I did the Racer5 Intro Course twice, few years ago and again last year and loved it both times. It's impressive how much you can learn on these 125cc.I've done both FAST and racer5. We've been to many of Fawaz's events, they are all well run. Both courses are excellent in their own way. racer5 is slightly better value IMO and Fawaz is a stand up guy. I would recommend it for every rider, new or old, fast or slow. Even if you have no plans on trackday/racing. You will have many bikes through your life, but skill you will keep forever.
For anyone taking the course, starting on small bikes is a good thing. It forces you to be smooth. You cannot make up for mistakes by just being a bit more aggressive on the throttle. We see this often at the track. A new rider on a 600 missing the markers and ham fisting the throttle where aggression results in moderate laptimes, only to setup for a crash later on.
One of the things I like most about racer5 is there is lots of track time (twice as much as FAST).
Don't worry about the speed too much, focus on lines, markers and smoothness. Remember, you are there to learn not to strut your ego. Be a sponge, listen to what the instructors are saying. Try to break bad habits e.g. never look behind you.
After the course, I hope to see some of you at out at trackdays, if you don't already take part. They are a ton of fun and everyone is there for that reason. There is always someone faster than you, and that's ok. In the end its all about just having fun
Nice, I'll be there with you! See you in a few weeks!I've just signed up for May 11-13. It will be my first time on track on a motorcycle. I've done a bunch of race karting in the past but never anything on two wheels. I met Fawaz towards the end of last year when I had some suspension work done on the bike and he had mentioned the program to me. After reading a bunch of threads on it on here, I decided I should just go for it. Can't wait now!
Thanks for the feedback and all the good advice above as well!
Weird....I got an email from them a few weeks ago with the itinerary for the weekend and a few tips as well. Also got a follow up phone call about a week after the email. If you haven't got it, maybe call them?....Awesome. I'll see you there. I did also ask them if they were going to send us an info package or more details closer to the date so I'll keep you in the loop once I hear back.
Ah ok great! I only just signed up this weekend, so I suppose I'll be getting all that during the week then.Weird....I got an email from them a few weeks ago with the itinerary for the weekend and a few tips as well. Also got a follow up phone call about a week after the email. If you haven't got it, maybe call them?....
Great write up! Sums up the weekend nicely.Hi All,
As promised, here's a summary after an action-packed three days at Grand Bend Motorplex on the Racer5 Introductory Program (Stage 1 to 3), May 11-13, 2018. Note that this was my first track experience ever, so the below is written from that beginner's perspective.
It's a cloudy and cold day. We start the morning with registration, an equipment check, some mingling with other riders, and a track walk with the instructor. The instructor gives us some valuable tips on the racing line, braking/turn in markers and entry/exit speed. We head back to the pits and get suited up, then listen in on the rider's meeting. Unfortunately, EMS has not arrived by the time we finish up the meeting, so we take an early lunch break and return in the early afternoon for the riding sessions. We start off with a sighting lap behind the instructor, then a slow first lap with the pace increasing slightly with every lap. At this point, we are getting familiar with the bike (the light weight and narrow tank feels strange to me at first), gearing, front brake feel, shifter etc... There are 2 groups out at any one time and 6 groups in total - 15 minute sessions. The pace increases with every session, and the group reconvenes after each one to discuss their ride/observations with the group and instructor. As we grow more comfortable on the bikes, the correct racing line is stressed more, and the riders rotate behind the instructor to observe the optimal line. Later in the afternoon, body position is discussed and stressed more and more as the pace increases with every session. The rain starts late in the afternoon just as the last session ends. By the end of Day 1, I feel comfortable on the bike and I have a good idea of the racing line, but I'm still trying to figure out which gear is best at each turn. I understand the basics of body positioning, but haven't really put it into practice yet - eager to start with Day 2.
The morning starts with rain and some puddles on the ground from overnight rainfall. After registration we head over to the building for a classroom session. It's an excellent presentation and timed well in the three day program since it enables each rider to reflect on the track time spent the day before and put some of the points into context. The rain stops as the morning session starts and the key point that is hammered home is body positioning. The instructor spends some time behind each rider to observe their behaviour/movement on the bike and gives feedback after each ride. By late morning I start pushing harder to ride faster and in doing that I lose some smoothness in the operation of the machine which unsettles the bike. As we get into the afternoon sessions, the pace has significantly increased. The entire group has a good grasp of body positioning and we are all using our body weight to flick the bike from left to right, transitioning through the turns. At this point the key thing on my mind is riding smooth and keeping the bike composed and settled. And with this, I get faster. Rather than unsettling the bike through brute force as I did earlier in the day, I find a better rhythm towards the late afternoon and now I'm playing between a couple of gears to find smoothness through the turn and drive out of the turn. All the basics are there and by the end of Day 2 I'm thinking ahead to Day 3 to perfect those skills - to increase the pace but without unsettling the bike. Perhaps braking a little later or leaning a bit more into a turn. Day 2 is also more physically demanding. Having understood body positioning more, the legs are worked more to shift body weight from one side to the other. At this point I begin to grasp the physical aspect of track riding and the importance of fitness to reduce fatigue on track. Tired after Day 2 but can't wait for Day 3 to work on those newly learned skills.
Beautiful day. Sunny with a light breeze in the air and the perfect day to pull it all together before packing up for the weekend. With every session I feel more and more comfortable. We are given the green light to overtake on the back straight and with this, I find a lot more freedom to push harder and work on my body positioning. I tend to favour left hand turns (prefer to hang off my right leg) and so I try to work on my right hand turns in every session that passes. I remember seeing or reading somewhere that you can hold the throttle like a screwdriver when turning right and this was definitely good advice. I come to realize how valuable the following two points are to pull you through turns (1) rolling on the throttle and (2) looking through the turn. Once I start doing these two things, it amazes me how much tighter and faster I can take some of the turns. I also find areas where I can improve such as carrying more speed onto the back straight or setting a good fast line through Turn 1 while still holding the right line for Turn 2. There is still much more to learn, but time is up and it's time to call it a day.
As I enter the pits for the last time, I'm absolutely exhausted but I leave with a huge smile on my face thinking that this is just the beginning of many more track days to come...
A big shout out to all the Racer5 staff for running an exceptional event, and to every rider out there that made it an enjoyable weekend for all.
A couple of links to footage from Day 3 below:
1) There's a good chase in this one with a photo finish to the checkered flag: https://youtu.be/N6ZBWWcc0Rk
2) Final session of Day 3 which demonstrates my riding ability by the end of the program: https://youtu.be/lSXe5QHefhM
Lol I've definitely been daydreaming a lot this week... I'm considering signing up for the endurance race event now - not sure if I should step up to 250cc and see what it's like or stick to 125cc and get more practice...Great write up and excellent job. I bet you can't wait to get back out on the track again lol...