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Author Topic: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017  (Read 317 times)

John San

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EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« on: September 06, 2017, 11:08:54 PM »
Cross Country Cycles up in Metuchen will be sponsoring a track day on Monday, 9/11 on Thunderbolt.  EvolveGT will be hosting the event.  Evolve is a great club and they will be offering a $99 special for anyone who has not been on the track before.  They offer their GT1 class for first timers that is similar to the ART1 class from TPM.  I've done some track days with these guys and the Evolve coaches are very good.  Traffic should be light since it's a Monday, and the weather forecast looks perfect as of right now.  Don and I will be there, and possibly Capo as well! 
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John San

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2017, 11:39:11 PM »
Don, Capo and I had a great track day Monday with EvolveGT and sponsored by Cross Country Cycle.  EvolveGT is a great club and they really put on a great event - just wish they had more at NJMP.  I did talk to the owner and head coach about that and they both told me to keep an eye on their schedule for next year...

A huge plus for the day was having Chris Notte and Cross Country Cycle there sponsoring the day.  They had the main event garage reserved for us to pit in so we could all hang together, plus the BMW suspension guru Steve Weir was in town for MotoAmerica and CCC had him stay over for Monday in order to help everyone with suspension settings for no charge whatsoever.  The three of us pitted with Chris and a bunch of guys from a north jersey club called Tri-State Superbikes.  I've hung out with them before at the track and they are great bunch of young guys that love this sport as much as we do.  There were four Daytona 675Rs on hand plus a few R6s, a GSXR, Chris' CBR, and an 899 Panigale in our group just to name a few.




Capo spent much of his morning in the GT1 class which I think went well, but it sounded like some of the coaches rotated in and out which made for a lack of continuity throughout the day.  I've never taken their beginner class, but I've been pretty impressed with their coaches in general just from working with them out on the track.


This was my first day running Pirelli Superbike slicks and I definitely like them better than the Supercorsas on the track.  Same for Don - he's going to the slicks from some Michelins that he has literally been tearing to shreds at his pace.  Have to run warmers and different pressures on the slicks, but totally worth it as we are starting to run at a pace where the extra confidence can get us to the next level.  To prove that out I got bumped to the advanced group by the end of the day!  I had to have two different coaches evaluate me in two different sessions but they both gave me the full thumbs up and I got my E3 sticker by the end of the day.  Now I can run with Don Da Loop and chase him around the track - if I can keep him in sight!

The extra confidence the slicks gave me definitely helped, but I had Steve from BMW tune my suspension and holy crap did it make a difference!   He said my rear shock was set up exactly the way he wanted it, but the forks didn't have enough rebound.  He sped up the rebound and said it should help the bike turn with less effort.  The very next session I went out and was blown away at the difference - especially in the chicane where I always felt like I was really muscling the bike from side to side, now it immediately flicked from side to with much less effort.  I came in after that session and looked at my lap timer - best session was 1:40.1, my previous best was 1:43.1!  Full 3 seconds!  I think it was a combo effect of the suspension changes, slicks and Don giving me a lot of encouragement by screaming "TURN IT UP!" repeatedly into my helmet as I was heading out for my session.  Thanks Don!  I'm catching up!


There were a couple of crashes on Monday.  One was a guy pitted with us in the TSS group - he was a novice and somehow low sided his beautiful 899 Panigale street bike.  Not sure exactly what happened, but he was ok and I think even got back on the track later in the day.  The other one was much more serious.  Don't know who it was, but it happened right in front of Don.  Guy was coming over Wheelie Hill on a literbike and rolled on too much throttle - the front end came way up and he either panicked or his foot slipped off the peg, he came off the bike and it went over and broke into pieces.  Don said he was somehow able to avoid the pieces of bike but couldn't slow down enough to make the corner so he went onto the grass, but was able to get back on the track safely.  It was a pretty scary hour or so while the ambulance was out there tending to the guy, but I did hear that he regained consciousness before they took him away, so that's positive.  Coming over Wheelie Hill can be a 100mph or more spot so that's some serious stuff.

Besides some of those incidents it was a great day at the track.  I really like EvolveGT as a club and Cross Country was key in making it a memorable day!
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 08:15:48 AM by John San »
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
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Terry Two Cakes

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2017, 07:38:02 AM »
Congratulations John on making the Advanced group. That's a great accomplishment.

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Don Da Loop

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2017, 10:47:16 AM »
 Awesome work John  ;) The slicks and suspension tune worked great,they helped me post my best to date a 1:35. Welcome to the big show Johnny, it gets very FAST from here on in!!

Jamhar24

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2017, 04:13:32 PM »
Another excellent track report John. Congrats on making it to the next level. I'm so disappointed they cancelled the Sunday track day! I had to call them today to get a credit on my account. I'll have to look at the schedule so I can figure out when to do it. Kawasaki day with TPM is on 10/29. I'm unsure about the weather that late in October.
Plus I don't want to be there by myself.  Let me know if anyone else is doing one on a Sunday.
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John San

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2017, 07:09:04 PM »
Awesome work John  ;) The slicks and suspension tune worked great,they helped me post my best to date a 1:35. Welcome to the big show Johnny, it gets very FAST from here on in!!

