GPS technology like that which Aldon Baker uses on Dungey, Anderson and Musquin might not get you excited, but for Keegan, Gerald and I, it was pretty darn awesome.
Despite being well outside of cell phone reception we were able to watch these two dots racing around the satellite image of Shorty’s track in Wairoa, thanks to their new wifi connection. It is eerie to see each moment reenacted in quite incredible detail, as if it were happening at that very moment. Best of all is the way that you can compare lines and laps to see what was actually fastest.
It is called LitPro and is no secret. I am just stoked that something like this is finally here and that it has proven itself to be incredibly good.
No Hiding Now, Boy
After he looked ready to lay down his first fast laps I stuck the unit on his helmet and told him the plan. “Two fast laps, starting and finishing at that jump.” That was going to be our baseline, I was excited to see what more we could squeeze out of it.
Seeing as this was his own private track, the gains we made were likely to be fairly subtle, which is where this unit really shone. Having done those initial laps and the compulsory drinks break we were off to work on a bunch of sections.
The first was an inside versus outside line choice where we worked hard on improving his speed up the inside. He needed to get wider before the tight section and off the rear brake, before turning the throttle to its stops on the next straight. Soon he was clearing the bigger double from the inside line which was something he had never done before, and we were able to move onto section number two.
Patience on the throttle was key to the next inside line, a rut that moved into a loose section before straightening up. That patience paid off as it set him up better for the next turn, but only the GPS was going to be able to tell how much time that was going to gain as he seemed to be going so much faster around the outside.
Finally we worked on the ultimate comparison between two lanes that are divided by berms and road markers. Usually we all take the right hand lane but there are a few riders who swear the left is faster. Well we were soon to find out.
It turned out that while the inside on section one did make a gain initially and would probably be enough to make a pass in a racing situation, the outside made that time back up and more down the following straight with its big jump. Good to know, on to section two.
Here was a case where the shorter inside line was significantly faster, making up a couple of bike lengths straight away and extending that after the next corner. This is what this technology is all about and I was stoked to give my riders such a visual picture of just how much time it made up.
Then those two lanes, and it was proven without a doubt that we had been taking the slower lane all this time. Keegan was making up another couple of bike lengths on the left, no matter how many times he tried the right lane. We were surprised, but stoked at the same time. That only left the final lap times to really lock in the improvement.
He didn’t quite break into the 1min48second range that I had been hoping for, only 7 hundredths of a second shy. But that is just how detailed this new technology can be, and still two tenths of a second faster than his previous best time. No doubt he will be doing more time on those new lines with the help of his new found knowledge, knowing for sure what is the better way to go.