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Most "effective" Entry To Apex Technique


shane.hogan
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Right then, first post so I'll go straight in at the deep end.

 

I consider myself a decent track rider and have more than a basic level of understanding when it comes to the how and why of riding fast. I have actually done level 1 of the school a good few years back but never went any further due to a break from bikes. I've read twist 2 and for the most part found it to be an eye opener.

 

My issue with the code approach is not original and its one that pokes its head out from time to time in different guises. As the thread title suggests, my main bone of contention is the entry to apex section of a corner.

 

The code approach to cornering, at least to my mind, requires that your braking is done by your turn point and then once settled you're back on the gas gently. This much we are all familiar with. Its also worth pointing out that i'm aware that there are different types of corner that require a slight modification of the technique. By and large though, we are taught Brake, turn fast, back in the gas asap.

 

Its very clear what the benefits of this approach are with respect to stability, lean for a given speed and traction. But what about when your absolute goal is the quickest lap time possible? There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that alot of riders will improve their lap times as a result of proper application of the techniques taught. Its only as the times get faster and closer to the sharp end that i feel the approach has a gaping hole in it.

 

I'm going to use the example of pro racers......yes i know they are the elite and beyond the level most of us will ever achieve, but they are also the best of the breed and most importantly, the fastest.

 

Racers at national and international level attack corners in a way somewhat contradictory to codes teachings. I'm opening myself up to correction here but i dont know of one top racer who does NOT brake right up to the apex (there is bound to be one, but in the minority). Now, even allowing for tyre technology and machinery advantage you simply cannot turn your machine hard and fast if you are braking right up to the apex of a turn. As i acknowledged earlier there are different types of turn and sometimes you will be required to trail a brake, but i think we can all agree that talent however plentifull, cant do much about the laws of physics, so its fast turning or trail braking to the apex, we cant have both. We do in reality have amalgamation of the 2 to a degree but thats not what the school teaches.

 

In a very long winded and round about sort of way i'm trying to get one of you guys to either claim that the code method is technically superior and potentially faster over a lap and indeed a race but just lacks a top level racer to put it to the test or wether in fact its a system and way of riding that only benefits riders of a certain ability to a certain point.

 

so to sum up.....Is it

 

An approach and methodology best suited to dragging average Joe up (quite)a few notches, but not quite enough for top level racers

 

OR

 

An approach that even the fastest of the fast would benefit from if adopted in its entirety (not just cherry picking some aspects)

 

I've seen attempts at answering this point in the past that just descend into a blurring of the lines type affair. So please bear in mind that what i'm questioning is the usefulness of the approach if adopted in its entirety by the best. ie. would rossi and stoner be even faster if it were possible for them to completely change styles ( i realise such a fundamental change is not feasible) Or does the approach only carry you to certain point at which time you need to modify your technique to progress any further.

 

Answers on a post card

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Hi there, can we look at the cornering from pure engineering approach. If for the given corner where the max speed is say 200 mph for the curve. What will be the quickly time to complete that portion? I would say keep constant 200 mph, right from the entry point before the lean, all the way to when we can increase speed after pick up the bike (assuming after apex). How can it be faster if we are trail braking? Any trail braking means not able to achieve maximum speed (200 mph) during the same portion of the corner. Trail braking is useful for correction for unseen requirement to slow down or change line. If you can set up the entry speed correctly, trail braking seems cannot be faster. 50 years later, Rossi's speed may be considered slow. It will be interesting to see Keith training Rossi's son to break Rossi's record. Correction, I feel Keith can train Rossi's daughter to break Rossi's record too.

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are we talking racing the clock or humans?

does it matter what "methodology" is better or faster?

if you cant addopt both and decide for your self, what is the use of the question?

it just seems to me they are on a lvl that allows them to push those techniques closer to the apex han what we think is possible.

of course to them it is just "brake later, get on the gas sooner".

i hope my novice out look doesnt seem to ignorant, and i hope the last question i asked didnt seem jackassy.

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ahh good, i piqued some interest.

 

I'm not at all sure what you mean by defining my terms, could you be a bit more specific?

 

Also, as the guy above pointed out this is NOT a post about what is trail braking and when to use it.

 

The point i'm perhaps clumsily trying to clarify is, would the code approach (at least on paper) be the fastest way round a track if the style and teachings were taken on completely by elite riders????

