RVF Honda - Manual
The startline at Donington Park, on a hot and dry English summer's day.
It's the last race of the toughest Formula 1 season you've ever been
through. All year long you've been mixing it with the best, tucked under
the screen on 175mph straights, banging fairings on flat-out sweepers,
diving into hairpin bends with the front tire squealing... You can't
remember a time when the racing was as hard than this.
And now, it's come right down to the wire at Donington. Any one of a dozen
guys could take the title - including you. Right now though, warming up
your Honda RC30 on the grid, things don't look too rosy. You're riding the
best machine, 750cc's of finely-honed race technology, but practice hasn't
gone well. Your best time wasn't good enough to put you on the front row.
You're going to have to ride the wheels off your bike just to stay alive.
Winning the race as well is going to take some kind of superhuman effort.
Are you good enough? No time for doubts now. There's the red light...inch
forward on the clutch... bring the revs up...green! Suddenly, a deafening,
blinding cloud of tiresmoke as the howling horde of death-or-glory riders
screams off the line, front wheels airborne, leathered knees and elbows
pushing, flailing, barging for those precious inches of space for a clear
run down to Redgate Corner.
Your Honda's high first gear drops you back in the pack; the Suzuki, Yamaha
and Kawasaki pilots all have the edge on the drag race down to Redgate. You
can claw it back during the race, of course, just so long as you can get
your act together well enough to exploit the RC30's roadhold advantage.
Into Redgate, as deceptive and dangerous as ever, leaving the braking as
late as you dare and moving over early to the inside. No way is this the
'right' line for a right hand turn, but nobody goes for a classic apex
here. Much better to take the slow line, round the inside. That way, nobody
on the classic racing line can get past. Sneaky? Maybe. But, anything goes
at this level. If you can't outspeed the other guy, then outsmart him. You
pick up a couple of places round Redgate, and one
more slow starter comes into your sights as you take an early chance,
running over the edge of the track and onto the rumble strips to take him
on the outside. You can rely on the Honda's supple suspension to soak up
what might otherwise be potentially lethal bumps without knocking you off
line. Yes! You've got him! He seemed pretty surprised to be passed there.
He'll be rattled now. One up to you...
Up through third, into fourth for the downhill right swoop into Craner
Curves. The distinctive flat bark of your RC30's V-4 motor sounds relaxed,
but the revcounter needle is moving quickly past the 11,000 rpm mark, Yank
the bars to tip the bike into the left sweep; it's a big effort, all the
weight is on the front wheel, and you have to be careful not to unload the
tires though too sudden weight transference. Short shift up into fifth,
running out to the right edge of the track before heaving the bike upright
once more for the approach to the Old Hairpin.
This is a downhill entry righthander with a well defined apex. A distant
twinge of pain brings back memories of an old injury as your right knee
gazes the curbing. The bike drifts out to the left edge of the track. You
move your weight back onto the seat and gas it to the max through the dip
on the bumpy uphill exit. Even an impeccably mannered machine like the RC30
squirms and corkscrews under this kind of provocation, but there's no time
to think about the consequences of a highside spill right now. Keep pouring
the power on, changing up through the close ration gear box, timing the
changes to keep the Honda well inside its powerband.
Shift your weight across to the left as the Honda moves over to the right
side of the track, so that you have a clear view of the long lefthander
under Starkeys Bridge. Accelerating hard in fifth, crank it over, switching
back to the left side of the track in readiness for the negative camber
McLeans righthander. Drop down two or three cogs and take an early apex
here, blocking the route for anyone thinking the route for anyone thinking
about sliding up on the inside. Through the rough patches on the exit -
hey, whose front wheel is that? You outgun the Suzuki rider snapping at
Feel the characteristic grating of the Honda engine as it climbs back into
its powerband once more for the flat out squirt up the rise to Coppice, a
notorious righthander whose entry point is completely hidden by the hill.
Tip the bike in blind, hoping you've remembered it right. The back tire
slides as the horsepower feeds in all the way around Coppice, spinning
still until the bike is completely upright on Starkey's, Donington's
Up into sixth gear, under the bridge. The front wheel lifts clear of the
desk as the track takes a sudden dip. A 200yeard marker board flashes by,
then the 100, then it's hard on the brakes for the slow chicane leading
into the new Melbourne loop. On the edge of traction, the tires scrabble
for grip, first on the left, then on the right. Up through the gears,
hitting fifth before cramming on the anchors again for the first gear
The front wheel aviates in first and second coming out of the hairpin. Move
over to the right side of the track. Third, fourth, back down to third,
then second for the final hairpin. This one's faster: careful on the exit,
then whack the throttle wide open. Third, fourth, fifth, sixth, max revs in
every gear, across the finish line.
You're moving up the field, slowly edging ever nearer to that elusive
Formula 1 world championship. But is disaster lurking around the next bend?
Have you fitted the right gearing? Will your tires last the course? What
about fuel? Is there enough? What about that weird engine noise you thought
you heard coming out of Coppice? More to the point: can you stand the
pressure? You're about to fact the ultimate test. Only the strong
Being a successful, winning Formula 1 race ace isn't just a matter of
having the fastest or sharpest handling bike. The best machine in the world
is useless in the hands of an amateur rider. Bravery is important, of
course, but a fully functioning brain is the most valuable tool in the
racer's make up. He must know the best line around every corner, the best
places to overtake, the best gearing set ups for each circuit, and the best
technique for getting his bike around a track that's awash with water or
You'll gain race savvy the hard way in your early track outings, and
there'll be plenty of painful lessons along the way too. But to ease the
pain a little, and to stop the other guys sniggering behind your back in
the paddock, here are a few pearls of racing wisdom. You'll probably ignore
them to start with most headstrong young lions do. But maybe you'll have
time to read this section when you're laid up in casualty with your leg in
FORMULA ONE RULES....................................................57
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Insert the Honda RVF disk and switch on the computer the program will Auto
If your computer has KickStart in ROM, insert the Honda RVF disk at the
Workbench prompt, the program will Auto load. If your computer does not
have KickStart in ROM, load Kickstart as normal, insert the Honda RVF disk
at the Workbench prompt and the program will auto load.
