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risk management advice from experienced racers

  1. #1
    thrilled brady's Avatar
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    risk management advice from experienced racers


    In case anyone has mercifully given up on that thread from the general forum:
    I'd like to know if any of you (that have actually raced/crashed/gotten hurt/gotten hurt feelings/gotten older and smarter/have a wife or kids) have what I'll call "micro-strategies" for minimizing risk while racing, even if specific to Loudon.
    In other words, after thorough rider and bike prep, safety equipment, training, practice, and after acknowledging the real dangers to your health, equipment, finances, and family, are there any more specific strategies that make you feel safer?

    possible examples?:

    1. pay extra attention to complaints about erratic riders, look for poorly prepped bikes, make sure you know who they are
    2. " go to work on Monday", "relax, have fun" etc. taped to gas tank
    3. don't take a braking duel deep into T3 if you're on the outside
    4. try to be patient and smart, let the race come to you
    5. don't try to take that motard's crazy line

    I may be am delusional, but it seems like there must be some interesting advice out there, whether related to a specific corner, passing strategy, or even just mindset.

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    Last edited by brady; 02-14-11 at 03:00 PM.
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    Lifer Pittenger5's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Its a balance for me (or was till I was forced into a hiatus). You definitely learn who you dont want to be near quickly. You need to be competitive, otherwise whats the point, but a we all have to be at work on Monday is a mentality everyone should have. There's VERY few people at Loudon who even have hopes at running AMA let alone MotoGP. If you cant make a pass relatively clean and make it stick, why bother, theres another turn coming. Patience is definitely a virtue, no need to shove a pass where it doesnt belong, there will be another chance soon.
    And dont use the motards line and braking markers, unless youre on a motard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
    My favorite was you going through T2 with your eyes closed.

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    I always had a rule about passing.
    "if you have to think about it, even for a second, don't do it. Wait for a better time"

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    Just Registered Doc's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    I have always tried to be patient and smart. My racecraft hasn't advanced as quick as others but I make little improvements and I am happy with them.

    I am also happy mixing it up in 10th in Expert. Sure I am bored if I am all alone out there but I am still having fun and trying to be consistent.

    I found out last year that I need to ride harder the 1st couple laps and then everything seems to slow down and I am further up in the pack then I would get if I ran a 1:28 out lap.

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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by brady View Post

    possible examples?:

    1. pay extra attention to complaints about erratic riders, look for poorly prepped bikes, make sure you know who they are
    2. " go to work on Monday", "relax, have fun" etc. taped to gas tank
    3. don't take a braking duel deep into T3 if you're on the outside
    4. try to be patient and smart, let the race come to you
    5. don't try to take that motard's crazy line

    I may be am delusional, but it seems like there must be some interesting advice out there, whether related to a specific corner, passing strategy, or even just mindset.
    That's a good list to start. I'd add:

    6.don't follow in anyones wheeltracks. Set up to pass even if you think you can't get by. This way when all hell breaks loose in front of you, you have an escape route.
    7.When in doubt, lean it in and try to make the turn. You'll scrub speed even without the brakes and even a fast lowside is less painful than the alternatives.
    8. practice at race pace so that you get good at handling situations at race pace. Nothing more dangerous than racing 2 seconds a lap faster than you are used to IMO.
    9. When faced with imminent disaster, do nothing different than you normally would. slow, look, press and roll on through the corner. When you try and do something different is when you are sure to get hurt the worst.

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  6. #6
    thrilled brady's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    this is the kind of stuff I was looking for, thanks

    anyone have any Loudon-specific advice?

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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Those secrets you have to pay for...

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    Paul_E_D


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    Lifer Fitz's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by brady View Post
    anyone have any Loudon-specific advice?
    Don't piss off Wanda?

    Fitz

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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    I like # 6 , " The escape route " never follow another persons Wheel tracks , allthought I don't race , even when riding in a group , sometimes you get the squid. That gets to close in front, then he goes down, not following that line and having an escape saved me more than once ,

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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Learn to get the holeshot to avoid all the chaos in T1. Thats always a help.

