2021 Rule Change discussion

Discussion in 'Rules and Regulations' started by fast316, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. budoka

    budoka Member

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    Daryl
    Let me add a different perspective on this. I'm a non-racer (by choice after a painful off) although trained and licensed by Justin and worked with Brad almost exclusively few years ago. My personal goal was to race in novice with no thought of advancement or being a contender. I just wanted to be better. After the race school I was better, and as time went on, my lines got cleaner and I did get faster. But lap times aren't the true measure of a skill level, as I found out the hard way. While my speed increased, my "experience" wasn't where it needed to be. As a former commercial pilot I can honestly say that a license isn't all it takes to be totally safe or in complete control. It's a license to learn and it's imperative to let novice racers "learn". I jumped into Intermediate and had a great season with Hx until September '17 and I made a stupid (rookie) mistake and I paid dearly for it. My point is this: let novices be novices and cut their teeth in novice. Advancing is fine for the gifted few, but for the rank and file, it's often a mistake, and in our game mistakes can be so very costly. I was lucky and came through fairly well in spite of my screw up, but it probably stopped my dream of actually racing (I'm a tad older than most) before I had a chance to actually compete at a novice level. So I just ride track days now and work on being a better, safer (if not the fastest) rider in the process. Please, let the novices use their "license to learn" and grow as they should.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  2. Snak

    Snak EMRA Executive Member

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    Eric
    Please note that the novice promotions are also done at the discretion of the rider. No one is forced to move up. If and when an individual feels that they are ready to be promoted, they can request to do so. Part of racing motorcycles is understanding your own limits and the rate at which you personally can safely progress. This is different for every person, but making mistakes is an inevitable part of the learning process.

    There will be no amount of coaching, promotion process, or evaluation by the executive that will stop people from making mistakes on the track. I would hate to hold back the progression of many riders because we think we can prevent rider error.

    I personally felt more comfortable riding with INT riders than I did in novice, and took the first opportunity I could to move up. Progression from that point was much quicker. Ask questions, talk to experienced riders, ask for help from your peers. Our club is close community and I have yet to see someone ask and be turned down assistance.
     
  3. Snak

    Snak EMRA Executive Member

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    Eric
    I am not sure of any bikes that currently don't meet sportbike regs. Splitting the class only serves to dilute the existing races. Honestly if someone wanted to pony up the $$$ for a Moto America prepped bike it meets all current regs with the EMRA. The only thing we are keeping off our Sportbike grids are non production racing equipment, also which I have yet to see other than in lightweight classes (NSF250's, and Moriwakis)

    We already saw what happened when a MA prepped "Stock" 1000 showed up to race, it was the fastest bike/rider combo on track. So to that point the suggestion is laughable. Aligning the rules with MA or reducing the allowable modifications at our club will literally do nothing but reduce grid sizes.

    Buy some damn suspension Jeff, you're the only one out there crushing it on a street bike hahaha.
     
  4. Scotia

    Scotia Member

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    I can appreciate that perspective, Eric - especially considering how fast you were in the intermediate class -, but it, in of itself, is solely tailored toward what could allow a novice rider to be drafted forward and perhaps -subjectively - learn at the fastest rate, while not taking into consideration what’s the safest rate for most entering into our club, their ignorance and naïveté, and how the mass advancement of novices impinges on the overall experience for those within the intermediate class.

    Case in point : Qualifying. It’s the passing racer’s responsibility to ensure the safety of he/she being passed. Doing so in a lot of sections at Strato and even at Castrol means your fluidity, momentum and overall time is utterly destroyed. It’s incredibly frustrating to do +- 50 laps a day, and maybe get 5 or 6 that are clean, because there’s a 13 and 23 second time difference, respectively, per lap of those you’re weaving in and out of.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  5. Snak

    Snak EMRA Executive Member

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    I believe the splits in groups are 3-4 second increments for the top two. So regardless of class you should be qualifying around similar lap times. Passing is part of race craft, I spent a lot of time working on putting in a flyer in group 3. That is literally how I learned to pass and developed a lot of skill from it. You were doing 1:01's at Strato, you should have been qualifying in group 4?

    Novice (no time, novice license)
    2- under 1:27.9
    3-1:27.9 - 1:24.9
    4 1:24.9 up

    Keep in mind I wasn't fast for most of my years racing. My first year racing I did 35's at Castrol and had to get used to being lapped, and holding my line. Again, time I spent learning invaluable lessons. I've learned a lot of hard lessons no one could have taught me.