Boot your computer using a DOS disk. At the A:> prompt, insert the Honda
RVF disk and type RVF followed by Return; the program will then Auto load.
When the game has finished loading you will be presented with the program
credits screen. Hit fire on the joystick and you will be asked a question
from the World Motorcycle Federation entry examination; answers are found
in the Honda RVF handbook. After you have given the correct answer you will
move onto the rider selection list. Push up or down on the joystick to move
the green highlight over one of the empty name slots and then hit fire; a
vertical cursor will appear at the bottom of the screen. Type in the name
you wish to give your rider, if you make a mistake the backspace key can be
used to edit the name. When you are ready, hit Fire or Return and the
rider's name will be added to the list. As a new rider he will be issued
with a clubman racing license; after short pause you will go on to the main
THE MAIN MENU
Rider degrees History
This screen give the following cumulative details for the current rider:
Number of race starts
Number of race crashes
Number of race wins
Number of lap records held
This returns you to the rider selection list to choose or enter another
rider. To select an existing rider, push up or down on the joystick to move
the green highlight over the required name and then hit Fire twice. To
enter another rider follow the instructions in the Getting Started section.
WARNING! If you change the name of an existing rider all his details will
be lost. Don't go turning a Champion rider back into a Clubman!
Selecting this will give you the following options:
This screen gives details of where you stand in the current championship.
It shows your overall placing, what position you finished at in each round,
how many rounds you have entered and championship points accumulated.
Points awarded for first to seventh position are:15,10,6,5,3,2, and 1
ALL RIDERS TABLE
If several people are using the simulation at the same time, this screen
gives similar information to the championship table, but serves to reflect
how the performances of individuals compare against each other.
LAP RECORDS TABLE
This screen gives details of timings and lap record holders for all the
tracks in the current rider's class. Lap records are automatically saved to
disk along with championship details at the end of each race.
This option allows you to end an unfinished championship and start a new
one. It also clears the championship and All riders tables. However, the
lap records remain intact. If you select this option by mistake you can
rectify the situation by choosing the Load new details option from the same
menu. Do this before entering another race or the details will be lost
LOAD NEW DETAILS
This option allows you to reload rider, championship and lap record data
from disks. These details are automatically saved to disk after each race,
the RVF disk or any other disk you have placed in the drive. This is a
useful feature that means you can keep more than one championship running,
you may wish to keep a separate data disk for use with a particular group
of friends. If you use a data disk, make sure there is nothing important on
it as the RVF data would probably corrupt it! Ideally, use a blank
START SEASON/NEXT ROUND
This option allows you to practice or take part in a championship race more
on this later!
SPEEDO IN MPH/KMH
Toggles the calibration on the RVF's speedometer.
50 hz/60 hz Scan rate
Defaults are set at 50 hz for Europe and 60 hz for USA. However, some
monitors can handle both rates so a toggle is provided.
NO. OF LAPS PER RACE
Hitting Fire will cycle the number of laps needed to complete a race.
This option gives you the opportunity to take your Honda for a
non-championship test race. You are able to race on any track from your
level or the level above you. Be warned, if you select the level above you
it is likely you will be outclassed. Pay your dues by entering the
championship! Always practice before entering a race.
DATA LINK (SOME VERSIONS ONLY)
If Datalink is implemented on your version of RVF it will appear as the
last item on the main menu. Datalink allows two people to race against each
other on the same track using two similar computers, connected by a special
HOW TO USE DATALINK
Both computers should be turned off and then joined using the datalink
cable. Load RVF into one computer making sure the other is still switched
off. Once RVF has loaded, for Datalink purposes this computer will be the
master computer, the only one able to make selections from within the
Datalink menu. Now turn
on the and boot the other computer using the RVF disk, this computer will
now be the slave unit, not capable of making selections from within the
Datalink menu. Now select Datalink from the main menu on both computers,
the master unit will now enable you to select which track you will race on.
Pressing the Escape key during a race will exit Datalink Mode.
CONTROLLING THE MOTORBIKE
The Honda RVF can be controlled from the joystick as follows:
Pushing forward on the joystick opens the throttle, the longer you keep the
stick forward the harder the RVF will accelerate. The optimum time to
change up a gear is when the rev needle enters the orange section changing
up earlier will produce a more sluggish response as the bike will not be
within its powerband. However, read the section on professional riding as
regard s'short shifting as this may prove to be desireable on certain
To change up a gear press Fire while the joystick is pushed forward; to
change down a gear press Fire while the joystick is pulled back. Changing
gear at the right time is crucial for a good racing performance. If you
find that your motobike is accelerating poorly you are probably in a higher
gear then is needed; change down until the motorbike responds properly.
Pulling backward on the joystick applies the brakes; the longer you keep
the stick back the more the RVF will slow down, if you need to brake very
rapidly then change down at the same time.
Moving the joystick to the left or right leans the motorbike to the left or
right. The longer the joystick is held over the harder the motorbike will
corner. If you allow the joystick to return to the centre position while
cornering, your rider will return to the upright position.
