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I spent the day at my old stomping grounds at a Willow Springs’ Big Track. The 10+ years since I was last there have not been kind to it. Although fairly recently sealed, the surface has gotten quite bumpy. Still, it was good to relive some old memories and create new ones, like following Casey Stoner and Ben Spies around for a lap. I wish I could say it was because I’m super fast, but it was because they were on virgin slicks and were being very cautious on their out lap. Still, it was quite cool.

I’m still learning about the WP fork and shock, but I continue to be impressed with how they improve the 790. The wallowing that the stock suspension occasionally did at track speeds has been eliminated, but at times, I felt my settings were too stiff for Willow’s bumpiness. Clearly I need more time to dial them in. I think the WP upgrades are pretty dang good if you plan on spending more than a little time on the track, though.
 

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I heard that Ben and Casey were on a couple R1's doing a TD today but didn't know it was at Willow - very cool experience indeed! Did ya get a chance to chat with them? Were there Yamaha staff around or literally 2 guys and a Van just messing about? Enquiring minds want to know! LOLOL...
 

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I heard that Ben and Casey were on a couple R1's doing a TD today but didn't know it was at Willow - very cool experience indeed! Did ya get a chance to chat with them? Were there Yamaha staff around or literally 2 guys and a Van just messing about? Enquiring minds want to know! LOLOL...
It was an Alpinestars sponsored track day. So, several OEMs were there. Yamaha, Honda, Aprilia, Ducati, and even Indian had Bikes there. Lots of people who were new to track riding also took advantage of Yamaha Champions Riding School giving free training.

Spies and Stoner were out off and on all day on R1 Ms. Spies ripped past me on several occasions, making me look even slower than I am. Several current and retired US racers were also there. Chris Filmore had his Pikes Peak 790 there, but I never encountered him while we were on the track, except one session where he came past me on an Aprilia.

With Willow being such a fast track, the 790 is not an ideal mount because of the lack of wind protection. Still, I had tons of fun even if I was feeling a little beat up at the end of the front straight at then end of every session.

Oh, and I did get to chat with Ben and Casey briefly, and they laughed when I told them of my hero moment of following them on their out lap. Hey were very nice.
 

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Wahou, it's very cool to ride behind first class superbike annd GP pilot :smile:
Your rear tire is dead in one day :surprise:There is a problem. it looks like the tire was too hot
 

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Wahou, it's very cool to ride behind first class superbike annd GP pilot :smile:
Your rear tire is dead in one day :surprise:There is a problem. it looks like the tire was too hot
That was the second track day on that tire, but Big Willow eats tires with its high-speed right handers.
 

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Recent trackday with 2 mates on 1299 Duc's i had a ball, S22 were great on a low grip track. Got some nice comments on how great the 790 looked and sounded. Great day, but had the F,ing flu since.
 

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Another track day on the 790 at Taupo raceway yesterday. the bike just gets better and better, I'm riding it faster than any previous bike on that track, man its a fun machine. Hot day at the track, temp reached 37 when we were leaving at 330. track surface reached over 55C, the tires took a beating, i actually put a few psi back in to help keep them cooler. going out on track they were 80C, coming in they were 90C. bloody hot day but still managed 6 -15 min sessions. such a great day.
 
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