You’ll know that it’s stupidly easy to crash on the Nurburgring. So many different corners, a worrying lack of run-off areas and expected bumps and camber changes all add up to a recipe for potential disaster. Especially given that any old novice can turn up at the gates of the Nordschleife and put in a lap.
So what happens when you throw a motorbike and pouring rain into the mixer? Well, an amazing, if slightly nervy, lap. On the bike is Andy Carlile, a Cumbrian man who’s been part of the Nurburgring furniture since 2007. He’s also the record-holder for the fastest motorbike lap of the ‘Ring, at 7 minutes 10 seconds back in 2012.
While you or I might have been pitched off the bike in the first corner, straight into the dense Eifel forest, Carlile unsurprisingly makes a full lap look like it’s no more difficult than popping to the shops.
The line he took was conservative, and who can blame him? He’s got to take into account how the bike will behave in wet weather, how easy it’ll be to overcook it and that some parts of the track - like the iconic carousel - will dry differently to the rest of it. Despite all that, it was still a rapid lap; from bridge-to-gantry took less than 10 minutes.
Carlile used a Yamaha YZF-R1 track bike with a set of grippy wet tyres, and had the benefit of an empty track to play on. He’d been doing some coaching in normal conditions the day before, but the torrential rain limited track time for the less experienced riders.
Once you’ve seen up his nose, Carlile takes you round the bike in typical no-nonsense fashion. The motor is stock besides a new crank, and most of the front end is stock too. It features a race loom and an upgraded subframe, but even the springs are factory-standard. Even grabby brakes seem not to be an issue.
The lap is as mesmerising as it is fascinating, and ends up being an almost relaxing watch as you know he makes it round in one piece.
What do you think of this wet Nurburgring bike lap? Tell us in the comments.