There are three progressively harder levels to the simulation.
They vary in difficulty of track and standard of opposition and are as
To be promoted to National Level, you must compete in, and win, the Clubman
championship. As a holder of this license you will be eligible to race on
the following Club level circuits:
Tetbury, Harrogate, Ladbroke Hall, Chiswick, Nutford Place, Manton Park,
Waddesdon Manor and Donington Park.
To be promoted to National level you must compete in, and win, the Clubman
As a holder of this license you will be eligible to race on the following
Mallory Park, Cadwell Park, Knockhill, Scarborough, Donington Park, Oulton
Park, Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
To be promoted to International level you must compete in, and win, the
As a holder of this license you will be eligible to race on the following
Salzburgring, Imola, Assen, Paul Richard, Donington Park, Laguna Seca,
Hockenheim and Suzuka.
The ultimate goal in this class is to gain first place in the international
championship, thus winning the status of World Champion. Once you become
World Champion you are entitled to enter championship races on any class of
circuit so, if you wish, you can return to the Clubman or National tracks
and compete in a championship. This time however your opponents will be
International class riders.
If you crash or drop your bike during a race or practice session it is
likely to cause damage to the motorcycle. This may range from broken
instrumentation to to the loss of a gear or impaired steering.
The pit area is represented by a series of large red and white markers set
back from the track, normally near the start line. If your RVF is damaged
during a race or practice, you can have it repaired by making a pit stop.
Ride your motorcycle in to the pit stop. Ride your motorcycle in to the pit
area and stop between the pit markers and the white edge of track lines.
When your rider's feet touch the track, the motorcycle is deemed to have
been repaired. Rev up, hit Fire and get back to the race as soon as
possible! Making a pit stop will often be a tactical decision. If the
damage is minor and you are near the end of a race, the time spent in
making a stop may not be worth while. If, however, you have sustained heavy
damage at the beginning of a long race, not stopping for repairs may slow
you down enough to lose a race and maybe even the championship.
PRACTICE LAPS AND GRID POSITIONING
Practice laps serve two main purposes. Firstly, they allow you to
familiarize yourself with the track without the hindrance of other riders
and race hazards. Over several practice sessions you can find out how fast
you can push the machine around a particularly tight corner. Secondly, the
practice laps determine your position on the starting grid when you enter a
race. If you equal or break the current lap record you will get pole
position. If not, the nearer you are to beating the record, the further up
the grid you will start. To exit a practice session press the Escape key on
your computer, you will then be informed of your grid position and be given
the option of racing or more practice. Note: it is not possible to set a
lap record during a practice session. It is good form to practice before
STARTING THE RACE
Firstly identify your motorcycle: your riding colour is red; the opponents
riding colours are green. Midway on the right hand side of the screen you
will see the starting lights for the race. When the red light goes out and
the green light comes on the race is underway. While you are waiting for
the green light you should repeatedly rev up the motorcycle (see How to
control the motorcycle), trying to keep the revs between eight to ten
thousand RPM. When the green light
appears, hit Fire to engage first gear. If your revs are not high enough
when you engage first gear you will accelerate slowly if your revs are too
high you will do a wheelie, losing valuable time while you gain control.
ON SCREEN INFORMATION
(followed by time in minutes, seconds and hundredths of seconds) Gives the
time taken for the last lap you completed.
Gives the number of the current lap.
Gives the approximate time delay between you and the rider behind you, this
time is normally updated when your rider looks over his shoulder during the
race, this usually happens when braking or during hard cornering.
Gives your current placing in the race.
Gives the lap record for the current track.
Gives the elapsed time for the current lap. This resets after every lap.
Gives you the race positions for other riders. This is extremely useful
when deciding on tactical racing during a championship. For instance, if
you are lying close to the front of the pack in a race you are able to
identify who is in front of you. If the riders in front have more
championship points than you, you may decide to take the extra risks
involved in trying to pass them. If, however, they are unlikely to affect
your overall position you may decide to race steadily and earn fewer
championship points, but retain your current standing.
Gives the best lap time you have achieved during the current race.
On most tracks there are countdown markers for the sharper corners, as you
begin to approach the bend you will see a group of three white placards,
nearer still a group of two, and just as you enter the corner a single
On rainy days water may collect in pools on the track. If you ride through
them the motorcycle will slow down slightly, losing you valuable time.
On many tracks you will find rough patches on the racing surface, at best
these will slow you down, at worst they may cause the motorcycle to slide
from underneath you.
During a race oil deposits may appear on the track, these will almost
certainly unseat the rider. You will be very lucky indeed to ride over them
and remain upright!
Bumping into other riders will cause you to slow down significantly. This
practice should be avoided!
REMOUNTING THE RVF
If your rider falls during a race then he will have to bump start the
motorcycle. He will do this automatically. However, the effort with which
the rider pushes the motorcycle can be increased by waggling or stiring the
QUITTING A RACE
Pressing the ESCAPE key during a race will end the race immediately. You
will be registered as not completing the race and if you were taking part
in a championship round no points will be awarded.
PAUSING THE PROGRAM
Pressing the SPACEBAR will pause and restart the program.
RVF saves data to disk after each race. If a disk is write protected or not
present then then screen border colour will change momentarily; the program
will then proceed as normal.
CORNERING & LINES
Though it takes a fair degree of courage, it's true that the safest place
to be at the first corner on a racetrack is in the lead. With nobody ahead
of you, there's not much chance of being brought down by falling riders.
It's not always possible to get to the corner first, unfortunately.
