Bahrain track daysTue, 17 Dec 2013 00:00:00 -0800
A few months ago, expat (and ex racer) John Beddall made contact to ask if I fancied doing some track day instruction out in Bahrain. After thinking about it for two seconds, flights were booked and a plan was put in place to look after around forty riders for a day at the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). Young Taylor Mac was also recruited to look after any tasty riders that I couldn’t deal with
The Brits out there love their bikes, however, quite a few locals also turned up plus a few others from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. Most were on high end Superbikes, like S1000s, Panigales and RSV4s but there was also a healthy number R6s and new 675Rs.
Although this fabulous Hermann Tilke designed circuit is around ten years old incredibly it has never hosted a bike race. The highlight of the year there is F1 but being owned by the Bahrainian Royal family, there is no desperate need for the circuit to operate as a profitable business. The track reminded me of Qatar but much more interesting as some great undulations have been built into its desert location.
We shared the track with Supercars on the day (20mins on/20mins off) and as you might imagine it was betty swollocks for seven hours in the 30 plus temperatures. As usual there was a few offs with poor old RS1000 Aprilia mounted Andy breaking his femur early in the day. Two other buddies appeared to swap bikes mid air in another incident but fortunately escaped unhurt.In the evening everyone stayed for an al fresco dinner in the paddock with the craic going on for hours as the Fosters kept flowing.
All in all it was a brilliant trip and it has left me thinking there could be cost effective ways of getting Brits out there for track days next winter. I'll keep you posted.Cape Town next to make my racing comeback at the Killarney 8 hour on a CBR150 Honda. Hopefully I can manage the beast, I'll post a full report next week.
By Niall Mackenzie
See also: Taliban Magazine Condemns America but Praises Honda, Honda CG110 – the $630 Motorcycle for Africa, 2013 Long Beach International Motorcycle Show Report.