I met a buddy at the track early Sat morning since he was the one who signed up for the track day. He was riding his track day prepped street bike. A 2001 R6, blue in color and perfect in condition. I had “The Mothership” as we have nicknamed the TLR and it is a full on race-ready fat hog. Except I have not had the forks revalved and resprung. The day would end up getting about 100 or so with the pavement reflecting heat. Good thing I picked up the super sized canopy I have, but it still didn’t cool us, only shade. And the guy next to us with no canopy, but a wife and 3 year old boy who came along for the day. I felt bad for em, so offered a spot under the shade. Shane has been riding for about 3 years, so both of us entered the intermediate group. Turns out, there was a small showing and we ended up with only 2 groups, each taking 20 min intervals on the track. Perhaps 20 bikes in the group.
We get rolling:
First session, and everyone wants to hit the track. I get out, start doing laps and am having to go a bit too slow because there were so many guys that were slower than I. I use the better part of valor, and decide to get a feel for the bike at a fast speed. Practice little things you forget about while street riding. Such as better body position during turns, better foot positioning, and watching for better lines and apexes. I came in before the end of the session knowing we have all day, I don’t want to start out dehydrated, and my hands were starting to cramp a bit. Rehydrate, stretch, and reflect. Another buddy shows up to pit bitch, and I give him a stopwatch.
We go out for another session, and I start to speed up. Starting to set up guys that I earlier would not of passed. You know, backing off a bit before a turn, so I can go my speed through a turn and power by on the exits. I am riding around, starting to feel better, and get stuck behind a group of three bikes. The front guy has his brake lights working so he was messing with everyone’s heads. Turns out he was pitted right across from us on a blue Telefonica R1. Yeah, I know, but it looked really sweet! He disconnected the brakes and apologized for slowing me down, but hey, we are all out there to get faster, so….. To give you an idea of the difference in speeds of some of the bikes, when I had a clear track, I was passing the same guys about every 2.5 laps. I was getting passed about every 5 laps by this one dude on the only Ducati out there and this jet black GP bike which had stickers on it stating it was the Jennings GP track bike (that made me feel better). The more I think about it, he must have been pulling off and sitting in the pits cause I’m running 1:30s, if he is passing me every 5 laps, he must have been doing in the 1:teens, and that is right at the track record.
I pulled in at the end of the session and the pit b!tch informed me I was running 1:35s, and Shane was right around 1:36. So I decided, why do laps at a overly comfy speed, I am here to get faster.