Especially if your bike has a high first gear, when its relative inability
to accelerate quickly from a standing start will allow other riders to beat
you to the bend. There is a classic line through a typical,
straighforeward, constant radius bend. This line is usually the shortest
route through the bend, achieved by riding deep into the bend before
turning in, aiming to clip the inside apex before opening the throttle for
maximum drive out of the corner and onto the straight. Try to hold as tight
an inside line as possible, within the constraints of getting plenty of
power down to the ground after the apex. That way, you'll always have a
spare few feet of tarmac into which you can drift if you wind you're
travelling a little too quickly. Left right or right left chicanes should
also be apexed. In some cases this might be achieveable simply by steering
a relatively straight course through the chicane complex. Usually, however,
the track designer makes things a little more difficult. It's often
necessary to flick the bike over onto its most extreme lean angles, very
quickly, first one way and then the other. Timing is all important here. A
little late or early on the first flick, and your line for the second part
of the chicane will be all wrong. Bad timing on the second flick will
almost certainly have you off the track surface, eating dirt in the runoff
On tighter corners and hairpins, it doesn't always pay to take the classic
racing line, ie going deep into the corner before turning in and clipping
the apex. On a busy racetrack, it's better to go in earlier and slower,
taking the tight inside line most of the way around the turn. If you don't,
and somebody else does, you may find yourself baulked and obliged to slow
down by such riders who have already taken up your piece of track. A subtle
variation on this ploy is to ride in the centre of the track. Should any
rider wish to overtake in this situation, he will either have to take the
risky outside line, which requires more speed and hence a greater angle of
lean, or he will have to attempt to sneak through on the inside. In either
case, you can move inside or outside as the occasion demands shutting the
door or forcing the would be overtaker off the track on the outside. It
might not be Marquis of Queensberry rules, but with a Formula 1
championship at stake, there are no rules. Adverse or off camber turns are
tricky, because the bike tends to be drawn towards the outside of the bend
by the slope of the surface. The best technique in such bends is to keep as
steady a throttle as possible. Dips in the middle of the bend can be made
into less of a problem by opening the throttle in the dip, extending the
suspension and thus giving your bike the extra ground clearance it needs.
For any type of bend, and especially for braking, reference points or
landmarks by the trackside can be particularly useful. They may be large
and obvious, like a purpose built marker board or small and insignificant,
like a stain on the track or a tire with a blob of paint on it.
Professional riders make careful mental notes of all such reference points,
using them extensively to determine when to change gear, apply the brakes,
or crank the bike into a turn. Ground clearance can be a problem for the
ten-tenths rider. Cranked right over, there's not much margin for error.
Neither is there much daylight between your bike's
footpegs/exhaust/bodywork and the track surface skimming underneath. An
unexpected bump can take up those last few millimetres of space, bringing
bike into contact with the road. Such bumps may be sufficiently severe to
bounce the bike clear of the deck, an undesirable situation to say the
least, since it's difficult to control a motorcycle that isn't in contact
with terra firma. The consequence could be the dreaded highside
accident (see late this section for explanation). On a smooth corner, it's
perfectly possible to ground the machine, or your knee, without having an
accident. In fact, kneesliding is an accepted part of modern motorcycle
racing. It acts as a useful yardstick of your angle of lean. Having said
that, excessive grounding out will scrub off valuable speed, and could
eventually develop into a highside scenario. Don't overdo it! tire slides
are also becoming commonplace in Formula 1 and Grand Prix racing. American
riders are particularly adept at the controlled rear wheel slide,
broadsliding the back end in a skillful display of machine control in order
to keep rear wheel rotational speed up and the engine in its powerband for
maximum drive out of curves. Obviously, this technique is not without
risks. The throttle must be kept open when the wheel steps out of line,
even though the natural reaction would be to shut the throttle at the onset
of a slide. In fact, such a course of action would almost certainly result
in the highside crash previously referred to. On closing the throttle the
excess power that was spinning the back tire disappears causing the tire to
find grip once more. This sudden grip wrenches the motorcycle violently
back, away from the direction of the slide. The rider is then pitched
unceremoniously over the high side of the bike. Only the very few highly
experienced riders can save highside situations, and even for them, success
is far from guaranteed.
The golden rule about overtaking is that the overtaker should always be in
control of the situation. The rider you're trying to pass may not be aware
of your presence or intentions all the better if he isn't so you must
always ride accordingly, expecting the unexpected, making allowances, and
giving yourself at least one option for escape should things go wrong. Not
everyone on the track is as good as you! By the same token, you shouldn't
worry too much about whether there's someone
on your tail trying to zap you. Just ride your own race; let the other guy
worry about how he's going to get past. Generally speaking, it's always
safest to overtake on the inside on bends. If the rider you're trying to
pass overdoes things in his own efforts to get around the curve, the
likelihood is that he'll slide away toward the outside of the track. Apart
from anything else, the inside route is shorter. Overtaking on the outside
should only really be attempted when there's no other option. You may find
yourself in a race with riders on bikes that are as fast as yours down the
straights. Maybe you chose the wrong gearing for that circuit. Everyone
makes mistakes! You certainly can't change gearing mid-race; there's not
enough time. The only way you can overtake bikes of equal tope speed
potential is by slipstreaming. Common in car racing for a long time,
slipstreaming is now becoming increasingly important in Formula 1 bike
racing, where many of the bikes do possess very similar top end
performance. The idea is to stay as close to the back tire of the guy in
front as seems humanly possible a matter of inches at speeds of up to
175mph. Nobody said slipstreaming was for wimps! If you can stay in that
position your bike will be using less power to go at the same speed as the
fellow you're slipstreaming. Why? Because his bike is using valuable
horsepower just to push a hugh weight of air out the way. You, meantime,
are sitting in the quiet zone kindly being created by your adversary, and
there's not a thing he can do about it (short of weaving across the track to
try and shake you off). All you have to do at the end of the straight is
use your extra power to zip past. This technique works even better if you
can time your run so as to move into, and then straight out of, the quiet
zone for a slingshot effect that will catapult you past your enemy with an
even greater advantage. One thing to remember about slipstreaming. It's no
good passing someone halfway down a straight, because if you can zap him,
he might well be able to return the compliment at the end of the straight
if he's a good rider. To stop him, always leave your overtaking manoeuvre
till the last possible moment.
