Sport – Team Moto-Net: let’s go for a ride! –

Team Moto-Net: let’s go for a ride !

Sport - Team Moto-Net: let's go for a ride! -

For the second year in a row, Team Moto-Net signs in the Challenge des Monos and begins this new season with the secret ambition of getting into the points … This year again, share our adventure from within ! Episode 1: the Bugatti.

For the second consecutive season, Team Moto-Net signs in Challenge des Monos. After a harsh winter spent repairing the mechanical after-effects of last season, we are starting this new season with the secret ambition of getting back to the points. Share this year again our adventure from the inside: motorcycle competition seen by two leeks who aspire not to stay too long … On the way to the adventure !

Episode 1: The Bugatti !

Scene 1: the hammer

Wednesday, 1:30 a.m.. Benoît, pilot of Moto-Net Mobile n ° 14 (formerly n ° 25, don’t ask us why) finishes tinkering with his left footrest with hammer blows in my garage. Obviously, tomorrow the first training session is at 9am. Obviously, we won’t get enough sleep. Obviously, a few minutes of palaver lead to the conclusion that we should give up on it, sleep a little more and arrive in good shape for the second session at 2 p.m. Alea Jacta Est. The footrest will wait tomorrow.

Scene 2: The joker footrest

Thursday, 8 a.m.. The night giving advice, I remembered that I had a footrest at the bottom of a box, and I take it out of my wallet to wake Benoît. We could have avoided going to bed at short notice, but since last year I have made myself a reason: first the maximum hassles, then the "hard" solutions. In short, the 14 will be able to drive this afternoon. Still, I’m in a bad mood, I’m a little fed up with being in a rush all the time, but I know myself, it will pass. Especially since the 95 has been ready for a while, I worked on it all winter !

Scene 3: In the big leagues

Thursday, 12:30 p.m.. Arrival on the mythical Bugatti circuit … The track of the GP de France, the 24 Hours, and the French Open, with which we are living this weekend. On arrival, we settle in the tent of the Team Trophy Sport, which is kind enough to host us this season. Obviously, setting up next to the GMT, a stone’s throw from DAP, a cubit from a whole bunch of big names at the inter-level, with all-beautiful super trucks, it feels a little weird, especially as Benoît’s Golf begins to suffer from its suburban parking lot and makes a hell of a din. I feel very small…

Scene 4: Where everything goes wrong

Thursday, 2:10 p.m.. Barely three laps, quiet, we have not driven since last September. I start to spread a bit at the end of the curve, and CRAC … the chain hangs miserably on the swingarm of the bike. I stupidly derailed. The time to take shelter behind the wall, and I watch with bitterness my little friends start to take the measure of the track. At least I have a good vantage point for the output of the hookup. It starts off strong for me. For his part, Benoît ended his session by earning some driving, but losing his oil tank cap. It starts off strong for him too. At least he rolled.

Scene 5: You remember Carole ?

Friday, 4:00 a.m. (yes, in the morning). I have a serious urge to drop everything, go to bed and send the toolbox flying wildly with the pumps. Coming back from the 2pm session, after having retightened my chain, I did a little check-up of the bike, as usual. And the surprise of the day is … a severe water leak, bubbles in the cooling system, an HS head gasket. Good … In these cases, do not ask questions. Intelligence mode on Off, manual mode on On and we change everything with the help of Regis and his team. At 2 o’clock, the motor is reassembled in the frame, at 3 o’clock I start it and I take the opportunity to wake up everyone around. It’s silly, I know, but I was really too tired to think that the mono in free exhaust could disturb the peace of the paddocks..

I take this opportunity to send a personal message of apology to the GMT mechanic who rightly did not appreciate the hammering of 680 Yam at all. In short, I’m ready for the 9am session, we decide to take a nap in the Golf, given the time, unthinkable to find a hotel, especially since we will have to get up at dawn.

Scene 6: Shadows and Fog

Friday, 9:05 a.m.. Morale at the bottom of the dirty socks of the day before. We were cold, we had two hours of sleep, the session was canceled due to fog. I am starting to have the distinct impression that I am wasting my time, my money and my health on cherry stems. Cigarette on a cigarette, a little nap in the trunk of Regis’ car, and we’ll see. Under the TTS tent, the activity is at its peak, the motorcycles are getting ready, everything is beautiful and clean, it’s a dream compared to our two rats.

