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OK, so in a few recent forum questions and some in-person conversation with riding buddies, one question has come up a lot lately: how do I get faster?

 

So I'm curious what YOU would do if you decided you wanted to "be faster" on your motorcycle, on a specific track or course, in a short time. What sort of approach would you use to improve your laptimes during a trackday? How would you plan your tracktime, or preparation?

 

For the sake of discussion, let's use this scenario:

1) You have been to a particular track (or stretch of road) before, and you want to go faster on that specific course

2) By "go faster" I mean improve your laptime, or move up a level in an organization (maybe from "intermediate" to "advanced" in a trackday org), or possibly get around faster than another specific rider that you know.

3) You have one day of track time to actually ride the course to make improvements - but you are already reasonably familiar with it, and have some reference points.

3) You have enough time BEFORE your trackday to make a plan, study a trackmap, review Twist, etc., but not enough time to go to a school, or make major bike modifications, or lose 20 pounds - call it a week or less.

 

How would you use your preparation time and riding time to make the most gains in one day?

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So I'm curious what YOU would do if you decided you wanted to "be faster" on your motorcycle, on a specific track or course, in a short time. What sort of approach would you use to improve your laptimes during a trackday? How would you plan your tracktime, or preparation?

How would you use your preparation time and riding time to make the most gains in one day?

Hottie;

 

I learned from a couple of coaches to pick out one or two areas of a track I was familiar with and to concentrate hard on using all of the school's training to get through them faster than before. It wasn't meant to ignore the other sections of the track as much as getting totally focused for these preselected spots. The net effect was that I did get through them more quickly but almost by default I made it more quickly throught the other sections simply because I wasn't over thinking them - just riding thru them as fast as I could so I could get to the TARGETED sections sooner. Go figure...

 

Those Superbike School Coaches can be pretty tricky can't they?

 

Rain

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I would hire a good teacher :D

 

If I couldn't do that, I'd stand by the track and watch what others did, both slow and fast, to see if I could pick up what to do - and what not to do. Then go try and put it to good use. Probably without too much success.

 

If even that was off limits and I had to do it all by myself, I think I would not improve much. When going to a new go-kart track for the first time, driving karts, my second lap was 1 second within my fastest one of the day. Basically, I didn't improve from then on, despite trying various stuff. Initially, I was much faster than the other. After 30 minutes, the bloke who won the B-final set a best time that was 2/10 faster than my best. Although I easily won the A-final, everybody had closed up over the 3 ten minute sessions. If we had been on it for another 3 sessions, I'd be mid-pack. After a couple of days I'd probably be last :(

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So I'm curious what YOU would do if you decided you wanted to "be faster" on your motorcycle, on a specific track or course, in a short time. What sort of approach would you use to improve your laptimes during a trackday? How would you plan your tracktime, or preparation?

How would you use your preparation time and riding time to make the most gains in one day?

Hottie;

 

I learned from a couple of coaches to pick out one or two areas of a track I was familiar with and to concentrate hard on using all of the school's training to get through them faster than before. It wasn't meant to ignore the other sections of the track as much as getting totally focused for these preselected spots. The net effect was that I did get through them more quickly but almost by default I made it more quickly throught the other sections simply because I wasn't over thinking them - just riding thru them as fast as I could so I could get to the TARGETED sections sooner. Go figure...

 

Those Superbike School Coaches can be pretty tricky can't they?

 

Rain

 

OK, great answer, and that sounds like a useful approach. How did you pick which corners to work on? Did you target corners that were most important, in some way - like the highest speed corners, or the ones leading to a straight? Or was it based on corners that you were most uncomfortable with?

 

Also, how did you use "all the school's training" to get through them faster? Did you just work through skill by skill, session by session? If not, how did you choose/know which skills would net the most improvement?

 

And lastly, how did you measure your improvement, to know that you actually went faster?

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Hmmm...lots to choose from, isn't there?

 

I'd want to be rock solid with my references first. Per Keith, more time is made in the faster turns (anyone know which book that is in?), that'd be my focus first. Doing that, and as Rainman said, maybe just one or a few turns, leave the other areas alone to start with.

 

Usually leads to a series of skills that relate, but gotta narrow down which to use first: enter the turn faster, might have to turn it faster, etc.

