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Old 12-04-2012, 06:32 AM   #465
Right Brigade
mdubya's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2005
Location: western, MD
Oddometer: 7,219
Originally Posted by Fajita Dave View Post
As far as putting out the fastest possible lap time goes that is still a ridiculous way to do it with a much easier way around it (the way Moto GP racers do) to scrub speed.

Carrying maximum corner speed involves having the tightest turning radius that traction allows for (maximum lean angle). How do you reach maximum lean angle? By evenly loading both the front and rear tires or slightly favoring the rear. If your sliding the front tire than your not at max lean angle which is reason #1 why that technique would only make your lap times slower. Reason #2 is sliding in general isn't a very effective way of slowing down. For example try skidding the rear tire under braking compared to modulating it to maintain traction.... which stopping distance ends up being shorter? On a correct corner entry the front will be fully loaded and only slipping slightly, at this point the rear usually has a lot of traction left to give. So if you want to scrub just a little speed why not simply use the rear brake? (which is what Moto GP riders do by the way). This way there's no sliding involved or weird on/off throttle chopping. Sliding the front is very risky and doesn't have any benefit to lap times what so ever.

There's plenty more reasons why purposely sliding the front would make your lap times slower but I'm not going into all of that. Just for an example think about this one. At 80mph your traveling at 117 feet per second. In the time it takes you to make your throttle blip (maybe 0.5 seconds) you've traveled about 50ft. Now imagine what would happen to your lap time if you simply adjusted your racing line to be either on the throttle and accelerating or at maximum lean angle for that 50ft instead of sliding the front tire and pushing wide.
Great argument, but these guys aren't trying to stop, they are just trying to scrub enough speed to make the corner. If they have carried more speed in 'than traction allows' and they are still able to complete the turn and exit carrying the same amount of corner speed, they have shaved some precious time.

You also need to account for the human factor. What is the quickest way for a motorcycle being operated by a human and not just one using the laws of physics to their maximum degree?

I have friends that have $1200 slipper clutches that they don't use because they turn quicker lap times with their wheels in line. But they are never going to reap the benefits if they don't start practicing the techniques of backing it in.

They also have radial brakes, calipers and master cylinders, yet they are not capable of operating them to the full extent which physics allows and they get passed on the brakes by better riders with conventionally mounted calipers and non-radial master cylinders.

Remember last year when Dovi purchased his own upgraded Brembo calipers, yet Stoner preferred the older ones? Which ones had greater potential by the laws of physics alone? Doesn't matter, because one works better for one guy, one works better for another.

I am not claiming that sliding the front in every corner, lap after lap, is the fastest way. But these guys all do it to a certain degree or another. To not be able to do it makes you less capable and unable to use the technique when it might be called for.

Go ride in the dirt and try not exceeding the limits of traction and see how quick you go. Pavement is just another form of soil.
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