*Pics courtesy of agustusnugroho.wordpress.com
Well, for me overtaking is the most intense moment during race. Certainly not just any overtaking but overtaking other rider that have almost identical lap time, or better, with you. Overtaking in this post is overtaking some one that have almost identical braking point and turning point, and with the same speed entering a corner with almost identical racing line. Now that an intense overtaking for sure.
Yet, when you successfully overtake that kind of rider you will have wide grin in your face for about a week. It simply that gratifying 🙂
Perhaps the only moment as intense as overtaking is when you about to start the race waiting for the red light to turn off. You have short breath with your heart pounding like crazy. I have my share of bad experience during overtaking. Crash once when I overtook a friend coming out of turn 1 at Sentul Circuit. Fortunately nothing serious, but that bad experience stuck in my mind and simply make overtaking more intense for me.
I am neither professional rider nor racer, so my take on overtaking maybe too simplistic, but based on my own experience the following are how to overtake:
1. Late braking
Late braking presumably the easiest way to overtake other rider. You simply out brake the other rider coming to a corner and you’ll be in front. But late braking can make your lap time suffer, as most of the time when doing late braking you take a less optimum path thus more lap time. The other rider also can take a defensive line that will make you unable to pass them.
Late braking is easy when you use them to overtake other rider that much slower than you, but try to out brake other rider that have similar lap time with you and things will get scary! As in the bellow pictures when I try to outbrake Nug coming to S Kecil chichane. Yes I managed to overtook him, but since I was hard on braking I was way out of my line and before I know it Nug overtake me again on the exit.
Arrggghh.. hard on brake.. will I make it??
Fast in, slow out… bad!
2. Inside line
Inside line means that you are in a better line then the other rider. You are inside in the corner and take a much optimum path thus faster. Also, if the other rider make mistake they will usually run wide, and you can sneak in and overtake them from the inside.
Gabriel (above pic) in yellow R6 about to overtake me from the inside. His line is tighter, even with the same speed he will come out from the corner infront of me.
Again if you race with some one that have similar lap time, this will be difficult to achieve. Since both of you will have about the same line and speed.
3. Gas early
Opening up the throttle early will certainly make you faster then the other rider that opening up the throttle latter. But that means opening up the throttle during the bike still in leaning position. The earlier you open the gas the more lean the bike. This is easiest said then done. And the consequence is dire. Opening up the gas too aggressive exiting a corner can cause painful high side.
Riders that have about the same lap time, will also have about the same trottle opening point. That means if you want to overtake you will certainly need to open the gas earlier that for sure make the hair in your neck stands up.
Slipstreaming is for straight line overtaking. Slip streaming is where you stay close behind the front rider to take advantage of reduce pressure or forward suction produced by the front bike. During slipstreaming you can felt that your bike is faster then the bike in front of you if you stay close and right behind. And once you go to the side to overtake you will be bit slow but the momentum is still there for you to overtake.
Off course you dont need slipstreaming if you have much powerfull bike then the other rider.