    Unfortunately you can only lead a horse to water, you can't make them drink. We try to instill the values of steady progression in our novices already, but at some point the rider has to take responsibility. I've seen it a lot, you have a talk with someone about chilling their pace out and taking a step back 50% listen, 50% need to learn for themselves.

    The fact that we have novice as a class is already leagues ahead of most other clubs where you are either classed as amateur or expert. But I have said my piece and if the membership feels this is a required change for the club the AGM will reflect that.
     
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  6. Scotia

    Scotia Member

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    Yes - there was a four group split for qualifying. And yup - proud to have reached 1:01. But in that most of my times averaged in the 1:02’s, I stuck to group 3 out of respect for the experts, and an appreciation for not holding up the pace. I did so until the end of each day, when my patience had all but conceded, to which point I’d go out in the last session of group 4.

    Beyond qualifying, however, is the same scenario when - in a race- you come up on a group of riders, at Strato, even 5-8 seconds slower/lap. The propensity of that track is to exacerbate all that I’ve been petitioning. It bottle necks the possible race lines to such an extent that all momentum demanded by that track is lost, and the lap time utterly annihilated.

    The immediate goal of novice isn’t and shouldn’t be to advance to intermediate; it should be to learn. And there’s so much that can be learnt before that next step is granted. Perhaps this is the very reason there’s so many being told to chill their pace.

    Currently, we’re offering them the entire dessert platter after only two race weekends, at the cost of the experience for those who are fully committed and trying to compete. Their appetite will still be appeased after two more race weekends ( we only get four/year, after all ), and it’ll leave ‘em hungry for more.


    On a side note, it’s nice to see a calm, rational, and pragmatic conversation that’s actually being constructive, yet without any hostility and condescension. Cheers

    Likewise, I’ve said my piece. Thanks for the ear, everyone. Wishing you the best!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  7. budoka

    budoka Member

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    Well said Scotia. That's what I was trying to convey.
     
  8. 411ninja

    411ninja Member

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    Tricia Reese
    To what end? If you look at the results of the Seniors Open it is not the 35 to 39 crowd that are consistently on the podium for this race. I just don't see the advantage to shrinking this grid.
     
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  9. budoka

    budoka Member

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    I guess it depends on your definition of "senior". Those of us of advanced age likely have a far different view of that term. I would not want to race a 35 year old anymore than I would want to face a 35 year old on the mat in a karate tournament. There are significant differences. some of us old dogs may be cagier than some younger riders, but there does come a time that age becomes a detriment.
     
  10. 411ninja

    411ninja Member

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    Budoka, just for clarification I am probably the oldest female racer just shy of 50 and Ian (the most podiumed Senior Open competitor) is closer to 60 than 50. If we didn't want to race 30 year olds we would have nothing to compete in except the Seniors Open! As a competitor I feel very comfortable mid-pack in this race and see no reason to shrink the grid for no gain. We are lucky to have well planned out races that can maximize participation.
     
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  11. budoka

    budoka Member

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    I get the size of the group thing, and yes it makes sense to keep the numbers as full as possible. All I meant is that there comes a time that age does affect things to a degree. Heck, I'm 63 and have yet to run an organized race, only what I did in race school. My crash in fall 2017 took a bit of wind out of my sails and it took all of 2018 to get back to form. I'm actually an intermediate rider but ran novice out at Stratotech in July since I had so little recent track time since 2018. Being safe and prudent is far more important than bravado ever is. And yeah, mid pack is where most riders are. being as I run a porker that's where I'll always ever be LOL Area 27 Wednesday.jpg
     
  12. budoka

    budoka Member

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    BTW, I'm 63. My off was a pre 60th birthday present to myself. 7 broken ribs, collar bone and shoulder blade. Hurts when you screw up and break a cardinal rule of the track... knew better just screwed the pooch. But I'm still riding so I take that as a big time plus.
     
  13. 411ninja

    411ninja Member

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    Tricia Reese
    What I am getting out of this is that you are a mature enough person to know your comfort zone, ride responsibly, and that you pay attention to your limitations for the safety of yourself and others. A member like that is an asset to any club. Kudos for you for being so smart and for still riding! Hopefully we will meet up at a track day!
     
