I rather like the idea of putting Dani Pedrosa’s clip from the last post in front of students and letting exploration be very open — open to estimation, as well.  What questions do students have about the clip?  What might be interesting to know?  What are the essential ideas here?  Why such an extreme angle?  How does the stickiness of the tires compare those on a car?

If one would then like to hone the numbers, here are some resources.

What does he ride?  
Honda RC212V

How big is he?
About Dani Pedrosa

How sharp is that turn?
Type “Sachsenring Germany” into Google Earth, and it will take you right there.  Here’s a fun puzzle — which turn on the circuit is he making in this screenshot?  [Spoiler alert]

Note that the shape of the riders’ turns is not the shape of the road; they’re quite skilled at that whole Principle of Least Action thing.  I love how you can see the blackening of the road from the tire-wear from space.  I approximated the turn with the red circle below; if anything, it’s a little small.  The ruler-feature on Google Earth is mighty handy here.  I love how you can see the blackening of the road from the tire-wear from space.

Alternately, the circuit specs are here, and here’s a map that could also be used to approximate the curvature.<

I’ll be doing this for sure when I get back to Physics with 11th & 12th graders!

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