Motorcycle Track Guides

Motorcycle Track Guide: Snetterton 300

Three-time British Superbike champ Niall Mackenzie's guide to Snetterton 300

The original Snetterton circuit was always worth a visit but with only two left hand corners it wasn’t the most challenging of tracks. This also made it plain dangerous as the left side of your tyre would always run cooler than the right. That’s all changed now as MSV have spent some serious money adding a new infield section and altering the last corner, making the run onto the start finish straight much safer.

Start Finish to Bentley Straight

Start Finish to Bentley Straight

Passing the start line in fifth gear you should be heading off as close as you dare to the left side of the track while using the changes of surface or 300/200m boards as braking markers. Riches is a double apex third gear corner with a fast approach, however you only need to brake gently as third gear engine braking will pull you in to the first right apex.

At this point you should get gently back on the throttle and let yourself drift back into the middle section of the track before pulling back to the second apex. From here you need to think about getting the bike upright before using a serious amount of throttle. If you find you’re running wide here discipline yourself to keep the throttle closed longer and square the corner off more. Getting on the gas too early will either have you high siding or running out of track. And if you do this at the wrong time of the year you could end up with a fairing full of cabbages.

Once upright you’ll soon be braking hard and changing back to first (probably second on a 1000cc) for Montreal. While it’s tempting to get back on the throttle early, try to be patient or you’ll run wide on the exit and be unable to get back to the right side of the track for next left which is Palmer. This will be second gear but again don’t rush in and you’ll get a great run onto the third gear straight down to Agostini. Ago’s is another first gear tight left hander where the super grippy new tarmac will let you carry plenty of lean angle as you head down another yet another straight to Hamilton.

It is easy to run wide through this fast third gear kink so try to keep mid track on the exit as you’ll need to pull tight to the left to set yourself up for Oggies. Click back to second gear before you tip in to this double apex right hander then roll the throttle on and let yourself roll out to the edge but get the bike more upright before nailing it on the exit. Staying in second gear, get tight to the next right apex of Williams, then build up using every inch of tarmac as you head onto what is now known as the Bentley Straight.

A clean exit using the entire track on the left can make 20mph differences to your top speed at your next braking point. Slip streaming on track days is never a good idea but on long straights like Bentley’s you will easily pick up a tow from three bike lengths back. I like to give myself plenty of room when passing and will never risk a close pass down the left side of another rider as clipping your front brake lever doesn’t bear thinking about.

Start Finish to Palmer

Passing the start line in 5th gear you should be heading off as close as you dare to the left side of the track while using the changes of surface or 300/200m boards as braking markers. Riches is a double apex third gear corner with a fast approach. Fast - however, you only need to brake gently as third gear engine braking will pull you in to the first right apex.

At this point you should get gently back on the throttle and let yourself drift back into the middle section of the track before pulling back to the second apex. From here you need to think about getting the bike upright before using a serious amount of throttle. If you find you’re running wide here discipline yourself to keep the throttle closed longer and square the corner off more.

Getting on the gas too early will either have you high siding or running out of track. And you do this at the wrong time of the year you could even have a fairing full of cabbages. Once upright you’ll soon be braking hard and changing back to first (probably second on a 1000cc) for Montreal.

While it’s tempting to get back on the throttle early, try to be patient or you’ll run wide on the exit and be unable to get back to the right side of the track for next left which is Palmer. This will be second gear but again don’t rush in and you’ll get a great run onto the third gear straight down to Agostini.

Ago to Bentley Straight

Esses to Start/Finish

The 300m board before the bridge is a good starting point for braking but there a various tarmac patches and gaps in the fence that will do the same job on the approach to the Brundle/Nelson Esses. Shakey once found he had no brake lever at 178mph here but please forget about checking your Speedo otherwise you might forget to look up!

From fifth gear I shift back to third then just past the left apex go back one more to second. I try to keep quite tight to the left so that when I flick the bike to the right I’m not carrying too much lean angle and able to immediately get back on the throttle. The next short third gear straight leads down to the Bomb Hole where a quick dab of brake will settle the front but I always stay off the throttle until I clip the apex. Right here the bike is nicely balanced so you can wind the throttle on and follow a long arc to the very outside of the track round to Coram.

