Track days, I love em!

I never tire of track days. Well I wouldn’t as I’m out most weeks earning a crust instructing on them, however, there is usually an amusing story at the end of each event. I get great pleasure helping riders (especially if it makes them safer) although I do come across some weird and wonderful riding in the process.

If it is a quick one-to-one session I’ll normally let the rider follow me for a few laps then drop behind to see if there is anything obvious going on that can be remedied. This is when it can become interesting. Riding laps using only the rear brake is quite common as is using only one gear over a complete lap. Daft as it sounds this is quite easy on a modern 1000cc machine as you can actually twist and go all day long.

A few are now doing the leg dangle thing which obviously works for Rossi and co. but I’m not sure how much it helps while in the novice group at Oulton Park. Leaning to the wrong side of the bike in corners looks quite scary (ex-moto crossers tend to do this) but also makes interesting viewing through fast through chicanes. Changing up with the clutch, not revving 600s and feet forward with toes out are also standard fare and easy habits to fix. But my all time favourite has to be the blipping aggressively with both arms while downshifting; the closest thing to the Birdie Dance on a superbike ever seen by man.

Still on track days, it’s been great to see a handful of Ducati Desmosedicis out and about this summer but I wonder if this will continue now their free, three year warranty is coming to an end? I guess the answer is yes, as if you can afford a 40k plaything, then you can probably afford the pricey upkeep. I saw one slide up the road this week at Donington Park's Old Hairpin and thought we’d never see the bike or it's suicidal owner again. I was wrong as two sessions later the battered 990cc Moto GP replica and dusty rider were back on track having a ball. Respect is due!  

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