The following paragraphs were written for a local magazine in June 2006 and are an account of my first ever track day, held at Ricardo Tormos Circuit on the outskirts of Valencia on the Costa Blanca.
Track Day Virgin.
My heart started to pound harder as the session approached, was I really going to do this? after all the concerning discussions with my wife and egging on by my friends.
The buzzer went to indicate the end of the previous session, the time to get ready. I start the bike to let it warm up as I pull on my helmet and gloves. The bikes from the last session are coming in, oh dear one just like mine is going past on a trailer, looking decidedly worse for wear. Is this really the right thing to do on a sunny afternoon, my wife’s concerns now flooding back into my thoughts.
It’s nearly time to move off down the pit lane, the doubts are coming now: have I done everything, am I prepared, did I check the tyre pressures, have I got everything on, gloves, helmet, glasses etc, yes all present and correct. I know I’ve missed something, what is it? Oh yes, better turn the video camera on if I want to capture the moment.
Down the pit lane my heart is racing. The marshalls funnel us into a queue, do a final check to make sure we’ve paid then one by one we are released onto the slip road. Coming out from the pit exit I remember to look before pulling out just in case, then it’s straight into turn one which is taken fairly slowly at this point as we want the tyres to warm up. Now, what was it that everyone said, half a lap slowly, one lap, I can’t remember so I will opt for the latter, in which case why am being overtaken already and I haven’t even got to turn two yet. Ok turn two, I remember this from watching car racing a few weeks earlier, a lot crashed. I’ll slow down a bit more, bikes speed past me like I’m a mobile chicane. Round turn two and straight into a fast left kink, time to open the throttle a bit more to avoid total embarrassment and maybe keep up with some of the slower riders, maybe the video wasn’t such a good idea after all.
The rest of the lap continued without incident, unless you count braking in the wrong places and not remembering quite which way the next corner went, I was however starting to have fun, especially as I came round onto the start/finish straight and knew that some friends would be standing by the pit wall waving me on, let us see how fast the old girl will go. Out of the last corner into third, fourth, fifth 120, 130 140 145mph, turn one is now approaching at an alarming rate, brake… brake some more that’s better, turn-in and off we go again.
The laps after that are a blur now as I sit and write this, and I have never known 30 minutes go by so quickly, it is definitely a must for motorcyclists of all ages, the feeling of freedom is superb.
Enjoy the video and watch for the R6.