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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)

Summit Point Main
Partly Cloudy with PM Thunder Storms / H-63deg L -44 deg
http://www.motorcyclexcitement.com
Apr 20, 2009

This was my second ride of the year and was in preparation for the CCS Mid-Atlantic season which for me starts at Summit Point over the Memorial Day weekend. I have not raced at Summit and think it is in my best interest to get on it as much as possible.

Prep
The bike was filthy from the weekend in NJ. No, I didn’t crash; it was just dirt from the small streams which weaved their way across the track. I spent an entire Sunday, thank you hun for keeping my honey-do list small, disassembling the bike and cleaning it thoroughly while simultaneously examining all the critical areas. I even removed all of the dirt and oil that accumulates around the front gear with a screwdriver, degreaser and old tooth brush. After reassembly, I readjusted the chain and checked all of the torques and fluid levels. It was ready to go but unfortunately I was not.

The Trip
The trip actually started the night before which I usually spend loading the truck or toy hauler so that I have nothing to do but get up and go. If you’re getting the impression this was not the case you would be right on the money. Because of work, school and my sometimes frustrating habit to procrastinate I found myself up till close to 1130 getting everything into the truck. I hate doing this because I use my “tired want to go to sleep” mental check list which is always shorter than my “wide awake sitting at the track wondering where something is” check list. This time was no exception.
I was up at 5 and feeling pretty good and was on the road by 6. Fortunately the track is only an hour and a half from my house and I was hopping it wouldn’t turn into two or more hour drive because of DC traffic. The highlight of the drive came when I got inline at the toll booth that heads out toward Leesburg. The line was not moving. Why? The bar was up but the cars where not moving. I’m like, what the hell is going on? Where was the toll booth operator? All the booths where empty. How do you go through a toll without operators and not get a ticket? Well the answer, as it turns out is with a credit card. Spotting a credit only lane I circumnavigated four lanes of cones to get there run may card and get on my way. I wonder if those cars are still there waiting.
I arrived at the track at 730 and after a short chat with the man at the gate about the procedure for getting power I was off to the paddock.
NOTE : To get power at Summit you have to go to the paddock find a unused box then go back to the gate to give the man 20 dollars (you get back 10) for its praying the entire time that there is power so have to drive back for another key.

The Paddock
The paddock runs along the first half of the front straight and has paved, grass and wooded parking areas. The grass and wooded areas have individual electrical boxes and the paved area has electrical boxes along the length of one side. Depending on where you set up you may a need for a 60-100’ extension cord. All of the services are located a the far end of the paddock near the track entrance so if you have family of friends that have small bladder or want to make multiple stops to the café for eats I’d suggest parking down there.
Registration was held in the class room and after a nice chat with the friendly staff I made my way out to get the bike teched. With Roger Lyle you must be in fully dressed with gloves and helmet when you bring your bike to tech. They where very through and checked all critical points on the bike. If you pass you get a group sticker for your bike and a smiley face, in your choice of colors for your helmet. Oh and they want you to have a number on your bike so it can be identified. If you don’t have one they will let you use what ever type of tape you want to make a number.
After tech it was into the class room for the riders brief and if you have been to a lot of track days it sounds like this Blah Blah, passing on the out side Blah Blah, yellow flag I get impatient and I have to remind my sorry ass that this is the stuff that everyone needs to know and it is different from the last organization. By the time I made it back to my spot they where making first call for my group, RACER!!!!!!! Yeah Baby…
Track Overview Summit’s main track is 10 turn 2 mile circuit with several elevation changes and 4 straights. The front straight is so long that most bikes top end well before getting near the end. The tracks technical section, turns 5- 8 are challenging and do a nice job of slowing down the pace before it spits you out on to another series of straights. I like this track. It provides chills and thrills and gives you lots of places to work on skills. LOL, I rhymed.

