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The story will come tomorrow (maybe with pictures and/or video if I can find it). Keep guessing :p
 

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You dragged in your clone machines to clone a million Chuck Norris's to take over North Korea and make it an ACTUAL country
 

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And here is the post you have been waiting for!

Here's the write up!

This was my second track weekend of the year, and my second weekend riding in the advanced group. I hesitated all last year getting into level 3, and after my crash in September, that really set me back from it. I decided this year, I'd start off right. Did my first day back in march in 2, and from then on I was riding level 3. Never will I go back to level 2, it is a dangerous and scary place with how those people ride!

My last time at Texas World Speedway was last September (after my crash), where I was completing the 3.1 mile course in approximately 2:20. Saturday was a good day, but a very light grid. There were 10, maybe 15 of us brave souls in the advanced group on Saturday due to the CMRA Races up at Eagles Canyon Raceway. Luckily, a few racers made an appearance to tow us around. Saturday was fun, getting some pace back, but I could not break the 2:10 mark, hitting my best of the day at 2:12.

To break TWS up for you, it is one of the oldest tracks around these parts. Built back in the 60s I believe. Very rough, very bumpy, and very fast. Although it isn't a technical track it is an extremely fast track! Turn one is right off the back straight which is Nascar banking, where you top out your bike and dive into turn 1 however fast your balls will allow you to. For me this is around the top of 4th gear, so close to 120mph. Turn one merges into turn two which is slower, around the 90mph range, so in lean at 120 mph you have to trail/engine brake down to 90mph so as to not fly off the track in turn 2. Turn 3 is tricky, although you want to take it fast, the track cuts off at one section, so you don't want to go too wide or you'll ride off into the dirt when the track narrows by about 5 feet. Also, you have wheelie hill right after it (where someone managed to loop their bike on Saturday!). Turn 4 is a fast turn, right hander. I've crashed here twice, but with my new race tires on had a ton of confidence in it throughout the weekend. Turns 5 and 6 seem like a double apex, and at a slow pace is how they should be treated, but 5 you can hit fast at the top of 3rd gear, straighten up the line to the turn in for 6 and brake down to top of 2nd to make turn 6. Turn 6 has a straight into turn 7, the "gravity bowl" which is a heavy cambered, downhill turn which at apex goes back uphill. A very fun turn that is similar to turn 1 in that it depends on how big your balls are. No braking is necessary at all for this turn, you just tap them a little to load the front and rail through it however fast you came off the back straight at. Following this is turns 8 and 9 which are a left then right hand, almost a chicane but the straight is a little too long in between. Grab a downshift for 8 and dive in pretty fast, then flip it over and gradually ride through 9. Lots of people hold 8 too long which makes it a very convenient place to grab an inside pass :) Then comes turn 10. On Saturday this was my nemesis, but on Sunday became my best friend of a turn! It is a full 180 degree right hander, the slowest turn on the track followed by a quick flip to the left for turn 11. Straight, then comes turn 12 which is another fast turn similar to 7 in that you just load the front, no need to actually brake heavy for it at all. Then comes the 13-14-15 chicane which has lots of interesting lines, but if the right one is chosen you can get a drive out to beat a liter bike onto the straight (which I learned was so easy to do this weekend)!

Saturday was pretty uneventful in terms of accomplishments. Sunday was where the fun really happened! My roommate Mario was riding Sunday. Mario turns laps in 2:00 on his SV650! I knew getting him to tow me around a bit would be great for helping me drop my speed. Additionally, my friend Fabian was out who has a personal best of 1:53 in a race! More racers, novice and expert, were out on Sunday. I knew I needed to pick up the pace to not be a burden to them, so I was motivated to drop my time a bit.

The first few sessions were good, and by the second session I had already set a personal best of 2:10! This was good progress for me, as I knew TWS would be a good place to become comfortable with carrying heavy corner speed through turns. Mario challenged me to ride every session of the day, as I frequently sit out one or two to keep my head in check. I knew I was pushing pretty hard, and was apprehensive about this because I didn't want to go over my limit, so most sessions I was doing about 15 minutes and pitting in so that I wouldn't push it too hard.

Session 5 was the first session that really made me realize "this is one of the best track days of my life!" Mario, my friend Andrei, and I all went out together, but they sent Mario and Andrei off without me. I was coming for them, but had about 20 seconds of ground to make up which was difficult since Andrei was leading, and Mario was filming him, especially since Andrei and I run about the same pace. Andrei hasn't let me live down our last track day where I passed him, and then he passed me back in the next turn and I couldn't get him back. I was coming for some playful revenge. 3 laps in, and I catch up to them! I was hauling some serious ass out there. On our 4th lap, I come up and catch an inside pass on Andrei in turn 9, and knew that I couldn't let him pass me back. I was pushing pretty handily to not have him pass me back and ended up setting a new personal best while holding him off of 2:08! I got a very appreciated bow from Andrei when we got back to the paddocks :clap


Then came session 6. There was a group of about 10 riders all together. My friend Mario has some great footage from this session, which I will post up following this paragraph :high5 Despite the few people out there who were a bit slower than our group, we were all dicing it up. Passing each other whenever we could, being passed back, and really railing it through the turns. We were running a consistent 2:08 which made that pace become much more comfortable to me. Dragging knee through turns 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, and 10! I knew we were all riding pretty hard. It was too much for one individual who ran off in 8. He was two riders ahead of me, and came flying back on through 9 almost taking out the guy in front of me and myself! Luckily we saw him coming and got on the brakes very heavily. This broke the group up a lot, so I did one more lap and came into the pits. It was my best session yet!


