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For those of you not familiar, Gary J is probably one of the best riders,racers,insight moto guru around. Check out his day at Laguna Seca :eek:


Well I just got home from Laguna Seca, from what would have been an awesome trackday ("Club Desmo" event) ....... if not for a brief moment near the end of the day ........ where I came within inches of either seriously injuring (or worse) another rider and myself .... as a result of one of the worst moments that I've ever experienced on the track!

What happened? Well here's a quick recap.

I was riding my GSXR-750, and working with another roadracer in an instructional mode, in this "A" Group session. I'd come out of Turn 11, hard on the gas, and had been going up through the gearbox as I made my way up the front straight. I had my head down in a tuck as I went up under the start/finish bridge, with the throttle to the stops, as I went underneath, at what was likely in the neighborhood of 130MPH. There were absolulutely no flags being displayed at that moment, to indicate that anything ahead of me was less than clear and open.

As I came over the blind rise, at this throttle pegged, high speed clip, my eyes nearly burst as I was greeted with the sight of a rider in all black leathers, laying on his side RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRACK! The rider's location on the track was nearly exactly in the path that I normally take as I head over the hill, and the path that my bike was pointing at that moment.

I instantly made a visual snapshot of "where" the rider was on the track (to establish where I did NOT want to go), and then immediately focused 100% of my visual attention to the left ......... in the urgent effort to find a way to steer the bike to a path that would avoid impact. An instantaneous, and hard stab at the left clip-on enabled the bike the veer hard left, just enough to avoid the horrendous consequences (for him and I), of an impact.

The moment I realized I'd pulled off the near impossible in steering clear of hitting the rider, the dark thought that I would soon find myself now staring down the barrel of a path that would take me straight into the fallen motorcycle. It's so common in crashes on the track, that the rider behind has to make a choice of avoiding either hitting the rider or the fallen bike, and in this case I feared that having saved the rider from a horrible impact, I may have sealed my own ugly fate as a result of impacting a bike at a speed that was still well over 120MPH at that moment.

Well as that I'm here posting this message, it's pretty clear that someone was seriously looking out for me today ....... as the fallen bike had slid to the right, and the path I elected to take (to the left) to avoid the rider ...... also included the benefit of avoiding the consequences of my crashing horribly as a result of striking the fallen bike. After miraculously getting past this potentially life-altering incident, I leaned over the instrument cluster of my bike as I eased my speed down approaching Turn 2 ...... as a surge of emotions swept over my body. I completed the lap at a slow pace, shaking my head in disbelief of what had just happened, while also be overcome with elation in the fact that I was still up, healthy, and had not struck the fallen rider (or his bike) ...... despite the blind approach, triple-digit speeds, and fractions of time that I had to react.

The happy ending continues, as that the fallen rider came away from this 100MPH+ crash that he'd had going down the front straight at Laguna Seca, with not a single injury! He actually came by my pits a bit later, as the day was wrapping up, with a look of a ghost on his face, as he apologized sheepishly for what his crash had almost resulted in for both of us.

All I can say ..... in closing ......... is that "Miracles Do Happen!"

Gary J
 

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Re: Track Day Story.......

Wow!!! the angels were watching from above on that one!!!
 

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Re: Track Day Story.......

I cannot believe there was no red flag thrown for that. A rider crashed on the track should bring an immediate red flag. Some one should have there a$$ handed to them for that mistake. Glad you are OK. Keep the throttle pegged.
 
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