Traction: Part 3

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Contrary to what you might be expecting, the start of a Moon race isn't the dramatic event it is back on Earth. Well visually at least, it's the exact opposite. If you were expecting all the bikes to zoom off at incredible speeds with every driver barging their way up the pack, competing in a vicious fight for the front, maybe resulting in a few crashes, swear words and broken bones, then I'm sorry to say you would be disappointed.

The start of any Luna race is such an anti-climax that for the most part it isn't televised. Only the most dedicated fans tune in to watch the start because it's boring to look at. The issues over power and torque meant that acceleration had to be slow and controlled, resulting in a gradual increase in speed. Any rider who actually wanted a chance of winning couldn't afford an explosion of speed in-case they lost contact with the ground. So what is normally quite an  exciting moment of a race, became a long drawn out one as every rider slowly pulled away from the start line.

However, saying all that, the lack of speed is more than made up for later on. The more popular sections of the race come when the bikes got up to full speed, and what a speed it was! Due to lack of air resistance, the long and rather heavy bikes could reach speeds of around 400kmh in the low gravity. That's around 100kmh more than an F1 car back on earth.

Marvin, and all the other racers pulled away in near perfect unison. The faint rumble of his bikes gyro and the contact it had with the track becoming a smooth drone as the motor was no longer in standby mode. The huge wheels made slow but steady revolutions as the long bulk of the chassis was dragged forward. Getting faster and faster as the seconds ticked by, the first part of the track was a long straight designed to give the racers time to gather speed.

The pack moved out of the starting gates and onto the straight. 5kmh, 10kmh, 20kmh. Marvin pulled forward, his main goal was to at the very least, match the speed of the bike ahead. 40kmh, 80kmh, 100kmh. The track was almost perfectly flat at this point, so it was easy to keep contact with the ground, however the slightest imperfection could spell disaster. Stretching out for over 5 miles, it gave all the riders plenty of time to gather speed. 120kmh, 150kmh 200kmh! The speed reaching the point where the sight of the Moon's surface on either side of the track had become a grey blur. 250kmh, 300Kmh, 400kmh!

Ahead however, his vision was crystal clear. The lack of atmosphere to get in the way bringing things into focus that otherwise wouldn't be. The peaks of distant mountains still holding their detail in full on the emerging horizon,glistening in the white sun. Marvin could also make out a collection of unnatural shapes.

Along with multiple camera towers he could make out a collection of audience stands. Tall rectangular buildings that held vast crowds of excited occupants. Sitting out in the open non-existent moon air in their much more humble EVA suits, ready to get a glimpse of the speeding riders. The already shiny buildings began to sparkle even more as a bombardment of camera flashes erupted towards the track as the leaders of the pack approached the crammed stands.

Marvin never understood this, what an exercise in futility! The bikes where traveling near their top speed at this point, so surely any pictures that were taken would come out as just a blurry smear. Not unlike the side of his vision. Regardless, Marvin zoomed past the crowed in the blink of an eye.

Leaving the silver structures behind, he was now surrounded once again by open land. Nothing around him apart from bleak plains, sharp hills and the occasional camera stand. So far the race had been easy, relaxing even. Driving in a straight line was easy no matter where you did it.

However it had only just begun and this high speed was going to be a deadly issue when it came to turning. As it happens he came to the first corner shortly after the viewing stands sunk bellow the horizon. The horizon on the moon is only 2.43km away and while traveling at just over 400kmh, it didn't take long. A long bend that arched to the left, stretching out for many kilometres. Breaking gently before reaching it, he reduced his speed down to a more manageable 200kmh. Curving with this extremely wide arch, he activated the gyro at the heart of his bike, leaning the cumbersome machine into the corner. He also fired the retros to maintain fine control over the lean. He aimed as close to the apex as he could. Feeling his bike glide underneath him with a smooth action, responding to his controls proficiently. He came out of the corner and opened up the throttle again. Easy.

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