Another european Rock´n Roll Raceweekend for the friends of Buell Racing.
Assen is actually the most important race worldwide for Twins - as long as Daytona does not offer a separate Twin-class at the Bikeweek. For us it's the most important race of the year as the best European drivers meet there - and some of them are supported with factory-bikes (example the KTM RC8, the Ducati 1198 we competed with in the SoT).
As there are more strict noise limits in Assen (104 dB) than in our German series we had to prepare a special muffler setup which was on the E.B.R 1190 not so simple. Only way was a connectingtube after the small racecan to a huge canister mounted beside the undertray. Assen events rulebook said the exhaust could not be longer than the vertical line of the reartyre, so the tube came out directly behind the right footpeg. Not good for the footposition on the straights, but in the corners it should work.
We mapped the bike with this setup and found that the loss of HP was near to nothing - size matters....
We had booked a trackday on Thursday and an extra practice day on Friday to give Harald some tracktime. While we moved into the pitbox at Wednesday night we received a call from Harald, he´s still home unable to move because of a lumbago, waiting for the doctor to arrive at his home. We had some headache with the 1190 on our final tracktest the weekend before at Oschersleben, so the half team was working nightshifts during the week to fix the bikes and now all is ready, weather is fine, but the rider could not move. Nobody said racing is easy...
So we skipped Thursday’s tracktime so Harald can see a specialist to make him fit for the weekend. He arrived in the evening to pick up the papers at the riders welcome, where the next shock comes up, we are only signed in for the races, the extra day on Friday was paid, but something got wrong. We explain the problem and Ton, Secretary of the Ducaticlub, told us to show up next day, he put us on the waitinglist and if there will be “no show ups” we can get tracktime. We manage it to go out for the 2 afternoon turns, because of a 88 dB noiselimited we used Haralds GSX, better than nothing on this very quick track, where missing the right line directly cost 4-5 seconds.
Wheather was friendly with dry conditions and Harald was doing his laps. Meanwhile we showed the first bike at the technical inspection. When you as a mainly german Team what´s racing Buells go to the Ducati Clubraces in the Netherlands you should be very well prepared. So we study the Rulebook into the last detail before and found that T-bikes are not allowed. But a phonecall in the week before let it look all ok, T-Bikes in the Sound of Thunder are ok, said the Ducaticlub. The event is hold under the FIM / KNMW -Koninklijke Nederlandse Motorrijders Vereniging (Royal Dutch Motorcycle Organisation) authority and these people had the responsebility about the rules. And the moment of truth comes up after our “B” bike passed the inspection (including noisetest - we had 98 dB) and we try to get a proof for our “A” bike. No Go! The rulebook say no T-Bikes (as we know) but Ducaticlub and KNMW had different views, so they decided to talk internal on a meeting on Saturdaymorning about that. Funny because some competitors had already stickers on the T-Bike...
Sky was still looking fine, but the weather report said clear latest for the Sunday (race day) rain and that’s what you need a T-Bike for. So on Friday evening, the team was standing there with a controlsticker on the “B” bike with the big radiateurs, a rider with his teeth tightly pressed together, having in front time practices (no free practice) on Saturday and two races (no warm up) on Sunday. Nobody said racing is funny.....
We came to get a podium finish and we had a good setup for dry-racing - but still no experience with the 1190 in the rain.
Next morning, before the first time practice the raceofficials hadn’t made no decission yet about the T-Bikes in the Sound of Thunder. So Harald went out with the proofed B-Bike to Q1 and 9 laps later for the moment we we’re on pole. Racing is great........
Around noon we got the sticker on the “A” bike after raceofficials decided that T-bikes will be allowed in the Sound of Thunder. In late afternoon in Q2 Harald came in for a quick tire change when we thought the bike starts to burn - heavy smoke in the rear section - but it's been only Harald's boot which caught fire when he pressed it too tightly to the connection tube of the second muffler (-:
Anyhow we kept the pole and found with the “A” bike another 7/10 in laptime. Racing can be wonderful.....
Haralds laptimes remained the quickest ones of the weekend, but that was under dry conditions - but for tomorrow we need to deal with rain and the bike was never out in the wet, so we had no rain setup ridden out.
We had a too hard setup for rain conditions and Harald got no chance to get the power to the track. Paul Mooijman on the KTM RC8R and Gerald Perdon on his Ducati 1198 were together with Harald battling for the victory in both races.
So we ended with one victory and one P3 in Assen - much more than we expected - a result we dreamed about! Since we've been the best bike of the national series in both races we got the full 25 points for each race and are actually leading the Sound of Thunder series with 100 out of 100 possible points.
But after the race is ahead the race - we've to prepare everything for the next races June 24.-27. in Oschersleben at the Festival Italia - and in between there is the famous Midsummernight-Meeting of the German Buellowners where Pegasusraceteam will have some bikes on display.
4 more Buellracers competed at the 31. Ducati Clubraces in Assen in the Thunderbike competition: Ronnie Kreeft -from AST Suspension (3.), Bas Leek (1.), Jean Claude Luijcx -the racing Buelldealer (15.) and Gilbert Backx (9.). Also there a great succes for the bikes out of East Troy: Poleposition for Ronnie und victory for Bas!
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