 

Brakes would be my last place to add time, and measurements would be lap times, and (if poss) section times, which could be compared to others on similar bikes.

 

Completely off the cuff, I'd talk to the rider and consult with them, come up with a specifica plan, as we do in Level 4.

 

Best,

CF

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I am doing this now! I have a goal of a 1:37 lap time at Barber. I need 0.2 seconds to get there. I will need to get it done in one day. What do I do? I'm goiing to work out now because this is what drives me. Ill be back.

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Completely off the cuff, I'd talk to the rider and consult with them, come up with a specifica plan, as we do in Level 4.

 

Best,

CF

 

OK, so I know you, and I know Streets of Willow. So let's say you (on your own, with no one there to coach or observe you) wanted to get 1/2 second faster than your best laptime at Streets. Where would YOU, personally, try to get that time and what specific steps would you take to do it? Remember, you have one trackday to work on it, plus a few days in advance to plan.

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How did you pick which corners to work on?

The degree of (my) difficulty with them.

Also, how did you use "all the schools training" to get through them faster? Did you just work through skill by skill, session by session? If not, how did you choose/know which skills would net the most improvement?

Since I had a pretty good set of reference points (familiar track) I started with throttle control to establish a baseline entry speed and from there I would make sure I was fully implementing the two-step - this allowed me to increase my entry speed incrementally. In successive laps I found the three step helped me keep it within the asphalt as my exit speeds also increased. Once I started using the pick-up drill it allowed for a slightly quicker return to the throttle and each successive lap everything just went a bit more quickly. Back then (and somewhat still to this day) the quick turn has been an Achilles heel of mine; if I could have used it as naturally as many do I could have progressed even that much quicker. I still view that one skill as the one that has held me back more than anything else out there. Regardless, when I was in sections of the track that I felt more comfortable in I used the same techniques but it was with less forethought - so it just seemed to flow more easily.

And lastly, how did you measure your improvement, to know that you actually went faster?

Subsequently I learned that my lap times dropped but the more immediately feedback beyond the encouraging Coach's thumbs up was that I began to pass more than I was being passed. ; )

 

In summary however these particular segments didn't demand the use of all of the skills taught in Level's I & II and the Level III drills would be applied to squeeze more out later on but this is how I approached these segments back then.

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OK, so I know you, and I know Streets of Willow. So let's say you (on your own, with no one there to coach or observe you) wanted to get 1/2 second faster than your best laptime at Streets. Where would YOU, personally, try to get that time and what specific steps would you take to do it? Remember, you have one trackday to work on it, plus a few days in advance to plan.

 

My previous answer gives the overview. Lets say I found out that my drive onto the front straight was a hair stalled, I'd look at my references there, make sure I had the perfect ones (2-step and 3-step technique critical there). I'd also look at the fast turns, and how well I was getting through them: 1, 8, 9 (maybe pay attention to 6 into 7 too). They all lead to slower turns, so have to make sure I wasn't screwing up those entries when exiting faster.

 

Days prior, do a little homework, draw the turns out, get it out of my head, onto paper. Have a beer.

 

If really serious about this, I'd do some physical training too, not so hard to be worn out, but work the body and do some stretching, eat and hydrate well.

 

That answer it?

 

CF

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OK, so I know you, and I know Streets of Willow. So let's say you (on your own, with no one there to coach or observe you) wanted to get 1/2 second faster than your best laptime at Streets. Where would YOU, personally, try to get that time and what specific steps would you take to do it? Remember, you have one trackday to work on it, plus a few days in advance to plan.

 

My previous answer gives the overview. Lets say I found out that my drive onto the front straight was a hair stalled, I'd look at my references there, make sure I had the perfect ones (2-step and 3-step technique critical there). I'd also look at the fast turns, and how well I was getting through them: 1, 8, 9 (maybe pay attention to 6 into 7 too). They all lead to slower turns, so have to make sure I wasn't screwing up those entries when exiting faster.

 

Days prior, do a little homework, draw the turns out, get it out of my head, onto paper. Have a beer.

 

If really serious about this, I'd do some physical training too, not so hard to be worn out, but work the body and do some stretching, eat and hydrate well.

 

That answer it?

 

CF

 

Yes, it definitely helps. But I have an nearly endless supply of questions, so...

