Former top level racers, Niall Mackenzie and James Whitham both supervise their own track days. They know everything about overtaking on track...
"Racing is all about overtaking. And while overtaking on the road is about accelerating, on the track it's more often about braking," says Niall Mackenzie.
We've looked at overtaking on the road, with safety top of the agenda. But most weekends we watch racers ride within millimetres of each other, brushing fairings and elbows as they overtake - hardly conducive to safe riding. But then, racing and road riding have as much in common as the brilliance of Zinedine Zidane and a Beckham spot kick.
The aim in racing is to get to that finish line before anyone else. "There are several lines round a corner," says James Whitham, "but there's only one fast line." Niall says this means racers are all fighting for the same six-inch piece of tarmac: "You always have to be careful your brake lever doesn't clip the other rider or you end up over the handlebars."
But, as they say, to finish first, first you have to finish. So isn't all this bashing of bike and body parts a bit too risky? "You can overtake this way in racing because you trust the person you're riding with," says Niall.
"You know exactly where they are and where they're going to be." James says it's easy to ride so close to people you race with at most meetings: "You're rarely riding with people you don't know - if you're in the first two rows, you're only ever going to be dicing with the same five or six riders. You know who they are and how they ride; you know each other's weaknesses, and you've got an idea even before you overtake where you're going to do it, because maybe you're better on the brakes and maybe they're on a quicker bike out of a certain corner. And because everyone's as quick as you are, you have to be aggressive."
Straight up the inside on the brakes is the most popular way to overtake in racing, according to both James and Niall. But because the guy in front is occupying the racing line, passing them automatically forces you off line, slowing you down. The chances are they'll get you back on the exit. So you do a block pass.
Block passing is a technique derived from motocross, where a rider accelerates going into a turn before the apex and slips his motorcycle on the inside of the leader, then quickly pivots to make the turn directly in front of him. This forces the rider being passed to brake because his line is blocked. James explains: "You get past any way you can on the brakes going into the corner. Once you get through, they won't be able to get you back mid-corner as you're blocking the way, so they're stuck behind you. Because you know you're about to block pass and be slow round the corner, you go in a gear lower to get a good punch out of the turn, preventing the guy you've just overtaken getting past you again on the way out. And because you've slowed him down mid-corner, he has no power coming out: he hasn't gone in a gear lower so he's driving off the bottom of the revs, while you just scream away. That's the plan."
Continue the guide to track overtaking
The block pass Outbrake your rival and pass him on the inside, making sure you're in a gear lower. Park your bike on the apex to block their route, then power out while his bike's bogged down. He's toast!
Round the outside You must be awesome for this one as it's the long way round. Simply outbrake your rival and ride round the outside - but you'll be off line so you'll get passed again easily on the exit.
Slipstreaming On the straight, stay glued to the back of your rival's motorcycle, using the hole in the air his bike is creating to build speed, then pull out and pass him before the next corner. He's toast! Again!
Posted: 22/11/2010 at 20:39
Posted: 24/11/2010 at 00:00
Quoted from Vale: When I arrived behind Stoner, I didn't want to overtake him in the moment of braking, but I braked a bit too deep compared to him, and I arrived too fast and I didn't have enough room to go on the outside so I tried to go on the inside to make less problems for both of us but unfortunately I lost the front and I also took him out."
Posted: 05/04/2011 at 18:32
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