The practice lap time conundrum

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6/23/2018 11:30 AM

So interesting that people like Cooper and Barcia are able to turn substantially faster lap times (albeit on a pretty wet track) and things can be so different when the gate drops.

I’m using these two as an example but this is the case almost weekly. Someone like Baggett can put down a lap time 1 second faster than Tomac but Eli dominates the race.

Is this an age old case of things just being flat out different when the gate drops verse practice? Does Tomac make less effort in an attempt to conserve energy during practice? Also not just Tomac, many of the top guys.

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6/23/2018 11:36 AM

Some riders have the ability to go straight to their limit, others build momentum, it’s the same across the board even in various motorsports.
A lot changes under race conditions when ultimately each individual lap doesn’t matter just getting to the line first, also other riders around and having to adapt to different lines.

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6/24/2018 3:42 AM

I think it was Chad Reed who said it best......." Timed practice is stupid and just a d&ck measuring contest". What I don't understand is that the powers controlling racing claim to not have enough time. But in the 80's and 90's the AMA ran practice and 6 and sometimes more, qualifying motos before the Main National Program. Formula 1 and NASCAR tracks do not constantly change and they let one rider out at a time. I feel the same riders make the program, and there are issues with displacement that need resolved first.

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6/24/2018 4:13 AM

So some people are faster in practice when track is wet and sloppy then they are after things dry out? Tell me more....

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6/24/2018 7:34 AM

Give the top qualifier the option of a metal starting grid or dirt. That might make things a bit more interesting in "practice".

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6/24/2018 7:47 AM

Because a rock paper scissor tournament to determine rider qualification as well as gate picks would be much more sensible.......(Regarding the comment from Reed)

I personally enjoy watching the strategy of timed qualifying practice unfold every weekend

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6/24/2018 8:59 AM

I think it sucks too. It don't matter too much at the top. But outside the top 10-20, you will have dudes out of shape that can put in a nice hot lap, but cant do more than a few. Makes some young kids that dont know the track all that well get bad gate pick or even miss show, while they would make show better, being able to ride for 1/2 hour.

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6/24/2018 12:27 PM

Some guys just step it up to another intensity they can’t match in practice.....adrenaline is cool.

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GP740
Since 1987

6/28/2018 11:16 AM

The track gets rougher and ruts get deeper also by the time the gate drops.

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