Thunderhill Raceway in northern California has always had a tinge of fear when other riders talk about it I’ve noticed. So at the end of an incredible season riding my Yamaha R6 at Laguna Seca I decided to add two last track days to my schedule and headed for the legendary Thunderhill Raceway in late October. The good news is I fell in love with the track but my R6 did not. I still don’t want to talk about it, but below is the last picture of my beloved R6. Goodbye girl. I now ride a Kawasaki ZX-6R 636.
Last Friday – the 13th, was my last of ten track days at Laguna Seca this year. It was a beautiful day in Monterey and by mid-afternoon the sun warmed up the track providing excellent tire grip. Richard on his new Daytona675 and myself riding a Yamaha R6 had an awesome day indeed.
At last, on Tuesday I was able to the brake 2:00 minutes at Laguna Seca on my Yamaha R6. It was on my second session of the day and it was bookended by 2:00 to 2:04 lap times. I also made it under 2:00 minutes without ever dropping my bike which was another goal.
It has been a three year journey, starting at 2:28 in 5/11, to 2:19 on 10/12 … 2:10.6 on 10/12 … 2:06.7 on 11/12 … 2:04.26 6/13 … 1:59.94 on 8/13. I am not sure I want to go much faster but 1:59 felt great.
After twenty years of pushing a keyboard while traveling in airplanes, trains, sailboats (6,000+ miles), buses, cars and motorcycles – a thousand nights in hotels, motels, boats, tents, couches the back of cars and trucks. Close to one million miles traveled in forty five plus countries, almost all the continents and nearly every US state. It’s been great but I needed a new motivator. I’m done traveling.
Five years ago, after a lifetime of riding my road bicycle every weekend, I got lazy and bought a motorcycle against all my friends advice. That said, I have taken this sport very seriously and have had over 30 days of track training from some of the best super-bike instructors in the world. I am still pretty slow, considering, but the track has turned out to be a great friend. A friend who only cares about absolute reality. Either you make the turn at 65mph or you crash…no politics, no opinions, simply the laws of nature. I like that. Everyone is equal.
It doesn’t matter how bold and confident I feel. When I ride a sport-bike on the a track like Laguna Seca, the only thing that counts is my ability to concentrate both physically and mentally. It’s pretty much impossible to think about anything else when you are riding at 108MPH at 12,000RPM. And I am still one of the slowest guys on the track with a lot more to learn. I always feel refreshed after a track day and somehow my keyboard looks a little more attractive when I return to the office.
A few pics from Laguna Sega this past Monday and Tuesday on my Yamaha R6. Thanks to GotBlueMilk.com for the photos and Keigwins at the Track.