I’ve used Metzeler racing tyres for years, but I have never seen where they’re made, so I’m going on a road trip to the factory in Breuberg, the far side of Frankfurt, Germany. I’m going to find out how a cutting edge, high performance motorcycle tyre is made.

I know what I need to say to Metzeler’s engineers who work with me at tyre tests and races, when we’re developing new tyres for racing. I know if a tyre needs a stiffer carcass and I can explain exactly why it does, but I don’t know how the folk at the factory make them. I’m interested to find out how and why things work, so it’s going to be fascinating.

I was all set to drive out in Germany in my Transit van, but I’ve been asked to road test a fancy car, so I’m going out in that instead. It’s not mine though. I tell everyone I see it’s not mine. I’d be embarrassed if they thought I spent my money on something like that car.

I’m getting the ferry out of Hull, just over the Humber river from where I work. We’ll dock in Holland tomorrow and drive straight to the factory and get stuck in. I’m looking forward to it.