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hey fellow racers,

A lil history: last time I was out racing I ended up knocked out in the hospital w/ a concussion after being sideswiped on the track.. Pure racing incident, no grudges held.. caused me to miss a complete weekend (3 races)

Anyway, I had no recollection of the event or anything, so I figured I'd get back out there this last weekend (most people were surprised to see that I'd even come back) and be able to cut as fast laps as I was before I went down... I was horribly wrong..

I was running Pilot Power street tires up to the point I'd crashed, and was able to pick up a few sets of Pilot Power Race (soft front / med rear) and tire warmers for the last weekend.. I dunno if it was that change, or just total lack of confidence / focus.. I was consistently 2-3 seconds a lap slower!!! Guys who weren't even close to me before were now passing me like I was standing still... very tough to see that happening..

Anyway.. I finished all my races, and accomplished my goals that I'd set at the beggining of the season and finished top 10 in all my classes.. 10th in Heavyweight sportbike, 10th in Superbike and 5th in supersport..

Now I'm just concerned that the speed will never come back... It sucks to be out there knowing what you're doing wrong and not being able to fix it..

Can anyone else relate.. any advice will be totally appreciated!!

-tawheed
 

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yep

Congrats on coming back from a very serious injury to race again- that is a great first step. Look at it from the standpoint of steps- you were not going to be able to come back at 100%- but you'll get there- you took the most important step racing again. Everything will come together- you just need more time. The speed will come back to you as your confidence grows- congrats again on racing again!


Steve
 

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I think a lot of people struggle with it. Its kind of screwed up, but the more you crash the easier it is to come back.. Ive had to come back from a few bad crashes...........best advice I can give, is keep looking far ahead in the turns. A lot of times after someone crashes they start looking right in front of the front wheel. Not good for speed. In your case, you came together with another rider, so you may feel a little uneasy around other riders at pace. Just look past them and go past them................oh yeah.................SEAT TIME!!!!!!!!!!! Good job getting back on and keep it up.
 

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my crashes have haunted me for a year. last year i washed the front 3x in two race weekends. it was only last week that i finally got back into a groove and actually ran some laps equaling my best laps ever. also last week i was pushing very hard and while going thru a corner i had lost the front last year i started to lose the front again. i pushed the front hard, thought to myself oh **** i am going down and then i jammed my knee into the ground, pushed the bike up and saved it.....that actually helped my confidence.

bottom line is seat time will help you get your confidence back
 

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I am hoping this one won't haunt me, as it wasn't mechanical or rider error at least not mine. I still have the memory of going fast in my head more than the tumble tumble, but the cast is reminding me of the landing....
 

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well, i have never raced but i have lowsided recently at the track. It mostly my fault and a crappy suspension setup but i knew i wanted to get back out there. So 2 months later at my next track day, i was horrible. Before I was going at a good pace, passing people here and there and this time even the ART Basic group was flying by me at the start. It took me the whole day to get slightly more comfortable but I could tell I lost my feel and was definitely too worried and too nervous. I've done more riding since then and I feel alot better and I'm looking to do one more day before the season is over.

I think it's just a matter of time fixing things.
 

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There are two kinds of confidence - Rider Confidence and Equipment Confidence.

If either of these two are off slightly, it can spell disaster.

You can't question your equipment. You have to know it is set up right or at least well enough. Rushing is the absolute biggest enemy. Make sure the gas is in the tank, the tire warmers are on and plugged in, the air pressure in your tires is set, all the fasterners are tight...Then, once you get on that bike, you have to banish all thoughts of it completely and focus on....

Rider Confidence
This is your self confidence. Your belief in your self that you are the man and that you are at the top of your game and ability. This isn't to say that you are telling yourself that you are better than everyone else out there (though that doesn't always hurt either to convice yourself that you are going to dominate) but that you have complete belief in your ability to perform at your peak level. You have no doubt that you are ready to take on the track and challenge yourself to be the best. You tune everyone else out entirely. Who cares about the people around you. You are here to challenge yourself to be the best that you possibly can be.

Even if I don't win, but feel as though I have progessed from the last time I was out, I leave happy and satisfied.

If you can find your inner harmony, a bit of zen with yourself, before you get on that starting grid you will be that much better off.

Racing is extremely mental and can also be mentally punishing if you have any element of doubt in your mind at all. The best way to avoid mental defeat is to be properly prepared, organized and ready with both your equipment and your thoughts.
 

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I had a 120 MPH endo at Moroso in my first year... got my head run over (tire tracks and all), but no MAJOR injuries other than a bad concussion... which one is my pit again? 4 others were air lifted out. The wreck was caused by a noob who broke about 200 yards too early in a crowd of 40+ bikes going into the first corner... pretty ugly.

Anyway, I'm not very bright when it comes to fear, so I had no emotional issues for the next race (Roebling), but when I got there I couldn't go fast. I had vague front end feel and some pretty odd slides. We chalked it up to me being "skittish". Next race out (Talladega) and I was having the same problems, front end push and vagueness. One of my friends (mechanic) said he thought the swingarm was bent... I disagreed as it looked perfect and when on the stand the bike was 100% vertical. When we got home I took it off and one side was a good 3 inches lower than the other, he said "too bad you don't have a boat, 'cuz that's a perfect anchor :) ".
With a new swingarm I was right back to my old pace. The moral of the story is that it might not always be YOU. Make sure everything is fixed and maybe even drop by GMD and have it measured. A lot of beginning or "non-professional" riders tend to doubt their ability to feel what's going on. Sometimes going slow is a result of your mind knowing the bike's limits are approaching (sooner than they should). Just make sure the equipment is a-ok, that'll help with the melon too.
 
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