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johnnyrod

Brands Hatch Gp 23Rd July

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johnnyrod    0

Meant to post before going but better late than never! First track day of the year so slow start getting back into it, and never ridden this track before. Still struggling a bit with right-handers but after last year's successes I really just need more practice. All my CSS stuff was working well though, if a bit in slow motion. If you want to see a couple of laps then check it out:

https://www.facebook.com/john.rodriguez.568294/videos/10153535636208829/?l=5267614880506230365

 

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Kevin Kane    0

Johnny;

I thought you held a very consistent line each lap, your lefts seemed a bit tighter than your rights (unless that was related to your camera mounting) but your throttle management was consistent and smooth. Clearly your pace will return with more seat time. Thanks for putting this up here for our review. I'm confident that Hottie will have more useful feedback so my limited commentary will have to suffice for now. But good job from here.

Rainman

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Hotfoot    48

Nice video, thanks for posting that up! That looks like a GREAT track.

 

Saw some nice quick turns on there, especially on the lefts, good consistency of lines, and good throttle control.

 

You appeared to be getting very close and tight to the apex on left turns, but not as much on the rights. Do you have reference points for your apexes in the right handers, and was the bike making it to the apexes you wanted? Did you ever feel like you were running out of room on the exit or not able to drive out as hard as you would have liked?

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johnnyrod    0

Hi all, thanks for your input

 

Kevin - thanks, there are too many of my older videos where I turn in really early. Rights have always been a problem for some reason, I seem to struggle to replicate the same comfortable BP I have on lefts, but after Level 3 things got a lot better. You can't really practice it on the road though so it only really improves with my limited track time.

 

Hotfoot - quick turns are probably the area that slows me down the most; I can reach a fair lean angle but it takes too long. That and turning at high speed is still something I don't do often. I didn't have many RPs for apexes I admit, I had some for braking and turning but few others. I was finding it okay to get it where I was pointing it in the main - you're thinking 2/3-step I think and maybe early apexes but I'll try not to second-guess - but I struggled with an apex on the hairpin and also with vision. In the faster back part of the track vision and apexes felt fine. Some apexes were too tight and it just interfered with my concentration and lines - again it's work in progress. Exits seemed okay on the day (I do have a tendency to try to hold them too tight), in fact the track opens out of many bends which is deceptive when you expect a more constant radius, moreso on the back part. By this I mean the middle section of track from one bridge to the next, it starts just after the long uphill left-hander of Surtees. Anyway all of this is my interpretation so feel free to disagree as we often can't see the wood for the trees.

 

Yes it is a great track, it's a big name one though so expensive (midweek in July was US$275). The first right off the start line is like falling off the edge of the world and when people crash there, they crash big - I was quite hesitant about it all day. To keep costs down though they ran 3 not 4 groups in the day so we had 3x20mins in the morning and 3x15mins in the afternoon on a lap time (for me) of just over 2mins, so not many laps, especially when I need one lap to warm up tyres and brain!

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Kevin Kane    0

Johnny,

I really appreciate you putting this up here. I knew Hottie would bring in some strong CSS Coach's feedback for you which is how this Forum works best - but you my good man also shared with us what a lap at Brands looks like from a bike. Watching SBK races on TV, I always loved the perspective of the bikes roaring out of Paddocks Hill into Turn 1 so thanks for giving us all a peek. Further, I agree with you that a very fast downhill curve can really test your faith in all of what we have been taught; running it down the hill at pace isn't for the squeamish. For me, Rainey curve at Laguna Seca can be more unnerving than the famous Corkscrew which precedes it for the same reason you mentioned.

 

Also, I share your opinion that it is hard to practice what we learn in School when we get back on the road but I find myself trying. Sometimes when I am approaching a corner/turn I will hit the inside bar harder than I need to just to keep the reflex active. I push hard/quick and just as quickly let off - just to get a bit of "snap" out of the bike. I try and visualize the same spots as if it were the track just to keep the whole 2/3 step process working to make me a more intuitive rider.

 

Please keep posting your videos as you progress this season and hopefully, your willingness to share will spread to others doing it as well. We all know that Yellow Duck is killing it up here with his Prairie Dog Racing blog so welcome to the show!

 

Kevin

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Hotfoot    48

You mentioned that you struggle with quick turn. If you don't have a mid turn/apex reference point (and/ or are not looking at it), how certain are you about how MUCH to turn the bike?

If you aren't really sure exactly where you want the bike to go, will you be able to make a confident, decisive, quick steering input?

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johnnyrod    0

Kevin - it's hard to appreciate the steepness of the slope of Paddock Hill Bend without riding it, as you probably know from Rainey curve - it's all you can do as it bottoms out to stop your chin hitting the tank!

 

Hotfoot - True, without RPs I'm shooting in the dark a bit, especially on an unfamiliar track. I think at Brands I was trying to ride fast a bit more than I was trying to ride well and learn my way around, got sucked in a bit to trying to keep up. I've ridden Cadwell Park a good few times and last summer at an outing there it all came together and I really took off. With quick turns, I could probably turn quicker (push the bars harder), it seems to me that it takes too long to get down to a good lean angle, and at times when I've managed to quicken this, I've also been able to carry more corner speed - as it should be. Part of the hesitancy I think is that I'm not really dialled in with how hard I need to push - a basic lack of practice - and how much turning/leaning this will give me. I'm thinking about another track day at a short track like Rockingham which has been good in the past for practice as it's very twisty and wide enough to be forgiving of lines gone wrong. I went there straight after Level 1 and made a bit of progress, but that was years ago!

 

How does this all sound? I'm trying not to answer my own questions too much. Any tips on practising quick turns, other than just go and start getting a feel of it?

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Hotfoot    48

My tip would be to pick ONE corner, get solid RPs for turn point and apex, and then work on the quickturn in JUST THAT CORNER for at least one session and see what happens.

 

WITHOUT a definite "turn-to" reference point, that you look at PRIOR to turning the bike, you will likely end up doing just what you describe above - turn the bike, but take too long to get to the desired lean angle, due to waiting and "feeling out" where the bike is going to go or looking for/thinking about where you want it to go. If you haven't really picked an apex (or looked into the corner) before turning the bike, the steering is vague and slow and gradual.

 

The thing I saw on the video that made me ask if you were as close to the apexes as you wanted, is that on a few right-hand corners I saw a lot of space between you and the inside edge of the corner, and then saw that you were still carrying a lot of lean at the exit, which was making you a bit stalled on the throttle as you exited the corner, until you rapidly stood it up at near the outside edge and drove it hard - if you had been closer to the inside edge at the apex it would have given you more space, room to start standing the bike up earlier and get an earlier drive out of the corner and be at WOT much sooner. I have not ridden that track but it looked like it has some nice straights between corners and I suspect that earlier harder drives would make a big difference in laptimes.

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johnnyrod    0

I hadn't really thought about RPs connected to turning in rate - maybe that's what I need to look at next, as what you describe does sound familiar. In watching it back again, it felt to me (at the time) like I was slow getting the bike leaned over, and I have this in my mind since level 1 that it needs work, but in some places the video doesn't look that slow - I don't know what you think. I could be making too big a deal of it in isolation.

 

Good point about keeping it simple and putting effort into one corner. Yes I missed a few apexes, those bends I either wasn't sure where they went yet (thought a wide apex would suit the next section of track) or found myself going slower than I'd expected so didn't come all the way across to the inside edge of the track. So I'd pretty much lost my way!

 

I had a root through some other videos but the old camera I had is pretty poor so I gave up using it. Hopefully get out again towards the end of next month, watch this space.

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