 

How would you "find out" you were a hair stalled on your drive into Turn 1? If you felt comfortable, had a consistent line through there, were riding what appeared to be the same line as faster riders, and thought you were getting the most drive your back tire and lean angle could handle, what would you try to change, to go faster yet? How would you KNOW your reference points were, or were not, "perfect"?

 

How would you evaluate "how well you were getting through" 1, 8, and 9?

 

I'm not trying to get in your face on this, I just really want to know. I curious about how others make, and execute, a plan to "get faster", if coming to a school or getting on track coaching is not an immediate option.

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I would like to chime in here. I am in need of 0.2 seconds to achieve my new goal but I believe I can get a little more than that maybe 0.5. Cobie mentioned the problem of his drive being stalled getting on the front straight. I have this problem as well. Not that it 's not fast but that I can get more drive. I am looking back two turns to achieve this goal. Now it's tricky because the last turn on to the straight is a little flat and it seems there is a motorcycle graveyard in the gravel off to the right of this left hander. But the turn before this one is a decreaseing radius turn. I go back to this turn to get a nice clean arch with good body position so that I can pick the bike up sooner to get more throttle between this turn and the last turn. I also need to initiate a good fast turn in to give myself room for the drift out to the curbing when I get on the throttle on the straight. I think that the more speed between turns, the increased corner speed on the last turn and the quicker turn in will get me 0.2 to .04 seconds. i have a plan.

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I would like to chime in here. I am in need of 0.2 seconds to achieve my new goal but I believe I can get a little more than that maybe 0.5. Cobie mentioned the problem of his drive being stalled getting on the front straight. I have this problem as well. Not that it 's not fast but that I can get more drive. I am looking back two turns to achieve this goal. Now it's tricky because the last turn on to the straight is a little flat and it seems there is a motorcycle graveyard in the gravel off to the right of this left hander. But the turn before this one is a decreaseing radius turn. I go back to this turn to get a nice clean arch with good body position so that I can pick the bike up sooner to get more throttle between this turn and the last turn. I also need to initiate a good fast turn in to give myself room for the drift out to the curbing when I get on the throttle on the straight. I think that the more speed between turns, the increased corner speed on the last turn and the quicker turn in will get me 0.2 to .04 seconds. i have a plan.

 

NICE! That sounds like a very specific and well thought-out plan, and I see the logic of carrying a bit more speed into the turn before the straight, so you can carry that extra bit of speed all the way down the straight (as in Cobie's example). Your plan incorporates the elements of identifying the best place to make up time (the straight, in this case), identifying exactly what you want to change and where, and what techniques to use to accomplish it.

 

That's a great example, thank you, and a clear illustration of how much more attainable and practical a real plan can be, compared to the all-too-common generalizations like "I need to increase my entry speeds" or "I need to brake later".

 

And I bet you'll get it done, I'll be interested to hear the results of your efforts.

 

I want to increase my entry speed into Turn 1 at Fontana. I'm thinking of closing my eyes, do you think that will help? :)

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Ride the track at night, or use a super-dark visor. Surely there's more than a few of us who go faster when we can't see where we're going? laugh.gif

(Actually I was just thinking about that earlier today, but that's a subject for an entirely different thread...)

 

For people riding a track, in upcoming preparation I was thinking of the drill where you sit at home with a stopwatch, close your eyes and do a lap in your mind. If you're close to your current lap time, then that's pretty good - if not it would show where you really need to think about getting some more reference points. Even looking over the track map and thinking on it a bit, then repeating the 'virtual lap' could probably help. I'd want to get to know each corner as well as possible. I have used the 'virtual lap' visualisation technique when I've had a bad first session (just riding over my head, making mistakes, not up to speed on corner entry & trying to make up for it on corner exit - rear steps out, sketchy stuff), went into the pits and just sat down and closed my eyes and did some laps through in my head. Made sure I stayed relaxed when I went out again and stuck to the lines (or plan) that I had been thinking about and it set me good again. Actually I did that again a couple more times and it kept helping me to stick to my 'plan', I went on improving and I'd say the last session was my very best of the day.