It's a common misconception that the fastest bike will always win the race.
In fact, a skillful rider on an inferior bike can win through, against the
odds, by being less slow than the opposition through critical corners. To
achieve this condition of being less slow ace riders try to optimize the
braking phase of their performance. The trick to demon braking is not
necessarily leaving it to the last minute the so called last of the late
brakers technique. You might be able to overtake a rider going into the
corner by using this method, and you could even hold a temporary advantage
by barrelling through the turn on the tight, non classic line. But your lap
times are more likely to be improved by adopting a different technique,
whereby you might make more of an effort to smooth out your corner entry
speeds by getting your braking sorted out before turning the bars. Exiting
on a smooth flow of power, with the bike's suspension settled in advance of
the corner, will be easier on you and the bike, and help build a good
rhythm around the course. Don't be frightened to use your Honda's brakes.
They're incredibly powerful. You'd be amazed at what you can get away with
if you're really determined to be the last of the late breakers. Creative
braking has won championships before now. It will help to win them again.
GEARCHANGING AND GEAR RATIOS
The purpose of a gearbox on a racing motorcycle or any other motorcycle is
to allow the rider to keep his engine spinning in its optimum powerband.
When changing up, the gaps between your gearbox ratios should be constantly
borne in mind. You should always know the optimum point on the rev-counter
for gearchanges, in order to drop the engine back into the meatiest part of
Gear ratio selection is important. Different gearboxes can be fitted to
your Formula 1 Honda, as can alternative front and real final drive chain
sprockets. Independently or together, these modifications have pronounced
effects on the bike's acceleration and top speed. Gearing can be used to
set the bike up for the widely varying conditions found at the world's
major racetracks. Each track is different. Some are twisty, with few long
straights and plenty of tight corners or chicanes, demanding short gearing
for quick acceleration; others feature long straights, requiring the
fitment of tall gearing to give your bike the high top speed it will need
to keep up with the opposition available, and make the rider's job a whole
lot easier in poor conditions, but they do not permit anything like the
same angle of lean and hence, nothing like the same speed through a bend as
is made possible by racing slicks in the dry. Moderation at the throttle is
essential in such situations, both in terms of the speeds it is prudent to
attempt and in terms of the rates of acceleration attempted when exiting
curves. Braking in the wet is an even more delicate art, since the chances
of losing the heavily braked front wheel are greatly increased when there
is a sheet of water building up between the all too narrow contact patch of
your tire and the surface of the track. There may be additional cause for
concern on some tracks which may have been used for other, non racing
activities such as commercial tire testing. These tests inevitably coat the
tarmac with an invisible film of rubber granules and other debris that
cause the track to take on the characteristics of a skating rink when rain
hits it. Again, your only hope lies in moderation. Never brake violently in
wet or slippery conditions. Try to straightline bends as much as possible,
in order to minimize your angle of lean. Brake well in advance of bends,
finishing your braking phase well before tipping the bike in so that the
machine is already nicely balanced for carving through the turn. Avoid the
kind of jerky inputs at the throttle or brake controls which upset this
We hope you've learned something from these simple maxims of life in the
fast lane. Just remember: use your brain as hard as your throttle hand, and
you could end up occupying that coveted number one spot on the Formula 1
Set in a spectacularly wooded and green valley, overlooked by rocky
highlands, Salzburgring is one of the world's most dramatic circuits. Race
spectators line the steep valley sides to create a unique ambience, while
the circuit itself is extremely fast and dangerous. Most of the bends are
flatout affairs, others are lacking in adequate runoff areas. If you want
to win here, you can't afford to compromise. The first righthander on the
main straight is actually little more than a gradual direction change,
negotiated at peak revs in sixth gear, leading into a flat out left kink.
Then it's hard on the brakes for the large radius banked hairpin, exiting
in second gear and changing up whilst still cranked over. The next section
is a long uphill left hander, flanked on the left by one of the valley
sides. Top riders can hold the throttle hard against the stop in sixth
through here, and through the subsequent slight right, before easing off
for the final lefthander of this series. Down two or three gears (depending
on the gearing selected) as you swoop downhill for the testing right at the
end of the Salzburg ring's back section. Keep a tight inside line, drifting
out left as the bend opens out. Still on a down gradient, come down one or
two more gears for the slower right over the bridge. There may be time to
change up one on the exit, before slowing again for the left right chicane.
The righthand element is more severe than the left, so care and restraint
are needed here to avoid building up too much speed through the chicane.
The last lefthander onto the start finish straight is also potentially
dangerous rear wheel slides being the order of the day for any rider
opening the throttle too early before the exit.
Salzburgring, Austria Circuit length: 2.63 miles/4.24 km; World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:10:64.
Special bike requirements: high gearing to take full advantage of the
track's speed. Tips: be patient through the chicane; usually, the second
half is slower than the first.
