A common mistake you see among less experienced riders is the tendency to set their body position for the corner too late, sometimes to the point of moving around just as they begin steering, or sometimes even after that point.
Here I just wanted to go over the benefits of getting set up earlier, along with a quick recap on what that looks like.
It really isn’t that complicated, but it can have a noticeably beneficial effect on your corner approach and entry.
All we’re looking to do is get our seating position set well before we enter the corner.
For me, this means moving my backside to the correct side of the bike moments before braking, being sure that I’m not sitting too far back in the seat.
Then once I hit my braking marker all I have to do is sit up and begin braking and complete my downshifts, then I’m ready to begin steering and leaning the bike into the corner, after which I’ll begin to commit my upper body as the bike leans over.
As a newer rider it isn’t a huge issue if you’re moving later in the brake zone or close to your steering point from a speed and safety point of view.
In truth, your speed isn’t high enough for this “late move” to reach a point of restricting your speed or causing big stability issues. And with the relaxed braking technique that many new riders use, the rider still has plenty of time to get the move done.
However, as you get faster, begin using more braking potential and you approach and enter corners much faster, the time you have to actually get the lower body set up will begin to diminish, and because you’ll be closer to the limits of traction, the instability you create by moving too late is going to have a greater chance of causing an issue.
Particularly in the heaviest braking zones when you’re performing very hard brakes, it’s almost impossible to move your seating position because you’re so focused on the act of braking, correctly bracing yourself on the bike to stop yourself flying forward, as well as getting your downshifts done as you set your entry speed.
Trying to move in the seat in that moment is not likely to bring a positive result, if you can manage the move at all, that is.
So that leaves you with the short period of time as you ease the brakes off and before you begin entering the corner to get the lower body in position, which isn’t a lot of time when you’re really pushing on at a good pace.
For all of the above reasons, it makes sense to get into the habit of getting the move done earlier, so that all you have to think about as you approach the corner is downshifting and setting the correct speed ready for corner entry.
A far simpler task when there’s no body movement required in between.
A quick point to further simplify your lower body movements over a lap is to cut out any unnecessary movements in between corners, for all the same reasons I just mentioned.
For instance, in sections where you have two corners going in the same direction shortly after one another and with a short straight in between, it makes no sense to move back into the middle of the seat between those corners.
Once you move for the first corner, you can remain in that seating position as you exit that corner and accelerate down the short straight, then you’re already in position ready for the second one.
Similarly, if the second corner goes in the opposite direction simply move from one side straight over to the other, cutting out a move into the middle of the seat between the two corners.
You can likely cut out some, if not many lower body movements by taking this advice, all of which is going to make your life easier and your corner entries less busy.