KIWI RIDER 11 2018 VOL.2 - Page 102

Righto. That’ll do me then. Pulling out of pitlane onto the track and I can feel eyes on me. The growl from the Arrow exhaust rudely announces the bike’s arrival in a chatter of heavily silenced R6s. Not everyone got to ride the Jon Daniels Racing Team bike. I can almost hear the chatter... “How come the ‘Kiwi’ is on the race bike?”. Better not bugger it up then. For the first four corners all I can think is it feels wildly different to anything I’ve ridden in recent years. It’s light, stiff and very direct. Far more so than a shop floor R1, which seems flabby by comparison. No, this is a completely different beast. 102 KIWI RIDER By turn three I’m thinking I’ll just wait for the tyres to warm up for a lap or so, but then the warning bells go off in my head as I realise the race slicks have been on warmers and will stop gripping some time in the next lap if I don’t get a hurry on and keep the heat in them. It’s the most odd feeling to get on a bike you’ve never ridden and then figure out you need to ride it hard just to keep the tyres gripping. Any ‘racer’ worth their salt would have known that. At this point the bike is feeling alien. Tall, stiff, ungainly. It’s not exactly a pleasant sensation, and cracking the throttle open and pushing hard into corners within half a lap is