It was a superb day--rewarding for me to see so many people, riders of various styles having a blast on the track. The first component is weather, and we had it—on the warm side in the afternoon, yet heat, dry, sun equals track day fun, warm tyres and grip. There were those who were more expert such as Peter Marcelli from Team Suzuki OTSFF Pro Supermoto competitor and those such as Shana and Lis who had not yet experienced track life. Even though I was not able to ride my Ducati 1098S—I fed off the exhilaration and excitement of those who were able to. In addition, my focus was to assist, aid, and in any manner possible add to riding experiences.
It's amazing how much can be seen by observing. In fact when I took the California Superbike School, 3 day camp in Almeria Spain, I’d already been racing for 5 years. Their video camera pointed out quite some sit position and body input factors that needed adjusting. Once known I could address it and boy were there improvements!
As an instructor there are many things I can see by watching riders. When they roll off before a corner, when they apply braking, at what point they turn in, what line, body positioning in a corner, where they look, elbows, steering inputs acceleration points, shift points, how the suspension reacts, much to examine. So even though I wasn’t out there myself I was able to coach. Riding on the track is fun; more fun however is leaving it a better rider, an improved rider than when you arrived.
No matter the level, there’s always something to work on, something to challenge yourself to. I like to get riders focused on a goal and am renowned for this even during my European race weekends. I’d ask my race colleagues what their plan was for this race—I think the guys (90% of my competitors were men) really didn’t being prompted--I caused them to think! Those that didn’t have a plan always replied “to go fast and win” whereas I worked on the entire week prior on specific corners that I had challenges with where with different tactics I could reduce seconds in; thought about suspension changes that might affect handling in specific areas. How could I knock off seconds and where.
When a rider goes to a track day (first timers excluded), having a plan or an idea of what needs work, improving, is a good thing. Track time is expensive and limited. Sure, you might say it’s a day to play, yet isn’t part of the fun the new stuff you learn taking you to yet another level of skill meaning more pleasure?!
We all had a blast! I personally enjoyed making the acquaintance of many wonderful riders and personalities--sharing the fun with TEAM KYMCO CANADA and having an exceptional bunch of people around me helping out. I’ll get the photos on the website shortly.