Track racing

    What is Track racing?

    Track racing on motorbikes is mainly Superbike racing,  Supersport or GP (Grand Prix) racing and basically are all the same. Take the cutting edge motorbike technologies available today and put all of them on a fast track, drop the checker flag and see who is the fastest rider to get to the finish line.

     These types of races are divided to three major categories:

    1. MotoGP- these are the frontier of motor technology on two wheels. Those are bikes that are nothing like you can buy at you local dealer. These bikes are also the platform for the new technologies before they are released to the public and installed in different bikes.

    The World Championship Grand Prix was first organized by the Federation International Motorcycle (FIM) in 1949 and little by little became the most prestigious motorbike race in the world

    The categories from 2012 and on are all four stokers engine and divided to:

    • MotoGP- limited to 1000cc
    • Moto 2- limited to 600cc
    • Moto 3- limited to 250cc

    There are a lot more limitations inside the categories but we will spare you to make things simpler.

    1. Superbike- this category employs modified production motorcycles. Superbike racing motorcycles must have four stroke engines of between 800cc and 1200cc for twin cylinder engines and between 750cc and 1000cc for four cylinder machines. These machines are still very different from the stock models but because they are based on the models you can buy right from the store, it is possible to modify the street legal bike into a ready to race machine.
    1. Supersport- in this category the bikes are limited to a four-stroke engine of 400cc- 600cc for four-cylinder machines, and 600cc- 750cc for twins. In addition Supersport regulations are much tighter than Superbikes. Supersport machines must remain largely as standard, while engine tuning is possible but tightly regulated. This makes Supersport racing the most available to participate of these three main motorbike track racing types.

     

    What’s extreme about it?

    Like in every extreme sport activity, to someone who wasn’t born with the endless need to push himself to the limit track racing will look crazy and suicidal. But we know better, right?

    If you go into track racing you probably are not new to sportbikes, so the speed itself won’t impress you so much because most likely you are already used to it.

    So in track racing eventually the big bang of rush come out of the competition itself with a small portion of our beloved adrenaline that you get when you are standing right on the edge of the machine and still in full control.

    These machines can go fast- up to 210mph (340km/h) on some circlets. They can go fast on corners and turns too. Imagine yourself going at 155mph (250km/h) inside a turn when you are so banked over to the side that you have to scratch your elbow down the asphalt. Now imagine that you are controllably sliding sideways in this turn because you are exactly at the edge of your tires grip. And now imagine while doing all of those you are in a fierce fight for the first place with two more riders doing exactly the same only 5ft away from you…now, this is racing.

    How dangerous is it?

    Track racing is in fact not this dangerous. Most of the race tracks in the world are built under strict safety regulation and are very sterile. if you ride with a good safety gear, you probably won’t get hurt too badly if or when you will do a mistake which will make you to crash. Of course because of the high speeds you can get hurt pretty badly and become extremely unfriendly to a metal detector but you will walk away from most of the crashes.

    Death in track racing is possible but statistically is very rare, mostly as an outcome of a bad crash with another rider or crashing into some other object like a tree or a barrier after falling from the bike at high speed and not from the fall itself.

    How to start?

    In track racing, Like in any outher sport, you can start in a very young age but most of us did not think about it when we were 8 years old. So if you want to go in to track racing, first you need to get some experience on a sport bike so you will have to buy one. There are plenty of beginner’s bikes out there, it is most recommended to start with a dirt bike if it’s your first bike ever and switch for a street bike later on. It is strongly not recommended to buy as your first bike 600cc or bigger sport bike, these are fierce and aggressive machines, and the more you respect them and be patient with your learning, the longer you survive.

    After some time on the bike during which you visited the local race track on open track days and took some riding and sport riding courses, you will probably be ready for your first try in racing. Start with local supersport leagues in the beginner’s category if there is one. To race in pro Supebike and  in the GP you must be very talented, devote your life to racing, and have a racing team to ride for. Or just have piles and piles of money

     

    Usful links- Schools and track days

    MSVT Bike Track Days- http://www.clubmsv.co.uk/bike-home.aspx

    Xtreme Motorcycle Rental- http://www.xtrememotorcyclerental.com/track.htm

    CLASS Motorcycle School- http://www.classrides.com/

    California Motorcycle Riding School- http://www.superbikeschool.com/

    Moto Series- Track days & schools- http://motoseries.com/

     

    Usful links- Racing organizations

    MotoGP official site- http://www.motogp.com/

    World SBK official site- http://www.worldsbk.com/

    AMA Pro Racing official site- http://www.amaproracing.com/