…has been done, and ones more it was totally booked up!
120 riders, mainly our students from all kinds of programs joined us at the wonderful Thunderhill West Raceway in California. The weather was perfect, because this time it wasn’t too hot. it helps, but it doesn’t make our job any easier, because we literally care about every single rider and to make it as safe and fun for them as possible. Yep, I know that this is a phrase everyone use to say, so I want to make this a little more detailed to give you an idea.
June 10th 2018. I got a hotel room for my team up in Willows while I had about 2 1/2 hours of sleep the night before to make the final preparations. My wife Marion and I drove up in the early morning to join the team at the gate at 6.30am, and luckily we could get right in to set everything up. Within 15 minutes we have an operational registration in the Clubhouse- the tech inspection area- the photographer station- and the grids in the pit lane, loaded with tents and ice chests for our Control Riders Ben, Michael, Brian, Steve, and Connor. Then quickly unloading all bikes, and off we go.
Marion and Michael in there elements, running 120 people through paperwork to ensure that everyone has time enough for Tech. Jeremy, Steve, Brian and Ben checked the rider bikes while Superbike-Coach photographer Dean and I went out on the track to inspect the track and run off areas, where we found a small problem which had to be fixed. After a short briefing with the track admin and track Marshall’s I could have at least 10 minutes of face time with the people in the paddock.
8.15am, the mandatory riders meeting begins, while Marion finishes up late comers. I go over essentials the ‘Coach way’, and I always realize the discrepancy individuals experiencing when they dealing with me the very first time. On one side the riders who have been students before- and the riders who are new to Superbike-Coach on the other. While most of them know what kind of train is rumbling through the Clubhouse- some are quite surprised by it. That’s because they get to see only a fraction of the big picture. That’s hard to understand within half an hour, so I am always hoping that the new riders to us look around and to see/feel why we’re having hundreds and hundreds of loyal students which we use to call ‘family’. So at that point, the efficiency of my coaching style is priority, and I don’t bent that just to make a better impression. You get it in course of the day- or you don’t! So maybe this here helps a little…
While B+ was out for their first stint, I gave C group instruction for their sightseeing lap and to answer more questions. At this point a detailed ideal line seminar would not make any sense. We have this going right after lunch, which is why the break is scheduled relatively early.
From there it use to be quite messy, until riders are dialing into better rhythms and getting sorted into more appropriate groups matching their levels. That’s a pretty natural and common thing and comes when riders pick a group based on where their friends are. So from there, Marion was working her butt off to exchange riders within the groups- based on their input and also quite often triggered by my control riders. That is going on for hours and Marion’s organization skill kicks in real good.
Meanwhile, the boys following up on passing violations. At that point, the penalty-system we’ve developed could help a lot, which was clearly see and feel-able from the afternoon sessions on. In total 6 for apexing 2, 3 for passing under yellow, 1 for cheating into other group, 3 for passing close, and 1 got suspended from our event. Can they see everything?… how should that go?! I mean, even we would double CR’s- there is still stuff they can’t see.
Can we do better?… oh yes, and we will. There are already changes in the making. Things which keep setting Superbike-Coach track days apart from others. Just like SBC photographer Dean, who took about 4700 pictures which are coming with our 150 bux track day ticket, so for free.
Six crashes is not what I like, but it’s the nature of doing these things. The positive side is that no one got hurt or crashed because of someone else. My boys checked their bikes while Marion had the riders send to our Ambulance/Doctor for a checkup. Only one red flag was shown for about 10 seconds and got lifted- so not a single time out for our riders, because we were on this in light speed.
Thanks to the entire team to help pulling an event off like this. I love this team for their skills and especially their dead serious dedication and loyalty to Superbike-Coach. Also thanks to our riders for being cooperative, understanding, and patient participants. Hope to see you again on 9/8/2018 for another Superbike-Coach track day at Thunderhill Raceway!
Headcoach Can Akkaya, Superbike-Coach Corp