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MatthewR

Racing Vs. Practicing

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What do you think makes you a faster rider... actually racing lots of races - or practicing techniques and drills?

 

My limited knowledge would have me favor the drills and technique practice.

 

But would that mean that a racer who is looking to improve his positions might walk away from competition to learn more skills and return later as a better rider? Why don't we see this very often?

 

Or do you think racing every weekend has it's advantages?

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I think that learning the proper technique and practicing makes you a better racer. I have a friend who started racing, and we were pulling the same laptimes. I noticed that while I'm still doing 1:08 on a certain track, he's pulling 1:01's. I couldn't figure it out, and it comes down to a few things. He has a trackbike, and will take the risks I won't. I ride out to the track on my bike, have to take the time to warm up my tires, and since he started racing, he's started having other riders follow him and give input. So it ultimately boils down to him learning proper technique.

You can't get faster by just racing. Maybe a little because of the adrenaline, but not enough to really improve your laptimes. I see rider after rider who's slower than ME try to start racing, and they don't improve, and ultimately stop because they aren't competitive, and aren't improving. You've still got to learn to ride and take the right lines.

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Racing without a doubt will make you faster. If you look at most qualifying times they are almost always slower than race times, my point being, without the pressure of actually being in a race and having competitors pushing you to go faster, it's very difficult to produce your best times. Having said that, track days do have there place when it comes to making you faster, its a great opportunity to hone your skills, which you can then use on race day.

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It would seem to me that the two were somewhat intertwined. To become one of the best racers, wouldn't you need to have good technique? Sure being out on the track in a race environment will push you to go faster and take more risks, but without the foundation of technique would there be any true improvement?

 

With a strong technical foundation along with the seat time on the track that most racers have, the combination seems in my mind to be the best way to become a better, faster rider.

 

-scott

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If you look at the riders who've been properly trained, there is one place you're going to see them on race day. Somewhere up front. I know plenty of riders who can do well in races, but when Kane Lasky, Rick our local guy, and the 16 year old who just started racing 600's get on the track, the best riders who haven't been trained can't hope to keep pace.

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What do you think makes you a faster rider... actually racing lots of races - or practicing techniques and drills?

 

My limited knowledge would have me favor the drills and technique practice.

 

But would that mean that a racer who is looking to improve his positions might walk away from competition to learn more skills and return later as a better rider? Why don't we see this very often?

 

Or do you think racing every weekend has it's advantages?

 

I think this depends on how willing you are to push yourself in practice, and how seriously you take/set your goals. I can get faster with coaching and serious practicing, but if I'm not motivated I can also ride multiple track days without making any actual progress. Regarding racing - I just started with it, but I am finding that it can force me to take different lines, or change my technique to deal with a competitor, or push me into new situations (extreme braking or turning quickly to avoid another bike) that I wouldn't put myself in otherwise. And, of course, it gives me good incentive to actually TRY to go faster, and to see where others are faster than me. I learn a lot about my own limits or the limits of the bike, in a race. As someone once said to me "You do s__t in a race you would NEVER do in practice!" This helps my lap times because I realize I can push harder than I thought. But I know some people who ride so hard all the time that I'm not sure a race situation would make any difference for them; calm, goal-oriented practicing might be more productive.

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Interesting question.

 

If I had to pick one I would say racing makes you faster. I say this because I have seen guys go really fast even though they had poor technique. I think people that get into racing are more motivated to go fast, some can go very fast just because they are brave (or stupid) :).

 

Having said that, I think someone that learns good technique and practices that then goes racing will have the best chance at winning.

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