Well, guys I finally did it. I finally, got around to completing my 1st trackday. Yesterday (June 5th) I went to Willow Springs (Big track) Raceway, and had a freakin' blast!
I went up with my dad, and three friends, two of which race in the WSMC expert middleweight classes. One of the guys is the current points leader and was sort of my tour guide for the day. He had told me that if I could get a lap time of 1:55 or better, on my 1st trackday, that was pretty respectable; well, by the 3rd session I had started to get lap times of 1:54 and 1:53 so I was pretty stoked
Trackdaz setup the event, and I must say they do a pretty darn good job. For those that have never done a trackday, and can't decide between a school or a trackday, I recommend saving the money and doing just a trackday since there will be guys there that are glad to help you learn a few tips. I think the schools are a waste, unless you are really trying to improve on a particular area of your track riding skills because unless you know what you are doing wrong and have started to get fairly consistent lap times, you aren't going to benefit from a track school.
Anyway, the Trackdaz event was setup by the Ducati of San Diego owner's club and for $200, I got to ride all day on the track, eat a great barbeque lunch catered by "Dave's Famous Barbeque" and I got all of the snacks and refreshments needed throughout the day, as well as some free t-shirts and hats. The day was broken up into the street and race classes, so there were only two groups all day. Surprisingly, there wasn't just Ducati's out there: I saw a '06 R6, R1 LE, '04 ZX-10R and '06 ZX-10R (used by a Trackday instructor), '04 600RR, Aprilia RSV, and some old Triumph. Supposedly, the current WSMC club champion was riding the '04 ZX-10R bike that day.
Overall Impression: Well, I must say that track riding is an exhausting experience. I felt like I was learning how to ride all over again on the first few laps and that mentally fatigued me early on, but I started to pick up the pace and pass a few people as the laps increased. The 10R was great on the track, although I have recently decided that I do need to get the 16t sprocket for better corner exits. I was using the stock D218's and I must say they weren't great, but were pretty good once they heated up (I ran 30/30 psi)...Since Willow Springs only has 3 left hand turns, my right side took most of the abuse
I love Willow because of all the elevation changes, and turn 8 and 9 are a blast at 110+mph. I definitely wasn't pushing too hard since it was my 1st trackday, and I didn't have the greatest tires on the bike. Also, I couldn't afford to wreck my 10R since that's my only bike at the moment. Thank God, the greatest feeling was being able to come home at the end of the day and talk about the experience. Only two people crashed yesterday. One was the owner of the Ducati club and he lowsided his 749R during the first session of the day, although thankfully, he was ok and was joking about it during lunch. Unfortunately, the other person to crash for the day did so towards the end of the day on Turn 3 and had to be taken to the hospital. Speaking of turns, I had a little slide on turn 3 (uphill) that kinda freaked me out, and I found that turn to be one of the most difficult on the track to go fast on.
In any case, I am now hooked on trackdays and I am thinking of buying an '06 gixxer 600 or '06 zx6r for the track since I feel I will have more fun and learn a lot quicker on a 600 than on a liter bike at the track. Sorry, but before you ask, I don't have any pictures of me riding since the guy that was taking pictures of people that day somehow missed me
I do have a few pics that I might post up later of the event though. Maybe next time, I'll just pay the $80 for the DVD so I'm guaranteed some footage of me
Whaddya know, I found 3 pics of me after CaliPhotography just updated their website...these pics are from turn 4 during the 1st or 2nd session (that Monster looked pretty sick)