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Old 02-17-2011, 06:02 PM   #1
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What to expect on your first Race weekend/ Day

Seeing the inquires and slightly remembering being a newb myself...screwing almost everything up, I figured it a good idea to put a thread up by Veterans for the rookies on what to expect and what to bring/ not bring.

FRIDAY NIGHT:

Arrive Friday night if you wish. Gates open at 5 I believe and if you have a camp spot reserved, you can use it. If not, you can still camp around the track, next to your pits. Generators are appreciated if they're off by around 10PM.

- Unload your bike and setup your pit space if you have the time/ light. If it's too late, don't bother...you'll just piss people off.

- If coming back to the pits later then 10PM, try to not make alot of noise.

- After setting your pit up, be sure to strap down your canopy. Do this EVERY NIGHT and WHEN THE WIND COMES UP. People use old tires, water buckets, generators, etc. DO NOT USE YOUR FUEL JUGS. that's just stupid.

SATURDAY MORNING:

- wakeup, BRUSH YOUR TEETH, and go to registration. Registration will be in the center building at Buttonwillow and Thunderhill and at the end of the garages closest to the bleachers at Infineon.

- After registration, take your bike to tech. Remember to remove your belly pan and bring all your gear. It helps to have someone follow you with gear if you can. Remember, bikes are not to be started until after 8AM. You only need to bring ALL YOUR GEAR at the first race of the year.

- Upon returning to your pits, put your bike on stands and if possible, put tire warmers on the bike. Depending on which practice group you are, I'd give a good hour of warm-up on the warmers before the first session. Each session on Saturday is 15 minutes. Do not forget to start your generator.

-Put your belly pan on

- Before starting your generator, check your tire pressures (cold). All of our tire vendors will give you COLD tire pressures to set.

- Check your gas and fill accordingly

- PUT YOUR TRANSPONDER ON BIKE

- Gather your gear together and if you wish, stretch out.

- About 1 practice group before yours, start your bike and begin to warm it up. Check your tire pressures once more to be sure they're ok. Also check the tire warmers to be sure they're working. Riders have been known to have one warmer fail and not know. I always put one ungloved hand on my tires before going out to know if they're warm or not. IF YOUR TIRE WARMERS ARE NOT WORKING: don't panic. Just know you've got to warm up your tires manually.

- Check your bike over once more:
-Bars tight
-Rear Axle tight/ wired
-Front axle tight/ wired
-Front brake bolts tight/ wired
-OIL PLUG TIGHT AND WIRED
-brake levers pumped up and tight
-seat on tight
-no fluids dripping
-bodywork attached tight
-shift lever bolts tight
-belly pan on
-triple Tree Pinch Bolts (this one will save you one day, trust me)

These are just some of the basic checks I try to do. Why? Cause at some point, I've left that stuff loose (Minus the drain plug...I've never done that).

- When you ride away from the pits, squeeze your front brake lever and rear foot pedal to make sure they're pumped up. I cannot tell you how many times this has saved me.

- Breathe. We're all amateurs and there's no reason to get stressed on the first practice of the weekend.

BEFORE ENTERING THE TRACK:

- Think about what you're going to do for the first few turns. Have that image in your head...easy, slow warm-up.

-If you have a problem on track, move off the racing line and hold your hand up. Exit the track on that lap.


SATURDAY RACES:

- Go to registration and get grid position. Alot of guys put a piece of Duct tape on their tank with their row and number and then a position by using 3 "o's" and 1 "x" in a line
- Take tires off and to tire guys if you have time
- Fuel Bike
- Check bolts/ bike over again
- Put tires back on
- Wire bike axles/ brake calipers
- Pump up brake levers (both)
- Check tire pressures
- Put tire warmers on
- RELAX; think about the start and what you're going to do in your first few turns. Play this over and over and over.
- Check your tires and warmers. Check your pressures once more before going out to race.
- After the race, you can go to registration and then tech. That makes Sunday alot less complicated.

SUNDAY MORNING:

- Arrive early (I'm a total hypocrite)
- Go to registration , if you did not the night before.
- Take belly pan off bike and go to tech. Remember to bring just your helmet and whip creme.
- Return to pits, put tire warmers on. CHECK GENERATOR GAS.
- Put your belly pan back on
- check tire pressures
- Check fuel
- Turn on tire warmers/ generator when needed
- begin to loosen up/ stretch out for morning warm-up
- check bike over for mechanical issues
- Pump up/ check brake levers
- begin to warm-up bike one session previous to your session
- RELAX when you hit the grid. Use this morning warm-up to get up to speed, but don't go nutz. Pull off early if you want. I use about 1/2 of morning practice. Always have.
- Put bike back on warmers, with warmers off, if the tires will be the ones you'll be racing on. If not, change tires.
- Put tires back on bike, wire both axles and front calipers
- Pump up brake lever
- Check fuel
- Mental check triple tree bolts
- Put tire warmers back on
- Check tire pressure
- Start warmers 45 minutes or so before your race. Don't forget to make sure there's enough gas in the generator.
- Check to see that tire is getting warm every 15 minutes or so
- Take a bathroom break
- Check your bike once more. CHECK YOUR THROTTLE RETURN AND ACTION


KICK ASS!

