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Jay Vincent reflects on riding the Red Bull Yamaha at his home Grand Prix

Jay Vincent reflects on riding the Red Bull Yamaha at his home Grand Prix

I didn´t know anything about the Red Bull ride until after the race in Assen and we spent that evening sorting out all the details. It was a mad rush! The British GP is obviously only few days after the Dutch TT and there were many things to organise; getting leathers made and other bits and pieces. The main priority was to get on the bike as soon as possible so that when it came to Friday at Donington I would not be sitting on it for the first time. Luckily the people at Mallory Park really helped us out and on Tuesday managed to get us a lunchtime slot and a period later in the day, which meant we had a total of about an hour and a half on the track.

We did around 60 laps and the time was very beneficial. It meant I wasn´t cold to the machine and we made some changes to suit my riding style. The first time I rode the Yamaha it initially felt quite different to my Pulse bike; largely because it had been left unchanged from when Garry had last ridden it. So we messed around with some settings, increased the ride height and made some other clicks here and there; nothing radical though. We never stopped changing things on the bike throughout the week and we were even trying different things in the warm-up on Sunday. That´s the problem with a one-off ride you never get enough time to experiment and it was a bit frustrating because every time I went out on the track I felt more comfortable and kept on improving.

So after Tuesday I felt happier with the bike and had a few days to think about things I could adjust. On Thursday was the Day of the Champions and it was great to see a good turn-out and all the activities that were happening. I had quite a lot of media attention as well because of the factory ride so there was that side of the job to deal with.

Friday was the first session on the track and it was here that I noticed the biggest difference with the factory Yamaha. The throttle connection is so good; the initial burst of acceleration and the smooth power spread right the way through the range from low down was very impressive. This is one thing we need to work on with the Pulse machine and we have some new carburettors being delivered hopefully for the German GP.

There a little bit of pressure over the weekend because the last thing I wanted to do at the British GP, with a factory ride, was crash out. Saturday´s rain obviously meant that I couldn´t improve Friday´s time and put us quite far back on the grid. I got a reasonable start in the race and there was a bit of argy-bargy in the first corner. I had to pick the bike up and that let a few riders nip underneath me, but after the opening laps I began to settle down, find my rhythm and the good times started to come.

I was able to be consistent and that was one of the best things about the Yamaha, it was the same lap after lap right through the race and allowed me to be steady, I was confident that I would be as fast at the end of the race as I was at the beginning. It was the first time I had used the 16.5 wheels and I liked them; in fact Michelin have said they will get some for us in Brno so that will make the Pulse even quicker.

I made some strong moves in the latter stages and got to the front of the pack I had been riding with; to beat Chris Walker was a nice achievement.

The whole weekend was a golden opportunity; both for me personally and for the Pulse team with the information I gained from my track time with the Yamaha. Before the race I had no real knowledge of other 500 machines apart from what I had seen on the track; now I have experience of another bike and that can only be beneficial. The team said to me that they were happy with my riding and my professionalism; the way that I handled the media and my approach to setting up the bike with the small time that we had. I wanted to make an impression and show the Red Bull guys, who I was, how I worked and the way I liked to ride a motorcycle. I felt the GP was a successful one and you never know what may come from all the effort.

500cc, 2001

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