MOTORCYCLE tips for racetrack training

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MOTORCYCLE tips for racetrack training
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MOTORCYCLE tips for racetrack training

Tips for newcomers to the racetrack
Always nice and slow

You’ve got your hands on it again: the entry fee has been paid, the motorcycle is ready to go on the slopes. And now your pants are full? Don’t worry, the MOTORCYCLE tips will get you fit for the racetrack adventure.

Werner Koch

January 31, 2013

The schedule for a stress-free weekend on the racetrack does not start with the pre-start, but two days before arrival.
By then, all the equipment should be put together and the motorcycle checked out. Those who gather up their clothes at the last minute shouldn’t be surprised if they stand in the paddock without boots or with only one glove. A good hour should be planned as a time buffer when you arrive. This ensures that you have a reasonably free choice of seats in the paddock, because the parking space should be in a quiet corner and not directly at the approach to the pre-start. Before you start, don’t forget to fill up your motorcycle and reserve canister.
When dividing into groups of different speeds, it is more advisable to join a slower group than to let the mirrors run down with the wild stokers. This is at least as bad for the mirrors as it is for self-confidence and motivation. The subsequent change to a faster group is not a problem with reputable, well-organized organizers.

Warm-up – not just for the engine

Before the motorcycle starts, the body is brought up to speed. A few balance exercises with the mountain bike, combined with wheelies, stoppies or drifts (but please not in the paddock!) Get the muscles going and train the reflexes.
Dynamic stretching and relaxation exercises accelerate your heart rate and circulation. Don’t forget: the organizer’s driver briefing, at which special rules and processes are explained.
No later than 15 minutes before the gymnastics, you slip into your functional underwear and put on your leather suit – ideally a one-piece suit completely equipped with protectors. In full gear, you can now adjust to the motorcycle with stretching exercises and in different sitting postures.

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Always nice and slow

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For exact timing A clearly visible hanging schedule with a wall clock helps throughout the day. Helmet, gloves and earplugs are within easy reach in a special tray or plastic tub. And that’s where they come back after the turn.
In cool weather a visor with anti-fogging is used at least for the first turn. Because often you drive a bit cramped at the beginning and with correspondingly heavy pressure breathing. Dangerous consequence: poor visibility through a fogged visor.
At well-organized events it is sufficient to stand at the pre-start two to three minutes before the turn. And now please do not be infected by the roaring engines and the excited pack. Concentrate on your motorcycle, on your line, on your fun. Just block out all the hustle and bustle around you, pay full attention to what you are doing and not what others are doing. Have fun!

After the turn is before the turn

Before you after the checkered flag proclaim your heroic deeds in all euphoria, it means work. First, refuel, check the tire surface, check the engine for oil and water tightness, put on the tire warmers and switch on. So, now out with the stories of wild leanings, overtaking maneuvers and crisp lap times. How, you didn’t overtake at all, but were overtaken? And it was just the crazy man who nibbled you on the outside? Well, now you know where you can buy time, drive a better line and brake later. Lie down in the camping chair, close your eyes and drive the route again. Make it clear to yourself what you want to do better in the next turn. After every turn, button your way up curve by curve, line by line and check whether it fits or not. But the yardstick is not the insane stoker, but yourself:
You can see for yourself how far you are from your limit. Even if that is still far from the physical limit. Your own limit is not shifted with the crowbar, but only through practice and concentration. And through the fun you find in honing yourself and your skills.
When concentration wears off in the afternoon hours, it is advisable to skip one or the other turn. Use the time and spy on the fast guys at tricky key points.
Pay attention to their line, the driving style, the posture.
Are you stuck with your lap times and keep your nerves tight, slower rather than faster, ask the organizer if an instructor can take you for a few laps in tow. That usually takes you further than the dogged fight against yourself.

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Driving in closely spaced groups requires maximum concentration. For a start, it is advisable to explore the route with a maximum of three drivers in single file.

