1st track experience... where to begin? - Sportbike Forum: Sportbike Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 04:49 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2001
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1st track experience... where to begin?

OK. It's Monday morning and the last three days seem like a blur.

My most basic feelings are that I didn't crash and I didn't blow up my bike.

Another which is real hard to explain is that while racing is incredibly enjoyable and addictive, being on the track, in the race, is NOT relaxing fun. It's more like controlled (hopefully) low grade terror. Unlike most terror (the BOO! I scared you kind), though, this is continuous throughout the race. The only way you can avoid it is to slack up. But then, you are not racing.

Several times I would get through a corner that scared the living $hit out of me and then realized that I had lost my concentration in being so pleased that I had survived and was now coasting.

Ran out of gas (how is that for unfocued? ) during the last practice session in the school on Friday. I pushed my bike halfway back to my truck from the track before I remembered I had a reserve. Duh!

I'm pouring gas like a madman while my other classmates are lining up for the practice start of our mock race. I forget it is a practice start and nearly run over 3 bikes tearing out.

Like Desmo said, the background between races is just overwhelming. Everybody is in chaos. Then you realized that just you are in chaos. Where are you supposed to be? When?

IT DOES GET BETTER. By my race on Sunday I had put about 70 laps on that track.

By my race on Sunday afternoon (each one of these represents a lesson along the line) I was

1. Fully dressed with EMPTY baldder.
2. Fully fueled.
3. Aware of my class and bike number.
4. Knew not to pull into the pits from the starting parade lap.
5. Beginning to see race lines. (This is where most of the other riders were)
6. Knew enough about brake points to realize mine are non-existant except for on the first turn at the end of the straight. Even there, it was no more than a generality along the ground... OKKK!!! I'M SCARED NOW. THIS IS AS GOOD A BRAKE POINT AS ANY!
7. Turn points? Not even a gimmer of an idea. Turning happens.
8. Accelleration points. More an issue of internal debate than a point on the ground. "Uh.... note tooo seeeelllf.... shouldn't we be accelerating somewhere in here?" "Huh... Accellerate? Oh yeah! But maybe just a little... in a minute. Hell! we'll only have to slow down again."
9. Shift points. On the straight, yes. On the rest of the course, no more than an afterthought. "Oh $HIT!! Redlined again! Better shift, huh?" Ten micro seconds later... "WTF is up with this 5,000? Where did this come from?"

Standout memories that were just flashes, over in an instant:

I am leaned way over to the right about halfway through a turn and about 3/4 stable when, out of the corner of my left eye, I see this guy's helmet and shoulders motionless about one foot from me. I remember yelling "$SSSHHHHHIIIIITTTTT!" and bobbeling slightly for an instant. He was gone... not past but "Back There" where you can't see anything... the OTHER part of the race. I had the strongest feeling that I had crashed him. Didn't though. He passed me in the next turn.

I am hard over in a left and about 30' ahead a guy slides off and turns into a cloud of dust like in a cartoon fight where feet and arms stick out. I watch the guy right in front of me watch this guy and go off too. I turn my eyes and face away 'cause I know if I watch I'm next. I make it through, but only because there is a small extra strip of pavement in a certain place about 8" wide.


Hope everyone made it home safely... funksouljon and his brother, RCJohn, Ungwaha. The other totally FINE part of this is meeting the people.

Last edited by Joss; 03-25-2002 at 05:19 AM.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 04:57 AM
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Great post Joss!
It seems you are terminally addicted now

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 05:22 AM
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Dang, Josh! I have been trying to get mentaly geared up for my first track day next month... but now! Like aris said, great post. I have no doubt you have captured the emotions most have first time on the track. Thanks for sharing.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 05:25 AM
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It sounds like you had a good weekend Joss.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 05:48 AM
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Presumeably predictable first race emotions......Thanks & way
to go Joss...!!!
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 11:15 AM
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Well, it was nice to meet Joss, Ungwaha and backdraftmoto. Great weekend it was and it was nice to put more faces with names.

It was very intense being behind the bars in a race instead of holding the pit board.

Just a little note about turn 1 at Roebling Road. You know the old saying, "Don't brake until you see God"? Well who ever came up with that was a big puss. Turn 1 is way more harsh than that.

I went out in my first practice session on Friday for two laps to bed in the brakes. Well, I pulled back into the pits and realized that there is only two places at Roebling that require the use of brakes... turn 1 and going into turn 4. Everything else is throttle for a twin and apparently it is meant to be more throttle than I use considering the lap times the others were running.

One other note, all teenagers on two-strokes can kiss my ass.

Between Fri. and Sun. I took 7 seconds off my lap times and I didn't crash so I guess it was a productive weekend. I still need to shave about 4-6 seconds off that lap time though.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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"One other note, all teenagers on two-strokes can kiss my ass."

LMAO! So true.

Those little guys made me feel like the big "Death Star" being attacked by the good guy's "Vipers" or whatever they were in "Star Wars".
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 11:54 AM
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Hey, Joss!!

Glad you made it OK

So much of your post was a flash-back to things I forgot to mention, especially thet part about thinking you crashed a guy out. Running out of gas was a nice touch

Now you're hooked, too...............
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 11:57 AM
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Please, give us more details about your race.
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 03-25-2002, 04:04 PM
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Well, my racing started out with me racing the Heavyweight Solo 20(20 laps). Mostly going against GSXR750s, some 600s, couple other RCs and a splash of TLRs. I got my ass smoked in that one pretty bad. I beat one person. It was fun though and my times dropped over 6 seconds during the race. BTW, I started second row of 2nd wave.

(Sunday now)My second race, B Superstock had me in the second row of the second wave. That was against alot of the same guys as in the Solo 20. It got red flagged twice before we even completed two laps. They postponed it until the end of the day. When we ran it that made it my third race so I was feeling a little better. We went out and I got a fairly good start. Still smoked by many into turn one. Halfway through the race an Orange Shirt(WERA school) provisional novice passed me. I was a green Shirt novice(Ed Bargy school). Well, I couldn't let another Prov. Novice beat me so I just hit the trottle and passed him one the front straight and going into turn 1. I passed about three people and was working on another at the checkered flag. I BEAT THE ORANGE SHIRT.

My HW Twins race was fun and fairly uneventful except for pressuring a guy until he drove off track. I was faster than him and his TLR but not fast enough to safely(IMO) get around him so I just stayed on his fender and he kept looking back. I wanted to tell him to quit worrying about me before he crashed.... well, he crashed. Actually he saved it and just drove off track.

I had a blast but it was my last race where I figured out the turn 1 and 2 combination. I could probably have taken a second or two more off my time with a few more laps.

I forgot about how I drove over the rumble strips coming out of the last turn full throttle trying to make a pass before the checkered flag. I guess that draft thing doesn't work as good at full lean.
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