This needs to be addressed. A lap time plummeting dangerously close to an Arenacross lap time is NOT good for a full-sized stadium. It tells us a few things.
The main glaring thing it says is: the track isn’t nearly technical enough. What does that, by extension, equate to? A smorgasboard of things.
- Higher speeds
- A primarily one-lined race track
- Split-second crashes with no warning
- A race of attrition
If you look back to Houston 1, we saw much of the same. Shocker there right, same track, reversed races projects the same characteristic flaws. The sand was a monkey wrench that helped, other than the way it was implemented. Putting a sand corner in at the end of a drag strip is just an invitation for a crash and Chase Sexton’s brutal impact is example A of how that theory plays out exactly. I’ll be surprised if Chase didn’t fracture a scapula in that impact. At a MINIMUM he is going to feel like he was in a car crash for at least a couple weeks. In my mind that impact was likely higher G-force than the one Cooper Webb’s back sustained last year and he is still dealing with lingering issues from that crash.
We saw a few dudes fall victim to that sand introduction last night and I’m no hater on the sand implementation but it can’t be the first thing these guys encounter after clicking gears on a straight away. There’s a better way and a more technical way and technicality is what the tracks needs to see more of. Why you ask? Because these effing 450’s make enough tractable power to do ANYTHING the rider is agreeable to attempt in these stadiums. Higher speeds and faster lap times are a lose/lose formula. I don’t give a shit that these are the early rounds of the series and the “tracks need to be easier”. Screw that, these bikes need to be slowed down, whether by more technical sections or other means. Look at the qualifying times. These guys are not all this equally matched, the track is just a free-way of follow the leader, they are on bikes that can do anything put before them within that square footage and it literally comes down to turning a triple into a quad, someone getting a moment of wheel-spin or a crash to create separation.
Last year the tracks were great, even early on. It’s not a dirt or stadium issue, it’s a layout and obstacle placement issue. Easy as that.
We’ve seen tracks in the past that have certain sections or obstacles that lend themselves to creating multiple lines of negligible timing differences. We’ve also seen sections and obstacles that require one finesse, more than just firing a synapse in the riders head of either “on throttle” or “off throttle”. Remember all those aspects of racing from the two stroke days (trust me, I am NOT going there)? We know we aren’t going back to those but we can employ some alteration to the tracks or (gasp) the bikes to make the technicality or race craft required more important in this formula of race execution.
At a bare minimum, can easily look at the lap times in qualifying and see when we are in the lower echelon of 40 second, something is very wrong with the plan, the approach or the execution and know that it needs to be addressed and resolved. These first two rounds have been very random in terms of finishes, falters and capitalizers and while it sounds great on it’s face; those who are paying attention know, there have been some big prices paid to end up with them. 40 seconds is an indicator of regression, lets get this shit rectified quickly, Feld.