Knutstorp – Heaven on earth

Posted: 2008-06-22 in Supermotard
Tags: ,

2008 06 19 – Knutstorp

Ahh what a day it was, it all started with a massive oil spill that covered about half the track, followed up with some rain that came erratically and finished with a 20 minute finally that started with rain, eventuated into a red flag (a poor Aprillia bit it just in front of me) and finished with the track drying enough to have a few good laps before the chequered flag was flown, perfect timing for the group after us who now had a dry track.

But, in heaven even a bad day is a good day, and that is precisely what today was, a day that finished with the refreshing thought that life really can’t get much better than this.

Red group ready for action

So let me back this up, and try to keep this short…

It starts several weeks earlier with me registering at the Sydskanes EMSE website for a day at Knutstorp, shelling out 1300kr and taking a day of work.

Fast forward to the event, which was one day before sweden’s second biggest holiday mid-summers. Midsummers being notorious for bad weather and rain again did not disappoint, the beautiful summer has been replaced a week ago with typical rain and low temperatures.

Knutsorp is surprisingly close to where I live which is quiet refreshing as it takes me nearly an hour to ride to Sturup, in which time i have to fill up and am kind of glad to get of the bike, not a good way to start a day of riding.
Note: After using the KTM660 for over a year I am happy to report that it really doesn’t like road travel, its flat out or nothing. There is very little in between.

This was my first time at this track, so I decided to check myself into the yellow group. From lessons learned I came half an hour early, had some water with me, and had a spare set of ear plugs… very necessary to keep the headaches away (plus a coffee due to a small addiction problem with it).

The day started well although clouds loomed overhead, a sign of things to come. In the group just before me there was some bad luck on the track, something went wrong with a Ducati and it streamed pass on the straight trailing a lot of smoke. Ironically this reminded me of the movie Tron.

The Oil Dance

About half way around the track he had realised but by then the most important corner had a fine line of oil, which ironically when studied looked like the perfect racing line.

The next hour was spent sweeping and scraping an oil soaking granular looking thing into the oil spill. After we had finished with the oil dance we got a 5 minute chance to do a quick ride and check out the damage. My group was next so I went along for the ride, a free chance to warm up and a quick peak of things to come. Result, me liked 🙂 .

The day from there got better, which is a good thing since it was the start of the day. Other than quick showers which usually only lasted for a few minutes the track was warm and most of the rain was gone from major lines within 10 minutes or so. Until it was dry though it was surprisingly slippery. I was very glad to have a motard at this sports event. The track is well sheltered from the winds due to it being built in a missive depression, excellent design idea.

First few runs where as expected, corners sneaking up, feeling not quiet right and getting passed. Probably by the third i had things down pat and was starting to turn the tables. Was a fine group and i had a lot of fun with a green Kawasaki NX-10R who we had a small game of take and over take which he eventually won. After the race I chatted to this guy and complimented him, he was good. There was also GSXR blue/white guy that scared the shit out of me, he was very very fast and left me on the straight like I was standing still.

By the end of the day I had a good compliment from a guy riding a 600, and I felt I had easily handled myself in this group, something i was afraid with being on a motard and a fast track. I booked in the red group next race, in this group I doubt I will be so lucky.

The Track

This track was grand for fighting, the sports bikes had it dominated in the long straight where my measly 165km top speed wasn’t cutting it, they were reaching 240+ but the straight ends with a funny easy, hard easy, right hand-er where I could regain much lost ground by heavy late braking. From there the fight was neck and neck until a nice left right combo gave the sport bikes some bloody revenge. But not for long, the 90 degree left followed by step incline ( see pic below) and 180degree right which gets rid of most of them.Motard and an incline in track result in little front end grip.

This turns into a even set of right and left where it is again neck and neck but, and a big but the motards can exact more revenge due to the heavy downhill square 180 right, 150 left and 70 right to end straight, which is were we start over again.

Apparently this track is 50m shorter than sturup.

The track facilities are excellent with a restaurant that was operating and feed us lunch, and some small shelter areas for us low budget racers.

Picture 3. This incline is a 3rd gear very heavy brake ready for 180 hairpin right. Which when wet is very slippery.

During the day a lot of motorbikes went down (about 10%). Light rains, which made this track particularly slippery, and fast groups with new members probably contribute most to this. Probably the most spills came from the green group, which usually doesn’t have so many, even so they are the “newbies” on the track. There was two spills in my group in which a guy got hurt and another damaged a very new very nice Aprilla. The Aprillia guy went down just in front of me, which ironically happened just after my back went out one corner before him during warm up in the rain. Sent some slow down chills through the body, which were shortly ignored.

Conclusion

If the opening sentence didn’t give it to yah then i think your deaf, will be a dry day in hell before I miss a race at this track.

It also seems time for me to upgrade my bike, no idea what at this point in time but probably will get it next year and more than likely it will be a KTM690, with the off chance of a hypermotard. Either way its money i don’t have but the 04 KTM is starting to seem exhausted, and a slipper clutch looks to be a necessity, especially if I want to claim throne over these bloody sports bikes.
The 2CT tires are handling the track excellent with only 2 slips and one of them in the wet, but the back needs to be replaced, was a new tire only 4 track days ago. The pic is from the race day before this.

If you want to see a film from the day goto “youtube” and search for “Knutstorp 080619 w SSEMSE”.
The film is by a guy called robz, he is in the red group and if I have the right guy he is riding a white KTM sports bike… Hopefully next time this is the group I am in 😀

Cheers

Choco

I have seen the future and we are all fucked.

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