 

I'm not really at a point in my riding where I've reached a plateau yet, I still seem to be getting faster each track day (even though it may not be in large amounts). My current plan to 'get faster' is to keep increasing my corner entry speed gradually until I start getting some signs that I'm nearing the limit (tires moving/squirming/slipping etc... even knee sliders touching down regularly would be a nice sign tongue.gif ). And the same goes for opening the throttle earlier or more on corner exit, until I'm nearing the limit and get some signs from the tires. Ideally I've been thinking that I want to find that limit on each corner, but could take a while for some faster corners... or maybe not at all, but you've got to set high goals, right?

 

For street riding I think it's completely different - I used to think that there would be a certain speed that I would never exceed, so I could maintain a safety margin. But I've been finding that as I get a better understanding of the limits of the tires & bike (or rather how capable the tires and bike are), and as I get more comfortable with cornering speed I have actually started riding the twisties a bit faster as well. Honestly I used to think that I'd never ride as fast as I do on the twisties, I was a bit surprised when I started to think back after a recent ride just how quick I was going. But to make the single biggest increase in speed on the street I think the trick is 100% confidence and 0% fear. For example if you're thinking of oncoming cars or 'what if they cross the centre line' then there just won't be the attention needed. I'd say that any amount of fear or doubt will just slow you down. But I'd be a bit conflicted about giving that sort of advice to someone because there are some serious considerations to take into account with street riding...

 

One other thing that I noticed riding on the street is the reason for wanting to go fast can have a big difference. Not sure if it's just me, but I've found that having a real goal or reason for riding fast is a big help. Maybe it helps me to focus on something other than any doubts of fears. For instance on one street ride a mate had run wide on a corner (he was okay but the bike was a bit damaged). I had gone to find the others and lead them back to him, and that was some of my fastest street riding ever. By far. I was just thinking about getting back to my mate who'd crashed, not that he was even hurt at all, and I was not riding sketchy, it was perfectly controlled and I was staying in my lane, keeping my line. On one blind corner I even had one of my very first 1-g cornering experiences (it was my first and only on the street so far). On the track I've also noticed that "going fast" or "being faster" is just not a good enough goal or reason for me. One time I was the first rider on track in the very last session of the day. I was just thinking about not holding up everyone behind me. No one passed me that session. But that could have just been because 3/4 of the people had already packed up and gone home. laugh.giftongue.gif

 

Has anyone else noticed that they ride faster when you have a better reason other that just wanting to go fast?

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For track riding, and I'm no expert on track riding, I would find the corner leading into the longest straight and make sure I had good reference points going in, plus a good view of the apex and exit on the way out. Then I would work on keeping my eyes up and getiing on the gas a little earlier and a little harder each lap. Then I would work on the next corner leading into the next longest straight.

 

On the street, my speed went up significantly when I promised myself to never over ride my braking ability. Put another way, I promised mysef to only ride as fast as I could see. When I just watched the vanishing point, to make sure I could see as far down the road as possible (thus maximizing my braking/swerving ability), I found I could confidently go so fast that a ticket was inevitable. On the street, it seemed like many corners could be taken "safely" at maybe twice the posted speed limit. By "safely" I mean the tires would stick, the bike wouldn't slide out or fall down and I could see far enough down the road to stop if I had to. Of course, you can't safely take corners at 90 mph on the street without running over a turttle or careening smack dab into a hay wagon.

 

I think for the track, a track map and a plan would go a long way, but what do I know?

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I was at Almeria a little time ago and got some tuition from Simon Crafar which, in conjunction with what I've learnt from the CSS enabled me to find a significant amount of additional time which has worked on other tracks.

I've always tried to follow the advice given me by another famous racer: the key to a fast lap is to hold the throttle fully open for longer than the other guy.

In other words plan your lap to spend as much time as possible with the throttle wide open.

As Simon Crafar says: its not who opens the throttle first its who opens the throttle fully first that counts.

 

I know that this sounds obvious but its important to understand what this does to your plan of attack and how you position yourself on your bike especially if we are talking about modern 1000cc machinery.

