Having raced an entire season in TVS’s YMRP Championship meant getting used to the bike’s dynamics and engine character was no problem. In fact, I’m the most confident on the Apache 200 around the MMRT. However, the tires we used in these races, the rear in particular, had a wider section compared to these. And the difference was quite telling the moment I came out of the pits.
The bike felt extremely tippy and eager to lean over. A slight entry to the handlebars and the bike rocked without the slightest reluctance which, to be honest, was a little unnerving on an open track. Therefore, I had to keep my entries smoother and more progressive. Also, in my judgment, the tires require at least one full lap to warm up enough to allow me to push harder. Thus, the first lap was devoted to getting used to the behavior of the bike and letting the tires warm up.
Now on the second lap I got into C1 at a bit faster pace without dropping the throttle too much. Although this turn was bumpy and the bike wallowed a bit, the tires held their ground without squirming. This was followed by hard braking in C2 and C3 and the front end retained its composure, instilling an abundance of confidence. By the time I raced through the next corners and started lap three, I had already got along well with the nimble responses of the thin tires.
With each subsequent lap, I not only started braking later on corner entries, but also continued to accelerate earlier on exits and the tire feedback and grip never betrayed my confidence. Well, my skills may not be advanced enough to exploit the full potential of these tires. But my fellow journalists, who are much faster and more aggressive on the track, also found these surfaces to be phenomenal in terms of grip and feel.