Laguna Seca

Using all of the track there is. This is from the second lap in a 28-lap race at Laguna Seca and which also turned out to be the fastest lap of the race.

The Million Dollar Bet

Imagine someone betting a million dollars against winning a full-length race without crashing. The rules also state that you have to win the race from the back of the grid. That's no big deal. A race can be won from the back of the grid in a single lap. But the rules for this bet forbid you from crashing even once. That's not hard on some tracks like Assen or Misano that don't have any real obstacles.

But to do a full length race on a track as unforgiving as Laguna Seca without crashing is quite a challenge. Not that you can't do 28 laps without crashing, that's not the problem. As long as you are comfortable and can focus, you just ride each lap and count them off. The main problem is that there are 24 other bikes on the track and the rules of this bet include that you have to pass at least one backmarker.

This ensures that you keep up the heat and are not just cruising around after taking the lead. It's difficult to ride at anything other than full throttle when you are using a keyboard anyway so cruising would actually be harder to do. In one of my previous attempts I passed more than 10 backmarkers and reached lap 26 out of 28 when it seemed that all the backmarkers conspired against me and set up a roadblock. On reviewing the crash in replay mode, there was a clear way through but without the benefit of planning, I just couldn't see it. In any case, I had come around the bend way too fast (as you do in a race) to be able to stop in time and crashed into a fallen bike. There goes the million.

In the most recent full race, I passed 14 backmarkers, the first in lap 7, so this part of the deal is not really that hard. At the speed you will be going in order to win the race under these conditions, you will have no choice but to pass some backmarkers. Even those bikes that came second and third passed many bikes before the end of the race.

Anyone who can achieve this is doing extremely well. For comparison, my time was an easy 39 min 28.42 sec overall. My average lap time was 1:24.46 with a best lap of 1:22.87, about half a second short of my personal best for this track. These are not representative of my best times but it is the result of conquering Laguna Seca. Wish you luck.


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email: Alan Lowe