the hardest work I've ever done on a big bike, and my tires really weren't up to the task. The front tire really started giving up the ghost, and I kept recovering the bike on my knee. Every time the front would slip and catch, it would throw the weight onto the back tire -- which really wasn't made for pushing this hard, and it would slip, and here I am at full lean god damn dragging the freakin' bike through the corners with both wheels bitchin', complainin' and sliding the entire time. It was the best time I've had in a long time. Ever better that I succeeded and left these guys in my dust.
Amusing that even with both wheels sliding out from under me I did a 2:12.2 on the lap I passed these guys, which is just over a second slower than I did on Saturday with tires that still had some life in them. Too bad I had no budget for new tires, or I could have probably gone out and done a 2:09 lap time that afternoon.
Unfortunately, that was The End. That was my last big bike track day for the season, and the ex500 is confirmed as useless without another engine rebuild so we have nowhere to go with this. I doubt I can pull anything together in time for the endurance race. But this was a sweet note to go out on :-)