  • If you use tire warmers and regularly turn the wheels by half a turn, the heat rising in the tire is better distributed over the entire tire.
  • Check the tire pressure in the morning when the tires are cold, adjust to the racetrack value (ask the tire manufacturer).
  • In general, tape or fold back mirrors.
  • Use the first lap to inspect the route, choose a brisk country road speed and warm up the tires. Visiting the route also means assessing the spaciousness of the run-off zones on fast or critical sections of the route.
  • When rolling in, drive the ideal line on the first lap and memorize the turn-in and apex points. This helps when things get down to business quickly afterwards.
  • In sections of the route with small run-off zones, the risk of injury in the event of a fall can increase considerably. Therefore, here in particular, deliberately do not drive on the last furrow.
  • Depending on the outside temperature and the rubber compound, warm up the tires for the first two to three laps, but don’t sneak (this creates too little temperature). Caution: On routes with predominantly left or right bends, you have to expect that the less stressed tire wall is not yet fully warmed up and therefore offers less grip.
  • Accelerate and brake vigorously for efficient warm-up on the straight. In doing so, the tire is heavily tumbled and also builds up temperature in the sub-structure of the carcass, which is then passed on over the entire tread.
  • When warming up the tires in bends, take a normal sitting posture or push the motorcycle in an inclined position (enduro style). The tire heats up due to the greater incline in the lateral tread, the tire shoulder. In addition, “cold slips” can be caught better in such a position than in the “hanging-off style” with the knee on the floor.
  • Anyone who drives with street sport tires should always expect that they will overheat in air temperatures above 15 degrees after about ten to 15 minutes at a fast pace and that their grip and behavior at the limit areas will deteriorate. Even during the day, road sports tires do not get any better – in contrast to the then trained driver.
  • When threading from the pit lane into the race track, wait for a gap, accelerate quickly and do not cross the ideal line in the first corners, but stay on the side of the pit exit.
  • Just look ahead at the racing line. Under no circumstances should you turn around to possibly make way for a faster pilot.
  • Always drive as fast as possible on the straight, never stroll around or suddenly decelerate or brake, because a man behind in the slipstream does not expect such maneuvers on the racetrack. If you want to wait for your buddy or opponent, you do so in the pit lane and not on the track.
  • Never suddenly change lanes or clear the lane to make way for other drivers who are approaching at a higher speed. Experienced rabbits will find the right place for overtaking themselves. Anyone who arbitrarily changes lanes may block the faster driver from the overtaking lane at precisely this moment. And that can have bad consequences.
  • Fast (experienced) pilots are considerate when overtaking in mixed groups of beginners and professionals and do not squeeze past on the last groove.
  • In the event of defects or other problems, immediately give a clear sign (raise your hand) and leave the route on the side you are on. Never cross the track when rolling out.
  • If the yellow flag is waved, it means: Caution, danger ahead! Get ready to stop, reduce the speed slightly, straighten up to make the person behind you aware of the danger. After passing the danger zone, pick up speed again. And: if the flag is yellow, overtaking is prohibited in the danger zone!
  • If the flag is red (abort, prepare to stop, leave the route via the exit), reduce the speed, straighten up and continue with a show of hands at a moderate speed to the official route exit. Never stop on the track.
  • If the flag is striped in red / yellow (oil on the track, risk of slipping), reduce your speed and look for possible traces of oil, to be on the safe side, leave the ideal line and drive through corners very cautiously.
  • In the case of a blue flag (caution, the driver starts to overtake!) Continue driving the ideal line, to be on the safe side leave a few centimeters more distance to the edge of the track in order to give the faster one space to overtake. Do not turn around or suddenly brake.
  • After passing the checkered flag, reduce your speed slightly and straighten up, do not brake too hard or suddenly change lanes. Complete the run-out lap at a brisk pace until you reach the official exit. It may well be that another driver is still driving the slow-down lap at full speed.

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