First Race - WET Race, any tips? - Suzuki GSX-R Motorcycle Forums Gixxer.com

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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First Race - WET Race, any tips?

This next weekend will probably be my first race, going to replace a friend who got injured last trackday.
Will be riding his CBR954RR, which I thinks is far tamer than my K5 1000, but will be doing it in the rain.
Based in the predictions, it isn't just wet ground, will be like a severe downpour all day long.
Any tip will be helpful, I would appreciate any input from anyone, specially from those with this kind of experience.

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 05:31 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

I love racing in the rain. It is tons of fun.

First, I hope you have rain tires. Make sure you run them at the pressures specified by the trackside tire vendor. Too low and the sipes will close, defeating the purpose of them. Too high and they won't get any heat in them.

Second, keep your sag where it is, but soften compression and slow rebound slightly. Use the wet practice sessions to dial in the suspension.

Third, exaggerate everything! Body position, brake, and throttle control especially. Hang off further than you normally would so that you can use less lean angle and keep the same speeds. Roll on and off the throttle slower and smoother than you would in the dry. Squeeze (don't grab) the brakes while the bike is straight up and down, do not trailbrake until you get more wet-weather racing experience.

Bring a lot of socks and undersuits. If you have a weekend that is rainy, you don't want to be uncomfortable. Buy a HangDry for your suit, and bring a small fan to dry your helmet out. I used a Peet Boot Dryer for my boots and gloves.

Take your time getting up to speed, and don't shit yourself the first time you get a knee down in the pouring rain.

Used to race, used to be fast, won a few championships.

"Anyone who believes that slow and steady wins the race has never been in a race" - Me

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Hey Anthony! Again, a very helpfull post! Thank you!
It will be hard not to shit myself in that situation, I have Crohn's disease...lol!

One of these days I have to pay you a beer! ;-)

Yes, I will be on rain tires, but will be for the first time. First time also for the 954, although some say that it wont' be much different than the SRAD I used to have.
Saturday will have the morning to practice, qualifying and race will be in the afternoon. Will race again on Sunday! A truckload of clothing will do...
Will post the results if the race does happen...18mm downpour and 40km/h wind may be too much for a race to happen!

BTW, unrelated to wet racing I've read you had a K6 1000, how did you found the on/off throttle behavior? I have a K5 and found mine to be very hard to control, did you modified it in some way to be "tamer"?
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Happy birthday BTW!
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 10:22 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

My K6 1000 race bike was super smooth in terms of on/off throttle response. Sometimes my right wrist wasn't as smooth as it needed to be though!

It is all about getting rid of the timing retard in the lower gears, and who does your custom map.



Thanks for the b-day wishes!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 10:54 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

I hated racing in the rain. Mainly cause I was slower than a pylon in damp conditions and I'm not sure this advice is still good but my racing instructor told me if I was having troubles in the wet to ride one gear higher than normal until I got comfortable. Pretty much just slowed everything down. Yup the slow riding even slower. I haven't been on a newer bike with wet weather mapping so I have no clue how that all works out now.

First race. Very exciting. Have fun and finish the race!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 11:00 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jckstrthmghty View Post
I hated racing in the rain. Mainly cause I was slower than a pylon in damp conditions and I'm not sure this advice is still good but my racing instructor told me if I was having troubles in the wet to ride one gear higher than normal until I got comfortable. Pretty much just slowed everything down. Yup the slow riding even slower. I haven't been on a newer bike with wet weather mapping so I have no clue how that all works out now.

First race. Very exciting. Have fun and finish the race!
I was told that as well, it never worked for me. Once I started riding in the same gears as in the dry, i just got faster.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony D View Post
My K6 1000 race bike was super smooth in terms of on/off throttle response. Sometimes my right wrist wasn't as smooth as it needed to be though!

It is all about getting rid of the timing retard in the lower gears, and who does your custom map.



Thanks for the b-day wishes!

Getting rid of it?
It thought it helped by delaying the power delivery!
The guy who maps around here only messes with fuel trims with the teka adjuster, he doesn't do reflashes.
I may have to mess with it myself, with his help and dyno. Do you remember if the STV mapping were changed in your bike?



Quote:
Originally Posted by jckstrthmghty View Post
I hated racing in the rain. Mainly cause I was slower than a pylon in damp conditions and I'm not sure this advice is still good but my racing instructor told me if I was having troubles in the wet to ride one gear higher than normal until I got comfortable. Pretty much just slowed everything down. Yup the slow riding even slower. I haven't been on a newer bike with wet weather mapping so I have no clue how that all works out now.

First race. Very exciting. Have fun and finish the race!
Will try that during practice! Thanks!
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 11:47 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

That bike got destroyed up at Louden back in like 2008...

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Auch....sorry man!
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 12:33 PM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Shit happens when you race... That was $15k down the tubes.

