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Touchdown!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This is my experience stepping up to Expert/Group A from Intermediate/Group B.

Initial reaction - I was scared. Not scared as in fearful, but scared I would push too hard, make a mistake, and possibly having something go wrong. I think this was me being conservative as to not make a serious probably damaging mistake. However, after evaluating my short time riding in the advance group, I see this is exactly where I need to be. Let me explain.

First thing, I was doing a track day at a track I've never been to before - Buttonwillow to be exact. It's a GREAT track in my opinion. First I asked for a control rider to show me the race line. This was my first session, fresh tires, and the control rider was on slicks that just came off of the warmers. He pulled away from me after turn 4. I was okay with that. This track is so user friendly that I was able to pick up lines, breaking points, and apexes within the first two laps. And, knowing that I am at the slower pace of advanced, people were passing me - I was fine with that. I even got split in a corner being passed, one on the inside and one on the outside. That made me laugh, and I told myself, these are the guys I need to follow. That started me onto pushing my limits as that's what I needed.

My bike ended up having a mechanical failure on my second session, and that was no fun. It essentially ended my track day on my bike. This happened right around the time where I realized where everything was, and I was about to pick up my pace.

The day wasn't terrible as I got to ride a RSV4 for two sessions. I felt really comfortable on the bike, and I easily followed the race line, hit all of the apexes, entry and exit points, with some what great precision.

Going back by looking at the video from the two sessions on my bike and the experience from the RSV4, I realize how much more speed I can carry on my bike the next time. I also saw where I was hesitant in my riding on my R6. However, reflecting on the RSV4, I pushed wayyy harder then I did on my R6. I'm not sure why.

At present, me being at the slow end of advanced is exactly where I need to be to get to the next level. Make no mistake, riding at this level is not for the faint of the heart. They ride hard and serious out there; damn near never on the center of their tires.

I do, and I repeat, I DO, have to make some modifications to my bike to perform better. Things that I need to keep up the pace is as follows, full tune and exhaust, front and rear sprockets for better acceleration, get my suspension more in tune than it already is, and some new rear sets. The main thing I was lacking from an almost stock R6 was overall acceleration.

Lastly, you can damn near probably run 70% of Buttonwillow at WOT on an R6 in my opinion. There were so many times I let off the throttle, and there was no need to at all.
 

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Dangerously Irish
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*Smash that like button*
 

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Mr. HER6
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Glad you got to ride the Aprilia and get some more track time. Skip the tune and exhaust, though. It's a lot of money for a little bit of power, and it won't teach you anything or make you more comfortable. You will drop FAR more time just improving on your skills.

However if Anthony is still doing Bauce Racing ECU flashes, I would recommend getting that just for the throttle response alone. It's so much easier to be smooth when you crack the throttle back open compared to the stock settings.
 

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Touchdown!
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Discussion Starter #4
*Smash that like button*
Thanks.

Glad you got to ride the Aprilia and get some more track time. Skip the tune and exhaust, though. It's a lot of money for a little bit of power, and it won't teach you anything or make you more comfortable. You will drop FAR more time just improving on your skills.

However if Anthony is still doing Bauce Racing ECU flashes, I would recommend getting that just for the throttle response alone. It's so much easier to be smooth when you crack the throttle back open compared to the stock settings.
I'm seriously thinking about that to get rid of the jerkiness of the stock throttle responsiveness. That, and I'm tired of having to turn the throttle so damn far to get to WOT. I think I need something like 1/6th turn or less.
 

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I definitely feel that riding with faster people will make you faster. Obviously, you have to be capable and comfortable to just keep up at the faster speeds (low end of the pack, at least) and doing it safely. Great job. I remember when I hopped into A group. I felt scared AF, guys were passing me like I was standing still. :laugh then you just get comfortable and feel it's actually much safer than the other groups. haha.

i've been off the track for sometime. I'll prob jump back into B-group if anything, depending on the track. I haven't raced or done a trackday for about two years. Been too long.
 

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Touchdown!
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Discussion Starter #6
I definitely feel that riding with faster people will make you faster. Obviously, you have to be capable and comfortable to just keep up at the faster speeds (low end of the pack, at least) and doing it safely. Great job. I remember when I hopped into A group. I felt scared AF, guys were passing me like I was standing still. :laugh then you just get comfortable and feel it's actually much safer than the other groups. haha.

i've been off the track for sometime. I'll prob jump back into B-group if anything, depending on the track. I haven't raced or done a trackday for about two years. Been too long.
I agree with what you said whole heartedly. It definitely takes skill and comfort to ride in A group.

Another big thing is, depending on the track, most people running A group know the tracks well. That and many of them are on liter bikes. That's a recipe that makes even a top notch top 5% B group rider work his or her @ss off on a R6. The R6 is a great bike, but when stepping up to A group, be prepared to keep your throttle on go most if not all of the damn time. Oh, and bring an extra set of knee pucks too! :grin:
 

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Touchdown!
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Discussion Starter #7
Looking at and studying the video, I'm highly impressed. I managed to stay with a group of 3 riders for an entire lap before my bike failed. I also gained about 1 second on them as well. I don't think they were pushing 100%, but still...
 

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Reads the rulez
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I remember when I got bumped as well. Humbling for sure.

But just to rain on your guys' parade, just remember that fast people don't do track days.
 

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Touchdown!
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Discussion Starter #9
I remember when I got bumped as well. Humbling for sure.

