Sport – Team Moto-Net loves the rain! –

Team Moto-Net loves the rain !

After an encouraging start to the season at Bugatti, the rest of Team Moto-Net’s adventures took place on the splendid Dijon-Prenois track, very popular last year by all of the Challenge’s competitors. Report… late !

After an encouraging start to the season at Bugatti, the rest of the Team’s adventures took place on the splendid Dijon-Prenois track. Much appreciated last year by all of the Challenge’s competitors, this very fast circuit offers great driving sensations, at least when the weather permits….

Episode 2: Dijon Prenois

Scene 1: it’s raining…

Thursday, 9:00 p.m .: solo departure. Benoît is forfeited for the race. He will explain to you better than I why, but what I know is that he’s a daredevil … Anyway, I’m a little sad to be driving alone, but I’ll get over it. !

Thursday, 11:00 p.m .: arrival on the circuit. I find the Team Trophy Sport which once again accommodates us under its huge awning. The time to unload the things, to put away the trailer and shoo, I go to the hotel to get warm, the weather does not seem really good. It’s cold and wet, it’s looking good, I’ve never really ridden in the rain.

Friday, too early in the morning (8:25 am, it’s not human). The weather was drenched, as predicted by local weather experts. Very wet track, we are going to rustle in the drizzle. Hey, it’s funny, there aren’t many volunteers to go and warm up on the track! Well, we team up, everyone goes in their multicolored rain suit, except some unfortunate people who will seriously regret it.

For my part, I remain faithful to Edith Piaf and dress me all in black, just to match the color of the 95. I take the track with this song in my head, which will not let me go before the end of the session.

Friday, 9:00 am: debriefing. Awesome ! I felt very comfortable on the track, I found an ad hoc tempo (thank you Edith), I sang under my headphones tirelessly passing all the competitors who were in their sights, without forcing, without slipping, like a flower. It was like a kind of revelation, a click, a magic thing, in short, the total explosion! I’m telling you: driving underwater is a real pleasure !

Hey, by the way, on my way home, I meet Mikeul who congratulates me on my style and my lap times. I can’t believe it myself, he roughly announces the third time of the session! Immediately, Regis put my feet back on the ground by explaining to me that there were few competitors on the track and that once is not necessarily the custom … It’s true, but at least I remember the revelation: under the fleet, we can ALSO have fun !

Friday, 11:00 am: second free practice session.

In the pouring rain this time … Well, it’s immediately less brilliant: from the first lap I feel the bike slipping with each go-around. You have to learn to manage, which I do willy-nilly. But at least the fun is still there and I feel comfortable again Blaise.

In the third lap, I noticed that traces of oil smeared the trajectory, right down to the road. Okay, let’s do with it. At least I know why it’s slipping this time! Come on, we paid, it’s not to watch the others turn, eh! Over the laps, the trace of oil increases: there is one who drains his engine without knowing it, that’s clear. Note that he has good traj ‘. The problem is that at the beginning we play with it, we cross the trace of oil, we do with it, but now it becomes impossible! Decision is made … to wait for instructions from the marshals, who start to signal the change in grip and then very quickly stop the session. Argh, barely half a session, if it’s not wasteful, that…

At least, the culprit is quickly found: you just have to follow the tracks in the paddocks! He hasn’t lost a lot of black gold, but with the rain everything takes on worrying proportions. To the point that the person in charge of the track will punish us by canceling our afternoon session, no more and no less! Too bad for me, I had already bought it! In the meantime the track is stained with absorbent, but it has ended up clumping to the point that they ask us to make laps in the car to evacuate this spat mud. Waste of time, it’s no use. Too bad for the protwin competitors, who returned from their tests with motorcycles full of gray mud, not dry cement way.

Friday, 4 p.m.. This afternoon, rest while some take the opportunity to stone the executives with a grinder.

There’s some proto down there, that’s clear. With Charly we study the track a little, especially as far as I’m concerned, this left-handed dirt that costs me a lot of time.

After a few beers and wet chips, everything is crystal clear, there’s more to dinner with the Ronald / Charly / Fred / Guillaume gang, pasta, pasta, more pasta, with bread wet. I am well at the hotel, and I wholeheartedly pity the valiant campers! Come on, warm, TV night alone and a big sleep to prepare for the morning qualifiers.

Scene 2: he’s wet…

Saturday, 10:05 a.m.. Already ten good minutes that I am in pregrille, in the rain, in the drafts, water full the visor. Groumpf! Finally, the start is given. Much less comfortable than yesterday, because it is raining hard and I have trouble finding grip and warming the tires. In addition I get corked and the worst: I do not see anything! The visor and the goggles are steaming up, I can’t do anything. At the end of the qualifying, I point 29. Regis was right, you should never boast! It’s so cold that we all scream at death, victims of dreadful fingernails. At least Charly takes the opportunity to score 13th in the scratch. Did he play intoxicating ?

Saturday, 12:30 p.m.. Rebelote, no better, constant in the nullity: 29. But at least, I improved by fourteen seconds in 2’25. Well, I am qualified with my fingers in the nose, which is not the case with Charly, who did not play intoxicating after all. Last line, it must make him funny after his performance at Le Mans! In front, Didier Cantel flies severely in 1’58 !!! He’s the weekend alien. RAS on the motorcycle, which has the good idea to fall on the move. I didn’t even take out the tools !

