Spent another two days at the racetrack this past weekend, but second day was rained in and my fitness level made me skip one session from first day.
So total time spent on track only 90 minutes.
However, I've now come down to 2:40 from previous 2:49, and it's actually starting to look a little bit like racing (I now find myself overtaking "Newbies" - as if I wasn't one myself - on the brakes and on the outside of corners, which is fun when you see the view on their faces...). Generally speaking, it seems that for the first of the three skill groups, 3:00 - 2:30 is the normal range on this track, 2:30-2:15 for the "Intermediates", and 2:15 downwards are the Pros. So I'm closing in on the lower third of my group, which isn't all bad considering there are people doing this for 3+ years already stuck at 2:28 or such.
The biggest limiting factor this time round clearly was my physical condition. As I start to move not only my butt but also my upper body more, I can easily notice the improvements in handling. And that I'm totally out of breath after one fast lap. Doesn't help that two weeks ago we returned from holiday with some new weight. I'm still having cramps in my right leg, which also indicates that I'm not sitting relaxed enough on the bike.
From a technical side, I guess for now I can live with the lean angle, I'd really like to get the knee out but it's too cramped (maybe I'm a tad long for a SSP bike after all).
Braking later and harder, accelerating earlier out of the turns will easily gain me another 5 to 10 seconds. I'm also not using the full available track width in a lot of places. And I'm still waaay too slow in the middle sector of the track, I'm really not comfortable with fast sweeping wide turns yet (mentally much thougher to lean down at 150km/h than it is at 100).
Will be fine when I have more stamina, there are two guys in the video that I would have loved (and managed) to chase down in a nice prolonged fight if not for my lack of bodily power.
Not sure I can reach my goal of beating my friend's 2:29 this year as I might not return to the same track again this season - but I definitly want to run another weekend, or maybe two.