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:) :) :) Did Level I Saturday at Jennings GP (North FL).

Man, what an experience!! The school and it's bikes are first rate. Instructors and support teams are impressive. And the track is pretty good, although pretty flat by anything other than Florida standards.

The five track sessions each focused on just one stupid-simple drill which really opened your eyes up to how important little details are to cornering efficiently. Back in the classroom after each one, everyone seemed to agree that that little drill made a noticeable improvement. And the on-track instructors are super coaches and impressive riders. They come up from behind and get in front with a signal to lock on and follow them. Then they ride with one hand and use the other for prearranged signals to indicate where to execute whatever you are not doing in accordance with the drill. And they are looking back watching from in front of you - at speed! When you get through about three turns correctly for that drill item, they give thumbs up and blast off to the next rider under their supervision disappearing ahead of you at warp speed. And they are always spot on with their assessment of your errors. Once you do it like they coach it, it works. We ran 21 on track at a time with each instructor covering the same 3 or 4 students every session. Everyone can run at their fastest comfort level within the constraints on which gears and how much braking is set for each drill. Passing allowed with minimum six feet between bikes. Good format! A lot of fun without much stress.

The emphasis was on control, stability, and smoothness - not speed. But with each session everyone kept getting around a little faster as the drills built confidence and skills.

At the end of the day, the printouts from our transponders showed all lap times. Without thinking about speed except for finding it easier to accelerate out of the turns after executing them properly and being allowed more brakes in the last two sessions which allowed higher corner approach speeds - I dropped 30 seconds off my lap times in steady increments over the course of the sessions. Significantly though, the biggest drop in lap times occurred before we were allowed any brakes or more than two gears. (These restrictions remove all distractions from throttle control for the early drills and I was really surprised at how well you can get around the whole track in just fourth gear on those ZX-6's)

Even though that's still about 35 seconds off race pace at my fastest, I'm proud of the improvement since I've never been on a track before.

And you can tell by the length of this post, that two days later I'm still pumped and still grinning from the experience. ;D
 
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