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    Just Registered Doc's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    Don't piss off Wanda?

    Fitz
    Don't do donuts in the parking lot with your new Truck.

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  12. #12
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by BluGixxer View Post
    I like # 6 , " The escape route " never follow another persons Wheel tracks , allthought I don't race , even when riding in a group , sometimes you get the squid. That gets to close in front, then he goes down, not following that line and having an escape saved me more than once ,
    I should say it works best if you are looking up the inside. That way you're escape is on the racing line as the crasher(s) orbit to the outside.

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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    I'll probably get nuked as a know it all but here goes anyway. Pauls list is awesome. I'd only add to that to buy the very best gear you can possibly afford. If it means putting off that new exhaust or switching for 209a's to nTecs, do it.
    Something that I do that sounds silly but I believe helps keep me safe is to go out dirtbike riding the day before going racing. I totally suck on a dirtbike and I ride with a fast aggressive guy half my age. This will sound stupid as hell but all the sliding, and especially all the falling, gets me comfortable, loose and relaxed on the track, and a combination of that and me being an old slow reflexed dude, when the bike steps out I don't pucker and chop the throttle. It also helps me to not think of crashing.
    I also think it doesn't hurt one bit to get to know all the folks in your class. Not always, but most peoples personally transfers to the track
    Take this all with a grain of salt, as my credentials have not been proven

    EDIT: Told you I was old, I didn't see the "after safety equipment" I apologize. Lost 2 friends in my life due to inadequate safety equipment, so if I come off like a mom, forgive me.

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    Last edited by lrrs182; 02-14-11 at 08:14 PM.
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    Expert Novice "Dangerous" Dan K's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by brady View Post
    In case anyone has mercifully given up on that thread from the general forum:
    I'd like to know if any of you (that have actually raced/crashed/gotten hurt/gotten hurt feelings/gotten older and smarter/have a wife or kids) have what I'll call "micro-strategies" for minimizing risk while racing, even if specific to Loudon.
    In other words, after thorough rider and bike prep, safety equipment, training, practice, and after acknowledging the real dangers to your health, equipment, finances, and family, are there any more specific strategies that make you feel safer?

    possible examples?:

    1. pay extra attention to complaints about erratic riders, look for poorly prepped bikes, make sure you know who they are
    2. " go to work on Monday", "relax, have fun" etc. taped to gas tank
    3. don't take a braking duel deep into T3 if you're on the outside
    4. try to be patient and smart, let the race come to you
    5. don't try to take that motard's crazy line

    I may be am delusional, but it seems like there must be some interesting advice out there, whether related to a specific corner, passing strategy, or even just mindset.
    1) Yes
    2) No - keep it in mind. I only put stuff to motivate me to faster on my tank. The point is to go fast, no?
    3) I love passing there. Depends how good you are on the brakes. BTW, as someone that loves passing there, I can say with experience that those tires are hard. Do the math...
    4) Yes. Capitalize on their mistakes, don't bonzaii on in.
    5) Unless you're on a motard. As a NV, a sportbike (or even a schoolbu.... er... ex500) can outbrake a 'tard. Try that shit in AM and get reality checked real quick (see: tires are hard)

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    That's a good list to start. I'd add:

    6.don't follow in anyones wheeltracks. Set up to pass even if you think you can't get by. This way when all hell breaks loose in front of you, you have an escape route.
    7.When in doubt, lean it in and try to make the turn. You'll scrub speed even without the brakes and even a fast lowside is less painful than the alternatives.
    8. practice at race pace so that you get good at handling situations at race pace. Nothing more dangerous than racing 2 seconds a lap faster than you are used to IMO.
    9. When faced with imminent disaster, do nothing different than you normally would. slow, look, press and roll on through the corner. When you try and do something different is when you are sure to get hurt the worst.
    All this!

    #6, not just for the reason Paul gave but because iof they wuss out and brake early you fly by without losing your line. Nothing screws up your flow like being forced onto the brakes too early by the bike in front of you because you were on his rear wheel.

    $7, heard this from every fast guy I know. FYI, Paul gets fast guy status.

