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Really Frustrated- Confidence Gone.


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I will be attending a Willow Springs SuperBike school next year, but until then I need some help with my racing.


I am in Australia and have nearly completed my first year of racing. I have read all the 'Twist Books' and have the DVD. I started the year off great with my times coming down with every meeting. (See we race on the same track every time). I had a couple of crashes after 2 rounds, first one was a lack of concentration in an early practice session, but the 2nd one was mid race where I had a front end washout. maybe some oil on the track sent me down, not sure, but now I have lost confidence punting the bike hard into a turn, and really cranking the bike over. My lap times have dropped by up to 4 seconds and now no matter how hard I try I have hit a mental wall.


On top of this the front of the bike needed new fork seals and we replaced springs as well, and handling took time to get right.


How can I rebuild my confidence? I know what I need to do, go in deeper and fast, turn quick, crank it over and twist the wrist. But, what I am doing, is going in hard, washing off to much speed under brakes, turning in a bit gingerly, not getting over enoung to touch my knee and generally running a little wide on exit. aaaahhhhh.


How can I get myself mentally back up? how can I bust through this? How can I restore faith in my bike? :( )(01 GSXR600)


Keith please help!

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Been there, done that (multiple times)...


Most recently, this last year, 4 days before I was to take the 2-day camp at my home track, I washed the front end in a turn and went head first into a tire wall at about 60mph. I thought I broke my neck for a while, but only compressed C4-C5 vertebrae in my neck.


In the course of the school, I understood more and more about why I crashed which raised my confidence a lot.


In the end, time and understanding will be the key to overcoming your barrier. There is no quick answer. Fear is a killer here and does MANY bad things. Fear will slow your lap times down while increasing your errors and can easily attribute to MORE crashes.


Classic instance/mistake. A person crashes in corner X. They come back out and going into corner X from then on, they start turning earlier because it "feels safer". Well, it's not safer and in fact is MORE DANGEROUS since it screws up your exit and requires more lean angle and mid-corner corrections.


I am no professional instructor, but understand enough to see MANY mistakes with my fellow racers. I see them and do my best not to repeat them myself.


What I do to overcome some of it is literally speak outloud to myself on the track. "DO NOT TURN IN EARLY - WATCH YOUR ENTRY POINT - WAIT, WAIT, WAIT, TURN - RELAX RELAX RELAX" Above ALL, you need to relax and get back to having fun. I get on the track and sing stupid Spongebob Squarepants songs which make me laugh. My lap times drop...


Understand that it's counter-logic you're working with. The harder you try, the slower you will go, and this I will guarantee you.....

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I would recommend you concentrate on the basic techniques as they are detailed in TOTW 2 and also TOTW, take the oppurtunity to work on these fundamentals. When you have a good plan going in your head for where you want to be on the track and what you want to be doing you are more focused and there is not much attention left over for fearful thoughts. Also if you haven't done so yet you could read the Soft Science of Road Racing Motorcycles, it is an awesome book for the mental side of racing and will help you to choose and focus your mind on the most advantageous thought processes for each part of the track.


I reckon the fun factor will come back to you indirectly if you apply the above advice.


I am not yet an instructor and all the above is IMHO

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Hey thanks Guy's,


Would you belive I read the TotW 1 and 2 and Soft Science like bibles. I am just starting to re read Soft Science. They are awesome books.


Speak out loud to myself. I like that. Try and over rule that other voice.


Ill let you know how I get on after our next round. :)

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One thing I do before entering a race to to work on one problem corner for my practice sessions.There's a saying"To go faster you need to slow down" Try entering the turn(remember all braking done upright) at about 80% of your speed.Keep going thru that turn at 80% till 80% feels like 60%.Then crank it back up till you feel it's 80% again.This helps get some confidence and cornerspeed back.The advice not to turn in early I feel is great. When you are at the apex get on the throttle asap.This will help to unload the front and help with steering.Good Luck.

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Your biggest problem and issue, is that you don?t know, or, unsure about what caused the frontend washout. Until you can sort out what actually happened in that corner that caused the front wheel to wash out, it will be a mental scar.


You need to go through the corner in your mind. Both a few laps before, and the time you actually got the front wheel washout. What was different? Speed? Location? Weather? What were you actually doing when the front wheel washed out? Was the front brake on? Were you on the throttle? Had you started/finished turning? Which part of the turn do you now feel apprehensive?


You mentioned that you replaced the fork seals and replaced springs afterwards. Had you been making suspension changes? Compression, rebound or pre-load? Were the fork seals leaking when it happened?


Talk to other races about it. Go through with them what happened. You?re not the only racer to have a front end washout on them. Did someone behind you see what happened? Other witnesses?


The survey says : Ask a racer what their worst corner is? Chances are, it?s a corner (or type of corner) that they?ve crashed at, and they don?t know why.


Late last year I posted a topic on this forum titled :

((Education) Awareness) Control + Plan) = Confidence?




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