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Assen BSB

With the penultimate round of the BSB championship being held at Assen, we felt compelled to pay the Dutch TT circuit a visit.  The 4,542 metre track is known for close racing and great vantage points for us, the great unwashed.

The ferry dropped us at Europort early doors Saturday morning and with about a 140 miles to cover we followed the sat nav’s quickest route.  Mike was there spannering for the East Coast Construction British Supersport Triumph 675 ridden by Bjorn Estment.  He had a word with Moto Radpido and we were given a guided tour of the Ducat Panigali R, ridden this weekend by one of the key development riders of the bike, Alex Polita.

Its a right piece of kit, based on the production Panigali’s offerd to the public this machine differs in just about every way, coming in at over £100K just for the bike with race add on’s on top.  The frame, such as it is, is standard, basically a big headstock incorporating the air box which can’t be tampered with.

The engine starts stock but is subject to every tweak within the rules.  There’s no rider aids in BSB so the electronics are pretty basic compared to WSB but the characteristics of the engine can be tweaked to suit riders and circuits.  The tank is moved, back and lower, swing arm slightly longer to keep things in check.  The hand crafted Ti exhaust takes about 120 hours of painstaking work, crafted by hand it helps bring the overall weight below the regulations, with good old lead weights added to the bike to bring it back within the rules.

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Moto 3 bikes prepping for practiceIMG_9177

Support races include the KTM RC World cup final, with 5 team members from a host of countries including GB, Netherlands, USA, Italy, Mexico amongst others.  Basically it’s production racing on identical machines, based on the KTM390, its manic!IMG_9280

Haslam leading Glen Irwin and Shakey, race 1.IMG_9232

BSB is nip and tuck, you can keep WSB or Moto GP, for me the BSB series is as competitive and entertaining as it gets.IMG_9240IMG_9334

Shakey had a lousy start to race 2, 12th on lap one he fought back to second, still leading the championship going into the triple header at Brands.IMG_9343 IMG_9353

Afsluitdijk, is a 20 mile dyke / sea defence built between 1927 and 1932 is a staggering piece of construction, even by today’s standards, supporting two dual carriage ways, its spectacular.IMG_9403

We couldn’t go to the land of Dutch without including the obligatory windmill shot, so here you go.IMG_9409

Holland does coastline pretty well tooIMG_9410