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March 08, 2020

Find the fastest lines

Learn how to find the fastest lines around any track

Sometimes it seems pretty obvious which line is the fastest around a corner. But often it's on the next straight or even in the next corner after the straight that you can see whether it is really the best line.

With MX Buddy (and a high-precision GPS device like the XGPS160), you can easily find out the best lines around any track!

In the following I will show you one possible approach for this.

1 - Choose Compare Lap

First, choose the best lap of the ride that you want to analyze.

2 - Identify Critical Segments

Now open the lap comparison list. Then select one track segment after the other. With the lap comparison list still open, watch the times beside the lap numbers and find out in which segment you gain the most in your fast lap compared to the other laps.

Open lap comparison list segment selection

Check the times lap selection

Switch track segments segment selection

3 - Compare Lines

When you have found a suitable segment, select all the comparison laps one after the other and look closely at the lines ridden.

Did you possibly ride the same lines in all the faster laps? Do these lines differ from the lines of the slower laps? If so, you already know which lines are the fastest in this segment.

4 - Check Segment Entry

If you always rode the same lines in your faster laps, there must be another reason for the time difference.

Entry Speed

One possible reason could be the entry speed into the segment. To find out, simply select one compare lap after the other and check the speed of each segment's first position.

entry speed

If the segments of your faster laps have higher entry speeds than the slower ones, then you should examine the previous segment. Because this segment you obviously managed to exit with more speed in some laps. In this case, select the previous segment and start over at point 3.

Entry Line Choice

Another reason could be the segment's entry line selection. Did you always enter left, middle or right into the segment in your faster laps? If there is a connection, you should again examine the previous segment and find out how to exit the segment on that optimal line.

If neither the input speeds nor the input line selection give a clue, then go to point 5.

5 - Playback-Analysis

The following analysis is only useful if the segments you want to compare differ from each other by more than 0.2 seconds. The more they differ from one another, the easier the analysis becomes.

From now on, it makes sense to look at the individual laps in the playback.

timeline

When you start the playback (or use the slider yourself), pay attention to where you gain time in your faster lap. Often it is not just the line in a corner, but certain combinations of segments that lead to a fast lap time!

It makes sense to place the starting point of the respective comparison on a point that ideally lies on a straight line and possibly has the same speed in both compared laps. From there you can watch the two laps as they run and you will see how different lines have an effect.

Unlink Laps
Unlink the laps by pressing the link button. timeline

Align Laps
Move the red dot on the slider (compare lap position) until the compare position is on top of the main position on the map. timeline

Link Laps
Tap the link button to link the laps again. timeline

It is best to always examine segments consisting of straight - corner - straight. Just because a lap is in the lead at the exit of a corner, it doesn't mean that it will stay ahead on the next straight, since the exit speeds may differ significantly!

So you go from segment to segment and bit by bit you'll get an idea of your ideal lap. For a more precise analysis of the lines you can freely zoom in on the map and even slow down the slider by moving your finger up as you move it from side to side. Read this blog post for more info.

Example

In this example you can see how to break down a track segment. Starting from a position where both laps were shifted to the same position and have roughly the same speed.

timeline

Entering the corner, both laps are still right up. But if you look at the corner you see that going inside to outside works a lot better. After the straight the gap between the two laps stays the same, which means that the better line through the corner had no negative impact on the next straight.

All this may seem like a tedious task at first, but it's worth it! And it's a good occupation for the break between your sessions and you wont' get bored ;-)

Remarks

As you may have noticed, well-set track segments are very important for the analysis. When setting up a track, always make sure that segments start and end where there is a high probability that the same speed will be ridden in each lap. This is usually the case in the middle of longer straightaways. You shouldn't start segments in the middle of corners. This only makes the analysis complicated.

Like other motocross apps, MX Buddy has an option to display the theoretically fastest lap, consisting of the best track segments. But be careful with this feature, since it will only help you if the lines that you rode in your best segments meet at the beginning and at the end. Otherwise you would suddenly have to continue on the other side of the track, just because this is the fastest line of the next segment.

With MX Buddy you can compare laps of different sessions. Consider that the track may have changed significantly over the day (or from one day to the other). A comparison is often only useful on the same day and under the same conditions, e.g. on two consecutive sessions for suspension tuning or the like.

Copyright © 2020 - Christian Pietsch // Chrome, Version 66.0.3359.181