My Sessions.
Xcitement! Track Days breaks there rides in to four groups, Racer, advanced, intermediate, and beginner. I understand if attendance is low they will combine groups to make it three. Each group gets 15 min per session which is plenty especially if you’re running anywhere close to race pace. But the 45 min wait, for me was a little long.
The first two morning sessions were slow. The track was wet from the evening rains and the sun was not in hurry to help dry up the track. I didn’t mind, it gave me a chance to go slow and get a feel for the turns. Right off the bat I noticed all of the patched and new sealer in most of the turns. This track sees a lot of auto traffic and they tend to destroy the tight turns. I’m leery of patches and I had to remember a Keith Code class where he talked about getting past the fear of going over spots by going over the spots. LOL, so that what I did but I didn’t like it. Wet sealer = sliding tires. Who need coffee after you’ve had a couple of sealed turns in the morning?
The track dried out around noon and we where moving with a purpose. I had the goal of getting down into the high 1:20’s and to really put the GSXR front through its paces. During the last session before lunch I was really trying to see how deep I could get into turn one. On race day carrying as much speed as possible there is make or break. I was also getting deep into turn five and playing around with different lines. That’s when I started having problems. The bike did not want to turn in on the brakes, or I was unwilling to turn in on the brekes, probably the ladder and when I would release the break lever the front would unload more aggressively than I was expecting. After the session I came in and took a lot of rebound out and although it helped it didn’t fix the problem. I’m sitting scratching my head when I decided to ask for help. Go figure. After a little discussion with a couple racers I came to the realization that I may be releasing the lever too soon and too fast. Instead of getting on the breaks, setting the bike and turning it in as I slowly released the lever under smooth throttle, I was getting in deep and quickly releasing the lever before I turned in which was unsettling the bike and making me wonder WTF??
Needless to say I realized that I need a lot more work on the braking to throttle transition. The first session after lunch was the best and last of the day. I went out with Wade, a guy on a CBR-1000 who was across from me in the paddock. We had been chatting all day and he was planning on racing in the heavy weight this year and was out here, as I was to learn the track. As I followed him around the first couple laps I was paying attention to his lines and was planning where I was going to pass him. He was going really wide in to turn 5 and I decided that was the place I would pounce. On the third or fourth lap I went in under him in five and drove ahead and away through six, seven and eight. He never retook me but would catch me at the end of the straights. It was soon after this that someone blew a motor and we where red flagged and had to come in. Afterward we chatted about lines and observations. I always feel like pilots at Top Gun when I do that.
So, if you made it this far through this report you might be wondering why I didn’t go out again. Well, it was the craziest thing I have seen in a long time, a thunderstorm. The wind started picking up and the temperature was dropping just as the mock race was beginning. The sounds of racing motorcycles complimented the sounds of thunder in the distance. The first bit of moisture was starting to come down as the race neared its end causing a spectacular low side which was captured in its entirety film. I’m still laughing. According to the rider, his rear wheel slid out as he was coming out of turn seven. Most of us would have let go of the bike, most of us but he decided that letting go was not an option and rode it on its side through a complete 360. So funny. The drizzle was quickly followed by the rain and cracks of thunder and lightning. Everyone was running around trying to load there bikes while I sat there under my easy-up watching. The heavy drops started coming down and the splashes in the rivers running across the paddock where HUGE. Upon closer inspection you could see white objects rolling all over the place. I even, like a dumb ass stuck my hand out in disbelief Yeap, it stung.
By the time the storm system moved on I decided it was time to go. I didn’t want to mount my rain tires for session just to have to pay to have the front unmounted again.

OVER ALL
I had a really good time and it is unfortunate that the rain put a quick end to the day. I thought that Xcitement! Track Days did a good job running the event and although I prefer riding in three group events, or no sessions like SoCal Track Days, I will ride with then again.
 

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I raced there with CCS in 2002 and 2003. It's a great track and your stories were very familiar... except for the part about passing someone, because I sucked :)
But I still had fun anyway ;D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
i will be there that weekend. i have raced there a few times last year. fun track. depending on where you set up we might bump into each other.
It would be nice to meet you. Ill be there Sat and Monday. Sundays a wash with just one race. Thunderbike. Although if I didnt have reletives intwown Id be thr all three days just cuz... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I raced there with CCS in 2002 and 2003. It's a great track and your stories were very familiar... except for the part about passing someone, because I sucked :)
But I still had fun anyway ;D
LOL thats funny. In the racer group I was the only SV everything was600 + and I was getting passed like crazy on the straights. On my left on my right. I even got pushed (air) by a guy on an R1 who felt it nessarry to squeez between me and the edge of the track on the front straight. I think he had 3 feet of a gap to get through. I didnt mind it was just interesting to get pussed right when you think that your so far left that no one would be there.

Of note I never got pased in the turns :)
 

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I will be up there watching a bunch of buddies and helping in the pits. I will keep and eye out for your bike - have fun racing Travis on Summit :)
 
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