Twin cylinders, rather than sisters! By way of a change we decide to take our winter hacks to the 24 hour race at Le Mans, mine a GS500, Penso’s a GPZ500, costing £600 each they are different to our usual mode of transport in price and number of cylinders. We arrive at Portsmouth no slower than had we been on the 1100s! We are amongst the first off the ferry and make good time to Alencon for coffees, arriving some ten minutes before the first of the others who arrive in dribs and drabs having been split up for a variety of reasons.
We arrive down at the circuit via Vero’s, tickets bought, tents pitched, we wander over to the supermarket to stock up on supplies, this is a well practised routine, we’ve been here before and will be here again I am sure. Over to the circuit as darkness falls it’s time for the first night practice.
The Friday night pit walk is crowded and I bail halfway down the pitlane, its just too busy for my liking, following on from this James and I watch the start at turn 6 and the finish at the chicane at 7/8, just to avoid the madness of the crowds.
The 45th running of the race sees the Yoshi SERT team come out on top, just. YART on the same lap. YART manage to undo all their hard work of qualifying on pole by the bike not starting, SERT lead lap one, but the pace car is also out lap 1 as Bradley Smith is shunted from behind and is carted off to hospital for a check up. The pace car is out a few times
- Yoshimura SERT Motul – 840 laps.
- YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC – 840 laps.
- F.C.C. TSR Honda France – 826 laps.
Race over we bowl over to Vero’s for the first hot food of the weekend, Stephane sorting out the cow on the BBQ.
We head out for a ride with Vero and Stephane, stopping off for a coffee and a chat before heading over to Nicks to see what he has been up to, his bike shed is a homage to all things GSXR, K5 swing arm grafted in with some mods to the linkage, R1 front end and a host of mods to make it suit the time trial / road racing Nick has been doing for years, duct tape on the air filters to sort out fuel mixture issues.
Staying an extra day makes it more of a holiday, its been nice to get away, abroad, catch up with friends and watch some racing. The bikes have performed faultlessly and have been a laff to ride round on, easier and less stressful than manhandling the bigger bikes round and the heated grips have been just the job, who needs a big ass BMW adventure bike?