I had been sick for almost two weeks and then signed up for a track day at Arizona Motorsports park. The circuit was being run CCW that day and I had not ridden in that way. With getting over an illness and essentially relearning the track, I was less than 1-second off my personal best!!!
I went to Chuckwalla the next weekend feeling healthier and ready. The trackday was running Chuck CW. Thankfully it was the Superbowl weekend, so there was probably 40 riders at the track that day. Open session format so you just go and go and go. What I thought was interesting was that I filmed two sessions and even though it was untimed, I rode for 20 minutes and then stopped. I just think that is crazy that my body just knew, "okay 20-minutes is up, raise that hand and leave the track!"
Anyway, I started racing in the chuckwalla series back in September. Crashed out of my first race. I competed the next month, dead last place and lapped. I was contacted by someone from the CVMA organization who said, "practice getting your lap times down....your pace is kind of a big risk." He suggested I aim for 2:15 being that my lap time was an incredibly slowwwwww 2:30.
I agreed. I purchased a lap timer. I met with a therapist about relaxing techniques. I started to get more comfortable on my bike.
So....Superbowl weekend...I did not feel like I was trying as hard and got my laps down to 2:17 consistently. I KNOW. I KNOW. That is still very slow especially for a liter bike (2013 CBR 1000RR) And Benny Solis is at like a 1:30 lap time on a 600..... But man what an improvement. I know I should be riding the track to beat the track, not the riders around me....But passing people that are riding on my dream bike (s1000RR) FELT SO GOOD.
I told myself I would not race again until I get my laps to at least 2-minutes. So I can stay with the pack. It has been helping to review my studies, and simply THINK about the track and how to take a turn before heading out there like I know what I am doing. Thinking man! It helps. After reviewing my footage there are a bunchhh of things I can improve on, but there were so many things I did differently to improve as well.
Strengths: throttle input EARLIER and rolled on for greater speeds through the turn. Telling myself that I can enter at higher speeds (slow in fast out, but my entry speed can definitely go up). Knowing where to go slow and having patience in the turn dubbed "Patience."
Areas of Improvement: use of the quick turn, later turn entry and attempting different attack lines, being comfortable with using only the parts of the track I need upon exiting a corner, squeeze the bike with my legs when braking earlier. I noticed that when I take my legs off to prepare for the turn, after a straight away, I am not squeezing with my legs and thus applying the brakes sends all that weight and my own forward and maxes out the load on the front tire. I start to actually lift up the rear! So to settle this I have a few options: when applying the brakes, I should grip with legs, and then as I am slowing down adjust BP for the upcoming turn...use the rear brake to settle the rear a bit (but I do not think I am at that pace yet)....or learn the max speed I can enter the turn using the 3+4 drill no brakes.
I am very excited to continue to learn.