    #8. I agree for race practice. I like to do TDs slower to work on form, technique, etc. Don't think this actually disagrees with Paul, and if it does I'd probably suggest listening to him over me. Just saying for me, I treat race practice like a race (although I don't pass quite as agressivly) but like TDs for technique refinement without time concerns.

    #9 I know nothing about, but I trust Paul's experience here. All I know is if you break the rear free don't roll off, and if you swap paint with a buddy stay on the gas ( kurlon)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    Don't piss off Wanda?

    Fitz
    This as well.

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  15. #15
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Make sure that your equipment is in tip top shape and all the bike maintenance that could possibly be done has been done. Being cheap is ok, but don't overdo it.

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  16. #16
    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    I agree with a lot of what's been said. I like Degsy's point about thinking about the pass and all of Paul's points, including the race practice bit. Practice like you race. Race like you practice...

    However.... when trying something different - a different line, technique, etc - I find that it's a good idea to back it off just a touch. The last time I crashed was almost two years ago when I tried a different line through T8 at full race pace..... I ended up on my back in the gravel inside of T9.

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  17. #17
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Good one Pete.

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  18. #18
    thrilled brady's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    Those secrets you have to pay for...
    how about if I grovel? I'm not looking for the "go faster than Paul" secrets (yet), just looking to be a little safer
    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz View Post
    Don't piss off Wanda?
    Fitz
    does she like flowers?
    Quote Originally Posted by Slowpoke387 View Post
    Learn to get the holeshot to avoid all the chaos in T1. Thats always a help.
    seems like it's a fine line between the holeshot and the middle of the cluster!
    Quote Originally Posted by lrrs182 View Post
    I'll probably get nuked as a know it all but here goes anyway.
    no nukes! no nukes! no nukes! no nukes! (sorry, 1970's Seabrook flashback....)
    Quote Originally Posted by lrrs182 View Post
    being an old slow reflexed dude
    I'm getting there
    Quote Originally Posted by lrrs182 View Post
    I come off like a mom, forgive me.
    piss off, mom!
    Quote Originally Posted by "Dangerous" Dan K View Post
    2) The point is to go fast, no?
    of course, but not quite what I'm asking
    Quote Originally Posted by "Dangerous" Dan K View Post
    3) I love passing there.
    on the outside?!
    Quote Originally Posted by "Dangerous" Dan K View Post
    Paul gets fast guy status.
    everyone that's actually raced gets some status from me, but yeah, Paul more than others

    thanks everyone, keep them coming

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  19. #19
    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    The thing about loudon is just that it's such a peculiar track with changeable traction etc. The key is just to get as many laps in all conditions as you can possibly afford. Learn escape route, like the oval in T1, the pass through in T3, perhaps grass to oval outside 11 (watch out for the ditch).

    ID danger spots where you don't want to crash/runoff like the left side of the T3 chute, the far right at the entrance to the bowl, outside T8, late outside of 9, early outside of ten, and the pinch point on the outside entrance to 11. Phew, that's a lot of danger spots. The key to avoiding most of them is #7 above. Get your direction change initiated above all else. You will be pointed away from the danger and can crash more safely. (ha!)

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  20. #20
    live to ride seth399's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by brady View Post
    [LIST=1]
    [*]" go to work on Monday"

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  21. #21
    thrilled brady's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by "Dangerous" Dan K View Post
    3) I love passing there [T3 chute, outside?]. Depends how good you are on the brakes.
    Just to ask again, you're talking about passing deep in the chute, as opposed to the actual corner? I like passing on the brakes, too, but I've heard more than one racer talk about spooking the passee and getting run wide in a bad spot. The T3 chute also seems like an easy place for testosterone and adrenaline to combine badly, which is why I mentioned the braking "duel". Not to mention the actual history of incidents there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_E_D View Post
    ID danger spots where you don't want to crash/runoff like the left side of the T3 chute, the far right at the entrance to the bowl, outside T8, late outside of 9, early outside of ten, and the pinch point on the outside entrance to 11. Phew, that's a lot of danger spots. The key to avoiding most of them is #7 above. Get your direction change initiated above all else. You will be pointed away from the danger and can crash more safely. (ha!)
    Exactly the kind of corner-specific stuff I was looking for, made even more critical when race traffic and passing are in the mix. Seems like the outside exit of T2 would be any easy place to get pinched, but maybe there's never a good reason to be there?

