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Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

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    "Plymouth's Fastest" BrianC's Avatar
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    Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    A while back when I was an overly-defensive nesr noob, I made the statement that roadracing was the easier form of riding when compared to riding dirtbikes in the woods... . I can now honestly take that statement back and say that this sport is truly humbling me, and can be utterly confusing at times. I don't know how many times I've put in some laps and done things that I thought would lower my lap times for sure, only to see later that it had no effect, or even the opposite effect. This weekend opened my eyes to some of my false ideas about how to lower my lap times, and made clear to me that there is so much to learn and put into practice...

    I did 3 races on Sat. and both practice sessions in the morn. The first practice I went out and got comfortable riding again, and when I came in I decided I wanted to work on corner exits. I have been reading great articles from both the Penguin newsletter, and Roadracing world's new Ken Hill series. Both have spoke about corner exits so I wanted to put that knowledge into practice. I identified a couple turns that would be labeled "exit, or drive focused turns", namely 2, 4, 10, and 12. I realized from past experience that I wasn't getting good drives out of these turns and thought that I could shave off a some time if I learned how to do this properly. So I picked the 2 most obvious turns (2+12) and started working. I basically focused on slowing down enough mid-corner to hit the apex right and get pointed in the right direction for a good drive. It actually worked well, and I recall numerous times getting much better drives onto both straights, so that I was definitely hitting a higher rpm toward the end of the straight than I used to. I started trying to apply this every lap, but I never got to see practice lap times due to the printer not working, so I had no idea if it was helping or not, but common sense told me that it was faster to get good drives...

    The next thing I focused on during all my race laps, was carrying more speed. Basically, I had the idea that the fast guys are just going faster by like 5 or 10 mph everywhere, so I tried to do that too. One area that I thought was going to make a big difference in my lap times was the entrance to 9. I used to get on the brakes there, but this weekend I just zoomed in there and threw the bike on it's side. I figured that had to drop my lap times because it was an entire section of the track that I wasn't using brakes where I used to... how could it not make me faster! I generally felt like I was ripping faster through every section of the track... I was getting into 1 good, getting into 3 better, hauling ass through 10, etc... . Well, it didn't do much for my times. I was maybe 2 seconds faster than last weekend, but still 2 seconds slower than last season. How the hell could I be slower than last season where I was on the brakes everywhere and pussy-footing through turns??? I've come to realize that raw speed isn't the answer at all, and as much as I don't want to believe it, going slow to go fast is making more and more sense to me. I think what is happening is that carrying more speed everywhere, just has me missing my apexes, and basically blowing the corners when compared to last season. When I was a novice, I paid careful attention to hitting the apex of each turn. I wasn't hauling ass, but just trying to consistently hit the apexes. Well, its seems that doing that was more effective than anything I'm trying now... I'll have to basically start over, and focus on my lines, not speed. Then when I can hit those marks automatically, I'll start increasing the speed. Roadracing is tough no doubt... especially when practice time is limited for me, but my determination to make this work and to get faster will eventually win out. It's just going to take some time.

    So my races were Am. GTU, HWSS, and MWGP. Weather was perfect, and I had a lot of fun doing tons of laps with practice and these races combined, so it was a great day. I took 8th in GTU, 13th in HWSS (but I beat Jim so that's all that matters), and 12th in MWGP. The only interesting thing to note out of all the races was during the dash. I got passed toward the end of the race by someone who wasn't going much faster than me. I wanted to get back by him and knew I could so I put my head down and started gaining on him. I was slowly reeling him in and I would have got him but then the bizarre happened, and on our (am.) last lap, Eric Wood came through to take the checkered flag for the experts... he was in between me and the guy I was chasing when he crossed the finish line, and we're all going down the front straight when he lets off the gas to celebrate and do his cool down lap... by time I got close to him we were going into 1/1a and I had to get around him but I just felt awkward. It totally killed any chance of me catching my guy because he was long gone by time I went around Eric in T2, but yeah that was kind of bizarre being held up by an expert... usually it's the other way around!

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    LRRS am #121

    "So this is what your race program has become... the back of a pickup truck huh?" -PK

  2. #2

    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    I have to admit u r very right. Last TD I was trying to go fast everywhere and I could not get anywhere near my PB.
    Last session I listened to some advice from chip degs and tricky mike and dropped two seconds while I thought I was going slower!!!
    There's def a lot more to learn and I'm kinda glad racing didn't happen for me this year because I feel more comfortable n safer "learning" on a TD.