IMOLA (NEAR BOLOGNA, ITALY)
Imola's long standing reputation as a classic racing circuit has been
diluted in more recent times by the need to tame some of the faster and
more dangerous sections through the addition of new chicanes and runoff
zones. As a result, the course has lost much of its flow, especially in the
second half, which is heavily punctuated by chicanes. Nevertheless, it
remains a spectacular test of both bike and rider. Unusually, the track
runs anti-clockwise. First left hander after the start is the notoriously
quick double apex Tamburello. On a flying lap, you should be in sixth gear
soon after the exit, ready for the long drag down to the Tosa lefthand
hairpin, which (following track safety improvements) is now preceded by a
slowing down right left chicane. Negotiate Tosa in second gear, waiting
until you can see the uphill exit before cracking open the throttle for the
straight leading to the 90 degree Piratella left hander. Accelerate down
the hill, bearing left for heavy braking into the slow right left chicane
before the late apex righthander Acque Minerale. Uphill through the gears,
through a medium quick left kink to another slow right left chicane, then a
short burst up to a left right then downhill through a right kink to a
ninety left. That's followed by a more open left, leading on to a faster
right-left chicane, then another short squirt to the left-right which puts
you back onto the start-finish straight.
Imola, Italy Circuit length:3.14 miles/5.05km; World Motorcycle Federation
lap record:1:53:36. Special bike requirements: though the circuit diagram
makes Imola look fast and open, the proliferation of chicanes brakes up the
rider's rhythm. Jaking up the rear end of the bike or fitting a smaller
front wheel would speed up the steering and the bike's ability to make
quick direction changes. Tips: road surface quality is variable in the
extreme, as a result of the many track repairs and changes that have been
made over the years. The track is treacherous in wet weather.
CIRCUIT VAN DRENTHE (ASSEN, HOLLAND)
Another long established track on the European circuit, Assen has fallen
behind the times a little in that its track width is barely adequate even
for motorcycles to be able to pass one another in safety. Nonetheless, over
100,000 avid race fans regularly crowd its terraces to watch their two
wheeled heroes do battle. From the start line there's a right-left kink
running under a bridge, then it's down to second for the 90 degree
Haarbocht right-hander. Changing up to fourth for another left-hand kink in
the straight running down to another second gear ninety right, back up two
gears for the right-left-right section of swervery, then back down to
second for an increasing radius right. Heading back toward the pits and
startline, the track streams under a bridge before bearing right into the
entry of De Strubben, a very long lefthand hairpin. The next section is the
nearest thing to a main straight at Assen; in fact, there is work to be
done at the handlebars all the way down to the next sharp righthand corner,
which is the circuit's slowest. Another left-right kink takes you to a
tightening 100 degree left and then to two easier banked righthanders. Up
into third for the 45 degree right leading onto a short straight, which
ends in a long, fourth gear, double-apex left (Ramshoek) in front of a
grandstand. The spectators there can also watch your line through the
following right-left-right flip-flop chicane, which delivers you back onto
the main start-finish straight.
Assen, Holland Circuit length:3.81 miles/6.09km Wold Motorcycle
Federation lap record:2:06:61. Special bike requirements: Top speed is less
important at Assen than manoverability. Sixth gear may be used just once,
at the end of the pit straight so choose short gearing. Tips: prone to bad
(read wet) weather. Final chicane can be slippery even in good weather.
PAUL RICARD (MARSEILLES, SOUTHERN FRANCE)
Basking in the hot sun on the French Cote d'Azur, Paul Richard is the
ultimate holiday circuit for European motorcycle race fans. Its ultra-long,
ultra-fast Mistral straight tests machines to the limit, and demands high
gearing if you want to keep up with the pack. From the startline it's a
straight drag race through the gears to sixth, before snicking down two for
the left-right Berrerie esses. The exit onto the next short straight can be
bumby. Stay on the left hand side of the track for the best entry into the
slow right-left chicane. Heel the bike over right, then flick it hard left
and accelerate as soon as you see the corner opening up onto another,
shorter straight before the Ecole hairpin. Stay in a low gear, optimizing
your lean angle and using the whole of the track on the exit. Up through
the gears to Sainte-Beaume, a tight-entry increasing radius right- hander.
Stay tucked in to the inside so that you can pour on the power whilst
cranked over. Correct any drifting before the crucial left kink onto the
Mistral; an untidy line through this apex will affect the time it takes to
get down the straight. As the end of the Mistral approaches, pick out a
landmark for the start of your braking sequence. Drop down two gears for
the fast and challenging Signes right-hand sweeper. Notch back into fifth
for the short straight before braking and changing down for Beausset, a
long, low gear, double-apex loop. Back up to third, then slow down a little
for the right-left entry into a 90 degree left (L'Epingle). Short shift up
through the gears to keep the back tire bitting through the long
right-hand sweep into the Virage complex, a short left running up to the
final sharp right onto the start-finish straight. Accelerate hard across
Paul Ricard, France Circuit length:3.61 miles/5.81km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:48:27. Special bike requirements: high gearing for
speed on Mistral straight. Tips: optimize engine speed and gearing to start
of Mistral. optimize braking at end of Mistral by selecting later braking
DONINGTON PARK (DERBYSHIRE, ENGLAND)
Donington is a beautifully landscaped and historic circuit laid out on the
grassy contours of a private estate in the hear of England's Midlands. It
is a popular circuit with spectators and riders alike. Comprehensive track
resurfacing, allied to the provision of generous runoff areas, allows a
bold rider plenty of scope to go for it without worrying too much about the
consequences. The lap begins with a straight rush to Redgate, a wide but
awkwardly tightening righthander. Many top-grade riders have made
embarrassing mistakes here. Redgate opens out into the first element of the
Craner Curves, a right-left complex which tests a rider's ability to switch
direction whilst accelerating down a quite severe downhill gradient. An
apparently straightforward 110 degree right, the Old Hairpin, terminates
the Craner system. The apex is straightforward, but the mid-corner bumps
demand the rider's full attention. Accelerating up an incline to a fast
sweeping left past the old bridge, possibly the most challenging part of
the circuit, it pays to use the full width of the track on the right so as
to get a good straight run up to the approach of McLeans. This is a 90
degree right with an adverse camber and a prominent inside kerb, against
which it's all too easy to ground out your motorcycle (or, worse still, your
right foot). The front wheel can lift on the exit from McLeans, depending
on the gear selected. A short straight runs uphill to Coppice, along and
wide righthander that leads on to Starkey's Straight. Your speed down this
straight depends on your speed though Coppice. That depends on how
successfully you negotiate the blind entry to the curve, obscured as it is
by the gradient. Coppice is a
favourite spot for rear wheel slides. After the bridge on Starkeys
Straight, the track falls away suddenly, causing the bike's front wheel to
go light or to leave the deck altogether. Braking hard for the new
left-right chicane, bikes must be banked over to maximum lean on both sides
in the space of a second or so. Then it's a simple blast out to the slow
righthand hairpin on the new Melbourne loop before rejoining the start-
finish straight after a tricky twin-surface lefthand hairpin - another
potentially embarrassing Donington hazard. Donington Park, England Circuit
length:2.50 miles/4.02km World Motorcycle Federation lap record:1:39:74.
