As we covered in the previous chapter, you’ll need to sit up when braking so that the wind helps slow you down. You’ll most likely find yourself naturally moving forward on the seat early in the braking zone, but then you should try to push yourself back in the seat to transfer as much weight to the back as you can to stop the rear tire from lifting. You do want at least some bend in your elbows, as this makes it easier to steer the bike—if your elbows are completely locked, you can’t turn the bars without rotating your whole upper body. This requires you to hold yourself up using a lot of abdomen muscles and squeezing the tank with your knees. On the bigger bikes, like the Superbikes and GP machines, there is so much force on the brakes that sometimes you’ve got to nearly lock your elbows. And then you start looking for those little extra things to make it easier—grip tape on the tank, scuffed-up leathers, and so on. A couple of times, when I had a slippery seat or new leathers, I’d have to come in straight away and have someone drag me across the ground to scrape up my leathers, or put contact cleaner on the seat so my legs wouldn’t slip. Anything to save my arms and shoulders for braking.