    Good luck with the rest of your season brian

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    I'm sure it's tough to get weekdays off, Brian, but I've watched you ride all last season, and I'm certain you'd benefit a ton with some instruction. Like a td with a fast (racer) instructor, or penguin advanced.

    I know you've got the ambition, and once it clicks you'll be well into the teens.

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    "Plymouth's Fastest" BrianC's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Thanks guys... I think a couple of good practice sessions where I can re-learn my reference points is going to help alot. If I could do 22's and 23's last season while getting poor drives and using too much brake, I should be able to crush those times once I can balance everything out. I'd love to to a trackday and get some instruction too, hopefully I can make that happen this season. I'd like to work on this stuff at a td rather than while I'm racing! Overall, I felt good, the bike felt good, and being in shape helped alot, but I was definitely over-cooking my entrances and getting way off-line. Perfect example was the dash when I passed Brett going into 3, only to have him go right up the inside and pass me back because I ran wide.

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    LRRS am #121

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    Lifer lrrs313's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    I'm with Chipper, Brian. You're learning a lot (especially now figuring out the HOW of getting faster), and track days/non-racing laps I think will make a huge difference especially with some quality instruction. My recommendation is the 2-day Penguin Pro School. It may not help immediately drop your lap times (SOOOOOO much information, sometimes it takes a little while for it to all digest), but you get a crazy amount of track time combined with great classroom instruction and lots of personal instruction from some of the fastest LRRS guys who also happen to be great instructors. Yeah, it's 2 days in the middle of the week, and yeah it's a good chunk of money, but if you can swing it I think it's the best thing to help your riding now.

    OK, now that I've rambled on with my (unsolicited) advice...... Congrats on another weekend on 2 wheels, learning a lot, and dropping your times compared to last weekend. You'll get there, you've got the drive and the skill.

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    Just Registered Doc's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Umm your race was over once Eric finished in front of you (I.e. you got lapped).

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    "Plymouth's Fastest" BrianC's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Yeah Doc it was confusing because I saw the white flag for the guy I was chasing and he did another lap, but I think you're right. The race was over for me because I was behind Eric.

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    LRRS am #121

    "So this is what your race program has become... the back of a pickup truck huh?" -PK

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    Senior Member WinVT's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianC View Post
    Yeah Doc it was confusing because I saw the white flag for the guy I was chasing and he did another lap, but I think you're right. The race was over for me because I was behind Eric.
    Yes.... Don't go racing past him when he's on the cool down lap... dangerous. The race is over for you once he crosses. The guy in front of you was a head of wood at the finish line so he's good to go.

    And I know a few people who are still a few seconds off of last years PB. It'll come to you, just keep working at it.

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    #331 CBR929RE's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianC View Post
    Thanks guys... I think a couple of good practice sessions where I can re-learn my reference points is going to help alot. If I could do 22's and 23's last season while getting poor drives and using too much brake, I should be able to crush those times once I can balance everything out. I'd love to to a trackday and get some instruction too, hopefully I can make that happen this season. I'd like to work on this stuff at a td rather than while I'm racing! Overall, I felt good, the bike felt good, and being in shape helped alot, but I was definitely over-cooking my entrances and getting way off-line. Perfect example was the dash when I passed Brett going into 3, only to have him go right up the inside and pass me back because I ran wide.
    when you went by me all I thought was "wtf is he doing, I'm only gonna go right back past him." I applaud the effort though

    a few of us were talking about it and yes you need to work on doing more consistent lines. it'll make it safer for all of us and it'll make you faster. Try to take the Penguin Advanced school or 2 day. Eric has so much knowledge its ridiculous. He can answer ANY question you have about racing. He can be very direct and blunt about some stuff and it might bother you how he says it but its really meant to help you. He genuinely wants everyone to be better, faster, safer riders.

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  10. #10
    Unsafe At Any Speeds Jim's Avatar
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    I saw some scary lines in the dash around T6 and T7.

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  11. #11
    that guy darkduc7's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    I saw some scary lines in the dash around T6 and T7.
    Yup!

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    Get Weird! maxim_X's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    I'm not a racer by any means. But for what it's worth, everything I've read about lowering lap times doesn't include higher corner speed. In fact corner speed between experts and amateurs will be close right off the bat. But, the speed is made up in the late braking and early transitions back on the throttle. I'm not saying that your corner speed won't increase or that your at Jeff's speed through the corners. But, it's probably closer that his braking points to yours.