But just to rain on your guys' parade, just remember that fast people don't do track days.
Actually, I've seen people who race (WERA, CCS, AMA) come to track days and use the sessions to practice. They ARE fast. Those Moto America guys ARE extremely fast.
 

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Touchdown!
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Discussion Starter #10
I remember when I got bumped as well. Humbling for sure.

But just to rain on your guys' parade, just remember that fast people don't do track days.
BTW, what is your definition of fast (Josh Hayes, Tom Sykes, Johann Zarco)?
 

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I remember when I got bumped as well. Humbling for sure.

But just to rain on your guys' parade, just remember that fast people don't do track days.


Um, you don't think MotoAmerica podium guys are fast? Probably 30% of most of the A group sessions in the org I use are serious racers. Not just provisional novice guys. wERA and CCS experts and plate holders. And almost always one or two motoamerica guys.

You're running with the wrong org.
 

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Mr. HER6
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Sure, there's the occasional exception where some really fast guys come out to play. Yesterday it was Josh Herrin that came out and rode with us. We've even had the Graves-Yamaha big-rig show up for practice time at a track day. But in general, High Side is right. In my experience the average A group guy on an average track day rides at a pace that would put you at the back half of a novice class club race. I usually only see the expert class front-runners on race days.
 

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Sure, there's the occasional exception where some really fast guys come out to play. Yesterday it was Josh Herrin that came out and rode with us. We've even had the Graves-Yamaha big-rig show up for practice time at a track day. But in general, High Side is right. In my experience the average A group guy on an average track day rides at a pace that would put you at the back half of a novice class club race. I usually only see the expert class front-runners on race days.


Again. You're riding with the wrong org then. We have expert guys every single a session and MA guys very very frequently. It all depends on who you are riding with. I see Ant, Paasch, CJ, Frankie, all the time.

"A" lap times vary from expert averages to a bit slower than some provisional novices. Again, more than 20% of our "a" grids are racers. Of them probably 20% are current WERA or CCS experts. Many with current or recent championships.

Don't make the very big mistake of lumping all track orgs together. Your experience in this is really an indication of the variation in how different orgs are structured.
 

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Yamaha 4 Life
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Biggest thing to get used to, at least for me, was getting stuffed on the inside. Nothing quite as off putting as dragging knee and getting stood up, especially when you're not expecting it :surprise:

I also dont really agree with some of the commentary above. Generally I ride with ACE and TPM, and there are lots of fast riders. Probably around 10-15% of the guys in advanced/expert are CCS racers, some of whom are very quick. I dont know many names but almost every time I ride with ACE Ricky O'Hare (current CCS Atlantic leader) is on the track with me. Many other guys were recent winners or still pack leaders.
 

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Mr. HER6
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Again. You're riding with the wrong org then.
What the heck is that supposed to mean? You say that like it's a put down. I've ridden with a handful of groups in my region and that has been my experience with all of them.

Biggest thing to get used to, at least for me, was getting stuffed on the inside. Nothing quite as off putting as dragging knee and getting stood up, especially when you're not expecting it :surprise:
The org I work for doesn't tolerate that kind of thing, even in the advanced group. Outside of competition there's no reason to force another rider off his line.
 

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What the heck is that supposed to mean? You say that like it's a put down. I've ridden with a handful of groups in my region and that has been my experience with all of them.





The org I work for doesn't tolerate that kind of thing, even in the advanced group. Outside of competition there's no reason to force another rider off his line.


I mean exactly what I said. You made a statement that is simply not true. It's not a put down. It is simply what it is. There are orgs that racers routinely ride with. Apparently they aren't the ones you ride with. Not good or bad. Just reality. You acknowledge that you work for an org, so maybe there's a touchy spot there. You made blanket statements about all orgs based on your experience in your region and the statement is not accurate. Some orgs even have and sponsor very successful racers. Including MotoAmerica riders (hint).

I absolutely agree that that "stuffing " is unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated.
 

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Why yes I don't!!!!!!!!!!
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Sure, there's the occasional exception where some really fast guys come out to play. Yesterday it was Josh Herrin that came out and rode with us. We've even had the Graves-Yamaha big-rig show up for practice time at a track day. But in general, High Side is right. In my experience the average A group guy on an average track day rides at a pace that would put you at the back half of a novice class club race. I usually only see the expert class front-runners on race days.
Ive been to track days out west where it was pointed out in the riders meeting that some very fast riders were present and were segregated in their own group. Then Ive been to some where the "A" group is sold out and those guys just buy a spot in the B group...lol. :D
 

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Touchdown!
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Discussion Starter #18
I mean exactly what I said. You made a statement that is simply not true. It's not a put down. It is simply what it is. There are orgs that racers routinely ride with. Apparently they aren't the ones you ride with. Not good or bad. Just reality. You acknowledge that you work for an org, so maybe there's a touchy spot there. You made blanket statements about all orgs based on your experience in your region and the statement is not accurate. Some orgs even have and sponsor very successful racers. Including MotoAmerica riders (hint).

I absolutely agree that that "stuffing " is unacceptable and shouldn't be tolerated.
What are your lap times at Thunderbolt if you don't mind sharing?
 

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Btw, not at all afraid to admit that there's no way I can keep up with Ant, or many of he folks that very very routinely ride with us. Not for long. But I do enjoy being out there with them. I've absolutely picked up some time following them at several tracks that benefited me later.
 
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