Track day riding - when it RAINS...?

Discussion in 'Trackdays' started by dmc12, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. dmc12

    dmc12 New Member

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    I went up for an evening session at Snetterton last night. Lovely sunny day, all the day group chaps had a marvellous time.

    But then at 4.30pm, massive rain storm for half an hour. Track gets 30 mins to dry before first evening group goes out at 5.30pm.

    Some sections look OK, maybe. Some have standing water. All are greasy AF. BTCC cars have been whizzing round all weekend laying down rubber.

    Coming out of the first hairpin, easy throttle, 3rd gear. MASSIVE FISHTAILING wheelspin. Jesus.

    Ride round afterwards like a granny, never been happier to see the chequered flag.

    Next session, seems to be a bit dryer now, but conditions different not just corner to corner but one foot left or right on any given bit of track.

    Come out of the final left hander onto the pit straight, very easy throttle, 2nd gear. MASSIVE HIGHSIDEY kick throws me out of the seat. I think I'm off, but somehow I stay on. Come back in at earliest opportunity and check tyre pressures (fine).

    Then it rains again, so I don't bother with the session after that. Final session, get 2 laps in between the obligatory red flags.

    Two riders were going down in each session, in each group.

    So here's the question - who rides when it rains on a track day? Is there anything to actually gain? The whole experience is terrifying, and you can never accelerate, brake or corner hard enough to get any heat into the tyres - so not only are you on cold tyres but you're also on a slippery AF surface which will give you hardly any warning before mashing you and your bike up.

    I wanted to practice some other basic technique but it's hard when you end up (a) stiffening up massively and (b) using your eyes to scan the track surface in front of you for clues about grip level rather than correctly looking to apex/exit as you should.

    Going to Oulton Park next Wednesday. Showers predicted all week. Hmm!!

    (In the meantime, look at this lovely red/black RR4 next to my RR6)
     

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  2. Spygoat

    Spygoat Active Member

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    In my old age, I have opted out of wet sessions. I am not a pro racer or a racer wanna-be. if it isn't fun/safe, I am not doing it. When I am working a track day weekend and it rains, we usually advise everyone to take it easy and advise rain tires. However, inevitably, you get the hot-shot who doesn't understand how traction works and they throw their bike down the road.
     
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  3. TheMickster

    TheMickster Active Member

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    I tend to skip any wet sessions, as I tend to ride to trackdays so I don't have proper wets on spare wheels, plus it's no where near as much fun. plus it rain enough here anyway so you can practice on the road if you like riding in the wet :).

    If you were a racer it would be worth going out for the practice.

    I think when its patchy wet bits and greasy its worse than full on rain.

    I'm at Donington on Tuesday and it looks like it might be chucking it down :(.
     
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  4. nigelrb

    nigelrb Senior Member

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    Plenty of experience to be gained for those who race, but for those who use track days for fun, there is no fun in riding cautiously around a circuit wondering if you're going to lose it, or worse still, be taken out by someone else.
     
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  5. tuktuk

    tuktuk Senior Member

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    Unless you need the experiance for racing then it's not worth the risk for me.
     
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  6. zxrob

    zxrob Member

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    Depends what you are riding
    If I was on my road bike with standard road tyres, pissing it down, nope, wouldn't bother
    I have a dedicated track bike with spare wets on wheels so yes I would most definitely be out, riding in the rain hones in your skills, you will be amazed at what you can achieve

    Rob
     
  7. roboticus

    roboticus Active Member

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    went Oulton 2day, pissed down most of day, 5 laps I did and one of them where chugging round because like a knob I forgot put petrol in, no wets so easy choice for me, all I can say is a few went down in every group, one within 30 sec of them all going out, good laugh as always tho
     
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  8. Ice Doc

    Ice Doc New Member

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    I’m praying for dry weather for Brands Hatch on Thursday otherwise I can’t imagine doing 5 laps.
     
  9. nigelrb

    nigelrb Senior Member

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    Which bike are you taking?
     
  10. Ice Doc

    Ice Doc New Member

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    The only one I currently have - my 2017 blade (now that much lighter as I've removed the rear footrests and plugged the holes with some car trim plastic clips - thanks to a suggestion from your good self nigelrb!).
     
  11. roboticus

    roboticus Active Member

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    yeah a bit gutted mate, still a good day, i'll try again next week, hopefully weather's with u,
     
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  12. dmc12

    dmc12 New Member

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    Oulton Park today.

    Absolute ice rink pissfest.

    B49EC22B-83A6-4497-89A7-1DCE855E9377.jpeg
     
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  13. Ice Doc

    Ice Doc New Member

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    Typical unpredictable British summer weather. I'm gutted for you @dmc12 . I'm assuming they let you wear waterproofs over your leathers - looks like it from the photo.. There are some very weird waterproof "slick" over race suits for sale out there that I'd imagine (!) would look right at home on a dominatrix..
    Hope the weather improves soon and the track dries out quickly. I'm hoping for better weather tomorrow at Brands Hatch.
     
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  14. Spygoat

    Spygoat Active Member

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    Hard luck, mate.

    I notice your lights are exposed and mirrors are attached. In the US, they make you either remove the mirrors or fold them in, tape over all the lights and remove your number plate.
     
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  15. Ice Doc

    Ice Doc New Member

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    I just have images running through my head of parking my bike in a group of similar blades, removing the number plate and then having the embarrassment of seeing which bike my key worked in when I came back to find my bike.. The guidance I've seen for Brands Hatch on their website is that mirrors should be folded in or removed if possible. No mention of covering over lights or removing number plates. I guess every track has their own rules..
     
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  16. Spygoat

    Spygoat Active Member

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    http://nyst.com/faq/

    Scroll down a bit and you'll see what we do for a track day weekend.
     
  17. dmc12

    dmc12 New Member

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    That photo was from the sighting laps when I hadn’t had a chance to whip the mirrors off. (They’re off now). Not obligatory but preferable. Lights and plates aren’t a problem at all over here.

    And yes - I’ve gone full waterproofs now but boots aren’t, so I’ve got a nice puddle around each of my toes.
     
  18. Ice Doc

    Ice Doc New Member

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    Looks like heavy rain for you for the next hour, then possibly some brighter stuff heading your way - so hopefully it'll dry up for you soon!
     
  19. dmc12

    dmc12 New Member

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    Well it cleared up *a bit* in the afternoon, but not enough to stop me spinning the back up at 110mph over the brow on the approach to Lodge :eek:

    Still, survived the day in one piece - primary goal achieved, especially not being on wets like everyone else in the group.

    52A5D1E4-9DE8-4DD7-9DF8-EC8E8EF4756D.jpeg
     
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