 

I'm taking a macro view of the technique as a whole so lets try not to get lost in the details. Mentioning the entry to apex section of a corner was just me highlighting one of the portions of the approach i dont understand very clearly. And by that of course im referring back again to top level riders being faster using a brake to the apex approach.

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are we talking racing the clock or humans?

does it matter what "methodology" is better or faster?

if you cant addopt both and decide for your self, what is the use of the question?

it just seems to me they are on a lvl that allows them to push those techniques closer to the apex han what we think is possible.

of course to them it is just "brake later, get on the gas sooner".

i hope my novice out look doesnt seem to ignorant, and i hope the last question i asked didnt seem jackassy.

 

 

thanks for the reply.

 

In terms of does is matter........in the greater scheme of things no, it doesnt.

 

This is just for my peace of mind and clarity on the issue.

 

And as i pointed out in the original post i'm talikng in absolute terms...ie. lap times

 

Just in case you guys are getting rubbed up the wrong way by the tone of my post i should point out that i am a convert, but with reservations as i dont do the blind faith thing too well.

 

Some of the early responses are shaping up in the manner that its my lack of understanding.....that may be so..

 

but as this general area of the approach keeps getting called into question you have to ask.........are we all just stupid or is there perhaps a weakness with the delivery of this particular portion of the technique?

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Hi there, can we look at the cornering from pure engineering approach. If for the given corner where the max speed is say 200 mph for the curve. What will be the quickly time to complete that portion? I would say keep constant 200 mph, right from the entry point before the lean, all the way to when we can increase speed after pick up the bike (assuming after apex). How can it be faster if we are trail braking? Any trail braking means not able to achieve maximum speed (200 mph) during the same portion of the corner. Trai braking is useful for correction for unseen requirement to slow down or change line. If you can set up the entry speed correctly, trail braking seems cannot be faster. 50 years later, Rossi's speed may be considered slow. It will be interesting to see Keith training Rossi's son to break Rossi's record. Correction, I feel Keith can train Rossi's daughter to break Rossi's record too.

 

 

hello there fella,

 

using your theoretical example of a corner speed of 200mph ( :o ) you want to keep that 200mph from entry all the way through and out the corner.

 

Now, if you assume that the bike can approach the corner above 200mph, say 220mph, it is entirely possible to go in to the corner on the brakes past your previously designated turn point doing lets say 210...dropping down to 200 again by the time you are at the apex and off the brakes.......so you have carried more speed up to the corner and the same speed from the mid point onward and so have gone faster.........yes?

 

Anyway, as i i've now said a few times, I dont want to debate the finer details, its been done already and tends to result in people replying by stating what they believe to be correct rather than adressing the original point. ;)

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ahh good, i piqued some interest.

 

I'm not at all sure what you mean by defining my terms, could you be a bit more specific?

 

Also, as the guy above pointed out this is NOT a post about what is trail braking and when to use it.

 

The point i'm perhaps clumsily trying to clarify is, would the code approach (at least on paper) be the fastest way round a track if the style and teachings were taken on completely by elite riders????

 

I'm taking a macro view of the technique as a whole so lets try not to get lost in the details. Mentioning the entry to apex section of a corner was just me highlighting one of the portions of the approach i dont understand very clearly. And by that of course im referring back again to top level riders being faster using a brake to the apex approach.

 

 

Well before talk about "Trail Braking" we have to agree on what we're talking about. Otherwise we'll talk in circles. I know what I mean but I don't know what you mean. So I'm just wondering what your definition is.

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Trail braking is what it is......we are in danger of going circles already.

 

holding onto the brakes deep into the turn, tapering off as the lean increases.......untill you arrive at your intended apex point and look to get back on the gas.

 

 

I'm struggling to see the relavence of having me define what trail braking is.

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I'm trying to find a video that I found on youtube about a year ago but Rossi himself said this exact thing while talking about lines. "There are two different lines, a qualifying line and a racing line. The faster line is always the quick turning line so thats what you use to qualify. The racing line uses trail braking so you can be defensive". He didn't give the reasons why but I have some ideas. I just need to find a good way to word them. This is all kind of general information and in no way explains some of the details. I'm sure in some corners one technique is going to be faster then the other. Also I can absolutely be wrong about all of this. :lol:

 

Fast lap times is all about carrying as much corner speed as possible while still using the latest braking point and the earliest on throttle point without going wide. Trail braking lets you enter corners fast but ruins your speed at the apex and exit. Quick turning makes you enter the corners slow but you maintain more speed at the apex and exit. Maintaining speed through and exiting a corner tends to lower lap times.

