Phillip Island Moto GP

Just got back from the Aust Moto GP at Phillip Island. It turned out to be magnificent Spring weather and there was some excellent racing. I left in the rain on Friday night and crossed over the bay to Sorrento from Queenscliff (near Geelong) on the ferry. Talked to some guys from Adelaide on the boat and stayed at Bill’s place overnight, as did Terry. Saturday morning we rode over to the GP run at Cranbourne then off to the Island. The traffic was chockers and there were some accidents along the way. We pulled into our digs which were excellent (a big thanks to Tony for this), just around the corner from the pub in Cowes. What an atmosphere – just motorcycles everywhere.

Saturday qualifying at the track was a highlight, as was the excellent weather and all of Sunday’s racing. Here are some pics.

The GP ride from Cranbourne – this was huge. Imagine about 10 bikes across x 1.6 kilometers long.

Every man & dog was there!

Lots came to cheer Rossi

Mike Di Meglio celebrating his 125cc championship win. More info click here

Randy Mamola scaring his passengers for crowd entertainment!

Stoner led from start to finish, Hayden followed him for most of the race, only to be passed by Rossi on the last lap. More race detail, click here.

Nicky rode pretty well as he finishes up with Honda. More info, click here.

Nikano had a good day as well really.

Guintoli had the highest top speed at 329.5k/hr

Blue sky, blue ocean backdrop, friendly crowd & great racing – it doesn’t get much better at PI than this.
Thanks for your hospitality & organising a top weekend Bill.

AFL grand final day turned out to be a great Spring day for riding. Marty and I headed off around 9.30am for our first decent ride in months. We did the Geelong, backroads to Colac, then GOR from Laver’s Hill, Apollo Bay to Lorne, then inland back to Geelong. Approx 320ks with lots of good curves.

Marty’s mint ZX9R

First stop at Gellibrand store.

His and her bikes at Lorne (Vic) in front of the famous Arab restaurant. These belong to a couple who I’ve previously met whilst riding in the Otways. Friendly and only too happy to have a chat – typical of motorcyclists really.

Just had a short Sunday morning run along the Ocean Road to Lorne to scrub the new tyre in. Went home via Dean’s Marsh. Saw a nice example of a R90S parked at Martians cafe. Despite the sunshine it was as windy as hell and not really a great day for riding. I’m hoping for better weather next Saturday as I usually like to take a nice long road trip on AFL grand final day! Gale force wind forecast for the next day or so.

I got a new rear tyre on the VFR this week. It’s another Michelin Pilot Road 2, which is dual compound; softer on the edges and harder in the centre. The last one had did just under 9K kilometers and still had a few more ks in it, but as I’m off to Phillip Island for the MotoGP in a couple of weeks time I wanted new rubber.

The Road 2 is a sport-touring tyre, and in combination with a Pilot Power front has proved to be a excellent combination on the VFR. It offers great durability with excellent grip and still reasonably fast turn in. Unfortunately the PR 2’s have been in short supply in Oz, I guess because of the Northern hemisphere summer. Thanks again to Peter Whelan at Road & River Motorcycles for excellent, personalised service.

On any Sunday – Winter ride

I’ve been desperate for a day out on the VFR but it’s been mostly wet and cold on weekends for weeks now. We finally had a reasonable looking day so Marty and I decided to head inland, maybe to Castlemaine. We had a pretty nice ride for the first 80Ks or so, but then towards Daylesford the sky clouded over and the temp dropped drastically. By the time we rolled into Dalesford the drizzle had turned to rain so we turned around and headed back towards Geelong. Just out of town we pulled into the (very upmarket) Sault restaurant for a hot drink and to warm up. I would loved to have had an afternoon drinking red wines there actually! However, we drank hot chocolates and then rode back towards home in rain and drizzle, Marty without wet weather gear. It finally cleared up by the time we got back into Geelong. Here’s a pic taken when it wasn’t drizzling!

Crossed paths

Up in the Otways near Apollo Bay back in May I was exiting a tight curve and a clubman sports car following a motorcycle flashed past in the opposite direction. Finally I’ve managed to join the dots and worked out that it was a friend of ours Peter – hot on the heels of his mate Steve on an Aprilia 1000.

Having been in this cute little machine I can tell you that it is a ton of fun and that it goes around corners like its on rails, certainly consistently faster than a motorcycle can corner.

Anyway here’s some pics that Pete sent me.

Great Ocean Road Winter 08

I’ve got the ‘flu and not feeling great so didn’t ride yesterday with Marty. I was feeling a bit better today so went for a short spin down to Lorne and back along the Great Ocean Road. It was overcast and threatening to rain when I left. Ambient temp 13C.

Just out of Lorne I caught up with an awesome sounding classic car (on club reg). It was Italian in origin and had a lovely V8 rumble from the twin exhausts. Had to pull up for a bit when I came across a smash between a car and a motorcycle on some tight curves. Fortunately the ambulance and police were there already. It didn’t look good and I’m thinking one of them was on the wrong side of the road. The sight of a bike down and the thought of the rider injured left me feeling a bit hollow, so I was happy to call it a (short) day and just head home.

VFR parked in Lorne, Vic.

Great Ocean Road = Great curves

New tank bag purchased from the US. Took only 6 days to arrive. Great service!