start with, the editor could easily give this twin
pic an effortless "easy come, easy go" title
without pausing to get out of first gear with the
ole grey matter bouncing around inside the helmet...but
then the sentence would be too riddled with puns...better
to have an earful in Rusty's words of the Talladega
"My first real outing on a track since recovering
from a nasty accident back in 1998. What a first day!
Talladega GPR (http://www.tgprace.com)
is a fantastic “short” track. The turns
are mostly tight, one section is banked, while another
is off camber. The pavement was great. The Dunlop
208s that I put on just for this track day stuck like
(Kevin, Wade, and I) started the day out in the “intermediate”
class, running clockwise. By the end of the second
session we were lapping everyone else several times
in the 10-14 lap sprints we were running. By the end
of the third session, the track officials saw it fit
that we got “promoted” to the expert ranks.
We pretty much cleaned house there as well. Running
clockwise was good for me as most of the turns were
to the right, which is my “good” side.
Turning left was still a mental issue for me (my left
side was all but crushed in the aforementioned accident,
but that is a story for another day), so it took a
very conscious effort to lean the bike over to the
left very far. But turning right was a blast. The
level of confidence that this Ducati inspires is unbelievable.
The more I leaned, the better it felt. To the point
of dragging foot pegs through several corners. I LOVE
this bike. I am sure that most any current sport bike
would do the same, but for me, and for the way that
I ride, I cannot imagine anything better than my 748
(except maybe my 996, again, another story…).
We turned around after lunch and rode the track counter-clockwise
(turning left most of the time). I was the slowest
on the track for our first outing after lunch, to
much thinking, not enough riding. Came off the track
early. Proceeded to beat myself up over the fact that
I knew darn well the bike could turn left, but I was
just too skittish to stick that left knee down on
the pavement. In the half-hour that passed between
sessions, something clicked inside me. I decided at
that point that there was no alternative but to go
fast and turn left. The second session after lunch
was completely different. I dropped a full 14-16 seconds
off of my lap times and was right back up there with
the sandbaggers, er, the fast guys."
eMail to Jim Goodlett
with your fab Trip information!!