Lloyd Magruder, after May 8 at TrackDaz with Kenny:
Trackdaz has teamed up
with the #1 plate holder for 2005 Kenny Kopecky and Kenny
will be working with one person at every Trackdaz event for
the rest of the year. I was the first person to do this. So,
is it worth it? Let me give it to you in a shortened race
Two Monday's ago, I did the first Ride with the Champion
event via Trackdaz at Willow Springs. Kenny Kopecky showed
me proper lines, visualization drills, books to read, proper
body position, throttle control and oh yeah, did I say the
Needless to say, I had issues that Monday a fortnight back.
Now I didn't set any personal best lap times during the
track day, but that wasn't the point. When you ride with the
champ, you need to be focusing on 1 to 2 things per session.
Lap times shouldn't be one of them. Lap times matter on race
Okay, now fast forward to this race weekend. I showed up
Saturday at noon, since I use the GTU race as my practice
for Saturday. I lined up gridded 9th or something and off we
went. First 8 laps I was getting into my rythem, but only
doing my regular lap times for the last year and a half.
1:30-1:31. Then on lap 9, as I concentrated on lines and
being smooth, I saw a 1:29.1 on my lap timer! Whoa... I was
happy right there.. more like amazed. That was my first sub
1:30 time I ever recorded. I was thinking how I had to thank
Kenny as soon as the race was over. Money well spent, yeah?
Well, I guess I finally figured something out on that lap,
cause it all clicked. Then on lap 14 I see a 1:28.79! Holy
crap, a 1:28. I'm going 1.5 seconds better than my fastest
ever lap time. Again, I'm thanking Kenny in my helmet! At
the end of the GTU race I gave Kenny a big hug when he came
and found me.
Now comes race day. I know how to do consistent 1:29's and
even a 1:28. First race is 650 SBK. I'm gridded way down in
23rd spot. Race starts and the first few laps were just like
the GTU race. !;29's and low 1:30's. Then the track cleared
on lap 4. Lap 5 comes 1:29.2. Lap 6 is a 1:28.09. Lap 7 is a
1:27.76. Lap 8 is my fastest lap at a 1:27.67.
nearly 3 seconds off my best lap time!!!! That right
there should tell anyone in their right mind that riding
with a fast guy like Kenny all day, listening to what he
says, working on specific items, and then applying the
knowledge, is worth every penny. I never thought in my
wildest dreams that I would see 1:27's this weekend!
Now once I realized how fast I could go, all of a sudden
running 1:28's seems so easy. I finished my last two races
doing mostly 1:28's. Weird?
Anyway, I want to personally thank the #1 plate holder Kenny
Kopecky for all the advice, the hospitality, the friendship
and his "fast lines". For all those that will be riding with
Kenny for the rest of the year, you are def getting a lot of
knowledge and experience.
Good luck and thanks again Kenny. Cheers and ciao per ora.
------ And after
his June meet Lloyd wrote (on the WSMC UNofficial BBS):
After last month
and getting some good results, I wanted to see if it was
just a fluke, on my laps times and where I finished.
Well, some of our fast 600cc racers weren't there this
weekend like Beck and Perez, etc... but I am not gaging my
races on those guys... that's a whole nother step up the
racing ladder, that I am no where near yet.
For the first time since coming to Willow and racing in the
Expert and now Pro level, I finished all of my races in the
top 10. Last month I was proud of myself for staying with
the likes of Bryan Davenport and John Dang. They were
usually a couple seconds a lap in front of me, but thanks to
Kenny that has changed.
This month, my goal to stay with Dustin Coyner and Stan
Bates was achieved (granted Dustin was not at 100% with a
sore wrist), but I was proud none the less.
Small goals I have set for myself are being reached, and I
could not have done it without Kenny's guidance. I can't
begin to tell everyone here what a help he has been. In
fact, I will be signing up again with him next year, and
working on fine tuning the basic knowledge he gave me the
first time. If and when you ride with him, just make sure to
set realistic, small goals for yourself afterwards.
So, thank you again Kenny. I'm reaching those goals a little
bit at a time.
Steve Brefka, after a half-day at the Streets on June 2nd
the 6/2 morning spot went unattended, and I came in sick. I went
home for a nap, sucked a bit of gas from the black bottle as someone
suggested, and was breathing fire by my 1:00 time slot.