What this means for me is there are key places on the track where you don't leave a space between you and the tank as taught in level 3 - you need to be cramming yourself as far fwds as possible because lifting the front wheel limits drive. Every .1s you spend without the throttle against the stop is yards at the end of a big straight

There are places where the throttle rule does not count - smoothly and progressively throughout the rest of the turn - or not as we (or I ) understood it - turn in, complete braking, feather throttle to stop the bike slowing down any further, wait, pick it up and slam the throttle wide open - this technique where the throttle was against the stops before the apex onto a 900m straight gained over .5 a second or 40m at the end of the straight against a more progressive approach (on a bike making 220bhp)

 

So what I'm saying is this: you are going to have a plan of attack. Anyone looking for a 10th or so a lap has a pretty good idea of where they are and what they are doing at all times. Its worth reappraising that plan of attack with reference to keeping the throttle absolutely pinned for longer and it doesn't matter very much how you achieve it.

 

Hope this helps - or was it too obvious?

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One of the things I have found useful and sometimes surprising, is the GPS laptimer. You can take several different stored laps with different laptimes and "race" them on the computer screen. When I took laps with a 2 second spread, I found that the differences were not always in the fast corners as one might think, but in the slow corners where the drive into a fast section was critical.

 

As an example, on a fast sweeper (80mph tip in, 60-65 apex) at the end of the straight, if entry was a little faster, the roll on was delayed, and mid-late corner speed was the same. By the end of the corner, the slower entry would usually even out with the fast entry.

 

On the 30-35mph apex, sharp 90 degree dogleg leading onto the front straight, you could easily gain a second in lap time from making the fastest/ sharpest turn possible and standing the bike up at full throttle ASAP. The same for the last slow corner before the back straight, deep entry, quick turn, late apex , knee in the dirt, and drifting out to the far side of the track on the drive would knock a second off as well, and this is on a 250 Ninja, so bikes with more than 31 HP could probably do even better.

 

As Cobie said, you should look at the fast corners, but he also mentioned the drive onto the front straight and out of 8 as well. This is where I would look for time.

 

Also, after reviewing some of my laps from Streets (on my R6), I was surprised to find that my speed into the kink was +/- a couple of MPH to my speed into T1! Keeping the throttle pinned just a little further into each of these spots can help a bit as well.

 

-Sean

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Yes, it definitely helps. But I have an nearly endless supply of questions, so...

 

How would you "find out" you were a hair stalled on your drive into Turn 1? If you felt comfortable, had a consistent line through there, were riding what appeared to be the same line as faster riders, and thought you were getting the most drive your back tire and lean angle could handle, what would you try to change, to go faster yet? How would you KNOW your reference points were, or were not, "perfect"?

 

How would you evaluate "how well you were getting through" 1, 8, and 9?

 

I'm not trying to get in your face on this, I just really want to know. I curious about how others make, and execute, a plan to "get faster", if coming to a school or getting on track coaching is not an immediate option.

 

, I wrote a detailed answer on this, and hit the wrong button and it got nuked... :blink: Now I'm out of time, so here is a short version:

 

First comes observation. What am I doing? Am I going through there as fast as is humanely possible? What are others doing that is better/faster than me? If a faster guy came past, I'd watch to see what that rider was doing, and if I could use that technique or not. Sometimes it's not possible--80 pound kid on a 125 GP bike, with 700 degrees of lean angle--I'm not going to equal that, so don't even try. But a 250 lb guy on a 600 comes past...I better see what he's doing better than I am!

 

Am I late back to the gas, not straightening the turn out all the way, a little tight on the bars, running a bit wider than I want (also stalling me on the gas) am I "stuck" on the turn point, or the apex? Getting visual info too late, being a wuss with the gas on the way out?

 

Obseving is a real, real skill. Honestly, I think it is one of the key's to Keith's genius in the area, his ability to look, and see what is really there, replay it later...amazing.

 

OK, so first is observing, then the solution is based on what was observed. I know you are at the track today so you won't see this very soon (likely), but I'll be interested what you think.

 

Best,

CF

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The plan I use before, during and after each trackday, is this (and I'm slowly but steadily getting faster:

 

Two weeks before: clean bike and check for fluid leaks, check oil, brakepads/fluid level/color, chain and sprocket wear, battery voltage and coolant level. Go over the critical (I look at all drain plugs, footrest/sprocket/yoke/handlebar/brakecaliper-bolts) chassis and engine-bolts so they are properly torqued up. A paintpen or lockwire will save you time in this procedure. This will help you feel secure about the bike and help to focus on what's important. Two weeks before is so there is time to correct any shortcommings and most get any part needed from a dealer. And remember to start up the bike (if its a track only one) and make sure it will!!