Special bike requirements: tires that will grip and last on the
super-abrasive track surface. Excellent brakes. Tips: Take inside line
round Redgate and McLeans. Take care on entry to Coppice.
LAGUNA SECA (NEAR MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA, USA)
Laguna Seca has only recently come into prominence as an international
racetrack, following major extensions of the circuit to make it comply with
FIM regulations. The new part of the circuit is superbly smooth and well
safeguarded by big runoff zones, but these new sections only serve to
highlight the bumpiness of the old sections. Despite its California
location, the weather at Laguna Seca is notoriously fickle, with a
surprising amount of mist and rain adding to the riders' problems. An
uphill start leads across a blind lefthand brow and into Turn One, the
first of the new bends. It's a simple lefthand hairpin, opening into a
short straight and a 90 degree right. As this leads into another, faster,
right (Turn Three), you can stay on the left side of the track. The next
straight is one of Laguna's faster sections, ending in an uphill
single-apex left which leads back onto the old circuit. The uphill gradient
continues under a bridge to Turn five, a narrowing 90 degree left with a
depression on the apex. Continuing still further uphill, the bike is still
pulling hard through a slight right at the top of the incline. Still
cranked over, it's time to hit the brakes hard for the infamous Corkscrew
left- right turn. After the first left, the track drops away vertiginously,
losing in the space of fifty yards much of the height gained in the
previous two thousand. The immediate right, equally precipitous, is made
more difficult yet by the track's extreme bumpiness. This uneven surface
carries on right the way round a longer down hill left, making the
subsequent right seem relatively easy. A quick charge along a short
straight, and you're into the final turn before the main start-finish
straight. A solid wall flanks the outside of this turn, and the quick
riders often get perilously close to it too. Wheelies on the exit are
almost unavoidable. Then its up through the gears again and across the
finish line, trying not to throttle off over the blind left - another quick
part of the track.
Laguna Seca, USA Circuit length:2.10 miles/3.51km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:34:64. Special bike requirements: set the bike up
to suit the worst rather than the best aspects of the track. A good stiff
chassis and well damped suspension are essential here. Tips: be prepared
for damp track conditions.
HOCKENHEIM (NEAR HEIDELBERG, WEST GERMANY)
Another fast, heavily wooded track in the Salzburgring tradition,
Hockenheim differs in that it is a stadium circuit. Five corners and a
chicane are visible to spectators sitting in the main grandstand on the
start-finish straight, but this section represents perhaps less than a
quarter of the full circuit length. Most of the track is actually hidden in
a forest; several changes in the leaderboard can take place among the
trees, before the riders reappear in the stadium complex. A mighty roar
then goes up from the crowd if their favourite is in the lead. After the
start, there's a not-quite-90 degree right leading onto a straight.
One-third of the way along this straight, the track becomes enveloped by
trees. The first Bremskurve is a fast left-right chicane approached by a
slowing righthander at the end of the straight. Exiting the chicane in
third gear, it's hard acceleration through the gears on a long, sweeping
right curve that can be treated as a straight. On the approach to the
Ostkurve, come down two or three gears on the brakes. This 160 degree
righthand bend is effectively a long hairpin, with a more or less constant
radius and a good top surface, so the bike should be at maximum lean all
the way round. Another straight leads to Bremskurve 2, practically a mirror
image of the first chicane, braking left off the straight before heeling
the bike right and then left on the exit. The last major straight takes you
back into the stadium, the crowds coming into view as you crank hard right
into the medium fast Onkokurve. A short squirt to the second gear left hand
Sachskurve hairpin, followed by a taxing right hand kink leading into the
Elfkurve/Opelkurve complex, an enormous double-apex right with a slower
second element. Acknowledge the cheers of the crowd as you use all the
track on the exit right in front of the main stand, before blasting through
the gears to begin another lap. Hockenheim, West Germany Circuit
length:4.22 miles/6.79km World Motorcycle Federation lap record:1:48:04.
