It was chaos at the back straight exiting S Besar chicane. Right after the start with 28 riders storming in to turn 1 the heaven opens up with torrential downpour. I knew this was trouble. My start was OK, I managed to gain several position just before R3 but with the downpour and visibility minimized most of us started to slow down. When I reached S Besar chicane I saw several bikes on the tarmac and on the gravel, followed by red flag waved by the marshal.
After the crash I had on Thursday the bike was OK. Left firing bit damaged but nothing major. After crashing I usually need some time to get my confidence back, I’m no Stoner that can continue to push after a terrible high side. I plan to hit the track again on Friday for free practice. Yet the weather was not on my side, it was raining and no way I can hit the track just after the crash in this kind of weather.
Saturday QTT went OK, but not without problem. The bike was OK, the new suspension setting, the new gearing and the new tires all helps returning my confidence back. My problem was that since I used new set of glove my control of the bike was bit difficult. The new Alpine Star GP tech glove that I use was still bit hard and was not flex enough compare to my old one. Lesson learn, do not use new glove for QTT or race, my feeling for the throttle and especially the brake were greatly reduced.
QTT result was not my best result, but considering the situation I was not too dissapointed with the result.
Race day my plan was simply to finish the race. I have not yet able to finish any race more then 10 laps. The last race that I participated, which was 15 laps, I only managed to finish till lap 8. For this race I will try to manage my strength and finish the race. I had enough rest before the race and on Sunday the weather was quite nice and not very hot.
I will start from post 21 out of 30 riders, so not way on the back and still got several riders behind me. I actually preferred my starting grid on the far left of the track. I not need to worry about riders on both the left and the right, just for riders to the right. With the current track condition we were given 2 laps of sighting lap before the race. Sentul track is for sure a world apart compare to its heyday but unfortunately is the only circuit available in Indonesia for 600cc bike and above.
Waited on the starting grid I knew that it will rain soon. Our race was 11:35AM and usually the rain does not start before 2 or 3 PM. But the sky was dark and when we line up on the grid I can saw small rain drop hitting my visor. Second latter the red light went off. I did OK start, no riders start from behind me passed and I can see Tommy in front of me had a wheely but he managed to control his bike. The first turn R1 went smooth and entering R2 I overtook one rider as he went wide exiting the turn. Entering R3 the rain was getting stronger and the visibility went down quickly. Most of the rider slowed down pass R4 and in R9 with the down pour I can see several bikes lying on the tarmac. Apparently some rider push a bit too much in this condition.
The race was Red Flagged by the race director, I actually bit disappointed with the Red Flag, with the adrenaline rush in your body you felt you can continue but after a while I was glad that the red flag decision was taken. It was certainly not safe for us to continue.
With the Red Flag, the race was postponed till December 09. Look for my post then for that race, should be fun!
Pics above from Facebook and Girifumi’s blog