A newcomer gets on the right page, right away
I recently attended the Jason DiSalvo Speed Academy at Little Talladega. It was two days jam-packed with information on body positioning, lean angles, trail braking, cornering, throttle control and
so much more.
To say that I was apprehensive about going is an understatement. I’m 61 years old and just bought my first track bike in August of 2011. So far, I've attended two track days. Both were last fall, with one at Autobahn, in Joliet, Illinois and the other at Grattan, in Belding, Michigan. For me, going to this Speed Academy equated to a kid in first grade jumping right into high school. I DID NOT want to be the one holding up class! I do have some racing in my background (I raced sprint cars for 15 years) so I'm comfortable with speed and the racing environment. Other than that though, this is a brand new learning experience.
The weekend was a nice mix of classroom time and track time. Jason, Brian Stokes and the other instructors are excellent communicators, are very open to questions and discussion, and are eager to share their insight on how to improve your technique. They’ve broken the class down into easy to understand drills. One drill then builds upon the next. At various points during the weekend, I witnessed each of the guys I was with have their “ah ha” moment, where it all came together. It might be safe to say that the entire two day school was one big "ah ha” moment for me! Another nice benefit of the weekend was having Brad Stokes, an Ohlins certificated technician, set up the suspension on my Triumph 675R to work for me. To grasp the value of the weekend, let’s compare it to another sport. Take golf for instance. Can you imagine spending two full days with Tiger Woods as he shared the secrets of his swing? How about if he brought six of his closest PGA peers to help him coach you? As a fledgling racetrack rider, it was a privilege to spend time with and learn from these pro riders at the top of their sport.