Come on, we spend the afternoon hanging out, chatting, drying the equipment and shoo, in bed! Hey, it’s funny, the campers are less motivated tonight! I find a room for my acolytes Charly, Fred and Guillaume, who can no longer bear to sleep with wet feet. Pff, the biker is not what he was.

Scene 3: it’s the frog party !

Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Hey, it’s weird, it’s raining. I would never have believed! Okay, we are not here to laugh, we must spit in the pognes, eh! Wet pre-grid, formation lap, warm-up lap, red, GREEN! For once, I’m not getting off to a great start, I’m pretty much keeping my place. Here, I see a red missile which passes me on the left. But … but it’s Charly and his Bimota ?

Hola, how he left like a pig that one! I can’t believe it for a second! The mustard goes to my nose suddenly! Can’t leave it in front, I’ll do it to myself !

Next to me, the 78 Philippe Leplattenier rolls at exactly the same pace. We are going to race together, I will not let go, I have decided to fight. We follow the laps in a nice tempo. We play well with the 78 and I realize that we are picking up a few competitors over the course of the race. It’s funny, I feel more and more that I manage to handle overtaking and the race in general. It’s not very complicated: the guy who is BEFORE you, you have to get it in the head that he must be BEHIND you as quickly as possible. And that’s silly, but it changes a lot when you keep it in mind the whole race.

Hop there … But … but what do I see in my sights? A red Bimota, just in the first straight after the straight! So wait, my little guy … Do you remember the left which costs me an eye at each turn? I arrive on his right, I brake late, and … I pass Charly like a flower when braking! OUIIIIIII, I yell with happiness under my helmet, which is worth 5 seconds of blindness to me because of fog. I can’t believe it myself, I passed Charly at the very place where I dragged myself the most on this track…

Over the laps, the overtaking is linked (not that much in fact, but I like to believe it), as well as the retirements (much more than overtaking). Here, the head missiles are starting to pass me. I especially notice Cantel on his superb prototype 93, which leads the dance in impeccable style and impressive sprays of water. It’s almost the end, and I lost sight of the 78 a bit, it stuck me 3 seconds to the passage of a group of retarded.

More than a trick, I hang on, my fingers are starting to make me suffer the martyr. Checkered flag. I finished in my best place since the start of the adventure: 19th !

Scene 4: debriefing

An on-board tour of Prenois in the rain

Start uphill in the pit straight line. No ulterior motive: thoroughly !

At the end of the straight, Villeroy’s double straight. Fast (we arrive at about 200, a little less underwater), we enter 2 reports from 150 m and we investigate to get the rope fairly quickly.

We continue with the S of the sand pits, very fast too. We put gas on the angle and it is imperative to get the pins to find yourself in a good position at the entrance to the left of the ramp. This is the one that impresses me: blind, downhill, he reminds me a little of Ledenon. However, there is room for exit. But nothing helps, I find it difficult to let go (except when it comes to passing the 96 de Charly). In the descent, big gas, we pass the 4 and we approach the biggest braking: the parabolic. Passage of the 2, slow turn in basin, then gas in the climb. Here, a lot of off the track to be deplored, the grip on the climb is a little precarious and the exit is getting dangerously close when you are a little optimistic or on a bad journey..

Immediately at the top, braking for the blind left (at the top), on which I passed a lot of competitors. A double left that looks a bit like Carole’s "killer left". At the second rope we begin the serious part of the circuit, reserved for the most courageous who are having their time here. The right of La Combe, in 4, with a nice bump in the middle, determines the rest of the operations. The bump is really annoying, especially when it rains.

Then a small straight stretch downhill which allows you to get back to the famous Pouas curve (ugh, bad luck … it’s according to the competitors). I’m a little lost, two rights that look alike.

Especially since the rope, a magnificent puddle of water allows you to train in mastering aquaplanning (which does not seem to bother Cantel). Here, there is no choice, we condition the entire endless straight line, which also begins with an impossible climb to 10%. You miss yourself in Pouas, you pay dearly for it in the straight line.

We send rather hard in the last part, to go and lick the external vibrator. Here, no clearances but air fences. You go out, you’re very bad. At the top of the first hill, passage of the 4, then we keep the gas on the cleat until the braking of Villeroy. End of the merry-go-round.

Scene 5: we continue the momentum ?

The more time passes, the more I feel myself becoming combative. I didn’t give up during the race, I’m less and less afraid of overtaking and I really feel that I’m changing my behavior on the bike. After a season, I’m starting to understand that a race is not a walk with friends. We can very well respect our opponents while having them in sight with the only thought "you, I’ll spoil you on the next braking, your place must be mine". As Regis says, there aren’t 36 ways to ride: you have to go faster than the guy in front. And that changes everything…

See you soon for Carole’s report, third event of the season, which took place on May 21 and 22…

Thank you to HJC, who graciously provides us with quality helmets, to for its ever-so unconditional support and to TTS who puts us back on the ground in addition to providing us with lodging. !

Pascal DI MARCO – Photos GHG02

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