Track At­tack

Knockhill may be small, but it is mighty. Hid­den deep in the heart of Scot­land, the 1.3 mile rodeo has all the mak­ings for an in­cred­i­ble race track, and now it’s been re-sur­faced, it’s bet­ter than ever…

Fast Bikes - - CONTENTS -

How to master the best of Bri­tish cir­cuits. This month: Knockhill.

Start/fin­ish

It may look like a straight, but it’s in­cred­i­bly up and down. As you come over the crest where the start line is you’ll want to be the mid­dle of the track com­ing over to the left – don’t be com­pletely on the right as the bump is big­ger. Try and aim your eye-line to be at pit exit, and get over as close as you can – ide­ally, if you want a fast time and there’s no traf­fic aim to be on the pit exit line as you hit the brakes at about at the end of pit wall, or just after.

Duf­fus Dip

On the en­try to Duf­fus Dip BSB ac­tu­ally banned riders from us­ing pit­lane exit, but on a track­day use as much of it as pos­si­ble, drift onto it and you’ll avoid the bump which is on the left as you hit the brakes... just re­mem­ber it is dan­ger­ous though so keep an eye out for riders com­ing onto the track. On a big bike you’ll be look­ing to prob­a­bly shift down to third, be­fore tip­ping in just be­fore the pit lane exit dis­ap­pears. You’ll be tip­ping in blind, so al­though it looks like you won’t stop the cor­ner opens out, and the trick is to be brave. The best line through this sec­tion is to catch the apex at the widest point and let the front run through, as even if you run deep you can gather it back on the left. You can run the in­side kerb if needs be, but if it’s wet tip in later with less trail brak­ing – and be care­ful as the rear wants to come round over the top. This is also a great place to set up a pass for turn three, so gas it as you hit the apex.

Leslie’s

If you’ve run into Duf­fus dip too hot you can run all the way to the left with­out us­ing run off, but if you’ve scrubbed off enough speed you can power through all the way into Scots­man. The track is down­hill now so be mind­ful and aim to apex where the kerb sticks out the most, car­ry­ing as much speed through as you dare – al­though don’t go wider than the mid­dle of the track on exit as you want to be brak­ing up­right for Scots­man.

Scots­man

Just as you exit Leslie’s pick the bike up; it is de­cep­tive but Scots­man is a re­ally hard brak­ing, down­hill cor­ner – and you don’t re­alise the cam­ber un­til you walk it. It’s off cam­ber and easy to lose the front, so try and get a load of brak­ing done while up­right and shift down if pos­si­ble to help scrub the speed. Get as far over to the left as you can and aim to turn in about half­way down the kerb. Get plenty of turn­ing done be­fore you get on the gas. Use all the track on exit, as you’re never fully up­right when head­ing into Butcher’s so you’ll want to treat it as one long cor­ner.

Butcher’s

Run the kerb all the way through the exit of Scots­man on the way into here. You can ei­ther chop the throt­tle for a split sec­ond or drive through here depend­ing on the power of your bike, al­though don’t be too ag­gres­sive as it can un­set­tle things as you’re on the kerb. Turn in hard a few me­tres be­fore the end of the out­side kerb and make sure the front is loaded with a semi throt­tle, aim­ing to clip the apex at the point it sticks out the most, be­fore driv­ing hard all the way up the chi­cane. Be­ing ag­gres­sive won’t work on the exit here, so try and drag it back to the white line on the right side as much as you can, and in a

per­fect world you’ll end up in around the mid­dle of the track as the bike wants to fire left.

Arnold Clark 6 Chi­cane

The first turn is left then the track curves right over a crest, so do your best meerkat im­pres­sion to look for the exit kerb as it’s a chi­cane that you’ll want to straight line as much as pos­si­ble. On the way up aim for the very in­side of the kerb and carry as much of the left kerb as pos­si­ble – just make sure you don’t do too much turn­ing while on the paint as it can get a lit­tle hairy. As soon as you get to the crest of the hill the rear will go light, so as soon as you hit the left kerb, let the bike set­tle and get it turned right as hard as you can – us­ing all the kerb on the right apex up to the big sausage and then gas it hard all the way to the exit through the right. The track has a neg­a­tive cam­ber on exit but the kerb is al­most a neu­tral so if you can, use the exit kerb as a berm! Just re­mem­ber to avoid us­ing the big old sausage kerbs though.

7 Clark’s

The exit’s com­pletely blind here again, so be as brave as you can on the an­chors – it’s up­hill so you can go in pretty hard. The tip in point is half­way down the kerb on the out­side here, so be as near to there as pos­si­ble and brake late and deep, oth­er­wise your exit will be bug­gered. The track’s off cam­ber so the front wants to break away, but it’s up­hill so it’s a strange feel­ing as the track is al­most go­ing away from you and com­ing for you at the same time.

This means you have to be mind­ful when push­ing; it’s easy to tuck the front. Clip the apex just about where the sausage kerb fin­ishes, and as soon as you can see the exit get the thing stood up and hit the gas hard. If you’re greedy it’s easy to get into all sorts of shenani­gans here, so if it’s eas­ier, try to carry as much speed as pos­si­ble through the turn us­ing all the track on the exit.

8 His­lop’s

It may seem like a rest here, but it re­ally isn’t! The trick is not to come out too wide as the track sweeps left, oth­er­wise you have to throw it re­ally hard left while brak­ing into the hair­pin – just where you want to be up­right. Be tucked in, but don’t get com­pla­cent as it isn’t a straight – you’ll be car­ry­ing lean so be mind­ful as the rear can still break loose, so stay in the mid­dle of the track, be smooth and keep it turn­ing. The last sort of 500m is straight, and here’s a great place for an over­take.

9 Tay­lor’s hair­pin

Stay over to the left and hit the an­chors about 20m after the track straight­ens out, brak­ing as hard as you can and bust it through all the gears – all the way down to first on a big bike. Be mind­ful that there’s a big wide bit of track here so it doesn’t mat­ter too much if you out­brake your­self here; there’s room to play with when work­ing out your brak­ing marker. It’s a weird cor­ner as the tighter you go, the bet­ter the cam­ber is, whereas the wider you come in the more you can flow – so you can play around with lines as well, it re­ally isn’t a one line cor­ner. Turn in a few me­tres down the out­side kerb and as you re­lease the brakes the track comes to you thanks to the cam­ber. It’s so ag­gres­sive that the forks will be com­pletely com­pressed! It’s in­cred­i­bly slow here, so roll through and don’t be greedy as there is a small crest on the exit. Apex as late as pos­si­ble (ide­ally where the kerb thins out) and as you come over the sec­ond part do your very best Dani Pe­drosa im­pres­sion at get­ting the bike stood up and fired out. You can use all the kerb on exit if needs be.

10 Start/fin­ish

It’s hard work over here, as there’s two big crests that will want you to wheelie into obliv­ion on a big bike. On the exit of Tay­lor’s hair­pin aim over to the right hand side here, and straight over to where the ral­ly­cross sec­tion joins the track, as the right side has a smoother crest. After the first one, start mak­ing your way back over to the left again for turn one!

Nup, Frodo still can't get his knee down.

Keep off them dirty kerbs.

Watch for high­sides on the exit of the chi­cane.

Pretty Boy show­ing off his cor­ner­ing prow­ess.

As blind as you like.

You can soon run out of the track on the exit of the hair­pin.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.