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Road America impressions

2337 Views 43 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  YZFRabbit
Was up at RA yesterday for the Sylvania/Power Motors trackday. WOW. That track is FAST. The track is also very easy.. nothing technical, pretty much late apex everything and you're good to go. That being said - I *still* haven't figured out turns 5 & 6. There's some heavy patch work there, that made my front end tuck and slide a bit during the first session of the day... and I think that messed me up mentally for the rest of the day through there. I didn't start to carry some speed through them until the last session. I'm surprised to find out that aside from 5, 6, and 8 (maybe 12, not sure)... that all the corners are 3rd gear, 100+mph. BIG difference between RA and BHF. And my my what a difference horsepower makes! DanO tried and tried, but the Little R6 That Could couldn't keep up with the almighty GSX-R750 down the straights ;)

Since this was my first time riding this track (unless you want to count the parade lap I took at the '97 AMA races) it took me a little while to work some bugs out and find a groove. I never did reach my goal for the day... but I managed to get myself down to consistent 2:33s (best being a 2:32.4x) My goal was to break 20s, but I'm sure that once I get 5 and 6 down, and get a few clean laps (traffic prevented me from putting complete laps together) I'll be there.. hopefully in the 28s somewhere.

We duct-taped a video camera to the tank of my bike. I took it pretty slow the first lap (I timed the video at 2:44), due to cold tires (this was the first session after a 2-hour lunch) and the fact that the camera was hitting my gut, even with me sitting upright (so my riding position was a little awkward.) Good thing I took it easy... the tape let go just as I started to settle into lap 2.

The video can be found here:

DanO and I will be up there this weekend, racing in the FUSA races. Stop by the Woodfield trailer and say hi! :)


EDIT: I meant I haven't figured out 5 & 6 yet ;) Stupid typos.... :mad
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The majority of my races will be on Saturday, with one race on Sunday. As of right now, DanO isn't sure if he's coming up to race on Saturday, or just for Sunday. Most of his races will be Sunday (tho, he being on a 600, he CAN run the heavyweight classes that I'm entered in on Saturday.) DanO and I will both be racing the $1000 Unlimited GP on Sunday.

So... as of right now - I'll be racing 3 races Saturday, and 1 Sunday. DanO will be racing 3 or 4 races on Sunday.

I think everyone here needs to PM DanO, and tell him to suck it up and come up on Friday night after his show, to race on Saturday.
Jim, that video was sweet. You guys needa tape it on better next time so you can get more laps. :D Good luck this weekend.
Michael said:
you say you hadn't figured out turn 4? isn't that a little tiny bend on the back straight?
Actually turn 4 is the soso tight right hander coming down the hill from turn 2(isnt this actually turn 3?) it has a dip right at the apex and at speed floats you a bit to the left.
No... it was my bad - I typo'd ;)

I can't figure out 5 & 6.

Michael is right... 4 is the little bend in the straight between 3 and 5.

2 is the little bend under the bridge following 1.

Max - thanks :) I think next time, we're just going to modify the bullet camera instead... I can probably fab up a bracket to mount it to the tank somewhere. Much easier than taping the entire camera down. Plus, I'll be able to tuck, and ride normal.. so the video will be much more exciting :D
:thumbsup :thumbsup :thumbsup
Good luck, guys!!!! Wish it was me!
See you (hopefully) on Saturday!!!!
If only my insurance kicked in by now.:( :(

But I will be out terrorizing Kim at teh next BHF's.:D I'll be able to go nutzo now unlike the putzing around I did at the CLSB track day.:D:D:D
ROFL!!!! Just make sure you're working the main gate... We'll be safely inside by Thursday!:laughing

On the other hand... I never crash when you're not around. How's that for loyalty!:rofl
Well, displacement helps - but not THAT much. DanO was going 2:34s on his R6 (stock aside from a slip on and fork springs.) Andy Feuersthaler and Michael Chachere (both CCS Am's) are going 29s on more or less stock GSX-R600s. Jason Temme is going 21s on a 110hp R6 (my Gixxer is probably 125... so he's going faster than me, with 15 LESS hp!)

Then there's the guys that were out there on GSX-R1000s, that have probably 25hp over me... that I was easily walking away from once we'd get to turn 5. (they'd BLOW by me down the front straight, I'd get back around them in 3, then they'd BLOW by me again down the straight into 5. It wasn't until I got to to 5 and 6 where I started to get away from them.)

As many straights that the track has... corner speed is still mucho importante. Aside from those 4 corners I mentioned (5, 6, 8, and possibly 12) I'm entering ALL of them at 100mph. And considering the ProAMA 600s are going 15s (and their "supersport" 600s are pushing the same hp my 750 is) then I obviously need to carry even MORE corner speed, since hp isn't any advantage when compared to those guys.
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Doing this much longer than you? I've been to 6 trackdays or races (combined)... RA would be my 7th.

