Track day heaven: What to ride in 2011

There may be still snow on the ground north of Hadrian’s wall but it’s five degrees in the Midlands so my brain is thinking ‘track days’.  Spain may have more active Moto GP circuits than any other nation but when it comes down to tracks per square mile I’ve realised we actually live in a motorsport theme park with thrills in every corner of the country.

Due to the incredibly long lap, Silverstone doesn’t deliver the best riding experience but the overall facility is now up there with the world’s best so it’s still a box that has to be ticked at least once a year. Donington and Brands Hatch GP are more satisfying circuits where you can really enjoy the huge power and fancy electronics of your latest S1000RR and ZX10(when it arrives) and where you can re live some of the classic Moto GP and WSB races of the past.

Then we have the new, longer Snetterton 300 facility (check out the simulation lap on the MSV site). Like many, I haven’t been this excited since our very own Northants Daytona was under construction in the early noughties, better known as Rockingham.  An estimated £60m was spent constructing this Tri Oval that promised so much and has delivered so little.  I’m confident there won't be a similar anti-climax with the revamped Snetterton.

For shorter laps we have the mile long Brands Indy circuit, Mallory Park and the mini roller coaster that is Knockhill. One minute laps doesn’t mean you get dizzy, it just means there is no resting on long straights so you'll get a more hectic and physical work out. If you are looking for unique to anywhere else in the world then it has to be Cadwell Park. The narrow width makes you feel like you are is threading a needle once on the gas and there won’t be many laps where your heart isn’t in your mouth. It is scary but it is also safer than ever now, however, treat it with respect as it has quirks like no other.

Anglesey, arguably has the best surface in all the UK and is loved by all that visit. It really is a mini Phillip Island but like the Aussie classic is on the on the water’s edge and can have four seasons of weather in one day. Not so far down the road is Oulton Park and a definite riders favourite. It is like a sedated Cadwell and has everything although it was even better when the fast right of Knickerbrook was in place. So that’s my pre season tease and I haven’t even mentioned Croft, Thruxton, Pembrey and Castle Combe.  

Five degrees now feels truly tropical compared to last month so get on the net and get thrashing! Ok, you know what I mean. 

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