Practice – Driving courses: the track within everyone’s reach? –

Piloting courses: the track within everyone’s reach ?

Practice - Driving courses: the track within everyone's reach? -

Reputed to be expensive and selective, motorcycle driving courses are tending to become more democratic to the delight of bikers. To gauge their interest, Site followed the Trajectoire GP training course on the Ferte Gaucher circuit (77). Reportage.

Faced with the growing road repression (read in particular), a good number of "sport" bikers now find on motorcycle circuits the last field of expression of their penchant for arson.

Not that a highly virulent departmental is not enough to tease the footrest or martyr the gommard (without much exceeding the legal speeds), but we must recognize that to enjoy the full potential of a hyper (or even super) sport, the track is perfectly indicated.

The prestige of the competition helping, more and more motorcyclists want to brush against the vibrators by drawing arabesque fluids, or try to brake their friends at more than 200 km / h in a secure environment! Still, the practice of the circuit still requires some experience…

More complete than a simple day of driving, the piloting courses rightly claim enlightened training and personalized support for students. Formerly reserved for a certain elite, they have gradually opened up to a wider and less experienced public, eager for advice to acquire the first good reflexes and progress in complete safety..

To judge the interest and accessibility of these motorcycle-specific training courses, lasting an average of two days, Site has chosen to follow the students of the driving school for their first course of the season on the new ( 77).

Cope with bad reflexes !

Francis Quinet, founder of Trajectoire GP, is categorical: "whatever the level of the biker, the piloting courses bring a real plus. The basics (position, gaze) are consolidated, while the technical phases (trajectories, braking, accelerations) are carefully analyzed and dissected by our state-certified instructors", explains this former driver while mounting his barnum in front of the circuit infrastructures.

Gathered around a nice "cafe-croissant", the first students benefit from the warm welcome from the team of ten people and a handful of volunteers: the atmosphere is relaxed and the current flows quickly. between each participant.

Eclectic, this group of 25 riders goes from the angry thirties in R6 equipped with track to the quadra come with wife and children, passing by fifty (and even more!) Who come to have fun at the controls of their daily roadsters … or a sportswoman prepared like a grindstone of competition !

Two groups of levels

Divided into two groups of levels, the happy troop listens to the safety instructions given by the instructors: Laurent Brian (pilot in the French Superbike championship with his structure) and (ex-endurance pilot, 12th in the World Supersport in 2003).

The emphasis is on safety (respect for instructions and flags, in particular) while performance is relegated to the background: no question of getting out of hand without thinking, but rather learning to ride "clean" without putting yourself in danger.

Alternating indoor briefings with practical workshops on the Seine and Marne circuit, the Trajectory GP training begins with a theoretical course on the importance of gaze and position. "Having a good position – the buttocks swayed and set back in the saddle, the inner arm flexes in line with the handlebars and the outer leg well wedged around the bike – is essential to register the bike in a turn", insists Christophe Cogan.

"Although this constitutes an essential basis for progress, it is undoubtedly one of the most delicate points to teach students: most have years of practice on the road or on the circuit and it is sometimes necessary to be very insistent to make them change their habits…, Slides the 2004 vice-world endurance champion.

The basics of piloting

Applied, the students will practice mastering this basics of piloting by zigzagging between cones: filmed by the instructors, each rider can see himself and analyze his way of doing things during a debriefing. The exercises are then linked without downtime: braking, trajectories, trigger point and rope point are thus analyzed in the room, before being materialized on one or more turns of the circuit..

The students take turns walking past the monitor who writes down the slightest deeds and gestures and accurately measures each person’s progress: performed at medium speed, these repeated passages quickly gain in fluidity. "Thanks to this course, you tame hyper efficient automatisms: the gain is enormous when you return to the circuit afterwards !", assures us Jean-Baptiste, who came from Val d’Oise to take part in his second Trajectoire GP course on his R1" halfway halfway ".

Coming from Vendee, Franck was offered this internship by his wife, also present on site. For him, "participating in this type of training has always been a dream: after a few days of free driving where the differences in level are sometimes too great to learn and have fun, I realized that I did not necessarily have the right bases and that I needed sound advice to progress".