Calm down. Just trying to illustrate that your bike IS capable of going faster... don't shrug off better lap times because I'm on a bigger bike. If I've learned anything from riding... it's that it's 90% rider, and only 10% bike.

You'll get there.
I hear lots of typing... I don't see any bowing... get to it now! Chop chop!
Ok... let me try to rectify this a little.

The point I was trying to make, before you got your panties all in a bunch, is that it's all in your head. This is based on how *I* do things, how *I* have learned to ride faster.

The instant I start blaming the bike, the track, the tires, I stop going faster. It doesn't matter if those things are actually limiting me or not - in my head, it is. And I hit a brick wall. I don't go any faster, because I *believe* I can't go any faster. Rather than starting to look for other areas to work on, to see where I can make up some time, I just quit, believing that I'm as fast as I'll ever be.

I was just trying to illustrate to you that your bike is definitely capable of more. You can do it. AMA 600s back in '98 (as in, back when Yam was still campaining the YZF600) they were still cutting high-teens at RA. I'm not trying to cut you down... heck, sub-3 minute lap times is pretty fast for most of the guys at the STT day. And you were in the 40s... that's actually really good. Honest. Get the mental block out of your head, relax, and you'll go even faster. I promise.

Trust me - and I think most racers will agree - racing really IS 90% rider. The difference between a YZF600 and an R6 is NOT 20+ seconds, in the hands of the same rider. You're lucky if the R6 is more than a full second faster, even at a big track like RA.

And to answer your question - why don't the Pros still run YZF600s, instead of R6s? Because at that level, that 10% is really the only difference between the riders. Every one of those Pro racers, is just as fast as the next guy. Put DuHamel, Bostrom, Yates, Gobert, all on absolutely identical bikes, and I bet they all cut similar lap times. At the Pro level, a .00001 second advantage in lap times, is enough to make the difference between winning or losing the championship.
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Sorry I tried.

SFD18 said:
nobody likes a guy who blows their own horn. For a guy that has been on a track only 6 times you sure are bucket of big words. You must read a lot of magizines and watch speed tv.
Dude, sorry to step in here, but I've read the whole post and I don't get what the big deal is. What's the beef between you two all of a sudden? :confused :rolleyes :confused
maks said:
Dude, sorry to step in here, but I've read the whole post and I don't get what the big deal is. What's the beef between you two all of a sudden? :confused :rolleyes :confused

Dude I have no idea. I post about my RA impressions, offered my honest opinion/slight advice to someone, and I get hammered for "tooting my own horn." :confused

SFD - fine. You're right. Your YZF600 sucks. I bet if you got on Dave's 200hp Busa Turbo, you'd be going 1:50s. :rolleyes
I'm kinda scratchin' my head here too, guys. Look, nobody here is gonna be hooking up with a factory ride any time soon... and the majority of us are newcomers to the track day/racing thing. Compared to Bostrom, et al we all suck... but we all have enough of a competitive spirit among us to keep seeking the next level. And each of us can learn something from our neighbor.

Please let's not get ugly about it.
COME ON you're getting fired up here!!
I'm gonna have to step on Jim's side here
With out a doubt!!!! I would even go as far as saying 95% rider 5% bike. As Mr Code would say "it's all in the wrist."
Not to flame anyone, But Jim and I are Crawling!! mid-low 2:30s is slow. (for race pace) So I don't think anyone should be bowing to anyone until one of us bust 2:20 mark. Even then we're still crawling. 600 poll was 2:14 or something like that and poll on Super Bike was 2:08ish. Now that's flying.:laughing

I'll be there one day.....:confused

Keep going SFD18 it's all good, your bike can probably go high/mid 2:20s w/ tires and the right guy riding it!! Just like Jimmy said, you're not doing bad w/ high 2:40s....Just lots of room for improvment.....I'm not trying to flame you! And I have tons of room for improvment too...about 10-15 sec.

Just my 2's all about CORNER SPEED!!

consider the story from within a racer's perspective. jim/omniglh is at an entirely different level than myself, but i appreciate his observations nonetheless.
dano5150 said:
But Jim and I are Crawling!!
Jim and I? Speak for yourself dude... didn't you read the thread? I'm a track GOD now! ;) :jester

...still trying to find the "big words" I supposedly used...
OmniGLH said:

Jim and I? Speak for yourself dude... didn't you read the thread? I'm a track GOD now! ;) :jester

...still trying to find the "big words" I supposedly used...
My bad mr God :laughing
It had to be all rider....
Boy if I would of hopped on your bike I would of been fighting to break into the high 2:50s.:laughing :laughing

Man you were RAILING!!!!!!!!! wow
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