    I've heard enough stories about the T3 chute that it was already large on my radar, and have experienced the outside T11 and T6 entrance pinches, if only as trackday swerves by a passee.

    Good stuff about passing and practice strategies too, Degsy and Pete, I just don't have as many questions in those areas yet.

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    Last edited by brady; 02-15-11 at 10:29 AM. Reason: grammar
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  22. #22
    Expert Novice "Dangerous" Dan K's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by brady View Post
    Just to ask again, you're talking about passing deep in the chute, as opposed to the actual corner? I like passing on the brakes, too, but I've heard more than one racer talk about spooking the passee and getting run wide in a bad spot. The T3 chute also seems like an easy place for testosterone and adrenaline to combine badly, which is why I mentioned the braking "duel". Not to mention the actual history incidents there.

    Exactly the kind of corner-specific stuff I was looking for, made even more critical when race traffic and passing are in the mix. Seems like the outside exit of T2 would be any easy place to get pinched, but maybe there's never a good reason to be there?

    I've heard enough stories about the T3 chute that it was already large on my radar, and have experienced the outside T11 and T6 entrance pinches, if only as trackday swerves by a passee.

    Good stuff about passing and practice strategies too, Degsy and Pete, I just don't have as many questions in those areas yet.
    If you are on the outside in the chute, you already have the better line. Three person on the inside went off line to try to out brake you. In that instance I will definitely get into the braking duel. Just gotta hope the guy on the inside isn't playing hero and isn't about to tuck the front and take you out (not uncommon in NV, esp. NV MW.

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  23. #23
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by brady View Post
    Just to ask again, you're talking about passing deep in the chute, as opposed to the actual corner? I like passing on the brakes, too, but I've heard more than one racer talk about spooking the passee and getting run wide in a bad spot. The T3 chute also seems like an easy place for testosterone and adrenaline to combine badly, which is why I mentioned the braking "duel". Not to mention the actual history incidents there.
    you can always stand it up and have a coffee break with the cw's at the split of you're on the outside.

    it's a good spot to get aggressive, imo.

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  24. #24
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by "Dangerous" Dan K View Post
    If you are on the outside in the chute, you already have the better line. Three person on the inside went off line to try to out brake you. In that instance I will definitely get into the braking duel. Just gotta hope the guy on the inside isn't playing hero and isn't about to tuck the front and take you out (not uncommon in NV, esp. NV MW.
    Yeah... That scenario won't work for you much longer.

    I don't try and out-brake anyone if I'm on the outside line unless there's a huge speed differential. Even then, I'd rather be on the inside cuz what happens if they start drifting to the edge to make the turn-in just as you're coming up along side em? Then it turns into *cone, pavement, sky, grass (if you're lucky) sky* repeat.. Once someone takes the line on the inside and pulls even, they've pretty much got the line.

    I tried going two wide into T3 once with Mark Dages on my inside. We turned in almost side-by-side but I backed off because he had the line. Good thing I did, because he spun up the rear through the transition section and it slid out from under him. Good thing I wasn't there anymore.

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    Last edited by OreoGaborio; 02-15-11 at 11:09 AM.
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  25. #25
    thrilled brady's Avatar
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    Re: risk management advice from experienced racers

    Quote Originally Posted by "Dangerous" Dan K View Post
    If you are on the outside in the chute, you already have the better line.
    agreed
    Quote Originally Posted by "Dangerous" Dan K View Post
    Just gotta hope the guy on the inside isn't playing hero and isn't about to tuck the front and take you out (not uncommon in NV, esp. NV MW.
    exactly what has me thinking like a girly-man here

    edit: didn't see pre-emptive ninja post by Pete

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    Last edited by brady; 02-15-11 at 11:12 AM.
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