Wednesday, February 25, 2015
One lap of Putnam Park on the CarrMoto 1199S
Rumble to grass. grass to rumble, rumble to rumble.
Section 1: Inside rumble of T1 to outside rumble to inside rumble of T2 to outside rumble of T2. Inside rumble of T3 kink to inside rumble of T4 to outside rumble of T4.
Section2: Outside grass at entrance to T5 to inside rumble of T5 to outside Rumble of T5 to T6 kink rumble to outside grass at entrance of T7 to inside rumble of T7 to outside rumble of T7.
Section3: Outside grass at entrance to T8 to early grass apex T8 then drift out 6 feet and make second apex at middle of T8 inside rumble strip to outside rumble of T8, sweep across track to grass at outside of T9 entrance to inside rumble strip of T9 to pit in rumble strip to inside of T10 rumble to outside of T10 rumble.
********Oddly enough, it takes about as long to carefully read this as it does to do a fast lap at Putnam.
(Be in the right spot on the track, get on the brakes late, look through the turns, get on the gas early)
With a good drive off of the last corner and a tight tuck on the 1199S on the front straight I can hit about 165mph before I get on the brakes. T1 is fast and downhill in 4th gear. Get it right and I can feel the chassis loaded up but tracking on line with my knee over the inside rumble strips. When I get it wrong I either wish I went faster or I blow through there a little too fast and I have to run it wide while hoping I don't run into the grass. At race pace, this corner can be very tricky to get right and I have to keep the bike leaned over on my knee almost to the outside rumble as I turn it up into T2. If I lift the bike up at the exit of T1 and turn back into T2 then I am going too slow. At the right speed I must grab a downshift between T1 and T2 while at near full lean. I use a little trick to point my head and kick up for the downshift at the same precise moment. On the entrance to T2 the front end is loaded up quite a bit so the proper front end setting is a must. I don't spend much time thinking about the front end, instead I get back on the gas and manage both ends of the 1199S.
T2 entrance needs to be very precise. A lot of people call Putnam flat but T2 is entered up a hill and the rumble strips are hiding until you arrive at them. I have the 1199S tucked up really tight on the rumbles just itching to get on the gas and run it all the way out to the rumble strips on the exit of T2. It is so hard to do but I want to keep the 1199S full throttle(as possible) from the end of the outside rumble and bend back to the T3 kink while going as fast as possible. The Ducati Traction Control(DTC) is working hard here. At this particular spot this can be very daunting. I have to stay loose with my body here or there is snakey little bump that likes to upset the chassis just off the right side of T3 near the rumble strip I like to keep the 1199S going as fast as possible here in 3rd gear and just shoot right into turn 4 fairly tight. Sometimes I see people setting up for T4 past the T3 kink and out on the right side of the track. This would be a classic approach to a turn but not this turn as there should be no way the bike could physically get to the outside of the entrance to 4. Simply put, the speed of T3 makes it impossible to do anything but basically shoot straight into T4.
Still in 3rd gear I shoot straight into T4 and I must tuck it up close to the inside rumble strip very early in the turn. Now I am ready to get on the gas as early as possible. It is a long inside rumble strip but I have my eyes on the exit waiting to feed on the throttle as soon as possible. As I twist the throttle on towards wide open I manage the exit by drifting all the way out to the outside rumble strip while locking my eyes on the entrance to T5 at the same time. The more in tune I am the better I can do these two things at the same time. The 1199S is absolutley raging at this spot and is pulling extremely hard towards T5. Thank you Ducati!!!
I enter T5 all the way out by the grass at the very top of 3rd gear. There is no rumble strip on the outside(the 1st place I wish there was a rumble strip) but I arrive here from the exit of T4 with as much speed as I can while preparing to get a quick controlled stab at the powerful 1199S Brembo brakes to scrub speed for the turn in point to T5. I try not to trailbrake too much here but sometimes I have to. As soon as I arrive at the inside rumble strip I am looking for the next reference point in which to get on the gas towards T5. This reference point is the very end of the outside rumble strip and is the entry point for the T6 kink which I am using as much throttle as I can from the the exit of T5 and through T6. Again, T6 is just a kink but I use as much throttle as I can here and I have been doing so ever since the apex of T5. I heavily rely DTC to keep me from getting tossed off the highside. While the throttle position is not always at the same spot I am managing tire spin here along with the DTC until I let off of the gas and get onto the brakes for T7.
Because I tried to keep on the gas so hard through T5 and T6 I am arriving with a lot of speed into the T7 braking zone. I have also run it so hard into here that I need to be careful not to run out of track on the outside of the braking zone(The 2nd spot I would like to see a rumble strip). In the brake zone I downshift into 2nd gear while getting a good squeeze on the Brembos. The braking power is amazing and it feels like my brain is being pushed into the front of my helmet. I try to treat T7 as a slow sweeper and not a hairpin turn while arcing through the corner but also try not to use too much lean angle after the apex. I use body english with body position to get the bike more upright on the exit of the turn while not squarng it off too much and losing corner speed. It is a fine line on 1199S. As soon as DTC has it hooking up I am very hard on the gas and then shifting into 3rd gear almost right away as very quickly I eat up the short straight to the downhill braking zone for Dead Bear T8. The ouside of T8 has no rumble strip just grass(3rd spot in need of rumble). Very strong and controlled braking is necessary here to not run wide on the entry to T8. My knee will graze over the grass on the inside on the entry. This is the first apex to T8. From here I drift out about 6 feet from the grass and then make my second apex about halfway up the hill on the rumble strip. When I am interested in a good drive up the hill I must weight the outside peg and manage the power with the throttle If at anytime I am not slightly broke loose here then I am going to slow. DTC I love you! I personally don't want anything to do with the rumble strips on the outside as they upset the chassis so I give them a few inches and begin my drive back across the track towards T9.
I am hard on the gas sweeping back to the left side of the track for T9 entrance which I all the way on the outside by the grass(the final spot I wish had a rumble strip). I am rushing this corner and putting a great demand on my abiltity to control my braking without losing the front. So it sounds just like T1, T5, T7, and T8! There is a rumble strip on the inside of T9 that appears out of the grass because there is a slight hill at the apex. If my knee is over this rumble strip I am on the right line. The bike is a little loose here so I get loose to prepare for the bump in the middle of T9 and T10 just past the end of the rumble strip. I am not just at maintenance throttle here, I am accelerating towards the rumble strip that is just after pit in. Just like T1-T2, at no point do I lift the bike up as this will lose time. Because of the speed and lean, I will load up the front at the outside rumble after pit in and then I head for the inside rumble strip of T10. As soon as I am on it I am on the picking up the throttle and managing my exit. This is a dangerous exit with the T10 pitwall looming on the outside. I use the awesome DTC of the 1199S to rotate the rear end around and get it steered down the straight. This takes intense concentration and determination with that wall out there!
Finally, this is the video I watch before I go out to Putnam. This video(circa 2011) is from AMA pro's Ricardo Valdez following AMA Pro Jake Lewis. These guys are on R6's but the awesome lines are what it is all about!!