On 9-26 and 9-27 I attended the S.T.A.R. school. The first day was at Willow Springs and the second was at the Streets.
Let me start by saying that earlier this year I attended California Superbike School (CSS) Level I,II and Keith Code's R.A.C.E school.
One of the first things that you realise is that you are being instructed by a person who races motorcycles for a living. Jason recounted recent racing experiences as part of his lessons. You are being taught by someone who is asking you to do things that he himself has done.
I was very apprehensive about riding on the Willow Springs track. People get killed on this track with regularity. I thought "well, I'll just cruise the fisrt day, and learn what little I can."
Jasons teaching technique is (for me) so low key, easily understandable and confidence inspiring that, by the end of the day, I was screaming into turn eight faster than I thought imaginable.
Jason warned us to not look at our spedometers. I could not resist the temptation so, at the end of the long straight before turn one I looked down once and I was going 140 mph! The amazing thing was that I was not feeling stressed out. Yes, I did make the turn!
Also, it is worth mentioning that, despite the controversy around the "body steering vs. countersteering" Jason incorporates counter steering in his teachings. Please understand this.
Of course, the centerpiece of Jason's teaching is steering with your lower body. After his lecture on this we went out on the track to practice this. I kept falling towards the center of the the turn. Next classroom I asked Jason about this. He pointed out that there were two things you could do to remedy this. The first was to countersteer away from the center of the turn or roll more on more throttle. Guess which one I decided to try. The next session I used more throttle sooner with unbelieveably positive results.
I think at CSS I learned A LOT about the basic mechanics of cornering and would not have gotten as much as I did out of S.T.A.R. if I had to concentrate on learing them.
However, if you are serious about real racing, or just high performance riding, you should consider attending a S.T.A.R. school at LEAST once a year MANDATORY!!!!!!!!!.
In closing, let me tell you about one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.
It was not my 2 up ride Jason for two laps (which was a learning and heart-stopping experience in itself). It happend on my last session at the Streets.
I was finally putting everything together and I felt I was riding the best I have ever ridden. Then a bike passed me. It was Jason. I figured he would just dissapear. But he didn't, so I figured, what the heck, so I just tried to follow him. And he let me. But he seemed to know what I was trying to do so he ever so slightly picked up the pace.
The amazing thing was I felt I could trust him to not get me killed.
So I just did exactly what he did for about three laps. It was amazing. He was riding at just a little above what I thought were my limits, yet keeping up with the pace he was setting seemed not stressful at all.
After three laps of this I pulled off the course. I can't really say why. I guess I just felt I wanted to quit while I was ahead.
I think this was a coincidence and I doubt you will be guaranteed this experience if you go to a S.T.A.R. class, but I just wanted to express to you what a great guy Jason really is.
5 out of 5