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Yeah, Brno again. It was a pleasure to race again on the greatest of the great GP tracks around us within just 5 weeks.

Intro
Swiss- and Austrian championships have financial problems and thus joined together and more impotantly introduced an "Open" class to fill up the grids and to pay the track bills. Ducati Bern invited me to participate in this (licence free) class. In that class, there is also a seperate Ducati Cup and interesting enough a "B-King Cup" organized by Suzuki Switzerland. The latter defined my personal target for this weekend: Beat as many of these heavy B-Kings with the good old TL.

Friday 25.9.
Qualification practice for the open class is scheduled at 11:20. Usually not a big issue, I was racing on this track 5 weeks ago and could drive a fast lap within 1 or two sessions. Problem was that the track was wet the whole morning, then there was an oil spill, so finally the QP was also the very first session. The QP was also very crowded. Finally my qualy time was a low 2:21, some 5 seconds slower than my best lap here. Well, I was qualified, that's important.
In the afternoon I tried different rear tyres than the expensive Dunlop KR108 slicks. But with the GP racer slick (clubracer slick), I couldn't get a good feeling and in fact almost highsided in the first chicane. That meant I needed another Dunlop KR108 slicks. In the evening I found one at ASR Kawasaki, a Swiss Superstock championship team. Same 7712 compound as I raced previously here.

Saturday 26.9.
First of all the first rounds of the Superstock 1000 and Superstock 600 championship are scheduled. In the evening, there will be a 4 lap "super sprint" race for the Open class that I'm racing. Much too short in my opinion.
Track was very very crowded in the free practice sessions and you had to be ready 5 to 10 mins before the session. Also the differences between the racers and the almost beginners were huge, so you had to pay a lot of attention in these sessions. In the last session I break-in the new rear slick.
We watch the Superstock 1000 race from the pit building. Horst Saiger wins in front of the championship leader Gregory Junod. For the Superstock 600 race, we take the scooter and watch it at Omega. Very interesting race with an almighty battle for 2nd position. Roman Raschle wins in front of Dominic Plüss.
Then it's our turn. I'm 19th on the full grid, but my start is excellent and I can leave almost 2 rows behind me. During the first lap, I wasn't agressive enough and got passed by quite some opponents. Well, it is not easy to fight agains Ducs and 1000 I4 with a gazillion of horsepower compared to my 128hp TL1000S. Finally I cross the finish line as 13th, not really what I expected. But I wasn't the last Suzuki, that's for sure.
After the race I searched some new toe sliders for my boots. One of the Superstock 1000 championship contenders, Lorenz Sennhauser, was driving the same brand of booths, so I asked him if he had a right spare slider. With a smile on his face he showed me a full box of destroyed right toe sliders, but of course he had a simple solution: Using left ones works with a small mod, too :)
In the evening I tried Koni's 150kph pocket bike. Scary, I tell you!! There were a lot of season end partys in the paddock, it was a very funny evening.

Sunday 27.9.
Today are the 2nd rounds of the Superstock 1000 and 600 classes. In the afternoon there will be a proper 8 lap sprint race for the Open class.
We watch the Superstock races again. Greg Junod is crowned Superstock 1000 champion, Dominic Plüss is Superstock 600 champion after a fantastic battle for the first position.
I drive some sessions of the free practice, but keep the good tyre for the race in the afternoon. The race in the Open class will be started from yesterdays race positions, so I'm 13th on the grid, 4th row on the left.
Today the race modus for the open class is the usual thing: 1 lap from the pits to the starting grid. Then a warmup lap. Standing start, 8 race laps.
My start is definitely the best of the whole season. I gained at least 6 positions at the start! But this time I was driving agressive and didn't let the others easily through as last time. OK, one or the other 1000 I4 passed me anyway, in Brno the horsepower has such a big impact that I can't avoid this. My race goes quite well and I can overtake one of the two really fast B-Kings in the first laps. The fastest B-King, driven by Adi Wohlwend (who raced Superstock before...), was in front of my by about mid race. I knew I had to pass him in lefthander after Omega, where he had big problems with the heavy B-King. I did my pass on the inside curb and squeezed through. What a pass, and he didn't fight back. But someone else fought back! Tom, the pit neighbour on a very fast Ducati 996R passes me on the front straight. But I'm much later on the brakes and fight back immediately. The fight goes on for laps. He passes me on every longer straight, I fight back in the next braking area. Finally I can break away and cross the finish line as 8th out of a full grid. This time I'm happy, that was about the maximum I could do with the TL. Personal best lap has been improved to 2:16.242, half a second faster than 5 weeks ago. And last but not least I beat ALL of those fat B-Kings :devious

Greetings
Rufer
 
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