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Stuck On A Time....


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For three track days in a row at my home track (been on it maybe 15 times) I saw no improvement whatsoever - totally stuck in a rut. Then, last day out, for no obvious (to me) reason, I was suddenly knee down all over the place instead of just in a few corners and dropped well over 2 s. No change to bike or tires - just a leap forward in my level of confidence. I am doing low 1:27s (on Dunlop Q2s), whereas a race-winning pace for my class of bike is about 1:17 - so I am still about 10 s adrift.

 

Since then, I had professional instruction at another track that I had never been on before. I thought I needed to work on body position, but the coach said it was just fine, and corner speed was also respectable. I needed to work on lines and braking points, and also using the throttle more to let the bike flow outwards and use all the room at the exits. Taking his advice on these things corner by corner, by the end of the seven sessions I was doing low 1:18s, which is only 7 s away from the best race times for my class of bike on that track layout. I actually could have raced that weekend on my Q2s and not embarrassed myself (i.e., I wouldn't have finished last!). By the end of the day I was one gear higher in literally every corner.

 

So, one day of coaching to accomplish at that track what I have been after for several seasons on my own at my home track. +1 for the value of getting professional instruction. But my question is this: having seen how much faster I can get with proper lines and braking points basically handed to me, how the heck can I get better at figuring those things out for myself? I find that watching video of the fast guys is not really that useful when you get down to that level of detail.

 

I am back at my home track on Monday and want to have a set strategy in my head for improvement - it is so easy to get stuck in a rut when you have done hundreds of laps on the same layout. I hope to see a 1:25.x, which would have me within a few seconds of red group pace.

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What I do:

 

Simple answer: Have a chat with a control rider then get a tow.

 

Complex answer:

Get a track map

Break up the track into sections,

Pic a section to work on

Write down my current markers on the track map

Skip one of my sessions.

Hoof it over to the corner(s) that I want to work on and just watch the fast riders.

 

I answer the following questions;

Where do they pop up?

Where do they hit the brakes?

Where is their turn in point?

Where do they apex?

Where do they start the roll on?

Ect... ect... I take a track map and put notes on it.

 

I then review/compare with my markers, then get a control rider to review with me and get that tow.

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Thanks C - good suggestions.

 

At our track you can't really walk around it to place yourself as an observer at most corners - you are pretty much confined to the pit wall area on the front straight.

 

Once I drop a few more seconds I could possibly move up to the advanced group, and then go to school on the lines of all the really fast guys.

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