Just like Montreal, a later entry and apex at Coram will set you up on the right line as you aim for the white paint down the left side of the track on the approach to the left of Murray’s. On an R6 I used third gear from before the Bomb Hole all the way around Corum then back to first gear for Murrays. Initially I brake hard here, gradually releasing the brake as I head to the right hand apex then back shift to first gear using the engine braking to scrub off the last bit of momentum.

It’s then a quick dip to the left however; I’ve seen dozens of riders caught out here so be smooth with the throttle till you are on to the fat part of the rear tyre. This left hander is one of the trickiest in the UK and although less risky now, in the past it has ended several racing careers.

There is very little time to be made up here so steady as you go and only nail the throttle wide open when you’re upright and safe. Once out of this corner I simply follow the white line on the right and once alongside the pit lane wall barrier gradually make my way back to the left over the start/finish on the Senna Straight.

Being exposed, wet and windy weather often appears unexpectedly at Snetterton so allow for tail winds while braking or gusting round Coram curve.

The surface is fine when wet but the over banding or joins in the track can unsettle things mid corner so avoid them if you can.

I enjoy Snetterton now more than ever but I find it still takes a fair few sessions before my brain can deal with the high speed approaches to Riches and the Esses. Building up slowly in each session isn’t a bad thing as there is a ton of information to take on board.

Ago to Bentley Straight

Ago’s is another first gear tight left hander where the super grippy new tarmac will let you carry plenty lean angle as you head down another yet another straight to Hamilton.

It is easy to run wide through this fast third gear kink so try to keep mid track on the exit as you’ll need to pull tight to the left to set yourself up for Oggies. Click back to second gear before you tip in to this double apex right hander then roll the throttle on and let yourself roll out to the edge but get the bike more upright before nailing it on the exit. Staying in second gear, get tight to the next right apex of Williams, then build up using every inch of tarmac as you head onto what is now known as the Bentley Straight.

A clean exit using the entire track on the left can make 20mph differences to your top speed at your next braking point. Slip streaming on track days is never a good idea but if on long straights like Bentley’s you will easily pick up a tow from three bike lengths back. I like to give myself plenty of room when passing and will never risk a close pass down the left side of another rider as clipping your front brake lever doesn’t bear thinking about.

Brundle/Nelson Esses to Bomb Hole

Brundle/Nelson Esses to Bomb Hole

The 300m board before the bridge is a good starting point for braking but there a various tarmac patches and gaps in the fence that will do the same job on the approach to the Brundle/Nelson Esses. Shakey once found he had no brake lever at 178mph here but please forget about checking your Speedo otherwise you might forget to look up!

From fifth gear I shift back to third then just past the left apex go back one more to second. I try to keep quite tight to the left so that when I flick the bike to the right I’m not carrying too much lean angle and able to immediately get back on the throttle.

The next short third gear straight leads down to the Bomb Hole where a quick dab of brake will settle the front but I always stay off the throttle until I clip the apex. Right here the bike is nicely balanced so you can wind the throttle on and follow a long arc to the very outside of the track round to Coram.

Coram to Start/finsh

Coram to Start/finsh

Just like Montreal, a later entry and apex at Coram will set you up on the right line as you aim for the white paint down the left side of the track on the approach to the left of Murray’s. On an R6 I used third gear from before the Bomb Hole all the way around Corum then back to first gear for Murrays. Initially I brake hard here, gradually releasing the brake as I head to the right hand apex then back shift to first gear using the engine braking to scrub off the last bit of momentum.

It’s then a quick dip to the left however; I’ve seen dozens of riders caught out here so be smooth with the throttle till you are on to the fat part of the rear tyre. This left hander is one of the trickiest in the UK and although less risky now, in the past it has ended several racing careers.

There is very little time to be made up here so steady as you go and only nail the throttle wide open when you’re upright and safe. Once out of this corner I simply follow the white line on the right and once alongside the pit lane wall barrier gradually make my way back to the left over the start/finish on the Senna Straight.

Being exposed, wet and windy weather often appears unexpectedly at Snetterton so allow for tail winds while braking or gusting round Coram curve.

The surface is fine when wet but the over banding or joins in the track can unsettle things mid corner so avoid them if you can.

I enjoy Snetterton now more than ever but I find it still takes a fair few sessions before my brain can deal with the high speed approaches to Riches and the Esses. Building up slowly in each session isn’t a bad thing as there is a ton of information to take on board.

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