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    Banned Rambunctous's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    The most important things. Have fun and be with friends.

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    Perpetual Amateur CEO's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Quote Originally Posted by CBR929RE View Post
    a few of us were talking about it and yes you need to work on doing more consistent lines
    Agreed, and I spoke to you about this Brian at the track after our race. I don't want to beat up on you because you've gotten enough crap on the boards here, but you were pretty erratic with the lines you were running this weekend (I know you know this). Even the experts and faster amateurs were having trouble getting by cleanly because they'd line you up and then you'd swoop in or out and they'd check up, creating a potentially dangerous situation. I saw this firsthand in our race, and then watching from the bowl during the dash.

    I know it's the passer's (not passee's) responsibility to make the clean pass, but it is also the passee's responsibility to be predictable and hold their line.

    Some track time (penguin, tony, bomo, fishtail, whatever) would do you well to dial it back a bit without the red fog of racing and trying so hard, you could just work on your lines, and it would make you faster too.

    Just trying to help, so don't take it the wrong way

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    "Plymouth's Fastest" BrianC's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    I agree my lines varied a bit this weekend, I was trying different things. Sorry if it caused problems for anyone... I don't take the feedback negatively, I am in agreement that I shouldn't change my lines too much in a race or be unpredictable. I wasn't really aware of it at the time, just trying shit to see what felt best.

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    LRRS am #121

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    Unsafe At Any Speeds Jim's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    i thought you were going to get smashed a few times in T6 and T7 in the MW GP.
    it's just a safety concern for you out there bud.

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    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Not much to add except that I definitely saw some scariness in 6 through 7 during the Dash while watching from the grandstands. I'm sure you'll get it all sorted out though. This is coming from a NV for what it's worth.

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    #331 CBR929RE's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    once you get the correct line down you'll go faster. and really the only time you deviate from it is when you're looking for a way around someone.

    I was talking with Jason Carter about passing after race 7 on sunday and how lappers can mess up an EX race. I told him he can be on the other side and have an EX mess up an AM race while passing us. he agreed he's got it better. He did compliment me on how nice it is to pass me because I run good predictable lines. being buzzed by FastFreddy at track days for a few years really taught me the importance of good lines all the time because it helps you improve and lets that fast guy go by safely. I actually very much enjoy being passed by the fast guys. Wood came around me on the right into 10 yesterday and took the guy in front of me on the left, so awesome to watch.


    work on going slow and connecting the dots and you'll be in the teens in no time. You have more balls than I do so if I can get into them then you can too.

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    Last edited by CBR929RE; 05-21-12 at 11:03 AM.

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    "Plymouth's Fastest" BrianC's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    I don't remember any moments over there except w/CEO in hwss, but even that wasn't that scary. He went by, I gave it some gas to catch back up and had to grab a little brake when he tipped in to avoid ramming him, but it was all under control. I believe you, but didn't notice any sketchy moments. I've dealt with some unpredictable racers in a few races myself so I know it can be frustrating. Again, sorry if I scared anyone, I'll try to get back to normal for next round.

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    LRRS am #121

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  20. #20
    Perpetual Amateur CEO's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Don't apologize man, just trying to help

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    Soul Rider Paul_E_D's Avatar
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    Wirelessly posted

    Well, this is a refreshing thread. Sounds like you're ready to start learning, so kudos for that.

    Road racing and riding I'm the woods can't even be compared. You don't need any precision in the woods. Hell,you have trees to bounce off if you miss a turn in or slide a little. Pffft.

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  22. #22
    You dont know slow... PainfullySlow's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Glad to see that you are taking a long hard look at what you are doing and making the needed improvements, I just wish everyone on the track was able to do it.

    Roadracing really is a humbling experience but once you get to the point you recognize that you need improvement (god knows I need more than most) you can actually move past that part and focus on getting better. Kudos to you for the self-improvement, not a lot of people can do this.

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    Super Moderator OreoGaborio's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Sooooo, I think the real question here is.... are you still Plymouth's fastest?

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    Lifer wiggeywackyo's Avatar
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    Re: Am. #121 Round 2 (2012)

    Quote Originally Posted by OreoGaborio View Post
    Sooooo, I think the real question here is.... are you still Plymouth's fastest?
    What kind of stupid question is that?





    Of course he is.

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