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1/20 Arizona New Racer clinic ride report

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    1/20 Arizona New Racer clinic ride report

    I arrive at the track at O dark 30 (0630) and meet up with a guy named Mike from the SBN website. Cool guy, shows me around and introduces me to the instructors and organizers. Off to a good start.

    Well semi good as it is cold and wet. In frickin ARIZONA!! Just my luck! I get checked in and get my new rider packet, I still can't find the guy with the EX500 I rented, I am told he is a great guy and he will be here.

    I find the bikes for Ridetime, the place I rented the bike from... Well I only see a RC51 and a ZX6R...??

    Steve the owner of Ridetime comes over to his bikes and introduces himself. I ask "Where is the EX500 I am supposed to ride?" He says "You got a free upgrade" because the EX500 was not ready. I get to ride the 2006 ZX6R!!!! with less than 3000 miles on it!!!! HOLY FRIGGIN CRAP!

    The track goes hot at 8am. I am in group 4 (the new riders) and decide to pass on the first session, I figure hell if the experts didn't go out I sure as hell am not about to! Te track was wet and it was still cold (41 degrees!!) Did I mention this track is in the desert in ARIZONA!!?

    I skip the next 2 sessions but Mike pulls strings and we go out in group 3 and 4 of the last session before the Licensing clinic starts.

    All I can say is WOOOOWHOOOOO!! The front straight is 5/8th of a mile!
    Mike is on a GSXR600 and me on the ZX6R. The bike was pulling so much I was having trouble grabbing shifts going down the front straight!

    Not knowing the track or the bike my first laps were slow, Mike was showing me the line and it really helped for the class.

    I think I hit about 120 or so down the front straight, I asked Mike what he usually tops out at and he said about 160!

    On to class, I will not bore you with those details, 18 students doing follow the leader the first session, riding with passing and flags the second session (Pass anywhere as long as it is safe). They even had the ambulance come out on the course and you were allowed to pass it.

    I got passed (had some paint fly off my bike it happened so fast ) and I did some passing. I was definately more comfortable on the back section with all the curves then alot of the riders. I only did about 135 down the front straight so I lost some ground there (plus the bikes clutch was slipping over 12000 rpm) but I was holding my own and passing people at the end of the straight if I was close enough and in the corners.

    Keep in mind this track is flat with no elevation changes.

    The last track session was a mock race. I was gridded on the outside of the second row. 4, 3, 4, 3... well 2 of the front guys decided to grid in the back. I had no one in front of me!

    Well... I botched the start and stalled! Thankfully I wasn't the only one. I even did like I was told and waved my arms like a maniac so no one would hit me! I even have video!

    I am the 3rd bike from the right (yellow bike, watch for the hand waving)
    Funny as hell! I look like Team America.

    See the video here:

    This wasn't so bad because I was able to work my way up and pass alot of people.

    My best lap was a 1:25. This is slow but for my first day at that track and on a bike I had never ridden I think that was pretty good! Mike was putting down 1:20's and he had 9 Trackdays at that Track under his belt!

    We take our final exam and I get this:

    It is offical I can get my License now!

    Even though the weather was not great I had a blast! Is it April yet!?
    BIKES: Honda: RC31 Racebike/ NT650 Streetbike, DUCATI: None at the moment.
    Former MSF Rider Coach / Trackday Instructor/ Expert Roadracer #116
    "I'd rather ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow."