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Saturday was spent working all day on the bike fitting the race package that arrived that morning. It needed to be ready enough to take out at Misano next weekend, but I also wanted to take the bike out locally in case of any problems and the only time to do this was on Sunday at Pannoniaring, a fantastic circuit less than 2 hours from Vienna.

For the bike to be ready, it meant that Sepp, Otto and Christian from www.MPU.at would have to give up their entire Saturday, stripping and rebuilding the bike with all the parts (including pink hoses). I really didn’t think I would be riding on Sunday, but the guys are brilliant and give up their Saturday they did. The bike is all but sorted. Beer all round.

I arrived at Pannonia a lot later than planned so instead of trying to turn my ever so full van into living quarters as well as a garage, I opted for Mario’s Hotel which is inside the circuit, €40 for the night with breakfast. It was worth it alone just for the shower. Great night’s sleep.


It was a very relaxed start to the day; the new Dunlops were fitted while I was eating breakfast. Everything double-checked on the bike, all ready in plenty of time for my first session which was a slow pootle around. There were damp patches here and there and the day was about making sure all was OK with the bike. Only a few minor problems at slow pace, mainly lever positioning and an incompatible boot/rearset interface. The rearsets are very spangly and my boots have lots of outer amour with crevices which appear to be just the right size and in the right place for the heel plates to get stuck in. Quite a few times I went into corners with my left foot stuck in the air, no where near the gear lever. Gaffa tape is the temporary fix.

As the day the progressed I was picking up pace and the bike felt great. It has stock suspension as per the R6 cup rules. This will need to be stiffened up a bit, but more pace is needed yet. The fueling is way off right now as the kit ECU fitted on Saturday has not been mapped yet. I’ll be getting a new Remus can before Misano anyway as I’ll need a baffle, but in all, I felt very at home on the 2008 R6. Even without the mapping the delivery seems stronger than the 2006. It turns in much easier and holds the line on the way out much better than I remember my 2006 doing. I’ve not changed any suspension settings at all yet from stock. I had no problems with stability on the Dunlops either. I had problems on the 209s last year on the Pirelli settings. I like the way the bike turns much much more on the Dunlops and I’ve no where near found the grip limit. Awesome rubber.

So, new bike, new leathers, new rubber and new me and now the cobwebs are blown out, it’s down to business in Misano next weekend. Woo hoo.
Pic courtesy Pan-Photo
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