A Bullet among missiles

Prologue

One year ago: ‘Hahaha, this is a piece of cake’, I thought, as I lined up my R15 to overtake the inline-four. I watched the rider cruise around the corner and dived past him at the next right-hander. He passed me right back on the straight – “Ten times more bhp,” I smugly reasoned.

Today: Same rider, same corner. “Aha! History repeats itself!” says the thought bubble above my helmet. But what’s this? The chap promptly flicks it into the corner, digs his knee into the tarmac and howls around the bend before I can say “What the hell?” What’s more, I keep thinking someone’s on my inside, only to realise it’s my own shadow. Sigh.

The track is a fundamental place. There’s no escaping the inevitable here – everything is laid bare, excuses and reasons be damned. Which is why I’m having a bloody hard time explaining to myself why I’ve become so slow in the space of just one year. It’s the same reason why that chap’s become faster. Track days improve you, and there’s no question about that.