Scene 7: Three little turns and then go

Friday 2 p.m.. At least the weather is nice now. Come on, off to the last free practice of the weekend. Motorcycle ready, rider a little rested, we have to catch up. And then on the fourth round, re-clong, the chain jumps again. I go home before breaking everything. But at least this time I figured out why I repeatedly derail. The really silly thing, but then really, really very silly. Following my September bowl, I broke the chain tension screws. I couldn’t think of anything smarter to do than remove them altogether after tensioning, thinking they were just for this adjustment. Hey hey … except that tightening the wheel axle is not enough to keep it from going awry under the stress of acceleration. CQFD. I’m putting on home-made tensioners, putting the bike away and starting to make my hair gray for tomorrow’s qualifying. We’ll see. Benoît still suffered mechanical problems, despite a repair in the rules of the art. Curtain for today. We accompany Flavien, pilot of the 91, to the local lodge, where his father has managed to find us a room. A bed for two but in our state, it is pure happiness. And in addition, Benoît made the effort not to snore.

Scene 8: Bucolic breakfast in good company

Saturday, 8 a.m.. Nice, breakfast in the company of Stephane Mertens, renowned pilot, coach of the ZongShen team and most pleasant character. I help him out with a pass for the paddock, and on my way to qualifying. At least the day starts better than usual.

Saturday, 12:35 p.m. Return of the first qualifying session. Obviously, it’s a bit hard, but I qualify ‘, penultimate, narrowly. Let’s say it was a good workout. At least the race is assured: with the second qualifying session taking place tomorrow morning at dawn, no one will significantly improve the times. The bike is FINALLY fine, no particular worries. Morale is soaring, the weekend seems saved. I take this opportunity to chat a little with Yan Cornic, who helps me improve my suspension settings. One click here, one click there and shoo, the bike changes its behavior. Terrible, to see that a guy who comes to win gives you a paw of the paw like that, just for the pleasure of it. thanks again.

Benoît points to the 45th position, unqualified. He had to cut his session short because of a mess in the second round. Cold tires, driver too. The hard rule of the track. At least, no big damage, he will have time to repair for tomorrow, a selector here, a little polyester there … Studious atmosphere for this afternoon.

Scene 9: Raaaaah, lovely

Sunday, 8:55 a.m.. End of the second qualifying session. Finally, I rode while driving and without asking myself any metaphysical questions about the chain tension, the water level or the propensity of my head gaskets to not be waterproof. I am starting to take the measure of the circuit and I am already much less lost than yesterday. Thanks to Charly Barray for his wise advice the day before, he made me gain confidence in some critical parts of the circuit.

Conclusion, 22nd position of this session, with two full seconds better than yesterday despite much more unfavorable weather conditions. OUF, I’m blowing, I’m in 35th position on the grid, but I’m going to leave with a knife between my teeth, I’m motivated like never before. This time, and for the first time, I’m leaving with the desire to fight for places, not just to finish the race. Big change ! Benoît, meanwhile, is unfortunately not qualified, he still suffered a mechanical problem and left the track before losing his oil.

Scene 10: Paths to Glory

Sunday, 11:15 a.m.. Grrrr. Reassembled, I eagerly watch the transition to green. GO! It’s crazy the number of places you can take with a good start. I have the impression of having gained two lines, that is to say ten places. I find myself locked in the Dunlop chicane and lose 5 or 6 all at once. But at least I got over it. Gas gas gas !!! This is the first time that I have left so motivated, and I will not give up during the first five laps. Then it gets worse, I have a big drop in shape. Blame it on the fatigue accumulated over the last few days, and too strong a driving style. Time to rest for a little while, and I still lose three or four places.

