2023 Practice weekend journal


First session felt awkward but promising. Lots of power, brakes were grabbing with the lever too close to the grip, shifter was too low and kept missing 4th on the straight, after session palms of my hands were in lots of pain because I was gripping the grips wayyy too hard.

Second session felt a little more comfortable and was able to predict the bike a little more. Was happier with the quick progression but still noticing I’m way way behind where I know I can be. Fixed my hard gripping by squeezing the tank with legs when braking.

Third session was better and was able to start pushing braking a little later and getting on the gas earlier leaving corners. Still feeling slow and can see the mistakes I’m making which is promising for the future on this bike. Still figuring out body and feet positions as to stay steady and loose on the bike.

Had a rider’s meeting and everyone decided to switch the second layout to modified as the dirt from the drifters might be able to be cleaned and sorted out for tomorrow. Technical and modified are my personal favorites so we’ll see how the r6 feels on modified.

Had a little sandwich and drink for lunch but made sure not to eat enough to upset my already sensitive stomach on riding days.

Nerves have built up a little over lunch but not too had, making sure to keep a level head and not read too much into the feelings.

Fourth session was on modified and I instantly felt more present and capable with this layout. Could be just confidence building in the bike but this layout feels like its more suited to this new bike. Gas light came on during the 2nd or 3rd lap and cut my session short but I’m excited and ready for the fifth session!

Fifth session I was getting on the gas earlier and braking later as I got into a little back and forth with another rider, they were more confident in getting on the gas earlier but were braking way earlier than I was so I kept catching them in the turns, kept passing into a corner then they’d pass me on the back straight with a better drive from getting on earlier. Felt good being close to another bike but noticed some line changes in some corner that made me uneasy about making certain moves. Hit a false neutral into the carousel but saved it by braking hard and fully clicking into gear. (Make sure to completely follow through when downshifting) felt good being able to work around another bike for the first time on this bike.

Sixth session I got more confident getting on the gas earlier, was pushing my braking marker later and later into the carousel and noticing I still have way too much time to think after heavy braking which means I can leave the initial heavy braking later. Knee is touching the ground more which means more lean angle and corner speed is coming along, happy with the quick improvements and comfortability throughout the day so far. One more session that I think I’ll cut short as to save tire for tomorrow also starting to feel a little tired and don’t want to risk too much on the first time back.

After two sessions on Sunday I’m feeling good and confident where I am, definitely still a long way to go but considering where I started on Saturday morning I shouldn’t complain. I will need to change my gearing as I’m not getting a great drive mainly onto the back straight, currently on 15 front and 46 rear, will go to 15 front and 50 rear for round 1. Aside from not getting a great drive leaving turns I’m very conservative on my braking going into Turn 1 and the carousel. Pinching the tank and the screwdriver grip are some key points that are helping, also trying to look for recognizable braking points should be worked on. Using the power to sit the bike up sooner and to flick the bike a little faster is huge, also adjusting my weight through the pegs is a very comfortable feeling such as being more on the edge as I’m in turns to push through the pegs into the tire and slowly bringing my feet in and flat on the pegs pushing down and through into the tire on exit to steady and plant the bike.

All in all the practice weekend was a great success in getting used to this new bike and reacquainting myself with riding after a long winter.

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