 

When bike check up is done: Look over notes from last TD (I have a book where I write down bike settings and 1-3 bullets good/bad about the bike/my riding/a specific part of the track) and recap strongpoints and things you can improve on. Then sit down and decide what areas of your riding you want to improve on the coming TD, pick only one or two that you think are real areas for improvment. Reread the appropiate part of TOTW (I/II) and nothing else, then read it again and think about for a few days.

Use a trackmap to help you visualize the track, start off by just getting to know the way around again, then progress to mentally ride the bike around the track. When this feels almost natural and you don't need the map for referance anymore, start applying the techniques that you identified you need to work on and imagine the (realistic) output of this. Refine untill you feel confident and you can almost time your laps in your head. You can add wheelies, slides and headshakes and then apply your response to this in your head.

It sounds weird, I know, but what you do is mentally prepare your responses and thereby calming your potential SR. Of course this is also something to train and you need to physically ride a bike to give you the data to work with in your head.

 

Workout and diet: Do this regularly so you don't overtrain in an attempt to "get ready", focus on core strenght and stamina, crossfit is good for this. As for workout, diet is much the same, don't do anything radical just before a TD, but one thing that actually sharpens your focus if done a few days before, is if you start drinking more water, go from the average 2liters a day (depending on where you live I guess) to 3-4 liters really makes a difference. And don't eat to heavily the day before, but don't feel hungry.

 

The day before:

Pack all the stuff you need, I mean everything, this day and if you don't have a van or the like, place it right next the bike in the bags/boxes you will transport it in. This also includes drinking water, tools, energybar, spare clothes, leathersuit etc etc..

Still do the visualizing exercise and keep refining.

 

On the day:

Load the car and take off early, estimate when you need to go, so you'll be at the track ready for the riders briefing without rushing, then go half an hour before that. Calmness is key.

Warm up the bike as soon you have a spare 15-20min and check/set the tire pressures, deconflict with riders briefing etc.

Remember to drink a little all the time, not alot one time.

 

In the session: Use your visualizing skills in real life, and get up to pace within the first session. Make notes of the following: does your knees kiss every apex? Do I leave room on any of my exits? and am I using full throttle on the straights and all of the straight? If your knees doesn't scrape on the apex, you will have extra cornerspeed available (in broad terms), and I will release my brake a bit earlier (release brake RP moved AWAY from the corner). If I leave room on the exit, you can generally stand the bike up earlier and use that room for more speed down the straight. And you would amazed how many people who don't go for WOT subconsiencely (spelling).

But most importantly, relax and keep calm.

 

After the session: make notes of your riding, the bike and the track. And reevaluate your choosen points of improvment and adjust your mental session in accordance with the last session and your improvments. Drink water!

 

After the TD: read all your notes and decide if you met your goals and in relation to that, make new benchmarks for the next TD. This where you decide if the day was a good or bad, don't do that during the day.

 

I have tried illustrate what works for me, and that, for me, 80% of improvments are in the head and in preparation.

 

Ronni

 

Added: Just reread the entire tread again, and it seems you are mostly after is the sort of thing that I touched in "in the session" which was quite short. I feel, that if you feel totally comfortable, then your only at 99%, whereas if you calmly push yourself out of your comfortzone then you'll highlight a bad line/RP. And as Cobie says (writes!?!) work on braking last, basicly work on the corner backwards, focus on how to get best drive off the corner first, then identify which apex will get you there and finally work out where to release (and grab) the brake to reach that apex. I prefer to adjust my "brake release RP" even if it slightly hurts the maximum straightline speed, instead of moving my "brake on RP" closer to the corner, I find it settles the bike much more and gives more cornerspeed. This might not be right for you or others, since my bike is tiny lightweight 400, which need the very high cornerspeed.

But as whole, I would still say, it's mostly in your head.

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  • 2 weeks later...

One of the things I have found useful and sometimes surprising, is the GPS laptimer. You can take several different stored laps with different laptimes and "race" them on the computer screen. When I took laps with a 2 second spread, I found that the differences were not always in the fast corners as one might think, but in the slow corners where the drive into a fast section was critical.

+1 on the GPS laptimer.

