“Thanks guys- timing for boot camp was perfect- both boys smashed it at Taranaki on the weekend- Lucas winning and Thomas 8th in 85cc class with 40 on the line.” I knew that the stopwatch had shown that we’d made great progress in our January Boot Camp, but it was feedback like this that showed how effective it was.
Right from the start they were told the two main goals. The first was to give them more confidence turning hard without the need for throttle. This was probably proven most effective in Lucas.
The picture he had in his head was of a red zone before a corner called braking, followed by a yellow zone called preparation, then a green zone called powering that happened from halfway through the corner. I made some changes, in that while the red zone of braking stayed the same, the yellow zone was now a very important “Turning” zone. This is the heaviest change of direction. Then from halfway was to be another colour which indicated a small first turn of the throttle that could build up to green once he knew he wouldn’t need to back off again. By pushing the green zone out he could then enter faster and turn more effectively, which meant he was significantly faster by the time he did get back to full throttle.
He changed from brake sliding halfway through a berm and then dumping the clutch to doing less braking and more leaning in the corner, which was incredibly effective in everything from berms to ruts and flat corners.
The second main goal I had for these guys was being able to get their head past the handlebars while standing while powering hard or if the front wheel was higher than the rear. Travis was the biggest winner in this area, who happened to finish second in his class at the King of the Mountain.
Not having had much coaching before, I think Travis quite enjoyed the freedom of being able to stretch out past the handlebars. He had been able to clear the big step up at Pirinis from the start of camp, yet he looked so much cooler and playful with his jumping once we were done with him.
As for the laptimes, the results were quite astounding. Ben Wall shaved five seconds off his time to get down to an impressive 1 minute 39 second laptime on his 125, which is right up there with the best. Other riders shaved up to 15 seconds off their best times. Sure, conditions had improved thanks to some overnight rain, but in any case we achieved our goals and look forward to what we can do with this Junior Nationals Boot Camp.