 

If you trail brake its impossible for the motorcycle to lean as low and turn as sharp compaired to being on the throttle slightly. This means in order to maintain a good line while trail braking you need to run it up the inside of the corner to avoid going wide sense the bike can't turn sharp, scrub exessive speed to hit your apex because of corner entry and that also ruins your exit speed. This works excellent as a defensive line and the late braking point means its still pretty quick, however, there is no possible way to maintain max speed because of the corner entry and it also forces you to get on the throttle later making the corner exit slower.

 

A quick turning line does require an earlier braking point and a slightly wider corner entry but this lets you maintain much more speed through the corners apex and exit. Even though the entry to the corner is a little slower the speed carried through the corner and exit more then makes up for it.

 

You don't see it much in Moto GP but how many times have you seen racers "square up" their opponents to get a run on them exiting a corner so they can make the pass on the straight away? I've watched Ben Spies pass a lot of people exiting corners because he used a wider entry and quick turning where as the person infront of him was trail braking. This is a perfect example of quick turning giving a rider the faster line to make a pass. Trail braking only lets you pass an opponent because your opponent needs to adjust his line to give you room.

 

I think the Moto GP bikes can drive into the corners so hard on the brakes they tend to use trail braking much more then the rest of us. Our bikes and tires just don't let us run lines that even remotely compaire to a Moto GP bike or any factory racing machine. So quick turning tends to let you run faster laps then trail braking with the equipment we have. Depending on the track and details of course the difference in lap times probably isn't much. It might only differ by half a second per lap.

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Just in case you guys are getting rubbed up the wrong way by the tone of my post i should point out that i am a convert, but with reservations as i dont do the blind faith thing too well.

 

i dont feel rubbed wrong, heck im qurious too(in the initial question). i just tink that the discussion will run circles regardless. in order to answer the question you have to pick one rider to rrun both theories and find the conclusion. everything would need to be exactly the same on both runs. but even then you are getting a biased feeling because it was him doing the runs.

i think the key is that riding is an art, with style developed from techniques. to confine to one theory i think would limit anyone.

correct me if im wrong or no where close, ive only read the books a thousand times but never went to the school or been on a track. just enjoying the discussion

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"There are two different lines, a qualifying line and a racing line. The faster line is always the quick turning line so thats what you use to qualify. The racing line uses trail braking so you can be defensive".

 

i think that answers everything perfectly, to think passed that maybe over thinkin it.

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Fast lap times is all about carrying as much corner speed as possible while still using the latest braking point and the earliest on throttle point without going wide. Trail braking lets you enter corners fast but ruins your speed at the apex and exit. Quick turning makes you enter the corners slow but you maintain more speed at the apex and exit. Maintaining speed through and exiting a corner tends to lower lap times.

 

 

I see your logic here dave.....but is it really the case that braking deep in to the corner ruins your speed through the corner? Why can you not achieve the same mid corner speed by arriving at that speed via a different method? Is there a physics reason that its impossible or talent reason that just makes it difficult?

 

Braking deep to your intended point (apex) is not the same as braking too deep because you screwed it up i might add......

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i think that answers everything perfectly, to think passed that maybe over thinkin it.

 

 

Fella, this whole forum is testament to overthinking......thats the point of it, to a degree ;)

 

We can all deduce for ourselves that you adapt techniques and methods to suit situations and available technology, its a judgment call.

 

But rightly or wrongly i feel the school are a touch vague and fuzzy about this in contrast to the very matter of fact approach to almost every other aspect of bike/rider interaction.

 

doesnt anybody else feel the uncertainty?

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i think that answers everything perfectly, to think passed that maybe over thinkin it.

 

 

Fella, this whole forum is testament to overthinking......thats the point of it, to a degree ;)

 

We can all deduce for ourselves that you adapt techniques and methods to suit situations and available technology, its a judgment call.

 

But rightly or wrongly i feel the school are a touch vague and fuzzy about this in contrast to the very matter of fact approach to almost every other aspect of bike/rider interaction.

 

doesnt anybody else feel the uncertainty?

 

I just wanted add a little couple of things here. Firstly, it's a misconception to think you're going to brake all the way to the Apex, that almost never, ever happens, (i guess there are specific turns that it could happen and probably does), but most corners you never, ever get that far.

