Circuit Assen, Meet my RSV4

The dream of riding the same lines as the MotoGP Racers,

For years, we have been thinking about following a trainingday on the crazy circuit of Assen. It really never came along, until my son said, Dad we’re going to Assen, and you’re coming with us! Oh, okay, well eh, I’ll just settle in then!

Of course, that was like music in my sons ears. Because after only a few days the date was set.
After riding 2 new Yamaha’s R1, there is now an insane Aprilia RSV4 in my shed. If you are looking for a motorcycle that is made for the track, then it is the RSV4. So you probably understand that I like to get the experience what Aprilia’s thoughts were when developing this bike.

18th of August, should be the ‘big day’.
My son comes to see me a few days later after planning the trackday and announces that he had some contact with Assen. Proudly he told me, that he has made sure to let us participate in the advanced class. 2 class higher then I was rooting for. Really Son?

My thoughts we’re, boy, please act normal!
We’ve never ridden a track before, so let’s not get too cocky. The bikes we ride are well enough engineered to go fast around the track, the problem is that we lack the skills to do so.

Dad.. don’t worry so much. I just looked this class on YouTube, we’ll ride with ease!
That is probably how young people think about it these days.. My thoughts were; am I becoming A old father?

Anyway, you know what. I’ll take my chances and go with you, no matter the group we are participating in.
I came up with a clever idea. I will start at the back of the group, so if the group is too fast for me, I’ll ride into the pits after the first lap and treat myself to a nice cup of coffee!

And so the big day has come.
We booked a hotel near the track, trailer rented for the motorbikes.
Cool box ready, and off we go!

It was awesome to inspect the circuit on foot the night before. That gives a indescribable feeling. We took all turns under the microscope with the toughts that you will remember all of this tomorrow, NOT.

Still, walking the track has a feeling that is difficult to explain. It’s just awesome to have in mind that in every turn the MotoGP has also been. You are not like them, but in your mind you definitely are.

6:00 am, the alarm goes off.
The testosterone flies straight through the hotel room, today it’s going to happen.
When I take a look trough my window.. My thoughts were, those are quite some thick gray clouds.

Of course, with all the tension we already had, we got to deal with a wet track day too.
The ride towards the track we still had some hopes that the clouds would dissapear. Once arrived at Assen and sure enough, drip drip, rain..

Well let’s stay positive, first thing to do is signing up!

During the briefing I got a very good feeling about this organisation, they are very serious and do not want any stunt riders on their track-days. Don’t mess around, otherwise you’ll be taken off the track immediately. It can be quite intimidating when you arrive on the trackside, so this helped me gaining some confidence for my own safety.

Alright then, 9:00 a.m. parc-ferme.

You are standing between those young guys, they look at you and think.. No way, what’s the old man doing here? Are you really going to keep us up all day?

I did what I intended to do, I started as last of our 8 men strong group. After the first words from our instructor, it was really going to happen.

I pressed the start button and voila, the V4 comes to life. It was as if my rsv4 was saying, Yes! a circuit.. This is what I was made for, lets go have some fun!

Through the pit lane onto the track, this is insane. Fortunately it is not raining anymore, but we were still riding on wet asphalt. From the rain that had fallen before.

Round 1, … no words available..
Round 2, okay, the nerves dropped a little, let’s gain some speed.
Round 3, okay a little faster maybe?
Round 4, okay you get it.. I want to to this all day long.

What a cool feeling!
After 20 minutes our instructor went into the pit lane, huh? Already?

We Immediate got good feedback from our instructor of what we can improve in the next session. So, time for a cup of coffee.

What is happening? do you see that too.. The sun is coming through!
When ready for the second session the track had dried-up already. Right away, the instructor went a lot faster. It turned out we’re in a seriously good and fast group. So let’s try to maintain this pace with our group. One by one you move up each lap until you are behind the instructor. This way you can be closer to him to see his lines and position. I did not ride behind him yet, but I am sure my time will come in the third session.

Session 3,

The instructor came and told us that we are the fastest group of the day.
And that we will now really put some gas on it. We needed to stay closer to each other, so we can quickly take over all the other groups. Well.. you sure? If you say so.

All day long we had some nice contact with all the boys from our group and even the ones that were riding way faster or slower. My RSV4 takes a lot of attention on these days. The feeling those guys had about my age has also disappeared, well that is what I like to believe. The atmosphere in our group is awesome.

Rob you will hook up immediately after me when leaving pitlane! Says the instructor. Yes boss, let’s go! ( Now I am starting to think the same as my Aprilia, haha). Holy …., if this is the warm-up lap, there’s still something to happen. I tought you know what, I will just try to hook up, and show what this middle aged men is made from!

Going faster each and every lap, this feeling is intens!
What a sensation, what a bike, what an incredible day,. Riding here gives an indescribable feeling.
To make a story short, why haven’t I done this before, it’s so addictive!

After the 3 sessions with an instructor, we drove one more by ourselves.
Chasing my son ( Not able to keep up with him, but never going to admit that).
The Instructor is also still riding in that session. He will take a good look at you and when he sees something that needs to be improved, he will show you how it’s done in the next lap.

I drove after him one more time during the last session, which made my day a huge success.
Even tough lap-times are not important on this day, it was nice to see I was riding the same times at the young ones.

Okay my son. I admit it, you’re right! We had to do this a lot sooner.
You will not only have the experience and feeling of a racer, you will become a better rider.
Understand the limits of your bike and you own capability’s much more.
Which come in handy on the street of course.

Don’t worry, we’ll be registering again soon!

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