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Discussion Starter #21
Yesterday I finished track day #3. Same track as before but through an entirely different organization as the first two I attended. This weekend is an OMRRA race so there were a lot of folks there doing prep for the weekend. The focus with this organizer felt entirely different from what I've experienced previously. There were four groups instead of three so the sessions were only 15 minutes each hour but they felt even shorter once I was on the track. The beginner group had control riders but there was no instruction given to the newbs. A guy in the pits next to me was on a brand new GSXR1000 and had never been on a track before. He ran off the track on his first time out because he didn't know the line or the layout. Fortunately, he kept the bike upright but it did make me concerned over who else might be on the track with me. Still had a great time and had 5 different people ask me about my RC. They all either have one, had one, or know it's history. That was pretty cool.

This is from track day #2
 

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JK's previous post has some very good sense in it, but I have to disagree somewhat on the license thing. A good race school with highly competent and successful racers as instructors (and their licensing program) is a very valuable tool in learning techniques that will often take a very long time to master on your own, if ever to do properly. As with anything, there are exceptions but unless you are prepared to take the leaps and make all the mistakes that others made and learned from that they can help you avoid, it can be a painful (and costly) journey. Not saying it eliminates crashes or anything else, but you will learn more in a better environment than just trying it on your own on recreational track days. Learning the correct way is still the best way. Lower lap times should be the benefit, not the immediate goal.
As to not giving newbies any instruction whatsoever is a sign that there is a (to me) serious lack of professionalism and safety protocols in their operation. Your pit neighbor is a classic example of that and he's lucky to have stayed upright and never binned it big time.
Many novice riders are just as fast (quick is a better word really) as lots of intermediate class riders, but the closing speeds and time factors are much higher/tighter overall. Should you want to move up, make sure you are ready for that.
 

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It's been a while since I stopped in. This year was em, difficult to say the least, but we managed to get a decent track seson in the books. The "old" track in Ft Saskatchewan (Stratotech where it all began years ago) became available again, and the local Edmonton race club managed to get in a decent season with some very high (um, quick) times and speeds logged. While I personally didn't get to do lots of days at the track, my highlight was definitely two days at Area 27 in Oliver BC. In spite of being brutally hot (like 41*c/106*f) it was an experience like no other I've had. The track itself is incredible, world class IMO. Monster straights, drop off and climbing elevations mid corner, tight technical sections, everything you could ask for in a race course it has. Only downside I can say is you can't camp overnight in the pit area (yeah I'm spoiled) but the city is a short 15 minute drive so not that bad either. Taxing if you haven't logged much previous track time in the season, but it's well laid out and quickly learnable. It's fast and very exciting to ride with just enough technical sections to keep things real. I had a total blast both days and it gave me a real good insight as to what the RC51 still has to give back, which is plenty more than in my own tank. If it wasn't for the 17 hour drive each way, I'd be there way more often.
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I was able to get in 3 track days this year, but they were all late in the season. Finally got into A group, but at Thunderhill everyone passes me on the front straight, then by turn 5 up the hill, I have to slow down for them. The rest of the track is pretty fast so they distance me a bit.

When my bike had an electrical issue, I rode a Gixxer and RSV4 which are much faster than my bike, but not set up as well, and my lap times did not improve. I think I will stick it out with the RC for a few more years, then either go big (200+hp), or maybe step down to a smaller bike.

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Seems like a lot of the track junkies start out with 600's, then go to 1000's, and eventually back to a 250/300/400. I will see how I feel in two years...
 
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