 

Secondly, I don't think there is any amibuity about the technology, what is widely misunderstood is the gradient which we often apply the techniques we use to riders. What I mean by this, there is a requirement when coaching to apply the right level of technology to the riders ability, and in addition to this, it's also important that we get the fundamental concepts applied and understood before starting to move the envelope on further in pursuit of say laptimes and outright speed. This is ulitimately a fine point of coaching, and something that would/could be explored with your coach where applicable and relevant.

 

Hope that helps provide an element of understanding on the why it's done the way in which it is..?

 

Bullet

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Trail braking is what it is......we are in danger of going circles already.

 

holding onto the brakes deep into the turn, tapering off as the lean increases.......untill you arrive at your intended apex point and look to get back on the gas.

 

 

I'm struggling to see the relavence of having me define what trail braking is.

 

Right so the rider is releasing the brakes in a controlled manner. There's a great sequence of pictures of Eddie Lawson doing this at the top of the corkscrew in Twist of the Wrist I.

 

What would happen if the rider just let go of the brakes at his turnpoint?

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Touched on in someone's soliloquy, here in brief.

 

If 2 gp riders are dicing, their lap times get slower.....and the bloke behind them catches up.

 

Because the fella in front is protecting his line, riding defensively, trail braking to the apex to stuff the guy behind him.

 

Because if he doesn't, the guy behind him certainly will stuff it up the inside, on brakes, slower lap time but position gained.

 

Case in point, Rossi's overtake on last corner to defeat Lorenzo at Catalunya....Lorenzo believed if he led into the last turn that he was that fast through there that noone could take him.....Rossi showed him that the slow way can win you races.

 

I rest my case.

 

db

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What would happen if the rider just let go of the brakes at his turnpoint?

 

the suspension will unload and screw up his entry...

 

 

 

Because the fella in front is protecting his line, riding defensively, trail braking to the apex to stuff the guy behind him.

 

thats not the only reason you trail the brakes. and you dont have to trail the brakes all the way to the apex either. it really depends on what type of corner you are attacking.

 

 

 

easing off the brakes is considered trailing. i dont think anyone is just 100% percent brakes and 0% all of the sudden... otherwise, youll be experiencing chatter at turn in. to me, eveything is about smoothness....

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Hi there, can we look at the cornering from pure engineering approach. If for the given corner where the max speed is say 200 mph for the curve. What will be the quickly time to complete that portion? I would say keep constant 200 mph, right from the entry point before the lean, all the way to when we can increase speed after pick up the bike (assuming after apex). How can it be faster if we are trail braking? Any trail braking means not able to achieve maximum speed (200 mph) during the same portion of the corner. Trai braking is useful for correction for unseen requirement to slow down or change line. If you can set up the entry speed correctly, trail braking seems cannot be faster. 50 years later, Rossi's speed may be considered slow. It will be interesting to see Keith training Rossi's son to break Rossi's record. Correction, I feel Keith can train Rossi's daughter to break Rossi's record too.

 

 

hello there fella,

 

using your theoretical example of a corner speed of 200mph ( :o ) you want to keep that 200mph from entry all the way through and out the corner.

 

Now, if you assume that the bike can approach the corner above 200mph, say 220mph, it is entirely possible to go in to the corner on the brakes past your previously designated turn point doing lets say 210...dropping down to 200 again by the time you are at the apex and off the brakes.......so you have carried more speed up to the corner and the same speed from the mid point onward and so have gone faster.........yes?

 

Anyway, as i i've now said a few times, I dont want to debate the finer details, its been done already and tends to result in people replying by stating what they believe to be correct rather than adressing the original point. ;)

Hello Stumpy, it seems that if you can start the turn at 210 mph and quick turn to full lean angle without problem (no sliding, run wide etc), why not maintain that 210 mph all the way until pass apex and then pick up the bike and accelerate, instead of trail braking to the slower speed 200 mph. Of course, if you want to block other racer by tightening the line, you may trail brake even it is losing speed/time. Or if you see a decreasing radius and need to correct the line, you may trail brake to slow down to avoid running wide if you have already reached max lean. In fact, there are other effective technique for correcting the line, such as hook turn, or handling the DR such as using double apex---which I would let some other experienced coaches/riders to comment. Trail braking is useful in some areas though may not be the best for those areas, but needs too much attention that may not give the fastest lap time. The attention may be more rewarding when spent on quick turn, selection of line and entry speed.

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