The next morning, I found that the new rear wheel with the new tire didn't fit with the current chain. And a few other random problems meant that I spent the entire morning working on the bike instead of practicing. Frustration!
I finally got out on the track after lunch, but was tied up in crazy slow traffic. And the session was broken up by other people crashing that left me with only 4 laps. The second session I went out first to avoid traffic, and every lap was faster than I had ever gone at Infineon by 3-5 seconds. Brilliant. Great way to end the day.
The following morning my rear shock fluid reservoir fell off the bike coming out of the carousel, and the rear shock was useless. Game over. Weekend over.
Then my partner Bryan suggested that we get his GSXR 750 ready and run that for the endurance instead. My god, I've never ridden a bike with 140 horsepower. We race around pulling parts off bikes to get it ready to go, and I get a single session to practice on it. It feels fine to me, and I'm learning to handle it. I'm only 2 seconds a lap slower than I was yesterday.
Except when we return to the pits, there's oil all over my boot. Turns out that the gasket was installed wrong, so we pull the top off the engine and seal it up again. I pull the wheels and swap the old DOT tires for the slicks from my bike, and we put it all together again. We finish literally as they call the start of the endurance race. We need to be calm, relaxed and prepared but we're already tired and sweating.
Bryan goes out and does 45 minutes nice and clean. We swap, and I go out and try to really get comfortable on the bike. I get up to speed and pass some other riders, but wear myself out too quickly. I come in with only 22 minutes out. Bryan goes back out for 30 minutes, and comes back in. I need to stay out longer. Sadly, this is the end.
I go out and avoid chasing down other riders, concentrating on two corners that I'm not getting right. I'm doing 1:54s, which is 3 seconds faster than my best time yesterday. On my 5th lap, I finally get my entrance to turn 2 correct, giving me room to get back on the throttle for the exit of the turn. I open up the throttle, and the rear wheel slides out. The bike and I pirouette off the track and into the gravel.
1. We didn't even finish 2 hours of the endurance.
2. I damaged the bike of a friend who was kind to let me try it.
3. He was now unable to participate in the sprint races on Sunday.
4. My own bike is not usuable until I replace parts.