I did my first ever trackday way back in 1996, and I made SO many Rookie errors I thought I’d tell you how it went and every mistake I made along the way!!
My first trackday was at the awesome Cadwell Park (still one of my favourite tracks). The first, and biggest mistake I made was thinking it would be a good idea to ride all the way there from North London, do the Trackday AND ride home again all in one day!! Let me tell you, it was a miracle I didn’t pass out on the way back down the A1! Since then I have travelled to every trackday with my bike, and all my gear in a van AND the day before. That way you are well rested for the day ahead, can take all the essentials (tyre warmers, spares, food & drink) and you can share driving duties with a buddy.
Secondly ALWAYS go to the briefing. no matter how many trackdays you’ve done, each track, organiser and company have their own quirks and rules. You really dont want to be ‘that bloke’ that tears off on the rev limit when you’re meant to to stick behind the instructor/marshall for more than just one lap.
Third, Drink. LOTS! You will sweat a lot during each session. Dehydration can really reduce your concentration levels, before you know it you’ll be wondering why you’re running wide and missing braking markers all over the track. Eat sensibly too, but avoid heavy lunches otherwise you’ll be sluggish after the afternoon sessions restart.
Four. Be honest what group you go in. No one wants a mobile chicane in the fast group, also no one will be impressed that you’re on lap record place surrounded by slower bikes in the Novices group.
Five. Ask advice. There are always instructors at the track, they are usually more than happy to give advice and tips on any aspect of your day, regardless of your ability. Also, feel free to speak to anyone else in the paddock for advice, everyone is there to enjoy themselves!
Lastly (and most importantly) . You WILL NOT be the fastest rider there. There will always be plenty of people faster than you. But who cares? You are there to ride your bike in safety, have fun and push your own limits. MotoGP teams do not go scouting for talent at public trackdays, trust me!
HAVE FUN!!!! See you in the paddock