Don’t let rain wreck your trackday, here are some tips to help make you a wet circuit master.
Be an old smoothie
Rain doesn’t need to spoil your trackday but the key to safe riding in the wet is being smooth on the controls and shifting your weight around. Concentrate on the straights; braking and accelerating hard when upright, and taking it steady in the corners.
Be progressive on the brakes
Gently release the throttle and wait for the weight to transfer to the front tyre before braking. Squeeze the front brake lever lightly at first, to get the front tyre dug in, then progressively harder, feeling for grip. Finish braking before tipping-in. Blip the throttle on down-changes to reduce engine braking.
Do your turning off the brakes and with a neutral throttle to give the front tyre the best chance of gripping. To stabilise the bike, and give you one less to think about on the way in, hang-off way before the braking zone so you’re in the correct position before the turn. Keep the bike as upright as possible into, through and out of the corner, taking pointy V-shaped lines. Wide, swooping arcs means leaning on front tyre’s tiny contact patch which is risky.
Note the slippy zones
Remember where the slippery bits of track are and mentally log them for the next lap. You might have to ride off-line to avoid the smoothed-out tarmac of an apex, and you should always accelerate gently out of an off-cambered corner. Avoid painted kerbs like the plague and watch out for painted grid spots.
Give it a spin
Build confidence by deliberately making the rear wheel spin in a straight line on a long, un-cambered piece of track. You’ll be surprised by how much it actually takes to get the rear to break traction.
Stay on the fat rubber
Hang-off to reduce your lean angle and gently pick up the throttle to get the weight transferred to the rear tyre. Only accelerate hard when the bike is completely upright.
Sports touring rubber is the most suitable in the wet – sticky trackday tyres simply won’t work.
Keep the heat on
You could use tyre warmers on wets (on a low heat setting) to make them pliable, but as soon as you take them off they’ll quickly lose heat as you go from the paddock to the track. It’s better to start cold and gradually build speed, adding heat, grip, and confidence as you go.
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