MotorbikeBuddy's John Pierson puts the New Metzeler Racetec through its pace, as someone new to the track this was always going to be a nervous day for him.
Two things were quite apparent as I sat in the car park of the VIP suite at Brands Hatch staring at my newly purchased leathers from the previous weekend. One, it was mizzling, and two I was about to try Metzeler’s new Racetec racing tyres with a bunch of bike journalist having never ridden a bike around a track before. Bugger! Don’t get me wrong, I currently ride a blackbird and have been ridding on and off for about 17 years , so I would have preferred not popping my track cherry in front of some seriously talented riders.
Luck was one my side as the chap who was joining me from motorbikebuddy was Steve Thomson, an all round good guy and a regular visitor to Brands with his own CBR 600 track bike. ‘You’ll be fine’ he said to me, as he noticed my worried expression ‘Just ride at your own pace and don’t worry what the others are doing.’ Sound advice indeed.
After a short talk about the new Racetec tyres, which come in varying degrees of stickiness ranging from the K0 for serious suction, to the k1 and k2 for soft and medium respectively, and not forgetting the K3 which is street legal but also excellent for the track. Due to the fabulous British weather we would be using the K3’s at the start of the day, moving onto the K2’s in the afternoon. Steve did raise an interesting question about the tyres capability in wet conditions, to which the Metzeler boys did confess that the tyre is designed for dry conditions, I have to confess this did nothing for my nerves!
We were bussed over to the garage not knowing what bikes we would be riding. As we walked in it was like a big boy’s toy shop! Ducati, KTM, GSXR, R6’s, Fireblade, ZX10R……. Had I died and gone to heaven? I think so! I jumped on the ZX10R and was asked to follow well respected journalist John Hogan around the circuit to get acquainted. To be fair the rain played to my advantage, in that the pace started slowly and as the track dried it left me with a prefect racing line to follow. I was quite surprised how quickly the tyres warmed up and just how much feedback I was getting.
After a very nice lunch in the VIP suite we were taken back over to the garage where I made a fair attempt to ride all the bikes! Both the Ducati and the KTM were quite scary with bags of torque, but after a short time out on the KTM it was quite obvious that these new tyres were offering far more
grip than I was capable of using. In conclusion to Metzeler’s new Racetec tyre’s I think the company have been very clever in producing a tyre which will work well for the guy with his track bike for track day’s through to the competitive racer.
On a personal level there are thank you’s to be made, one is to Tony Piedade for allowing me to take his place on this track day, and the other is to Steve Thomson for helping me calm down and not have to be air lifted to hospital on my first tack day. I would say to anybody who is thinking about doing a track day, but might be a bit unsure, one piece of advice. Do it! You will love it.
Written by John Pierson