After an so very succesful season with a victory in each race, you think it can not last forever. But with a weekend like Biketoberfest in front, with Erik Buell as a special guest, you just like to look good. 2 races left, the Championship already taken, you would think you can take it easy. What we haven´t, but when things can go wrong in racing they often do....
Our EBR bikes were quite reliable over the season. The 1125RR Bastardbike with the wide radiateurs was running the complete season without we had opened the engine, it was always our secret weapon, quick and reliable. The full equipped 1190 RR-B generated a bit more headake, problem was the headgasket we needed at the beginning to replace from weekend to weekend. From that the rumours came that we had always a new engine per race, -total wrong, the team had the full season no sparengine at all. What was generating a problem after at the “Schleizer Dreieck” Race the crankshaft was going to the dogs.
Relating our sparepartsituation and knowing that at EBR in East Troy was just a lower 1190 block ready assembled, we bought that and shipped it to Germany. Alex Kucis from M-TeK, the teams enginebuilder, completed it with the used parts from the other engine and we were feeling comfortable to have all we need for the last weekend of the season.
Thursday we took it easy and Harald rolled a bit around with both bikes and all looked fine. Raceweekends who start with freepractice on a Thursday allways feel at the first day endless, till suddenly it comes to the point when something goes fundamental wrong. We had the Trackday, we had Erik there, we had more bikes than ever -including our Racetaxiproject on the track, we had plenty of pressguys around, even from the USA and we had 3 person missing from the team. Honestly we had a dance on quite thin ice, but we feeled us well prepared if all goes good. In racing seldom things go good by itself, behind a succes stands always very hard work. There might be a lucky day, but there is no lucky season and there are no lucky laptimes and even if you do all you can 100% right there are another 1000 factors who like to steal you the show.
Friday at lunchtime the brandnew crankshaft of the 1190 RR-B broke down.
No time for long faces, we decided together that we dont trust alone that we have the T-bike and Alex and Christian the Chiefmechanic should took the bike directly to the 150 mls away M-TeK workshop, try to build an engine overnight. I should be able to operate with whats left from the Team for 24h.
Friday late afternoon, after 4.500km on theTrack the rearcylinder of the EBR 1125RR quit in the last free practice session.
Now it started to gettin interesting, the most important weekend ever, hundereds of fans at the track and Harald Kitsch unqualyfied without a bike for the Sound of Thunderrace on Saturay. Now the overnightbuild needed to be back on the track around lunchtime next day....
In that night the lights stayed on at M-TeK and in the paddock. After the 1190 engine was out, quick was clear that the lower end was history. Alex try to build with used parts and a stock 1125R crankshaft overnight an raceengine.
Erik Buell is rocking with the Black Angels and the Buellfans in the tent at Oschersleben while in Box 30 the faces gettin longer and longer, the hope of a plan “B” bike, a repaired 1125RR, gettin smaller and smaller, a first hope of a fuelproblem could not be confirmed, at 2:30 in the morning all is cleaned up again and the bike reassembled, diagnosis: mechanic problem rearcylinder, rest in pieces. Now all hope is on the 1190 Team.
Christian slept some hours, than overtook to get the engine back into the chassis and at 9.00 o´clock in the morning the bike made the first bark on the dyno. 3h left and 150mls to drive before the last Sound of Thunder Qualy starts....
As we know, the 3,5to Mercedes Sprinter has the limiter at 165 km/h, looks like an “flight under the radar” trip back to the track is the only option, piloted by Christian while Alex got his sleepingdose.
Meanwhile at Oschersleben the paddock fill up again with loads of Buellfans and the first guys ask for the 1190 RR-B and how the Qualy is going... “well, we work on that”.
The Team prepared the preheatet tyres, the missing parts of the bike, the TRANSPONDER (the insiders know what I like to say...), fuel and all the other stuff that might be needed to get a bike that was in pieces in 15 minutes out to the racetrack.
The transport, 20 mls away, has left the Autobahn to the countryroad, we contact the gate to get a very quick drive through. Than they arrived, Birgit screamed some cars away that blocked the entry, Alex start the bike, before ratchetstraps fly and the bike is out of the transporter, running. Will it stay alive for 2 races, Alex reported heavy vibrations on the dyno because of the unbalanced crankshaft. But thats all we had. Wheels in, not to forget the transponder, Bodywork on, final oilcheck, short briefing with Harald, all ready, 8 minutes left before green.....
What a Team, what a bunch of individuals, pure competence and an absolute will to finish a job that needed to be done. Sometimes not easy to handle, but under stress and when it counts hard like a rock and precise like a missile.
Rider out! I go to my place at the wall, count and time laps and listen to the bike when Harald pass the straight. He goes for pole, what else? The Qualifying is together with the Superbikes, they had already 2 Turns that day, going really fast, at halftime Harald got 3rd overall comes in to pick a new reartire, out again, 2 laps to get the speed than a final fast lap.
POLE! We have made it, Erik beside me can not belive it, NEVER QUIT!
A Qualy is not a race and Harald reported that the vibrations are so hard that he nearly cannot see and he got serious pain in his hands. Many parts of the bike have just lost their connections, the screen loose ALL screws on the left side and was hanging down. If we cannot handle the vibrations, the bike will not finish a race.
So we mounted chromed barendweights borrowed from an Buell S1 at the Custombikeshow (thanks Ares) on the end of the clipons, mounted the electronicparts on foam and reinforced the bike with miles of tape. Harald used extended cheekpaddings in his helmet to sharp his view and stayed cool, “we will make it”.
The Saturday Sound of Thunderrace (from now on BEARS) brought again fastest laptime and victory Nr. 8.
The Sundayrace the same and victory Nr. 9. So Harald Kitsch and Pegasusraceteam took with the Erik Buell Racing 1190RR-B 9 Pole, 9 fastest racelaps and 9 victories in a row and took with 225 of 225 points the 2010 Sound of Thunder Championship.
Bad competition? Not at all, not enough competition, yes. But laptimes down to the IDM competitors level show it very clear, the package Harald Kitsch and the EBR is extraordinary fast.
We liked to make Erik Buell a good time with a final race of the season in the Superbike open >>>