Author Topic: Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017  (Read 166 times)

John San

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Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017
« on: July 04, 2017, 10:24:51 PM »
Terry Two Cakes, Don DaLoop and I headed back to Thunderbolt for a long overdue track day.  It was hotter than expected but there were lots of fans going in our garage and we had a shitload of water and Powerade, so it was totally doable.  In fact, it may have been the most fun I've had at a track day yet!  Terry had his new GSXR out for the first time and loved it.  He learned quickly how great the brakes are when he pulled off a massive stoppie avoiding an erratic newbie that cut him off!  (Terry, you've got to get out of that White group - it's goddamn dangerous!)   :o


Don DaLoop is still waiting for his new R6 racebike build, but in the meantime put a new engine in the Daytona so he was burning up the track on that.  He rolled up towing his new monster trailer.  This thing is completely awesome!  Complete with A/C, workbench and Pit Bull axle stands!  We're like a friggin race team now!


Don hooked up with some mad dogs in the garage next to us that were running consistent 1:30s and was chasing them around the track all morning in the Advanced group.  I worked hard on body position and hitting the apex consistently and made a ton of progress.  Don imparted a lot of wisdom he gained from the two day Yamaha Racing School he attended and it really helped me improve.  I was railing around in the Intermediate group!  Where I was solidly mid-pack in the past, yesterday I was at the top.  There were only coaches passing me occasionally and I could stick with and eventually pass just about anyone I came up on.  Thanks Don! 

Ray and Sarah at SB Image do an amazing job of catching the action at the track, so I picked up some shots to keep tabs on my progress. The big guy right behind me here is on a friggin Hayabusa.  The guy on that beast probably went somewhere around 230lbs and was all over the track trying to keep that thing under control.  He had a hell of a time slowing that thing down for turn one at the end of the straight and I could pass him every time on the nimble Daytona with it's monster Brembos!   ;D





On my last session of the day I was behind a guy for three of four laps who was pretty fast and consistent, I felt like I was faster through the corners but not enough to make a safe pass so I hung behind him for a while biding my time.  It was awesome because he was so consistent I was comfortable riding right on his rear tire - it was like a full on race.  I even showed him a wheel once or twice.  He had a GoPro mounted on his tail pointed rearward so I was playing it up even more trying to get as close as possible to him.  It was totally awesome!  I finally got past by out breaking him into turn one.  The checkered flag came out on the next lap so I pulled over into the shade at the edge of the garages in the paddock to wait for him.  I figured he was right behind me but after three or four bikes came off he still wasn't there.  Finally after a few minutes he showed up and I followed him to his garage to shake his hand.  Turned out that he ran off the track right after I passed him but he saved it and didn't go down.  Really cool guy, originally from Perth Australia, now living in Brooklyn.  He said he's going to send me the footage - can't wait to see it!

Once again having a relationship with Mark at Markbuilt is turning out to be a huge win at the track.  I had him add some clipons for me that really helped me improve on my body position, and by the end of the day my tires were probably 75% done so I left him a new set of Supercorsas I had and a set of brake pads to install when I dropped the bike off at his trailer.  Next time I'm at the track that stuff will be on the bike.  Don had some weirdness going on with his rear Michelin tire - the wear on the right side looked really strange and he was getting some slipping going on in the corners.  He had a new tire with him and Mark had it installed for him within minutes.

May have been the most fun I've had at the track to date, in spite of the crazy heat.  We're finding that the more you know the better it gets.  Initially it's a blast just to be out there, but once you start learning a few things and going out there with goals and a plan things really start to come together.  We've got big plans for the rest of the season!   
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 10:47:14 PM by John San »
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
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Don Da Loop

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Re: Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2017, 01:38:41 AM »
Team Rats tearing it up 8) Great time!!!!!!

Terry Two Cakes

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Re: Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2017, 06:40:03 AM »
Great write up John. I agree 100 %. It was the best track I have had as well. I finally have the bike that works for me.
It should be even better next time as Mark is installing clip ons and braided brake lines.
Having Don imparting knowledge helps a lot too.

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Jamhar24

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Re: Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2017, 07:04:09 AM »
As usual awesome write-up John. Sounds like you guy's had a great day. Makes me think i need to go this year!
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Terry Two Cakes

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Re: Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2017, 07:38:56 AM »
As usual awesome write-up John. Sounds like you guy's had a great day. Makes me think i need to go this year!
You must get out there Jim. Do it once and you will be hooked.

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John San

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Re: Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 09:19:56 AM »
As usual awesome write-up John. Sounds like you guy's had a great day. Makes me think i need to go this year!

It was awesome.  You should really get out with us this season.  Even if you just come down once or twice you'll get a good taste of what it's all about and that will get rid of any trepidation you might have.  That way next year you'll already have the first day track class out of the way and you can just start rocking out!
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
-Valentino Rossi

roccoaloe78

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Re: Thunderbolt Track Day w/TPM - 7-3-2017
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 12:28:53 PM »
Spettacolo!!!
Very awesome!!!
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