There are four elements that need to be prepared before going on the track.
There is nothing wrong with being nervous, in fact you would be very unusual if you weren’t. What matters is how you control your nerves rather than them controlling you.
Try writing notes about what you have done around a track. What lines, what gears, braking points, turn in points etc. This will make you think about what you are doing. Then think how it could be improved remembering that what is fast in one corner may not translate into a faster overall lap time. Use visualisation techniques for replaying your lap.
There are a number of circumstances on a track where you will want to look but should not go. One is a passing rider – you will turn to look at them and veer towards them. Another is a crashing / crashed rider – no point in joining them so keep looking at where you need to go.
Many accidents occur in the first and second sessions of the day and quite often on the 2nd or 3rd lap of that session so take time to build up speed. Likewise many accidents occur in the last session – lost concentration. It is very difficult to ride at or near your limit all day, which brings us to your body.
Make sure you take in enough fluids during the day. Dehydration is the biggest cause for losing concentration. A coffee or two is OK but do not drink a lot of coffee especially if your normal daily routine does not include them.
Be careful about what you eat and when. Have small snacks during the day rather than having a big lunch. You can feel drowsy an hour or so after a big lunch. Bananas and muesli bars work well for me.
The fitter you are the better you will ride especially in the second half of the day. One of the things that have changed dramatically in GP racing is the overall fitness level of all riders. They understand the importance of being able to ride the last lap as well as the first.
At most track days you will require specific riding apparel. You must have full leathers either one piece or joined together two piece. They must be in good condition – they can have “been down the road” before but must be properly repaired.
Your leather boots and gloves must overlap the leathers so there are no gaps.
As the speeds are higher you might have a look at how good a crash helmet you have. At 200kph your helmet will either try to take your head off or flatten up against your face. Cheaper helmets also tend to be noisier. I believe a good quality “fibreglass” helmets give you the best protection.
Remember that your insurance is not going to help you if you crash so make sure you ride within your
If you plan to do a lot of track days (easy to become addicted) then look at buying a track bike. There are two main sources. Either buy a race or track bike already setup or look at a wrecker for a newish sports bike that only has superficial damage.
You could need to drop your tyre pressures around 4 to 10 PSI depending on the starting point. This is because the tyre temperatures are considerably higher at the track compared to road riding – the extra heat generates pressure. Consult a tyre specialist to confirm exactly what you should use.