Delighted with the progress of this course, Franck is convinced of the value of this approach, even during his future road trips: "I am more serene on my motorcycle, I know its limits better and I now know what I can ask of it in an emergency situation, without taking unnecessary risks.".

"To anticipate !"

After a restful night’s sleep, the 25 participants put on their leather again for the second day. Some approach drawn lines ("I discovered muscles I didn’t even know existed !", some mumble while taking the handlebars!), but all show the same smile and the same thirst to learn as the day before !

Sunny, the day may however be trying: "remember to hydrate yourself copiously between each session and to take advantage of the straight lines to breathe well, in order to oxygenate your muscles and thus avoid the onset of fatigue and cramps", warn the monitors.

Because it is a question of not slackening: after a few laps of reconnaissance behind the instructor, this one takes advantage of the two distinct tracks of the LFG Aerospace (a slow and technical part of 1.6 km and a fast part of 2 km) to isolate a delicate sequence of three bends: first surveyed on foot, this pif-paf leading to a left at 90 ° is divided into several stages materialized by cones.

"Immediately after exiting the turn preceding this sequence, your gaze should be on the cone indicating the first trigger point", explains Christophe."At its height, your eyes should already be riveted on the first point of rope, then on the exit point and the next entry point of the second turn, and so on.", recalls the instructor who insists on the notion of anticipation.

"Most trainees are sometimes overwhelmed by speed and then lose their visual cues: lack of anticipation, they dive too early to the rope with insufficient entry speed, and find themselves at the rope point with a lot of angle and little speed", explains Christophe by observing the first passages.

To avoid these overly timid corner entries, Trajectoire GP then requires you to take the winding circuit in third, without touching the brakes or the clutch! Stressful at first glance, the exercise turns out to be really instructive: you learn to manage the throttle finely and especially to take advantage of all the space available to slow down the motorcycle only by making it dive in an authoritarian way with the rope..

Gradually, the combined effects of the different exercises begin to be felt. Under the satisfied gaze of Francis Quinet and his team, each student gains speed and precision over the entire circuit: for some, the gain in confidence and speed is enormous, while others have known how to question their achievements to progress in an obvious way.

After a final course on engine brake management, the main suspension settings, shifting gear on the angle and overtaking, the trainees once again have access to the LFG circuit for a final free session: two days of training. learning, everyone goes there wholeheartedly trying to apply all the valuable advice !

The bill please !

When the final diploma was handed out, our 25 riders were unanimous: the piloting courses are absolutely good! Progress is immediately noticeable, especially as the personalized advice allows you to sharpen at your own pace and identify your strengths and weaknesses.

GP trajectory

Officially launched in 2009 by Francis Quinet, (for "General Public") is the new pilot school. Thanks to its two distinct routes and its quality infrastructures, the Aerosphalte LFG is proving to be a very good educational tool for this new school which combines competence and sympathy..

Trajectoire GP also makes the beneficial services of a masseur available to students free of charge and will organize courses for 8-14 year olds on 50 and 100 cc from the 2nd semester of 2010. The next Trajectoire GP driving courses are scheduled for the 10th. and May 11, July 12 and 13, August 9 and 10 and October 11 and 12, 2010.

More information, registration and contact on the

Accessible to all, the Trajectoire GP driving courses put the driving of a sportswoman on the circuit within the reach of the beginner or refine the driving of the most seasoned. A big difference which comes in cash at a high price: 599 euros for the two days !

Although 100 euros of discount are granted to owners of Honda motorcycles (partner of the circuit and Trajectoire GP, which rents 600 Hornets and CBR600RRs against 249 euros per day), the addition remains high, especially since it does not ” does not include evening meals and accommodation and must be added the costs of travel, gasoline, tires and the need to have complete track equipment or to rent it at Trajectoire GP (40 euros per day for a Berick suit and a back protector). Like all mechanical sports, practicing or learning the track requires a budget which is, unfortunately, not within the reach of the first comer….

However, there is nothing unfair about the price in relation to the quality of the education provided: absolutely all of the participants questioned by Site believe that the quality / price ratio of the Trajectoire GP training is "more than positive". Many were already thinking of registering for the next dates on the evening of the second day: a sign that does not deceive !

Alexandre BARDIN – Photos Eric RENARD

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