 

By looking at the GPS datalog, I've found that just holding the throttle (wide) open a little longer towards a turn can make as much difference as 0.3seconds - for each turn.

 

If I wanted to find 1/2 second on a particular track, I would look at the long, fast turns where a lot of time is spent and the turns leading onto a straight and look at where I could improve.

 

Take Ring Knutstorp, one of my local tracks: Like fossil's track the final turn onto the main straight isn't difficult. The second turn and the piece between those two turns are tricky: I's a left-right combination, but the left turn has big banking change, so you need to stay right at the inner curb to avoid the banking; then it's standing up the bike and making sure it doesn't shake too much as the track descents a bit (about 1.2m - 4ft) and you need to lean the bike to the right. I like to get the bike settled after the drop, but it costs me 10-20meters down the straight.

 

I'm down 9 seconds on the track record, so I could essentially just go faster everywhere, but that isn't a plan as such :D

 

Kai

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See, I have been in this situation and often find that no matter what plan I come up with, I end up with slower laptimes. (practice day before a race the next day)

 

I think it has little to do with technique and more to do with familiarity! At my local track I have been through the 7 turns hundreds of times and am familiar with all my RP's , track position, when I shift gear, get on the gas etc. It's easy to sit in the pits with a track map, pick a corner and apply a plan. However, the first time you execute that plan, you are suddenly in unfamilar turf (let's say, you shift a turn point deeper into the corner to square it off and try and get better drive onto a straight). This might be a good plan, but being on an unfamiliar piece of tarmac will probably mean you don't attack the corner with quite as much pace as previously and therefore you end up with a slower laptime which then gets you questioning whether you plan was actually a good idea in the first place! Sure, you can persevere session after session, but I just don't think you can totally reprogram your brain in one day! I'm pretty sure that there are riders all over the world who go faster on a trackday than their previous, but the closer you get to the pointy end of laptimes, finding time gets more and more difficult and takes more and more practice i.e more than the single day given in the original post.

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...How would you plan your tracktime, or preparation?

...BEFORE your trackday to make a plan, study a trackmap, review Twist, etc

...How would you use your preparation time and riding time to make the most gains in one day?

 

Hotfoot

I love this.

It's S.M.A.R.T.

I guess my 80/20 my DOG ATE YER HOMEWORK topic just echoes what you'd already gotten to here :o)

Ago

cf Tw1

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... How did you pick which corners to work on?

... In summary however these particular segments didn't demand the use of all of the skills taught in Level's I & II... And lastly, how did you measure your improvement, to know that you actually went faster?

A la Tw1.Stopwatch, anyone using Sector Times to diagnose (dx) targets / corners and/or to Measure (mx) success?

Ago

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+1 on the GPS laptimer.

By looking at the GPS datalog, I've found that just holding the throttle (wide) open a little longer towards a turn can make as much difference as 0.3seconds - for each turn.

Kai

  1. Did you maintain the throttle wide on a particular turn?
  2. How did you measure the delta, ie how did you figure "a little longer?"

Ago

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+1 on the GPS laptimer.

By looking at the GPS datalog, I've found that just holding the throttle (wide) open a little longer towards a turn can make as much difference as 0.3seconds - for each turn.

  1. Did you maintain the throttle wide on a particular turn?
  2. How did you measure the delta, ie how did you figure "a little longer?"

Justin,

 

What I have observed is, that if I conciously continue to keep the throttle WFO a little longer coming up to a corner, than what I would do "lazily", I could gain about 0.3seconds on the laptime.

 

My laptimer just records GPS coordinates; it's not a fully fledged datalogger, so I cannot tell you what "a little longer" is in milliseconds (I don't have the data). The data analysis program that comes with my (*shameless plug*) Starlane Stealth GPS-2 laptimer (*shameless plug*) is able to compare up to three laps, and tell you how much ahead/behind you are in time or distance on lap A vs lap B, so this is how I can say 0.3seconds with good confidence. I noticed this first at Most last year, and from that observation and applying it to all sections on the track, I was able to cut out 3 seconds fairly easily. Post-analysis of all laps from Most says that if I did a "perfect" lap, I would probably cut out another 3 seconds...

 

But hey, I'm not 3 seconds off the lap record (rather 20 seconds or so).

 

I hope this made sense to you.

 

Kai

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