The day had started out okay, a bit damp, but okay. We got down to the circuit without any serious problems. The morning sessions went okay, but I felt it was a little too damp in places to really push. There were a couple red flags, and several little offs by some of the other riders.
During the hour lunch break, the circuit had completely dried and warmed and once we were out on the track, we were able to push harder than during the morning sessions. I had been filming all the sessions with my Drift Ghost camera and was getting some good footage.
About twelve minutes into the session I was riding down the main straight approaching Paddock Hill bend. There was a rider in front of me lining himself up for the corner. I had seen him on track all morning and passed in several times as he wasnt the fastest guy out there. He's lined up the corner and I had taken up a position behind him and to the left. Paddock Hill bend is a big downhill righthander. The plan was to pass him midway through the corner around the outside, a move I have made many times on track and especially at this corner. I am now committed to my line and I'm travelling at about 90mph or just above, but certainly not flat out, leaning off the right side of the bike. Next thing I know the rider I'm following has sat up and eased off, or even shut the throttle, putting him right on my line. As he drifted out to the left, I had to swerve out of the way. I think I went down the right of him, but now as I've sat up as well, my line has disappeared and I've entered the gravel at speed.
I managed to keep it upright for about 40 or 50 yards before the front folded and I went over the handlebars, landing on my shoulders and head as I slowed to a stop next to the bike.
I flicked the killswitch and staggered over to the tyre barrier. Looking back I should have got myself on the other side of the barrier to make myself safe, but I wasn't thinking straight.
So who's fault was it? his, mine, both or nobodies? I think its fair to say that if I crashed because of a fault of my own making, i.e poor braking or highsiding after trying too hard, then I could except that, so to crash because of a mistake somebody else made, that erks some. Would he have been better suited to a slower group? I think the only way I can really look at it, is that it's one of those things and I can't really blame him. As I sit here writing I feel like I've been punched in the ribs, I've got a huge graze/cut on my right leg, where part of the bike and I came together.. My neck is sore and my back is stiff, but it could have been a lot worse. One rider had to be taken away in the air ambulance after loosing it on the same corner today. My pride and joy is sitting locked up in the garage as banged up as her rider. Elvis Costello sang 'Accidents will happen' and that's the only way I can look at it. I'm sore, but I'm not dead and thats the main thing.
So what next for the bike? I could take it to the dealer and ask them to fix it, not sparing the cost, but Mike at Metropolis is a wise man. He suggests taking my time over the repair and have a think about what I want to do. I have another bike to use and there may be alternatives such as a respray. I know for sure that I will have to get some replacement bits, but I will get the bike looking her best. I just know that it won't be tomorrow.