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than I do, meaning he tends to carry a more arcing, flowing line than my get-it-in, get-it-turned and drive-it-out method.

The Kawasaki ZX-10R felt almost as familiar as the CBR, so with a quick adjusting of levers, off I went. A lap later I started giving the green goblin a good go and quickly remembered how fast the 1 OR is, but at the same time 1 missed the old '05 model's meatier midrange; this bike felt "in between gears" in a couple spots and didn't seem to provide the same torque to pull it through. Pushing harder, I never found the nervousness I associate with the previous ZX-10R; on the contrary, the lazy-steering, top-heavy 10R was hard to pull down to the apex of tighter corners and required a fight to finish the exits.

Next step was to try some deeper trail braking and use more engine braking by running a lower gear going in than 1 really wanted to use for the exit. This took a lot of grunting effort and some extra eye-of-the-needle clutch work, and with that drawing my attention, I missed an upshift one lap; luckily, I didn't get rear-ended by the three riders who were tucked in behind me.

On race day, the Kawasaki's setup was still somewhat top-heavy-feeling and slow-steering to help stabilize things down that long back straight. Braking wasn't as impressive as that provided by the bikes with Brembos; if the I OR were my bike, I would experiment with pad compounds. I'd also like to change gearing to make better use of second and raise the engine rpm out of a torque lull that surely added more than a tick to the lOR's times. Still, my four laps were a good reminder of how fast the Kawi is. No transmission issues, and shifting my weight a bit more took full advantage of the green machine's speed by getting it mostly turned before picking it up off the deck and opening the throttle—fire in el hoyo! My 2:03.848 time surprised me by edging out my best on the Honda, which felt much easier to ride.

The airbulent, visceral engine vibes of the BMW S1000RR really reminded me of my old, built-to-the-hilt 2001 Yamaha YZF-R1 AM A Formula Xtreme racebike but with even more massive urge. The BMW's raw power was amazing, and with traction control set to Slick mode, wheelspin was tempered only by what was left of the Race I Metzeler rubber's usable life. Rest in peace, my friend...

During the first laps, I spent a lot of time power-sliding during exits by late-apexing. After I found so much confidence in exits, the BMW began to convince me to put a little faith in front-end grip, too. More corner speed meant more lean angle and made my size nines start dragging, so I pulled in to save some boot to kick ass tomorrow.

When tomorrow came, the scuttlebuzz was that the BMW had posted some impressive practice times. I steered clear of Motociclismo's Guillermo Artola at MasterBike timing and scoring, concentrating instead on my four laps and my 10 percent safety margin as I started charging ahead on track.

Was it just me, or was the quick-shifter's kill duration too long as I made the short shift for the important Turn 10/Turn 11 left-hand combo where you spend what feels like 10 minutes a lap on the side of the sliding tire? Something wasn't right; I could feel the traction-control system cutting in instead of letting me cut loose.

Unfamiliar with the BMW, I pressed on and continued to feel the shame and frustration of acceleratus interruptus at every corner exit. Along the downhill back straight, the S1000RR was a missile. But when I went for the brake and two backshifts, the bike wouldn't let me; I had to take to the run-off. Flustered and at a loss, I turned around and went after what was left of my allotted time. Downshifting worked without a glitch when I did it at lower rpm and used

"...shifting my weight a bit more took full advantage of the green machine's speed by getting it mostly turned before picking it up off the deck..."

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