Where did we leave off? 2 and a half years ago, after my debut on the track with IL Luca (Pedersoli, from the Riding School). Just thinking about that day still gives me goosebumps. But what I ignored, returning home that evening, was that my baptism on the track… would only be the beginning.
Once online, the article I had enjoyed writing received quite a few comments. Some argued that “once you try the track, if you like it, then you never go out!”. I had smiled at it, despite the disturbing tone of the messages, but at the time I hadn’t given it much weight. Result? Here I am 2 and a half years later, with 20 days on the track in my bag and the awareness that, perhaps, I really don’t get out of it anymore!
But – once again – let’s rewind the tape.
After completing the course in 2020, I went back to the editorial office to my friend and mentor Maurizio Vettor and I asked him: “Mauri, but if I wanted to go to the track and have some fun, as a private individual, what would you recommend?”. Never was an answer more precious: “Guido, you know your bike well, you know your (road) tyres, when you go on the track what will be new for you will be the context. So when you go out on the track, it’s best that you do it with bikes and tires that you know well, that you know how to manage, master of their behaviour”.
Said and done: the outings on the track became 20, always rigorously with my bike and with road tyres. Only upgrading I allowed myself: dual-compound tires after the first 10 outingsto start enjoying the grip of (a little more) racing tyres.
And every time trying to apply the advice of colleagues (working as a motopuntoittì has its advantages .. eh oh) and online tutorials on track driving. Every time trying to improve movements, trajectories, confidence with the bike… and why not, shaving off a few tenths (and feeling like a hero). Up to a certain point though, because I recently realized that with that bike, with those tires and with my limited abilities, the risk of falling and getting hurt was just around the corner. Fortunately, I realized that to chase a few tenths less I would have had to push beyond the potential at my disposal, with a certain bitter finish.
And then check it out?
Obvious! Calls IL Luca.
Time a week and I am back to Tazio Nuvolari, in Cervesina, where it all began. Always waiting for me, IL Luca, soul and signature of the Luca Pedersoli Riding Schooland always her, the Yamaha R6, sly in the box pampered by electric blankets. Pretty cool. I arrive wagging my tail, not only because I know I will enjoy myself like a child, but because the idea of a personal course with IL Luca creates an infinite expectation about my growth as a pilot (don’t laugh, it’s just that sometimes I enjoy considering myself such ).
How does it work: it begins with a long interview, so that the instructor can understand where you are and define the points for improvement. Then, circuit map in hand, he explains trajectories and gear to follow point by point. Then, of course, track, lots of track. I said it: a FI-GA-TA. At the beginning, follow the instructor, because it’s one thing to study the trajectories on a map, another to do them for real. Then it’s your turn to stand in front, with the instructor following you closely and – with the GoPro – filming you. Back in the pits we analyze the videos and curve after curve errors and areas for improvement are highlighted.
At the beginning the load of information is enormous, you risk overloading, you jump on the saddle thinking “but how can I remember all this stuff!? And the look, and the shoulder, and the knee and the buttocks …”. The first round is devastating. You get everything wrong, of course, you are rigid and you feel almost under scrutiny. “[email protected]@o but it’s much more difficult than I thought! What conditions have I been riding on the track in the last 2 years!”.
That’s right: awareness is instantaneous, turning well on the bike is neither instinctive nor automatic, but you feel reassured that you were right to question your abilities, because it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And so below with the course, you’re here to learn, aren’t you?
IL Luca is very good, also from a human point of view, he immediately underlines the things that you are good at giving you certainties and then makes you work on the rest, a little at a time, in order to acquire, consolidate and move on. Is already towards the end of the morning I realize that I am much looser, I no longer hang on to the handlebars when cornering, I (almost) don’t struggle and the R6 screams between my legs in the straight. Pretty cool.
Me: “Luca, listen, I don’t want to be a fanatic, but can you let me go for a couple of laps?”
Luca: (with a Brescian accent) “Guido, are you stupid?! You’re shooting 10″ faster than in the first shift this morning!”
I think the stupid smile as a child on Christmas morning has been imprinted on me for at least two weeks. Incredible! But the magic is right here: you think that to make a tempone you have to scan to the limit of human possibilities … yes ok you have to push, but if you put the wheels in the right spot (as IL Luca says when he means that trajectories are everything) and you move well in the saddle, this is worth more than braking in life. Then it’s clear, all in relation to who’s on the saddle, that is me, who doesn’t race in MotoGP and gets excited about a few corners done well.
The course that I would like to continue indefinitely ends, like the children in front of the carousel at the Luna Park. Not only for fun, but also because I realized how crazy times I was (always for me, eh) without forcing and therefore – presumably – decreasing the risk. Precisely why I had chosen the course.
As always: IL Luca santo immediately.
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