Most people look at flat corners as an easy place to rest and really don't put much thought into how they can get through them with more speed and less effort. Many times you see racers tense up when they are actually trying to take a breather; flat corners can put you on your head faster than you think! Using proper body English is key to relaxing on the bike and conserving energy. Having good corner speed can also really separate you from the rest of the pack. Yet thoughts about getting your braking done and rolling on the throttle to get turned are often put aside in favor of figuring out how to hit a big jump or get a good start. Cornering is one of the most-overlooked areas when riders or racers are thinking of ways to improve. We recently caught up with factory Suzuki's Sean Hamblin for some insight on how to get through flat, hard-packed corners the right way, that is, the quickest way.1. "When you enter a corner, you want to be looking as far ahead as you can. Pick your line before you enter, and begin to look through the corner. Get your braking done as soon as you can, then stay off the brakes and get the bike pointed in the direction you need to go. Your braking needs to be done before you lean the bike over."
2. "Get your body up on the front of the seat, but lean your upper body back. Moving your upper body back evens out the weight and reduces the chances of the front end pushing. Try to stay light on the handlebar, and try not to be tense. If you're tense and the front end pushes out on you, you're more likely to crash. If you're light on the bars, the front end can move around without your fighting the bike—you can let the bike drift a bit. And the more speed you carry, the more the bike is going to want to push and drift."
3. "When you reach midcorner, it's super-important to get back on the throttle. You can always use the brakes to get yourself turned, but it's not nearly as fast as a steady throttle getting power to the ground and driving you forward. Once you are on the gas, don't be afraid to feather the clutch, and use the clutch to help with traction control. Don't just drop the clutch and grab a handful of throttle. Throttle and clutch control are key to staying smooth and consistent throughout a corner."
4. "When you are exiting a corner, keep looking ahead or at your next obstacle, and get the bike picked up. Try to keep your lean angle to a minimum. As you exit, apply more throttle and keep your momentum driving forward. Slowly shift your butt back on the seat to help get traction to the rear wheel. Make sure all your body movements are done smoothly so you don't upset the bike."