So you arrived the racetrack, unloaded your motorcycle, attended a riders meeting, jumped on the bike, and rode out onto to the track. And then, before you knew it, you were sitting in your pit reflecting on a day that feels like it flew by in an instant.
More than likely, somewhere near the front of all the thoughts and emotions working through your mind, is one question: “How do I go faster?”
One option is spend a bunch of time at the track and try to mimic the “fast” guys, but that's only good if they actually know what they are doing; otherwise, you are just learning a bunch of bad habits.
If you are serious about exploring your full potential on the racetrack, a more practical and proven approach is to check out schools in your area. For me this involved a visit to the On Track Performance Riding School in Edmonton. Owned and operated by multi-time EMRA and Western Canadian Superbike Champion Justin Knapik, the school offers multiple classes including two levels of performance riding. On Track Performance also runs a dedicated race school designed to assist you in attaining the licence required to complete at events held by the EMRA and other road racing organizations.
A goal of racing in 2016 led me to sign up for the race school, and I could not be more pleased that I did. During the classroom session Justin’s natural and effective teaching style delivered concisely laid-out information in a manner that conveyed his passion for racing, learning and safety. The following day the classroom gave way to on-track lessons where a ratio of only 2 students per instructor, all expert level racers themselves, provided the perfect learning environment. As the course drew to a close, not only did I feel prepared to race, but my overall riding skills had taken a quantum leap forward.
So what did I learn? Over a two-day period Justin and his team covered so much information that it would be impossible to summarize it in this blog entry. What I can say is that after learning about items like throttle control, braking, visual cues, proper body position, and how to develop effective lines, my number one takeaway was the fact that before you can be fast, you first need to learn how to be smooth. Anyone with decent riding skills and no fear of crashing can hammer their way around the track, but if you want to be truly fast, you first need to master the fundamentals. Accomplishing this involves making the investment into proper training and then practicing everything you’ve learnt until it becomes second nature. During this time you will need to accept that the focus on skills will take precedence over being fast, but as you progress, the speed will materialize and you will realize your goals. While it may take longer and cost more than just thrashing your way around the track, the end result will definitely be worth it.
I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank Justin Knapik for inviting me to participate in the 2016 On Track Performance Race Licensing School. It was an incredible experience, which I highly recommend.
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 13:26 Published in From Street to Track with Patrick Lambie
Photos from the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship doubleheader at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, AB. All photos by Patrick Lambie.
Defending CSBK Superbike champ Jodi Christie had a couple of crashes in Edmonton but still managed to get on three podiums over the weekend. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Local top Superbike racer Justin Knapik performed well and was fastest among the western contingent in Edmonton. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Suzuki pilot Trevor Daley had a solid weekend, finishing fifth in Pro Superbike race 1 and third in race 2. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Amateur Superbike racer Stephane Chimot speeds around the Castrol track on his Honda CBR1000RR. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Trevor Daley's new paint scheme on his OneSpeed/Parts Canada/Suzuki-backed GSX-R1000 is a real looker. Photo by Patrick Lambie
The front grid in Pro Sport Bike. (Left to right) Jodi Christie, Kenny Riedmann, Tomas Casas and Louie Raffa. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Defending Pro Sport Bike champ Kenny Riedmann in 'the tuck' on his Triumph Daytona 675R. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Jodi Christie. Photo by Patrick Lambie
With four wins in four tries so far this year, Jordan Szoke is poised to turn that 101 into a 1 by year's end. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Szoke set a new track record, qualified on the pole and won both Superbike features in Edmonton. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Daley, Knapik and the rest of the Pro Superbike gang. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Vancouver's Spiro Benias came to Edmonton to compete on his Suzuki GSX-R600 in Pro Sport Bike. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Riedmann had a great outing in Edmonton with four podiums: two wins in Hindle Pro Sport Bike and a second and third in the Superbike mains. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Hometowner Ian Wall strugged to a pair of DNFs at Castrol Raceway. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Szoke talks with Inside Motorcycles columnist and CSBK announcer Frank Wood on the podium. Photo by Patrick Lambie
Friday, 17 July 2015 15:27 Published in Reports, Results & Points
In 1990, I raced at Road Atlanta in the AMA 250 Grand Prix class. Since it was a new track for me, my brother Stephen and I drove down early so that we could at least get a look at the track before practice.
Friday, 17 July 2015 14:04 Published in Andrew Trevitt
The CMDRA returned to Edmonton’s Castrol Raceway on June 22nd for the Oil City Nationals, and all eyes were on the reigning Screamin’ Eagle Pro Dragster Champion, 'Hi-Per' Al Miles, as he attempted to continue the winning streak which saw him complete the 2013 season undefeated.
Monday, 23 June 2014 16:47 Published in Reports, Results & Points
The stage is set for two days of intense action and entertainment as the Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association heads to Edmonton's Castrol Raceway for the 2013 Season Finals on September 7th and 8th. With numerous championships, including the Screamin' Eagle Top Fuel and V-Rod Destroyer classes yet to be determined, this all or nothing race promises to be the highlight of the season and an event that race fans will not want to miss.
Monday, 26 August 2013 11:15 Published in News