Shorter form novel this time around, not the happiest round to date.
LRRS Round 2
I went into this weekend hoping to address two of my linked weak points: Chickening out into T1 in traffic on the start and being slow to get around traffic. Given Saturday's performance, I'm calling it a success. In the GTL I spent the entire race dicing it up with #75 on a SV with some serious motor and another SV whose number I can't recall. I could gain on #75 in the corners but I could never quite get in position to do more than show a wheel or setup for a drag race to the next corner, and I wasn't winning any drags vs his rocket. Meanwhile the SV behind me was hungry and tried to pounce a few times as we found traffic but I did my best to not waste time looking for easy passes, making some moves in areas I never have before. 25 minutes of straight up brawl, no chance to relax. This race showed I could go off line when required, including recovery from coming into a corner 'hot' and ultimately pulled my lap times down to a 1:21.479. That's the fastest I've been since I crashed and only a tenth off my all time personal best.
ULSB I had the same goals, and executed them ok for the first four laps. On the grid I was behind Rick Breen and Bill Cool and had the motor to push past at the start but didn't pull the trigger when I saw them drifting towards each other. I still was in a decent position with a good chunk of the field behind me, using Bill as a slowly fading target I charged as hard as I could knowing someone was going to pounce at any point. Just after seeing the half way flags we got red-flagged and pulled back onto hot pit where I was 'scolded' by friends for holding them up. Sorry guys, I didn't read the script for this race. On the restart I pressed my motor advantage into T1 and got by Breen and Cool, not that I held that for long. 2 laps in I checked up for traffic and the pack pounced with Jake and Faucher splitting me through T7. I ended up coming in last as a result, but damn what a fight. The end result wasn't what I wanted, but I did throw at 1:20.607 down in that battle as an all time new personal best. I kinda sorta feel 'fast' now.
In ULGP I started the day not feeling it due to some events that occurred on track Saturday in another race. Sitting on pre-grid and watching the opening races helped some but I couldn't quite get myself loose as normal, instead I gridded up nervous as if this was my first time out. As a result, I had my first botched start, just before the lights went out as I was feeling for the engagement zone of my clutch my hand twitched and I jumped. I tried to haul the bike to a stop quickly but I clearly left the box, while I was checking up the lights went out and away went the pack. I was able to get Scottie on motor and held him off for most of the race, but once again we hit traffic and I was timid, he got by on the last lap. Not that it mattered, thanks to my lurch I was assessed a 30 second penalty so my 4th became a 5th. The good news is even out of it I was throwing down 1:21s so clearly my new found speed isn't all a fluke.
To do list
This weekend showed I need to work on traffic management just as much as I need to worry about my overall lap times. I clearly can do what's required, I just need to trust my gut and do it instead of over thinking each pass. It's also time to stop relying on motor for my passes, there are other means of taking a line.
I also need to give A-ko some TLC, the 'rumble strip' effect returned at the end of ULGP so it wasn't the super soft tire causing that last round. It appears to be a combination of too much static sag in back and a shock in need of fresh oil. Based on run time I should be coming due for a clutch pack...
I also need to finish dialing in Mistake for the classic and will have a three day weekend at Boxshop to accomplish just that.