I had a great day and will make a report after next race weekend,
but just want to give a bit of thanks here, now.
After 40 or so years of riding, most of it in the dirt, I've
developed unbreakable bad habits. Kenny's warm smile filled the
afternoon with a relaxed mood, and we concentrated on basic
operations that are fundamental to riding. Braking, downshifting,
turning in, body position, body position again, peg weighting, and
return to body position. Did I mention I'm a slow learner?
Riding With The Champ worked well for me for several reasons.
One on one. He devoted his time totally to what we agreed to work
on, while taking in a big picture of my riding, bike set-up,
handling, tires etc.
Kenny listens well and duplicates what you have to say and follows
up to help you solve whatever you are dealing with, and never failed
to deliver an answer that worked for me.
Non structured time so difficulties weren't left as a program moved
I saw instant results in difficult areas and in areas Kenny
mentioned in passing that were bonuses.
Thank you KK it was my best birthday ever!
Dustin, Lilli, Mario, and the rest of the Trackdaz staff - thanks
for another great trackday, and especially for making "Champday"
after a full day at Buttonwillow on July 1st TrackDaz:
My Ride With The Champ Experience - Buttonwillow
Just wanted to chime in with my experience training with Kenny
Kopecky (WSMC27) at Buttonwillow 7/1/06. In one word... Phenomenal!
Kenny was not only extremely knowledgeable, but also very articulate
when explaining where I could strengthen my skills around
Buttonwillow. Through the day, we sat in luxury in his air
conditioned motor home while he explained to me where I could shave
seconds (literally) from my lap times. We covered body positioning,
entry/mid corner/exit speed optimization, throttle control, line
selection, bike set up… just about everything I could think to ask,
Kenny had experience that he was happy to share.
This was my 1st time back to Buttonwillow since my off last summer
and by the end of the day, I was convinced that I had never felt
stronger at this track. This marked the 1st time in a year that I
felt comfortable running in the race group at this track.
After tracing his lines Saturday, Sunday was one of my favorite
trackdays yet... my times continued to drop and the track just kept
looking wider and smoother!
Big ups to Kenny for helping me get “back in the saddle.”
If you have a chance to ride with Kenny, TAKE IT!
There is no other school like it in the country for getting one on
one instruction in every session for an entire track day.
Always my best,
Ryan Gagliano, after a full
Saturday program at Willow on July 29th:
Kenny Kopecky is a fantastic
coach and instructor, who
demonstrates patience, great
listening skills, and
While some programs have
high student to teacher
ratios and only teach
general techniques for
improved riding, Kenny fine
riding habits. This
personal approach makes for
much faster learning and
gives the student
Just when I felt like I was
getting comfortable with the
lessons being taught, Kenny
Kopecky expanded the program
by incorporating his years
of successful racing by
discussing and practicing
Steve Sturm, WSMC #98, after riding with Kenny on
Feb. 5, 2007:
"As some of
you know, I recently did the "Ride With the Champ" at WSIR with
First, let me say, it is a great opportunity to take a pretty
detailed look at your riding, and to examine what you want to
examine to help improve your skills. All of us have a general idea
of areas that we are lacking in, and Kenny lets us dictate some of
the major areas that we will work on during the day. That isn't to
say that the learning is limited to what we, the students, specify
at the start of the day, but it does help determine where the course
As I am not currently racing, I chose to focus mostly on riding
skills as opposed to race craft, and that is what Kenny and I spent
the majority of the day doing. Finding areas of my riding that
needed improvement, and working on those areas throughout the day.
I am not going to go into detail as to what we did and what we
discussed, that is for you to find out by taking the course. But I
found it very worthwhile, and did learn quite a bit from Il Campione,
things that I didn't or wouldn't have otherwise seen or been exposed
For those of you that also want to learn tricks to help you with
race craft, I can honestly say that from the little tiny bit that I
did get exposed to (remember I wanted to work on riding skills first
and foremost), you will learn a great number of tricks and
techniques to build your racing skills. Things that you will be
scratching your head saying "why didn't I think of that?". They are
some common sense, and some not so common, but the reason you
"didn't think of it" is because you don't have years of racing to
In short, it is worth the duckets to take the day with Kenny, you
will not be disappointed.
SR -- WSMC 98
Ride with the WSMC Champion Info
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