That's a pretty summarized list. I left out some of the stuff I do and alot of the stuff Siggy does (like these basketball high jump things saying "whooosh bitches" each time...and then whispering to himself "who's tall....you're tall! who's tall...you're tall") but to each's own.

Hopefully this clears the confusion from what to expect race day. LISTEN TO THE ANNOUNCEMENTS. If you have any questions, introduce yourself and ask a VETERAN well known racer if you can. Top 10 plates and class leaders usually have an idea how things work. You can always ask a tech guy/ girl too...almost all of them race and some are class champions as well. I say ask a veteran so that you know the quality of the answer you're getting...that's not to say others don't know, they do...but you'll have no idea if you got a good answer or not!

IF all else fails, find a rider rep and talk to them.

Nothing is more addictive and nothing is more confusing than your first race day! Good luck guys and girls! It's gonna rule...being part of the club is a life experience that few of your friends and coworkers will ever get to experience or fully comprehend!
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
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Good run down Berto! Nice of you to do too. I'd add a sprinkling of staying well hydrated, and use of the buddy system. There were multiple occasions last season that I would have missed one or more races if it hadn't been for the help of friends.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:42 PM   #3
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I nominate for uber-sticky thread
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Old 02-17-2011, 10:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hitman5532 View Post
I nominate for uber-sticky thread
i second that!

where was this last year for me although it is still a really good checklist for me or anyone for that matter. thanks
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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Trust me....8 years and I STILL use that mental list. Ask Nakishima what happens when I don't....
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:25 PM   #6
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Such good info. Plus, I don't know how many times I've seen someone show up at the racetrack with their racebike....then realize they left the bike key at home.
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:29 PM   #7
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Such good info. Plus, I don't know how many times I've seen someone show up at the racetrack with their racebike....then realize they left the bike key at home.
seen this happen. personally I forgot my leathers at home for one trackday luckily it was infineon and I live 40min away.

I actually have a physical checklist now when packing the car for a race/trackday helps a lot.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:00 AM   #8
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:38 AM   #9
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I once couldn't find my street bike key for a month. I show up to the next race (thill two months in a row), pit in the same spot and while unpacking feel my foot hit something on the ground. Son of a bitch it was my street bike's key.

I guess I do things a little backward

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerox View Post
Such good info. Plus, I don't know how many times I've seen someone show up at the racetrack with their racebike....then realize they left the bike key at home.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hagata View Post
seen this happen. personally I forgot my leathers at home for one trackday luckily it was infineon and I live 40min away.

I actually have a physical checklist now when packing the car for a race/trackday helps a lot.
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RIP Kelly Ruiz (7/21/81-10/14/07) Kari Prager (10/21/47-11/14/10)

"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge I see all kinds of things you can't see from the center." Kurt Vonnegut

"If I'm a danger to myself, just think of what i can do to YOU!" - Otep Shamaya

--In order to finish the race in first, you must first finish--
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by hitman5532 View Post
I once couldn't find my street bike key for a month. I show up to the next race (thill two months in a row), pit in the same spot and while unpacking feel my foot hit something on the ground. Son of a bitch it was my street bike's key.
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Old 02-18-2011, 04:35 AM   #11
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Very nice write up!

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Old 02-18-2011, 08:11 AM   #12
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Berto that is a pretty cool write up! New racers should really read that!
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:09 AM   #13
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I know
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RIP Kelly Ruiz (7/21/81-10/14/07) Kari Prager (10/21/47-11/14/10)

"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge I see all kinds of things you can't see from the center." Kurt Vonnegut

"If I'm a danger to myself, just think of what i can do to YOU!" - Otep Shamaya

--In order to finish the race in first, you must first finish--
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:22 AM   #14
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Some great info Berto. You're so kind to the new racers.

But am I the only one that read the details?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holeshot View Post
- Go to registration and get grid position. Alot of guys put a piece of Duct tape on their tank with their row and number and then a position by using 3 "o's" and 1 "x" in a line
Duct Tape, save your paint and use a grease pencil or painters tape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Holeshot View Post
- Take belly pan off bike and go to tech. Remember to bring just your helmet and whip creme.
And I am not sure I want the answer to this... What the hell are you using whip creme for at tech?
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Old 02-18-2011, 09:23 AM   #15
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Great writeup Berto. Thanks.

I have a punchlist I print out before every trackday or race. I don't check something off until it is actually loaded on the truck.

Things I have forgotten:

Leathers.
Helmet
Keys
Gas
windscreen
clothing and motel supplies on overnight stays
spare knee pucks
clean rags
correct axle wrench
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