Lap #2 approaching the first turn at Laguna Seca as the field begins to clear. If you made it this far without incident you have a reasonable chance at finishing the race. But at this point, there is still the danger of running into another machine on this treacherous circuit.
The safest place to be is at the front of the pack but in order to stay there you have to ride faster than everyone else... but you have to ride so fast that you eventually catch the backmarkers and they don't ride with the same precision as the front-runners. You really have to exercise caution here.
With the front-runners, you are doing about the same speed and not much happens when you give the throttle a good twist. You generally see the concertina effect where the bikes in front get out of the turn earlier and onto the gas earlier and an increasing gap appears between you and them. This does not mean they are faster, just that they got out of the turn a fraction of a second earlier. When you are doing 100mph, they are doing 120... by the time you are doing 120, they are doing 150 and so on. But don't worry, the reverse happens at the end of the straight because they have to start braking earlier.
Backmarkers are a whole new deal. You have to expect them to brake earlier and take the turns slower than the rest of the field. You have to allow for that as you look for a place to pass. Just give them room or they will finish your race real quick.
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email: Alan Lowe