Road safety – Track days as a road safety tool –

Track days as a road safety tool

Road safety - Track days as a road safety tool -

Created in 2004, the Marne Moto Sport association benefits from the support of the Marne prefecture and the City of Reims to make motorcyclists aware of the pitfalls of the road. For this purpose, she uses the track as a teaching aid. Story.

The pilot Fabrice Auger, on the sidelines of his career in the French championship (read our), is developing road safety awareness activities, piloting and checking a motorcycle through his Marne Moto Sport structure, which is made up of a handful of passionate volunteers.

The Ecuyers circuit

Born from the meeting of two enthusiasts from different backgrounds, the Ecuyers circuit is located near Beuvardes (02), about 85 km north of Paris. In a natural setting of 55 hectares, the route, equipped with an Alfano loop, gives pride of place to piloting throughout its 3.5 km and its many technical bends. Physical and offering wide clearances, the track offers long turns with a lot of downforce, hairpins and other chicanes, but above all tricky curves on slopes! Started in April 2007, construction work was completed last September and the owners have been offering days reserved for cars and motorcycles..

Contact : 03 23 70 98 61 or

The young rider from Reims therefore organizes training and driving advice days, with the participation of bikers from the National Gendarmerie: these courses – free! – make it possible to benefit from the experience of the men in blue who, far from their usual repressive policy, try to inculcate the good reflexes and their tips of motorcycle driving on the road.

At the same time, Fabrice takes advantage of his experience in competition (vice champion of France 600 Promo in 2005, victory at the Bol d’Or in Superproduction in 2007, 5th in the Dark Dog Moto Tour in 2007 during his first participation) to organize awareness and training on different circuits.

Initiatives whose merits and usefulness have not escaped the mayor of Reims or the Prefect of Marne: these administrations have decided to recognize the association of the pilot as an "organization of general interest" and to provide support for the organization of these on-track courses or driving advice.

The leaders of the city of Coronations – and that of the late Bruno Bonhuil – were not mistaken: to curb risky behavior and accidents due to bad reflexes in an emergency situation, the practice on circuit represents an effective solution, while bringing its share of sensations and fun in complete safety.

The association thus went to Croix-en-Ternois in May, to Carole, then to the new Ecuyers route in the Aisne (see box), where Site was able to assess the veracity of the concept "live"..

"The track is not just for insiders!"

"We have 72 registered for this edition, half of which have never been on track !", rejoice in concert Fabrice Auger and Eric Delforge, who jointly manage the association."We divide them into three distinct groups (beginners, confirmed and experienced) and we offer them eight driving sessions of fifteen minutes, where they will be supervised by a Marne Moto Sport rider who will in turn examine each person’s driving.".

But before taxiing and debriefing sessions, all the participants and their machines go through a morning meeting to recall the rules of use: respect for the flags and the marshals’ instructions, respect for others, prohibition of maneuvers " kamikazes ", advice on trajectory and caution and especially passage to a technical control of the vehicle and the sound level meter.

The goal is obviously not to penalize, but to ensure the conformity of the vehicles when taking the track, which requires flawless mechanical performance. The opportunity also to educate the user about simple – but oh so necessary! – checks of the condition of his machine, such as wear of tires and pads, condition and tension of the chain and the level of fluids: dirty when passing the license, these habits tend to be quickly forgotten over the years, while they represent the BA BA of two-wheeled traffic…

Reassured, supervised but impatient, the beginners are the first to set off on the track, with a few women among them. "The sports department of the town hall of Reims is delighted and encourages the attendance of women at this type of event.", Eric Delforge tells us:"the goal is precisely to change mentalities and for the biker public to understand that the track is a great tool for learning how to drive and how to react to the machine, which is not reserved only for specialists".

And it is not Valerie on her CB 500 who will contradict the sympathetic pilot (see video opposite): tackling her fourth experience on the circuit with relish, the young woman greets the organization "with small onions"and the reassuring supervision offered by Marne Moto Sport. Because at the end of each session, the participants are gathered around the pilot who accompanied them during the taxiing for a debriefing session: the goal is not to give tips to go fast, but to provide personalized advice to everyone, to help them approach the right trajectory, the driving position and the reflexes to work on to get to know your machine and to better control it.

Didier, on his YZF, confirms it to us in the afternoon: "it is my first outing on the track and it is a sort of rescuing with a long period of non-practice of the motorcycle. Coming here allows me to relearn the specifics of driving a two-wheeler and the reflexes acquired today will serve me later on the road". Delighted with this initiation, Didier also praised the quality of Marne Moto Sport’s offer and the good mood..

It is indeed difficult, despite all our efforts, to find disappointments: from beginners to experienced, everyone welcomes both the Beuvardes route and the course of the day! David, 32 (see video), is also one of the people who put the wheels of his ZR 7 down for the first time on a circuit, after the bike has stopped momentarily: "it allows me to go looking for sensations in complete safety and to benefit from advice", explains the young man.

During a meritorious lunch break – provided by a caterer appointed by Fabrice and his team – each participant has their own little anecdote and the more comfortable exchange their impressions with the more reserved. The motorcyclist spirit is there: between bad faith and frank laughter, everyone is impatiently waiting to return to the magnificent Ecuyers route !

The members of the association continue to fulfill their role of advisers and urge the groups to be careful: as on the road, it is a question of not being intoxicated or of wanting to prove something! In addition, the temperature of over 30 ° C and the difficulties offered by the track are responsible for moderating the ardor: not all will go at the end of their eight sessions, preferring – wisely – to pull over to set off again calmly on the handlebars of their machine.

However, the smiles on the lips and the last comments exchanged do not deceive: "I feel more comfortable now on my motorbike","it was really good, can’t wait to come back","it allowed me to have fun with my motorcycle, without the fear of radar and in a secure environment"… The bet is therefore successful and Fabrice Auger will even tell us that he was obliged to refuse participants during the day organized in Carole !

"We can really see the development of our days: the number of participants is more and more numerous and each session is a success. !", explains the man who fought for first place in the French Supersport championship this weekend at Magny-Cours."We will continue our actions and the city of Reims even entrusted us with the responsibility of its village when the Dark Dog Moto Tour started at the end of September.".

Confidence and deserved recognition for this dynamic driver, who has seen beyond his career to open up to others and reconcile his passion for two-wheelers with the prudence and mastery essential to the sustainability of our practice..

At a time when the motorcycle is cruelly suffering from a negative image, we can only welcome the fact that this type of initiative is recognized as being of general utility. !

Alexandre BARDIN – Photos Didier TATIN

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