We kept riding like this mostly throughout the day. Then came the very last session. My good friend had just crashed in level 2 and really messed up his sweet CBR1000



That's the problem with this track, it is very fast, which makes crashes horrendous to bikes! Luckily David was perfectly fine, just a little shook up about it.

In the last session, Andrei didn't go out (and most people in L3 skip the last session here anyways), but Mario challenged me to do every session. So I told him, "Let's keep it easy, and just practice passing!" This was fun, because I really needed to work on my passing skills. At first he was ahead, and would wave me into a pass. This was alright, but really wasn't allowing me to make the pass, so I skipped one of his waves, and then started passing him at my own will. This made it so much fun! We are both highly competitive, so this turned our easy session into a pretty fast passing session. About 4 or 5 passes were being made (only in turns) every lap! Inside, outside, exit drive, entry speed, etc. At one point, he came around me on the outside of turn 1, but I had the opportunity so I dived underneath him in turn 2! Now, he didn't think I was coming back up, so he started to tighten up his line. Luckily he saw me and backed off of it just mere inches from a collision. That's the way level 3 works :) Then Mario decided to hold no boundaries, and on that same lap he passed me back on the inside of turn 4 and was holding a very defensive line, but he gives too much room through 7, and I zip by him on the inside. 8 and 9 he starts closing the gap and we dive into 10. He is coming around me on the outside, and tightens up his line to set up for turn 11, and comes closer, so I had to hold my line tighter and tighter so as to not collide. My knee was already sliding, and it is coming up closer and closer to my body. Then, all of a sudden, came the highlight of my weekend. In our last session not only did I set a new personal lap record of 2:06 (while we were taking it easy), but as I leaned into turn 10 more, I felt something different scrape along the curbing. No, it wasn't my footpeg, clip on, etc. It was my ELBOW! I was totally amazed! Turn 10 went from being my slowest turn to the turn where I drag elbow! It was shocking, especially since it is on the right and that's where my throttle is, and I upset the bike a little, but nothing too seriously. I decided then that I was done with the weekend, and came back into the pits with a huge smile on my face! Although we weren't video taping it, here is a screenshot from a different video where you can see how much lean I am already carrying through turn 10 (I'm on the right side of the picture). Thank sweet baby Jesus for race tires :D



This was the best track weekend of my life, and really reminded me of how much I have to grow as a rider, but also where I've come since beginning this journey 2.5 years ago!
 

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Great story!
Yet another confirmation of why doing back to back days on the track is so much more productive. Also a great example of why moving on to the next level will almost always make you faster in a hurry - now for the next step to actual racing!
 

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Great story!
Yet another confirmation of why doing back to back days on the track is so much more productive. Also a great example of why moving on to the next level will almost always make you faster in a hurry - now for the next step to actual racing!
Thanks! I like to be sure to do a good write up to try and represent the awesome thrill I get on the track as best I can!
I love back to back days. Single days are fun, but back to back days are full of improvement! It is funny, you always wake up the second day sore, tired, and exhausted, and yet still ride better than you did the first! No worries there, racing is coming this summer :) Just have to get all the bike prep (mostly just safety wiring and steering dampner) and then take the course!
 

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it is a dangerous and scary place with how those people ride!
a buddy of mine never understood why I always said this. Not until he was ran off track one day getting stuffed, and another day when someone stuffed him and low sided 5ft away from his front tire lol

Go racing man! The sooner the better!


They have friday track days before our Saturday race practice at one of our tracks. I hate even riding them. There's so many people riding in the fast group who shouldn't be. It really needs to be controlled better than letting people pick where they go. I can handle slow people... But erratic people scare me.
 

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a buddy of mine never understood why I always said this. Not until he was ran off track one day getting stuffed, and another day when someone stuffed him and low sided 5ft away from his front tire lol

Go racing man! The sooner the better!


They have friday track days before our Saturday race practice at one of our tracks. I hate even riding them. There's so many people riding in the fast group who shouldn't be. It really needs to be controlled better than letting people pick where they go. I can handle slow people... But erratic people scare me.
Definitely! ANd it is amazing how much the traffic in intermediate was holding me up! I dropped 13 secondsish off my PB at the track just getting up into advanced. And even if there is traffic, they're usually either faster than you and can give you a nice tow, or it is easier to pass because they're more predictable (I laugh at all the people driving all the way to the edge of the track, forcing their bike there rather than using the throttle to do it because I'll just wait a little longer, not drive out as far and get on the throttle without drifting to pass on the exit).

The next licensing class is right around finals for me :/ I may be able to make it, but may not. We also have friday practices, which will be nice during the summer but I can't make it during school year.

We have mandatory lap times for the advanced group, and by the third session if you're not hitting them they'll put a CR or a timer on you to see. We bumped down 1 guy last time we were there, and had the timer on a few others.

But it is amazing how much better tracks feel at a higher speed! Tracks I previously have hated I am now thoroughly enjoying because at a higher speed they feel more proper! THe lines are better, etc. Now I Just need to work on corner entry speed... I mostly got passed on my entries, and closed the gap in turn (even on some expert racers).
 
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