The Hayshed – Do it Faster and Safer
Those who know Phillip Island well will know turn 8, or as it’s better known ‘the Hayshed’, can be difficult and even daunting for some.
Unfortunately, it’s one of those corners that carries a bit of a nasty reputation however done correctly there is absolutely no reason to fear it at all. In fact, it’s a section of track you should look forward too, can gain heaps of lap time and even setup some fully sick passes.
The Hidden Trick
2 common beliefs out there is that a cold front tyre (due to the lack of right handers) and the bumps in the middle of the corner are the main 2 reasons for front end losses in the Hayshed. While these 2 things are factors, they certainly are not even close to the main reasons for a front-end loss in the Hayshed. Or what makes this corner difficult for that matter.
The biggest factor is the trajectory or line caused by the wrong apex in the left hander before the Hayshed. Yep the core issue is not even the Hayshed itself but rather the corner before it.
Not many people take much notice of the left hander before the Hayshed (turn 7) however its actually a super important corner. Not just to safeguard against front end losses but also to find some juicy lap time.
This next stuff does not really apply to SS300s and 400s but 600s and 1000cc riders listen up! Exiting Siberia your bike will build speed very quickly, well at least it should if your pulling the trigger hard enough 😉.
Understanding the Physics
Understand this. If you + your bike weigh something like 250kg, it gets way, way harder to change direction or trajectory as speed increases. A 250kg object moving at 200km/h is a serious bit of energy to muscle around. At 50km/h it’s much, much easier.
So the faster your bike accelerates the harder or longer it takes to turn. This is the main reason 1000cc bikes need to have a bit of a straighter exit than 600s. This is just physics and you need to plan for it when planning your race lines.
Ok let’s think about what we have just learnt. In the below image, your bike will be much harder to steer in the red section compared with the blue section. Furthermore, the red section is where you should be going a lot faster which equals lap time. Thus, you don’t want to be slowing the bike too much in order to turn it.
The Deceptive Apex
Next we need to talk about the deceptive or wrong apex at the left kick before the Hayshed (turn 7). Its massively deceptive because of the contour of the track and where the marshal box is located. The way it appears when exiting Siberia sucks us in way, way too early of an apex. Don’t feel too bad, it sucks a lot of people in, but it’s the slow way to apex it here.
Now lets check it out from the sky. The arrow show the same point that may have seem like a good apex in the other view. It’s pretty rubbish hey!
The Deceptive Apex
Lets go even a step further and add in some trajectories showing the direction your bike will want to head as you hit the apex. The dark blue arrow represents the wrong early apex while the green arrow represents a much better late apex.
You can see the early, wrong apex is going to require you to do a heap of turning in the red zone, the very area we want to do less due to it being harder.. While the green later apex has you on the correct path and turning into the Hayshed heaps easier. This is because we setup the correct line in the blue / easier zone. We did the work early in order to get the gain in the fast red zone.
Now let us add a couple of lines reflecting the 2 different apexes used. Again, blue is the early rubbish apex while green is the later better apex.
You will cover more ground early on with the green line but you’ll make up for it 10 fold through the faster red section while the peanut on blue line has to roll off and won’t be able to carry anywhere near the speed you will through the Hayshed itself.
The Real Gold
Here is the real gold though. Lets take a snapshot at the apex of the Hayshed itself
On the green line we have already done most of our turning and the trajectory of the bike is exactly where we want it. On the blue line however, we still have a fair bit of turning to do and the bike is actually pointed to the outside of the track. This means you will need to turn it , potentially fight the bike and maybe shut the gas overloading the front because you are running too wide. All of this mid turn, right where all the bumps are is not very smart.
This right here is the number 1 reason for front end losses at the Hayshed, the bike pointed to the outside rather than down the track right in the worst place possible. All caused by being sucked into a very early apex in the left hand kink that leads up to the Hayshed. Its poor line choice that has caused all those crashes, not cold tyres or the bumps. They just contribute if you are on a rubbish line.
Get that left-hand apex right and you’ll never need to worry about the Hayshed again.
Another big plus about the green line is you will be able to use much bigger throttle % through the Hayshed which is faster and balances the bike heaps better. Much gas = more FY!
Super human, pro riders can steer big bikes really well with the throttle and wheelspin, unfortunately its not so easy for the rest of us ☹So pro riders can still be very fast through this section without having to take the perfect line as they can rotate the bike very well mid turn with the throttle, but that’s hard for the average rider.
So for the rest of us, its much better to practice the late left hand apex.
Here is How
There are lots of techniques like using your feet and knees which we will cover in future articles, for now though we are going to keep it super simple.
Forget ‘tip-in’ points, as the wind changes heaps at Phillip island so do they. Instead use your eyes. VISON, VISON, VISON!!! In case you didn’t get it VISON!
Focus on the real apex, and if you look properly you will see it. It’s the end of the ripple strip and if you look close enough you’ll notice there is a gravel road where the ripple strip ends. VISION UP and you will be able to spot the end of the ripple strip as you exit Siberia
So all you need to do, is simple focus on this semi hidden apex and make sure you hit it. That bloody simple! No Excuses