Recently, I was tested to the limit as a teacher on circuit. I worked with a client for the second time who loves our sport with all his heart and is extremely enthusiastic, in fact I doubt he thinks about much else. The difficulty for me was that he is not a natural when it comes to figuring out the best ‘lines’ on circuit. He has more than enough motivation needed to achieve his goal of riding fast, and I spent many laps showing him the exact line I wanted him to ride, but every time I waved him passed me for his turn to lead, his aggression surfaced and he fell back into his old habits, forgetting the lines I’d just shown him. He’d ride as fast as he could in the middle of the track instead of replicating where I had been carefully positioning my bike on previous laps. This isn’t uncommon.
I worked with him for days and slowly I figured out an approach that worked. A way of thinking that really got him to improve. A simple system I believe I have been looking for to help many other riders with this same trait. The riders that think ‘if it feels fast it must be fast’, and of course if it feels slower at any point on track how can it be fast right? They forget that often a rider needs to slow down a little more to be able to make it to the inside curb and stay there, following it for a moment longer (in a slow turn for example) to be able to win more time on the exit. So with the help of this client I have found a new addition to my Motovudu rules of riding fast: ‘ACCURACY BEFORE SPEED’ (Accuracy takes priority over speed).
If your tyres are in the middle of the track, or even a metre off the paint on the inside instead of right next to the paint when the time comes to open the throttle and accelerate hard off the corner exit, then maybe you are trying so hard in that area that you are actually losing yourself time? I believe that accuracy is the foundation that good riders build their speed on. Without accuracy a rider has nothing, because without accuracy, speed and aggression is dangerous.
So, keep calm, relax your arms and your grip on the bars and think about what you are trying to achieve… ACCURACY. Once you have it you can add more speed, and once you have both of these things you’ll be fast and consistent. ACCURACY BEFORE SPEED. The next time you have the opportunity to watch the fastest riders in the world, I think you’ll find they are also the most ACCURATE.