Then comes the second wind, after which everything is better. Great pleasure, everything slackens, and it is off again to raise three or four competitors. I give an excellent technical score to number 144, Yvan Maudet (well I think it’s him), who passes me regularly … Well, how does he manage to overtake me three times in three laps that one? Arf, I understood: at each passage to the double straight line of the connection, it pulls straight in a large cloud of dust, sets the bit between the teeth and rebuffs itself on the next passage. I laughed out loud, but not for him, because he will eventually give up after one last run off the track.

Here, two surface-to-surface missiles pass me, the two contenders for victory. That’s all ? Yes. This time I only took one turn, and only the first two. Note, there is progress compared to Ledenon last year, where I took at least three laps! (read)

End of the race, checkered flag, lap of honor, even for me and my 26th place. I will cry under my helmet, seeing the commissioners applaud everyone, from first to last. That is gold in the bar, the reward for a winter of work, sunk expenses, galleys and doubts. No, at this moment, I no longer regret anything, the counters are reset to zero. Here, just writing these lines, I have a hollow in my stomach.

All the same, the Bugatti, me on it, my backfiring mono, I’m there, I live it, it’s simply magic.

Scene 11: debriefing

The on-board tour. This year, I’m going to try the systematic on-board tour, in order to immerse you a little more in the world of the track, if you ever feel like trying the asphalt … Here we go:

Departure from the stands. We investigate the straight line, the time to arrive in five in the Dunlop chicane. Well, we will not quibble, it is the "big heart" passage of the circuit. A big right in which the panel of 200 m jumps you to the face. There is no, must brake on the angle. Personally, I haven’t understood everything yet. Simply, at the end of the fast curve, there comes a little stretch to brake. The best say that they take the brakes after the 100 panel. Me, I decide to skip this filthy chicane so as not to take unnecessary risks. In short, we fall a report for the pif on the right, another for the paf on the left, and we stay in three for the pouf on the right.

There, big gas downhill, passage of the four to reach the Chapel. Large right on a slope, in three, without big trap. I take the rope late, and I enter it too hesitantly. It should go through four.

Ascent to the Museum. This one, it is funny. I’m scared to go in hard, but there is really room at the exit. A parabolic which ends in descent, the time to pass the five, direction the Green Garage. One of the simplest, a double straight that I take in three, midway at the entrance. Like the Museum, there is really room at the exit. We twist the gas handle to Chemin aux boeufs. The first left is treacherous, we want to enter it very quickly but since it’s a chicane, we really have to take care of the right which conditions a stretch. Passage in three. I’m not keen enough at the angle change, but it’s a fun part of the layout. At worst, we can cut the chicane by skipping the vibrators, there is a bitumen connection provided for. Be careful, it’s also a big braking point, and I’ve seen a few get out here.

After the stretch, arrival at the Blue Esses, a pure nectar of technicality. The kind of track that always makes you feel like you have to progress. A fast right / left chicane which will condition the straight line of the pits. Indeed, a bad exit from the left implies a bad entry in the connection, and therefore … a pitiful straight line. Personally, I try the "late-late" technique, late entry on the right, late entry on the left. Here, the right / left angle change is done on the throttle, the front is lighter. Good feelings. The first esse is on a slope, the pace accelerates over the laps.

Finally, the double right of the connection, badly tricky. I did not manage to pass it cleanly, you have to be careful because the outside point of chord between the two rights gets closer really quickly. To be sure, I take the first right in the middle of the track, which penalizes me a lot on the restart from the straight line, but allows me not to stuff myself. At the exit, I saw more than one pass behind the vibrators, a technique to dig.

And presto, it’s off for a ride. In the end, the Bugatti, you start to understand it once you drive too fast for your abilities. Finally, you realize that it goes much faster than expected. So when you’re not used to this kind of deceptively slow track, it’s a bit hard. Only one solution: take benchmarks, which I did not have time to do.

Scene 12: Hope, hope…

Optimism ! Come on, it’s on an optimistic note that we’re preparing Dijon-Prenois, mid-April. A terrible circuit that I enjoyed last year (read), even if I was pitiful in the race. I hope to do it again this year. As for Benoît, I feel that he is going to wind up completely to strike a clock.

Thank you to HJC and Ipone for their products, to for its unconditional support and to TTS for welcoming us this year and accompanying us in our learning to race..


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