Get ahead safely

Mas­ter track­day over­takes

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week In Mcn -

It’s good to over­take

Over­tak­ing is one of the most sat­is­fy­ing parts of a track­day. It’s good for the ego, es­pe­cially if we think we’re on a slower bike. But for those be­ing over­taken it can be ter­ri­fy­ing – scary enough to put a novice track­day rider off for­ever, so the trick is to waft by like you’re in­vis­i­ble.

Do it on the straights

The safest place and most cour­te­ous place to over­take is on the straights. If your bike is much faster than the guy you’ve just caught, be pa­tient and wait for the next straight to zip past. Start the over­take in the ac­cel­er­a­tion zone, but do it on the in­side of the rider. Don’t go around the out­side – the gap will re­duce quicker than you think as they drift to the exit kerb and you’ll risk a col­li­sion.

…or the brak­ing zones

If your bike is the same speed, or slower than theirs on the straights, over­take in the brak­ing zone, but not the turn­ing-in zone. Once the rider in front is tip­ping-in, you’ve got less track to play with and you’ll end up lift­ing them up, or if they don’t see you, you could col­lide and send them off the track.

Have a brak­ing marker

Brak­ing mark­ers are es­sen­tial for over­tak­ing if the rider in front is only frac­tion­ally slower than you and it’s hard to get past. Don’t just brake af­ter them – they might’ve braked re­ally late that time and you won’t be able to make the cor­ner. Pull out to the side of the rider, giv­ing them plenty of room. For­get they’re there so they don’t dis­tract you, but look out for your marker and brake when you see it. If you’re not past al­ready, re­lease the brakes slightly to move ahead.

Re­duce your en­try speed

Now that you’re on a tighter line go­ing into the cor­ner and ahead of the over­taken rider, knock-off some cor­ner en­try speed to make the apex. Go in too fast and you’ll ei­ther run wide or lose the front try­ing to scruboff speed, es­pe­cially on cold tyres.

Leave slip­stream­ing to rac­ers

It’s dangerous enough sit­ting be­hind an­other bike at speed when you’re rac­ing and you know and trust the rider in front not to do any­thing un­ex­pected, but on a track­day it’s even more per­ilous. The rider might brake ear­lier then you ex­pect, miss a gear, or just give up on their lap and de­cide to daw­dle back to the pits. It’s nor­mally you’ll who’ll crash – back wheels are more solid than fronts.

Are you in the right group?

If you’re over­tak­ing lots of rid­ers in the novice or in­ter­me­di­ate group, it’s safer for ev­ery­one to move up a group.

‘It’s safest to pass on the straight but be sure to start early’

If you are pass­ing on the brakes pick a brak­ing marker and over­take be­fore they turn in

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