Last edited by Anthony D; 05-04-2016 at 12:37 PM.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2016, 05:48 PM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

When the tarmac is black, haul butt in the straights. If I play in the rain with street tires, eclipse 268km before I ran out of room?
When the track is wet like a pond or puddle, go faster than the guy in front and pass him. S/he's going slow, trust me.
When the weather changes so is the new animal on the track so sit upright and remain in a balanced drift no lift. Smooth is key.
When the feet are off the pegs some and those are now your feelers, I don't know? Make the instinct kick in. Hard to describe.
When the thought comes back, I would not run in the main without a fresh front or stay home.
When the turtle speaks and you windup like your buddy is pay for the tire then or don't listen to experience.
When the front washes and the back slides up the wall, that meat better be curled up; balls and all... or be the backmarker.
When the headgame is all about winning or don't even show up no matter the conditions, you are about to he-haw more or less.
When the zipper goes up, bring your game up to 100% or at least there.
When the trophy is sitting there on the mantle, you took their 100% game or you'll regret it for the rest of your life is you'd be surprised how fast you can really fly in the wet.

Signed,
NOLTT (never over lean taking trophy)
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-06-2016, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Catch, thank you for your input, although due to my poor knowledge of English, I didn't understand most of it!

Also, what can I expect to feel when I'm reaching the "limit" of grip?
I want to be competitive, but really don't want to trash a friends bike!
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-06-2016, 04:25 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

In the rain, especially at first, it will be difficult to feel the limit. Usually it goes something like this...

"Hmm, this isn't too bad." And then you find yourself sliding down the track.

"Ok, I can pick up a little speed here." And then you find yourself sliding down the track.

"Ok, as long as I get my braking done straight up and down I can still brake pretty hard." And then you find yourself sliding down the track.

"Wow, I can carry some good lean angle!" And then you find yourself sliding down the track.

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-06-2016, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Bah...was afraid of that! Guess I will be driving like and old lady! Just hope the same for the rest of the riders in there!
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-06-2016, 06:02 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

My advice: stay home and watch Judge Judy in your underwear all day eating ice cream.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

My first race report! Yeah!

Day 1 - Heavy rain all day long! Nice we had fresh wet rubber, gave us all the confidence!
Started slow, it was impressive how much that tires gripped! The biggest fight was with in my own brain, that sucker.
This was the first time on the 954 which got crashed a week early, in some occasions I noticed the rear "kick" every time I got into 4th gear under acceleration, mostly into the Estoril back straight (corner 5), which isn't really a straight but was the highest speed corner of the MOTOGP, and in the last corner, a 80mph+ one. Not funny in the rain when everybody tells you "smooth".

Conclusion: Broken Gearbox! 4th gear is unusable, into 5th is difficult as the 4th jumps instantly into 3rd, and 3rd gear jumps out sometimes if using the quickshifter (how can this be?!), and I'm (we are) f*cked, partially. Strategy: Atempt to engage 5th gear avoiding 4th, and using clutch every time. Not even clutchless (throttle)upshifts went well.

My dry time on my bike is 1:56 in the K5, and we started at 2:40 in the wet on that 954RR, dropping to 2:27 in the Superpole 1. Couldn't get to SP2 but my buddy did much better than me going around 2:17 or so in the superpole 1 ,2 and 3, making its way to the 2nd row, on his 600RR.


Started the race, got into a 3 group with 2 other guys that are usually slower than me. But every time I was approaching the freaking gearbox gives me a false neutral, a 6th gear , or still in 3rd after 4,5,6 up shifts! One of them started getting away but crashed, managed to stay with the other guy until the end of the race.
Funny how in the whole morning couldn't get my times down, but during the race managed to shave 9 seconds comfortably. Ended with 2:18, but was the second last place. :-(
My friend did 2nd in his class (up to 850cc).


Race start:me at the rear, white bike, just after the yellow jacket guy. Friend on the orange bike at the front)
https://www.facebook.com/miguel.flor...8033240641715/






Pics have the name of the photographer for credit purposes, I could easely remove them as it's not a watermark. They are freely available.


Day 2:
The whole morning was between rain and sunny with wind, drying the track quite fast.
We waited until the last 15 before the race to change the wheels, to dry wheels.
The gearbox got worse, and the leveling effect of the rain wasn't there.
It was unbelievable the gap changes between me and the next one in my class. Sometimes I was 10 secs away, in the next laps there was a 20 secs gap, in the other 14 secs.
In the last lap, in one of my attempts to get into 5th, it would only stay in 3rd and I did that straight in the limiter, which got passed by a slow 600.
That was the final nail in my coffin, ended up last in the 1000's class.
My friend was doing a great race, battling with the front 1000s in his anemic 600 (its a Honda), but one track exit and crash into the gravel another nasty crash ended the race for him.
But he will be doing podiums in his class, for sure.


I hope to race again in July, but with my K5, based on my pace with that bike, I hope to get into the middle of the grid.
The top places in my class are not in my range yet, they are riding in the 1:52 mostly, which is not my pace (yet) and there is a world of a difference in investment, gear and track time.


Just check my friend in front of the 1000's, Marquez style:
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 07:02 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Congrats!!!

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 07:50 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Yup congrats!
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-09-2016, 08:04 AM
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Re: First Race - WET Race, any tips?

Well done. Seems like just finishing the race in the rain is an accomplishment in itself. You did that, even on a bike you are not familiar with and it had a malfunctioning gear box. I'd say the event was a success!
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