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Passing Impulse


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Even though you know you are in class.

Even though you respect the rules.

Even though you respect your instructor.

Even though you know it's specifically for your own benefit.....

How many of you CAN'T STAND being passed?

I have to force myself to hold it steady every time.  That is probably one of the hardest parts of track days.

Am I alone here?

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Perhaps you should consider racing. When I get Open track time, that is for me to work on a skill, I couldn’t care less when I’m using that time to work on that skill because I purposely back it down to 70% and then gradually turn up the wick. I felt like you before I started racing.

I’m still slow and have no delusions about my skill, but racing has given me a better barometer and takes my mind off the technicals of riding and it becomes just about chasing the guy in front or keeping the guy, who’s intake I can now hear behind me. Keep doing that for X number of laps and the race is over. It’s always gratifying to beat the guy who last beat you or a higher classed machine.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It bothers me too. It's tough because I'm constantly reminding myself that I'm just not good...YET.... so i try to stay in my lane so to speak, focus on areas where I need improvement(basically everything lol) but still.

I'm sure most of us are a little impatient and anxious to see improvement and passing others or NOT getting passed is a sign of that. I take comfort in knowing I'm not THAT slow because I DO on occasion pass people on track days but not many. It's definitely a point of frustration for me lol. I do plan on eventually participating in some amateur racing once I feel I have reached a certain level of riding, but I have a ways to go. 

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For what it's worth, I actually had to sort of deal with the opposite problem. My instincts when passed are to back off and give the person room so I don't have to worry about them anymore, and when I started racing this was hard to unlearn; nowadays I struggle more with picking my passes, especially when in 'packs' where I don't want to pass someone then have to change lines or hit my brakes due to someone in front of them while at the same time not staying at the back longer than I have to.

One thing that may help with the urge (over time, not immediately) is moving to a lower displacement bike -- I get passed all the time on 250s and 300s going down straights without any ego involved since they have more than 5 times my horsepower. As I've gotten better it's now a game to pass them back in the corners but that can be quite hard if they have good lines and skill.

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Passing...an art really.  A bunch of visual components, and then the different arenas where it's used, and requiring a different attitude.  Passing at the School, as opposed to passing in racing.  Back in the '90's one of the top guys in the US at the time was Miguel DuHamel.  Over from Oz came Anthony Gobert.  Watched Miguel try and stuff it in on Miguel at Big Willow, turn 1.  Most riders would have changed line, moved over, flinched, run wide, etc.

Gobert didn't alter line at all, he just didn't care.  Great example of solid visual skills, no narrowing of his attention, didn't get surprised.  But...he also just didn't care.  He was a little young for this line, but "Rubbin is racing" obviously was fine with him.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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