Most professional racers have developed a ‘race intelligence’ which helps them on multiple levels. It makes you have an instinct on what’s going on around you momentarily, AND can picture what’s gonna happen next. There is a lot to it though.
This has more or less, something to do with ‘spatial thinking’ and human knowledge. Additionally for our sport needed, is a deep understanding and feel for physics, technical grip levels, and the ability to make decisions in a split second for always changing variables and conditions. Well, in addition to this- also an instinct for the consequences if a decision is might be wrong. That’s quite a mental load, isn’t it?!
NFL star Payton Manning had an enormous ‘game intelligence’. Was he that good throwing the ball… no, other QB’s were better than him with this. Was he that good running the ball… no, he wasn’t. He compensated all this with a game intelligence like no other. He could read a defenders mind. I believe he could see the pass and what’s gonna happen in front of his eyes, right before calling ‘Omaha’. He could think like his receiver did, just in that certain moment on his route. Like a ‘what would I do’ triple scenario vs. consequences rundown in just a split second. Try to even imagine that!
A race intelligence can help you running down several start scenarios, depending on your grid position. This is not like the ‘what/if’ thing. This is more like a look into the future and comparison, where you can literally see yourself and the entire field as if you’re sitting on the grandstand. I could literally see what would happen if I would attack the first turn on the inside- then rewind and attack on the outside. How would my opponents react and where would that take them. Don’t know if you can imagine what the first turn looks like when ten racers throw themselves into every open gap right after start, but that’s pretty much the most frightening thing you can do to yourself. Now here is you, who had all those different scenarios running like a video through your head. Means- you’ve been there already and so it’s less shocking. Cool huh?!
That race intelligence helped you set up an overall strategy for the entire race. That includes facts like, how many laps, your momentary stamina, the championship point standings, the tire compound decision you made on the grid, and if you are in a start to finish dog-fight or leading the field. Quite a bit huh?!
During the race, race intelligence makes you have an instinct of when and where your opponent is going to ride an attack. You think ‘like him’ in his position. If you are required to attack, your instinct is to play it through before you actually physically do. Instead of punching around, you literally lay him up for a confidence-breaking attack.
Now you’re leading, and your race intelligence allows you to switch on risk management. Every time you zip down the finish straight, your team shows you the gap on the board. You go just as fast as you have to to save tire life.
You control the environment. You master the environment. You are the environment.
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp