Photography by Larry Lawrence
Attack Performance Racing’s Blake Young was studying video intently. MotoGP’s video feed followed Young for a lap during FP1. He was reviewing the video and Young found it invaluable.
“I can look at my lines and compare it with other riders’ lines,” Young said. “And we can look at the video in slow motion and pick up some of the things the bike is doing.”
Young was explaining to Attack Performance team owner Richard Stanboli the way the APR was reacting in some of the turns. On the critical final turn before the straightaway Young told Stanboli he felt like the bike was standing up and then falling suddenly on its side, instead of making a smooth transition in cornering from straight up to full lean.
Stanboli made notes and they discussed changes that might help the bike handle closer to what Young was asking for.
Then Stanboli noticed on the video a racing line taken by another rider through the final section of turns and pointed out to Young that that rider was apexing the turn later than Young was.
“Check out that line,” he says to Young. “He’s holding it, holding it… and then turning.”
Young shakes his head in acknowledgment.
Young, Stanboli and the entire Attack Performance crew are using every piece of data and video they can to help sort out the APR and Young’s riding. This is the last wildcard of the year for Young on the APR. He finished 21st at Austin earlier this season and crashed out of practice at Laguna Seca. He’s hoping for more at Indy.
“I wanted to obviously get going a little quicker,” Young said of FP1 where he was last on the timing charts in 25th, with a time seven seconds off the pace of Marc Marquez. “It was just a real green track and I was probably going a little bit slower than I should have been.”
One can hardly blame Young’s cautious approach. There’s no way he wants to end the weekend prematurely with a crash like he did at Laguna. So approaching things slowly on a track he’s only tested on for a half a day he feels is best.
“I warming up slowly,” Young continued. “This next session there should be a lot more rubber down on the track so I should be able to be comfortable with picking up the pace.”
Young said he didn’t get much of an opportunity to ride with anyone in the session, so that’s why he’s buried himself in the video taking in all he can.
Young will take that knowledge into the FP2 this afternoon and he’s hoping the studying pays off.