I was late to the track, so didn't get to do the one lap orientation. I caught info about flags, however, which was helpful. I also did the class, which was great. They went over basics.
The rides were 20 minutes long, four in the morning and four in the afternoon. In between was classtime. When you were on the track, you got about 1/2 lap of observation from an instructor, and then a debreifing before the next class. Personally, I had one major gremlin which was taken care of by the instructor, and that made the entire instruction experience worthwhile.
On the track, if you have minimal skills, in the novice class you will have to pass to maintain speed. To avoid "trains", sometimes you will have to do a pit road pass, let them get a half a track ahead or so. Sometimes, there were "moments" like people slowing unexpectedly right in front of you on the straight way before the end in antipation of the chicane. This was not limited to novice, however, according to other DML members.Personally, if I had gone to intermediate, I would have been the slowest one in the group, and I felt I had more control overtaking other people. Novice class was perfect for me.
Chad's post on what to bring was perfect. Everything fell into place and the entire day was smooth.
Everybody was really friendly, It was great seeing Chad/Jeff/Nick speeddog/Nick GP/Devoe/Steve S4r (crashed)/James T./Balz and K.C./Rock/ and a host of other familiar faces from San Diego.
This was my first track day. It was so much fun I thought I was doing something illegal!
Hey boys and girls, I would have posted about the track day sooner but work has been a Mother this week. Matter of fact, I'm at work right now.
I gotta give props to Nick again. Without his generousity my track day would have been over before it began. Thanks man.
I found out that Ducati Performance parts do indeed have a warranty, so I should be getting a refund for the broken clip-ons. That'll go a long way toward paying for the Power Commander I was going to buy with the money I spent on a set of Cycle Cats.
It was hella cool talking to E Boz. He seemed a genuinely nice guy. I took a non-motorcycling conversational approach with him and talked about rock climbing for about ten minutes. We exchanged a couple of "on the rock" war stories and I told him about a few stellar climbs in an area he hasn't been to yet. He seemed stoked to check them out. I hope he found it better conversation than the proverbial "Dude, ya' got any ridin' tips for me?".
Out on the track things generally went well. Three of my sessions were red flagged for wrecks, with one session only allowing three laps!! Se la vie. I sorta ran my buddy Jeff off his line one time trying to overtake (I suck at passing). It turned out to be a non-event that he shrugged off. I had a few fast and furious passes thrown at me too by the hardcore racer guys. It's cool to be shown just how fast it can be done! The first couple of sessions I just kinda' learned the track. By the third I was trying to wick it up a few notches. My buddy Jeff was riding really well on his Aprillia Futura and we took turns following each other with a helmet camera. We got some good stuff and we're working on getting it in a digital format right now. I'm gonna see if the pestillience.com guy will host it.
The track was not hard to learn. The trickiest part for me was getting used to the 140 mph closing speed into the chicane located on the banking. It can be done at 100+ if you get the braking point right. You have to really work the bars to get the bike side-to-side at that speed. By the last few sessions I was holding my own in the infield section. I rode with the level III guys. There were about 15 or 20 riders that were faster than me everywhere, and the rest of the pack (about another 15 or 20) I could hang with in the infield. Jeff started out in the Level II group but moved up when he passed darn near everyone.For me the banking was another story compared to the infield; the superbikes and such were handing me my ass up there! A lot of those guys had to be doing 160+. The S4's just about as aerodynamic as a brick, plus I definitely have a horsepower disadvantage over a 99x/999. Oh well, don't bring a knife to a superbike fight. :
Overall, a good time was had by all, which is always the goal. I had the best crewchief in the business (Nick, I love you man). I highly recommend this track to anyone who hasn't ridden it, even for a first track day. It's a little shy of right handers but it will teach a lot of good lessons. The Streets of Willow is also a good track to learn on, but I think California Speedway is probably easier to learn the track.
Hey SoCal and Rideon! Aw man! I shouldve met you guys. I was on an SS in the intermediate group. I was kinda "forced" there because Level I was closed. The guys at the shop said I should be okay. I was pretty nervous about that. Overall, I think I faired pretty well. I was the first one that won one of the track days.
I was pretty upset with the whole red flaggin stuff and limited track time. The second crash and burn actually happened pretty close to me. Someone ( I think it was a Gixxer) late braked into the cones in front of me and another rider right before that double apex. He took it hot and leaned into it....maybe too far. Next thing I knew, he was sliding out.
Yes, that turn after the straight was tricky. The first time I came in really hot. I was probably one of the ones that were breaking a little earlier than the cones. I think I got spooked after the first time. All in all, I was happy with myself on how I did in that level. I will definitely be hanging there for a long time.
What shots did you get from Powersports? I didn't get to hang out to check the proofs there, but they are online now.