left home it was overcast, but dry. Instead of just sitting on the M40 (which is lethal in the wet) I decided to break it up a little and take the M1, head past Silverstone on the A43 and the pick up the M40 past Warwick. It was all going so well up until I got to Toddington, then rain and spray made the trip to the services at J14....interesting. I stopped at got my rain gear on, which in hindsight, I should have done before I left. The rest of the journey passed without incident, but stayed wet all the way.
I eventually got to Birmingham at around 18:20, parked the bike up in a secure car park (not leaving a bike on the road in Birmingham ever again after my Kawasaki was stolen) and got a lift
home with Sarah. The next morning, I headed out, having learnt my lesson regarding the rain suit. The plan was to take the M5, M6 and M42/A42 to Donington, but like an idiot, I missed my turning. What was really annoying is I didn't realise for some time. Once I twigged, I was miles out of the way, got some fuel, turned around and blasted my way back through the rapidly building rush hour traffic. I would like to apologise to any and indeed everybody for that. A quick shot down the M6 toll, and I eventually got back onto the M42, which is when it finally started to rain.
I eventually got to Donny at 08:10, two hours after leaving the house and knew, looking at the conditions, that I wasn't going to head out on track. Its bad enough with a good rear tyre and with the rapidly decreasing state of my rear, I felt discretion was the better part of valour. So I listened to the briefing, had some coffee, got a sausage butty and got changed into my jeans.
After hanging around all morning doing a bit of networking, I had my lunch and listened to the Ducati WSBK riders being interviewed by Niall Mackenzie, which was fairly interesting, but with all the will in the world, Mackenzie is a racer, not an interviewer.
The track looked like it was drying, but I always knew that with a three hour ride home ahead of me, I'd have to leave early anyway, so just before 14:00 I headed off. Those who staed told me it was
dry for the last two and half sessions of the day. Gutted. Anyway, what followed was my second long motorway trip of the day, fighting my way through the rain, which had returned, and the traffic. I finally got home before 17:30 utterly shattered and feeling a bit down by the whole experience.
So, after work today I headed back to the dealer to get my Sat Nav installed and my rear tyre finally changed. Looking at the state of it, its probably a good thing I didn't go anywhere near the track. The last few mil of the rubber in the middle of the tyre had now all but gone and you could see the canvas underneath. Seriously unsafe. Annoyingly there was a slight mix up with the tyre that was
ordered for me, so instead of having a new Pirelli Rosso Corsa tyre fitted, my Ducati is now wearing a Supercorsa at the back. I'm a little uneasy about having non matching tyres, but as these are from the same 'family' by the same manufacturer, I should be fine....hopefully.