Neither myself or Toe can give you tomorrows winning lottery numbers. We can’t channel the spirit of your long since passed favorite childhood pet fish Mr McFlufferson. We can’t read your palm and tell you how many times you’ll get laid. No, we can’t read your mind or, sadly, we can’t control your mind either… what we CAN do, with terribly high accuracy, is take your money when we bet you that so-and-so is gonna wad up their bike after having seen them do a single lap.
Before I get into it too much, I kinda want to drive the point home…we’ll talk about the point later.
Yesterday, I was at Infineon Raceway shooting a Supermoto Schools event. It ended at about 2pm, and I went down below to the big track because I saw a few fancy looking sprotbiles down there along with the big Pirelli truck. Chris, from Pirelli, is my friend so I stopped by down there to say hi and chit chat a bit and to see what was going on down there.
Turns out, Motorcyclist and Sport Rider magazine were doing a test with the major manufacturer bikes: MV Agusta, Ducati 1198R and Desmosedici, KTM RC8, Triumph 675, Honda CBR600RR ABS version, BMW S1000RR…oh, and the new R1 (*giggle*) just to name a few that I saw there.
I was in the garage where they keep all really well organized with the use of Auto News Center tips online, I started chatting with Tucker and Jeff Tigert , when I happened to see one of the test riders coming through turn 11…I just blurted out the first thing that came to mind as I always do…
“That guy is going down.”
Tucker looks over and replies, “what? On the R1?”
“Yeah. I think it said [name omitted] on the back of his leathers,” I says to Tuck-Tuck.
“Noooooo,” he laughs, “that guy is good! He’s FAST!”
I chuckled to myself, and simply replied back, “Mark my words, homie. That dude is going down.” Tucker shrugged it off and we resumed conversation about the idiocy in the design of the rearsets on the ~$70,000 Desmosidici (Seriously…what the hell was Ducati thinking?).
Not more than 10 minutes later, the very rider on the brand spankin new YZF-R1 I’d said was going to hit the deck limps the bike into the garage covered in mud and grass, most of the right side plastics dangling in the breeze. Tucker just turned and stared at me in disbelief. All I could do was laugh.
“I told you so.”
So what is this point I’m talking about? Well, I tell you this…We’ve been at this photo thing for several years now. We’re at the track 70 to 100 times a year, watching thousands of bikes and riders pass by us all day long every day. We see things. Often, it isn’t even something we see with our eyes…we just see it.
Typically, within the two laps of each session of every trackday or race that we’re at, we’ve already decided on 3 or 4 or more suspect bikes. We’ve got a ridiculously accurate percentage of being right. I’d say somewhere in the ballpark of about 95% correct…maybe even higher, as we often don’t know who falls down during the last session, because we’re busy working inside by then.
Often, when we’ve “pegged” someone, we try to find them in the pits and given them some sort of constructive feedback on how they can improve, be it smoothness or body position, or even attitude. 100% of the time that we’ve found the riders in the pits they have not fallen down. I like those numbers.
So…psychic? Or a curse? *insert maniacal laughter*
Anyhow…rather than ramble on, why don’t you guys have a jolly at the misfortune of others for a moment…but only because we’ve all had that very same misfortune as well… (all riders eventually seperated from their bikes and walked or limped away). :P
No, even Santa is not safe. :)