Top ten tips for your first track day

By Dan Aspel -

Riding Skills

 01 July 2010 12:47

MCN contributor Dan Aspel recently took part in his first track day at Cadwell Park.

Here are his 10 top tips for track day newbies:

1. Check your bike thoroughly before you head off
This includes tyre wear, fluid levels, brake pads etc…, you’ll be asking a lot more of it than usual and you need to be sure it’s in good trim.

2. Fuel up before you arrive
Some tracks only sell fuel at specific times and you don’t want to end up sidelined with an empty tank.

3. Tyre pressures are vital 
You should lower them for the track, e.g. road pressures R42 F36 become track pressures R29 F31. Notice that the rear is lower than the front. The organisers should remind you of this and may even do it for you, but don’t forget to inflate again before you leave!

4. Drink a lot of water
You will sweat and dehydrate quicker than usual in the intense sessions, drinking more water will keep you alert and refuelled.

5. Warm your tyres up for 2 to 3 laps...
...before you start to go faster and increase your corner speeds. The heat of your tyres will make a dramatic difference to their ability to grip the track.

6. Ask questions
The instructors and marshals are there to help and are usually happy to give you advice or even help you out on the track.

7. You don’t have to stay out for the full 20 minutes of each session
Over the day you may do 70+ miles of riding, that’s 2 or 3 Moto GPs so there’s no shame in taking a break!

8. Speed comes from being smooth, not manic
The quickest riders make it look easy because they’re following the right lines and not wasting energy in the wrong direction.

9. Don’t be scared of tyre snots
Don't worry if the surface of your tyres looks like a peeling onion after a few sessions, the heat and friction of the track can have quite a dramatic effect on the consistency of the rubber. If you’re concerned you can always ask the organisers for advice.

10. Be calm
There’s no need to rush. Go at your own pace and work on your own skills, you’re there to learn and enjoy yourself. This is a track day, not a race meeting.

For more info or to book your first track day, visit www.focusedevents.com or call 0845 026 72 72.