Thanks Don.  I know what you mean - I never felt out of control but around the 1:40 pace I noticed that I had to keep up a higher level of aggression.  Especially coming through the big right hand bowl.  Watching the MotoAmerica guys last week helped a lot - I'm really hammering it through there now, but you have to know when to stop because that second apex comes up quick and it's tight!
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
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John San

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2017, 07:17:10 PM »
Another excellent track report John. Congrats on making it to the next level. I'm so disappointed they cancelled the Sunday track day! I had to call them today to get a credit on my account. I'll have to look at the schedule so I can figure out when to do it. Kawasaki day with TPM is on 10/29. I'm unsure about the weather that late in October.
Plus I don't want to be there by myself.  Let me know if anyone else is doing one on a Sunday.

Yeah, me too.  That was shaping up to be an awesome day.  I've done late October track days the last two years, one was right on Halloween.  It can be cool in the morning so you just have to take it a little easy for the first few sessions, but as long as the sun is out the track will warm up enough to have fun.  You shouldn't have any problem since you will just be learning the track anyway.  I should be able to do any of those days in Oct, so just let me know which one works for you.  Next weekend, the 23rd and 24th should be great.  I can't make it, but I'm sure Don and maybe Terry will be going.  You should be able to get the first timer's rate whether Kawasaki is there or not.
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
-Valentino Rossi

John San

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2017, 10:11:20 PM »
Congratulations John on making the Advanced group. That's a great accomplishment.

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Thanks Terry - I really worked hard for it.  You know how it is, you can't just go round and round on the track and get better.  Got to have a plan each time you go out.  I know that track pretty well now and I know the spots where I needed to turn it up.  The coaches both told me when we went out for the evaluations that it wasn't really about pace.  They were mostly looking for clean lines and the ability to pass other riders safely.  Ryan, the second coach to eval me said he was pretty impressed when we came up hard on a guy breaking into turn one and I didn't rush to pass him since he had already started his turn in to the apex.  I stayed on his tail until the exit of 3c where I knew I could take him easily on the exit and up over Wheelie Hill.  He said that was exactly the kind of stuff they look for.  Gave me some extra confidence that I'm doing this shit right anyway.   ::)
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
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Xtreme Ron

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2017, 07:46:59 AM »

Gave me some extra confidence that I'm doing this shit right anyway.   ::)

That's probably worth a couple tenths all by itself!

John San

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2017, 09:05:58 AM »

Gave me some extra confidence that I'm doing this shit right anyway.   ::)

That's probably worth a couple tenths all by itself!
More than that even.  It's all about confidence because you're doing stuff that goes against all of your survival instincts.  It takes a while to overcome those impulses and just do what you need to do to get through the corner.   Some of it also goes against a lot of the street riding best practices I've learned over the years.

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Don Da Loop

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2017, 10:54:14 AM »
John once you learn to drag knee you'll feel more convenient to place the bike where it needs to be at speed..... touching the far side of the apex with your knee is the key to getting into the 30's 8)

John San

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2017, 09:00:46 PM »
John once you learn to drag knee you'll feel more convenient to place the bike where it needs to be at speed..... touching the far side of the apex with your knee is the key to getting into the 30's 8)

Yes, that's true.  I've been downloading and analyzing the data from my Speedangle lap timer.  Even though the lean angle is wrong on the device display itself, when you download the files and look at the raw data it appears to be accurate.  The cool thing is that I can see my lean angles increase on the laps where my lap times are lower.  The max lean angle I've gotten to is 51 degrees.  That was in turn 10 the long left hander.  The other cool piece of data that shows up in the file is the G-force value.  I noticed that in breaking I've been pretty consistent all season in pulling about .9G when breaking hard into turn 1.  Acceleration for most of the season had been about .5G, but last Monday for most of my sessions I was pulling about .7G accelerating out of the same corners.  I think this is due to getting on the throttle earlier and harder - probably helped by the race slicks I'm running now.  Also, I'm hitting 140mph on the straight now just before I hit the brakes, in the past I was topping out at just over 130mph (This is from the GPS in the timer, not the speedo on the bike).  Getting better drive and higher speeds coming out of turn 12 now would account for that.  I feel like a MotoGP engineer with access to all this data!  I'm going to try and plot some of it out and see what it looks like on a graph.

Bottom line is I think I have the speed and lean angle required to consistently get my knee down, but I'm still lacking in the body position area.  I'm skimming my knee here and there, but not touching down in the same place every time to give me a gauge of where I'm at.  I'll be working on that this Monday!     
Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
-Valentino Rossi

John San

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2017, 11:35:47 PM »
Chris from Cross Country had a photographer there on Monday.  He uploaded a couple pics of me and Don...




Riding a race bike is an art - a thing that you do because you feel something inside.
-Valentino Rossi

Terry Two Cakes

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2017, 11:50:08 PM »
Nice pictures. Cool analysis.

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Don Da Loop

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Re: EvolveGT Track Day, Monday 9/11/2017
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2017, 04:15:39 AM »
nice gloves ;D
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 04:45:33 AM by Don Da Loop »