  14. budoka

    budoka Member

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    Thanks for that. We've likely already met without knowing. I'm kinda hard to miss being one of the very few riders on an RC51 and a rather visible/colorful (?) suit since my Motegi bit it at the hospital (see my thumbnail above) on crash day. I've only been at 2 track attacks (this past July and '19 August). Not that I didn't want to, it just never fit in my schedule much. I did have a registered race # but the crash kind of messed with things so I'll just be doing track days from now on more than likely, but I still have the race bug just the same. I'm still hoping to train with Justin again and do a level 2 course to improve further. Area 27 was a great experience and I love the track. It's fast and has just enough technical sections to keep it real. Some very cool elevation changes to get your adrenaline going too; lots of front wheel lift opportunities LOL. Brad and Mark, Ryan, Norbert know me quite well if that means anything.
     
  15. skeri

    skeri New Member

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    We should have a women's senior open as well at the same time as senior's open. I think we all qualify, except Jade (there should be a few more younger ladies next year). I have no idea how old Bronti is.

    As the person right at the back of the pack in senior's open: I love it! I giggle because it's so fun chasing them off the start and I do my better times in this race. When I get passed, it helps show me what I could be doing and how to do it. That was also an improvement goal, to get passed by fewer people each time.

     
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  16. Matt Stokes

    Matt Stokes Member

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    Thanks Cam. All good points raised. The EMRA Board are experienced and I know they are reading all of these comments. Our novice program is somewhere between the two extremes - Some clubs have super strict novice programs (see WMRRA in Washington), and some apparently have no novice program.

    If the mandate of our club is to grow and support its members, we can do better in this department with the novices. Our race school is not broken. It is a great value that you really can't get anywhere else for the money. But after race school, perhaps we can do more. Even if the EMRA Board decide not to change anything and not to start a novice mentor program, the experienced riders can take it upon themselves to help out the novices. Norbert and Brad certainly do this on their own initiative.


    Matt
     
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  17. Framer

    Framer Member

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    Hi All,

    In reading the novice discussion I haven't seen what is broken that a change would be meant to fix. I've read where some people aren't happy when they encounter slower intermediates on track, but this won't be fixed be requiring a slow rider to spend their first year in novice (ask anyone that has lapped me in senior open or formula thunder). Slower racers are a part of club racing and keeping them out of intermediate for the first year isn't going to make them faster.

    The way it is now, with no time limit and the requirement to complete 4 incident free races, a novice's focus (at least mine was) should be on safety and riding in control so they can advance to race in categories with points and trophies and eventually get all the girls. It seems to me that if we add a time target to get you out of novice sooner, we increase the motivation for a new racer to ride outside of their capabilities to 'graduate', and we all know how that can end.

    Regarding the idea of a mentorship 'program'; seeking out a more experienced rider to learn from makes sense. I did it and continue to get help when I'm stuck and don't have a solution of my own. That said, I don't think participation should be mandatory. I'm sure we can all agree that 'motorcycle enthusiasts' are sort of independent by nature and I'm just not sure requiring a new club member to be mentored helps achieve the objective of growing the club.

    With respect to the senior open race, it doesn't feel broken so I don't know why we should try to fix it?

    I'm looking forward to the meeting!
     
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  18. Matt Stokes

    Matt Stokes Member

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    Great riding with you this year Paul. Can't wait to spin some laps beside the blue bike next season!
     
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  19. budoka

    budoka Member

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    Skeri, it's never a bad thing to watch the faster, better riders and follow/learn from their lines and what they do.
    Yes it's true, Brad and Norbert do a great service to us all by helping us find our way either back or to start with. I've worked and ridden with both of them and they are a Godsend.
    Not saying the senior group needs fixing at all, I've ridden with guys older than me that leave both me and my bike gasping for air. But that is not something I can do without actually being on the grid and the clock is ticking for me. Typical, I do far too many things too late to actually progress the way I want to. Such is life. Not saying it can't or won't happen, but the window isn't wide for me.
    Yes it's great that we can have these discussions without animosity or argument. Butting heads gets you nowhere fast.
     
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  20. Potato

    Potato New Member

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    As a newly graduated into INT rider, I couldn't wait to get out of Novice. I ride a LW bike and the times that people are proposing are ridiculous. Some of the better LW INT riders aren't hitting those proposed times and if they are, its usually a PB that happens only once every few rounds. Novice is dangerous IMO. Putting up my little LW against 1000cc'd bikes that rip past me, having as much experience as I do on the track, scares the crap out of me. I wanted to be in the LW class and I wanted to be there now. I am the slowest rider on the track, but not one person has complained that I am a danger to other riders or weren't able to read my lines in order to safely pass me. I agree with Eric - let the rider choose what's best for them. And I agree with Stokes - let there be a mentor that they can approach and get help and ask questions. Holding back people is not the way to go.
     

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