Special bike requirements: because of the high oxygen output of the trees
in the dense forest section, bike may seize through running too weak a
mixture. Big carb jets will overcome this, but only at the expense of
over-richness in the stadium section which may cauae relatively poor
performance, here. Tips: the infield sections of the Hockenheim track are
used for independent tire testing. The residue from this activity coats the
road surface, making it exceptionally slippery when it rains. Use extra
care and the best weather tires.
Owned by the Honda Motor Company, Suzuka is a purpose-built track with an
interesting layout. It incorporates just about every type of bend, hairpin
and straight, and even crosses over itself on the back straight. After a
few early complaints about the shortage of runoff areas on some bends, the
Japanese authorities instigated a programme of track improvement which has
established Suzuka as arguably the finest race facility in the world.
Heading off clockwise from the start, the first test is a kind of widened
righthand hairpin. Clipping the first apex takes your bike to the outside
of the track, where you stay for a brief stretch before diving into the
second righthand element. Up two gears, then changing down one for the
first in a series of uphill lefts and rights. The second right puts you
onto a short straight before the entry to a fast and very long third gear
left sweeper. This terminates in a still-fast right kink, and another right
under the bridge, drifting wide to the outside of the track before cutting
across the apex of a right kink, on the approach under braking to a slow
uphill lefthand hairpin. Up through the gearbox, all the way along a long
gentle right which opens out into another Suzuka-style expanded haipin. The
lefthand entry bend is quite sharp, but a late apex will keep your bike on
the right line for the surprisingly bumpy, increasing radius Spoon
lefthander. Then it's hard on the gas for the back straight, running over
the bridge and into a fast fourth gear lefthander. Another shorter straight
brings the extremely tight right-left Casio Triangle chicane into view.
Through there, then shortshift up the box along the gentle but tricky
adverse camber downhill righthander that takes you back onto the
Suzuka, Japan Circuit length:3.64 miles/5.86km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:56:22. Special bike requirements: Everything has to
be special on your bike for this circuit! Tips: Finding the ultimate line
around Suzuka is very difficult. Common accident spots are at the chicane,
and on the downhill charge from the chicane to the finish line. The weather
can be cold and wet too.
MALLORY (KIRBY, MALLORY, LEICESTERSHIRE, ENGLAND)
A former grass-track venue, Mallory Park is another race circuit situated
in the centre of the English Midlands, a legacy of the once proud British
motorcycle industry that used to be based in the same area. Relatively
featureless in its layout, two infield lakes notwithstanding, the circuit
still presents one or two interesting challenges. The startline is at the
beginning of Kirkby Straight, so there's plenty of room to build up speed
through the gears right from the off. Under the footbridge, then move over
to the left and drop down a couple of gears for a wide entry into Gerard's,
one of the longest lefthand bends on any circuit anywhere. Though it would
appear from the circuit diagram to be an impossible curve to apex, the deep
entry you made into the corner should allow you to come pretty close to the
grass on the inside, halfway round Gerard's in third or fourth gear. Using
all the road on the exit, bring the bike upright for Stebbe, the back
straight, where you should be maxing out in a high gear before coming down
two gears and cranking right into the Esses. Though the track is wide
enough here to tempt you into trying a straight line through this complex,
the best route is simply to follow the line of the road so as to be well
placed on the exit for the run up the hill to Shaw's, the famous Mallory
hairpin. Breaking is important here, if you want to avoid ending up in the
High Street of the village nestling next to the racetrack. See Tips for the
inside gen on negotiating this corner. Shortshift down the hill to Devil's
Elbow, a dangerous off-camber righthand sweep back onto the start-finish
Mallory Park England Circuit length:1.35 miles/2.17km World Motorcycle
Federation lab record:1:00:27. Special bike requirements: Well set-up forks
and powerful brakes are worth their weight in gold for the hairpin alone.
Sloppy chassis and suspensions will be exposed on the fast, negative camber
Devil's Elbow righthander. Turn that steering damper right up! Tips:
Keeping your speed up around the hairpin by taking a wide classic line will
stand you in good stead for the drive down to the start-finish straight.
Don't worry if someone nips up the inside on the spoiler's line; you should
be able to repass him easily with your extra speed on the exit.
CADWELL PARK (LINCOLNSHIRE, ENGLAND)
Draped across an untypically scenic and hilly site in the traditionally
flat northeast of England, Cadwell is the favourite track of a surprisingly
large number of racers. Though narrow in parts, the track is smooth and
inviting, with open corners and ample runoff areas. Things get a little
more claustrophobic in the wooded mountain section on the main course, but
bad accidents are thankfully rare. From the startline, riders can get on
the gas all the way up to the steeply graded Coppice lefthander, cutting
across to the outside of the track for the still uphill entry into
Charlies. This is a righthander connected to another righthander by a
semi-straight that runs blind over a rise. Apex the final righthander
before drifting out onto the outside of the main back straight, which dips
in the middle before rising quite steeply again on the approach to Park, a
severe-looking right which can actually be taken pretty quickly with the
bike on full lean. The exit to Park puts you on line for Chris Curve, a
tight entry right that opens up into a gentle sweep. Accelerate around here
to maintain your angle of lean, before tapping off for the right-left
Gooseneck chicane, the exit of which plunges downhill to a hard-braking
left hairpin (Mansfield). Keep the throttle reasonably steady through the
following right, before thrashing through the gears around a left sweeper
that is flanked on the left by a steep grassy bank. A 90 degree left takes
the track sharply uphill once more to a gentler righthander. Crest the
rise, front wheel high in the air, then plunge into the
left-right-left-right-left complex leading under the bridge to
a sharp righthand hairpin. Back downhill to the medium quick Barn
righthander, then up through the gears to cross the line.
Cadwell Park England Circuit length (Mountain course): 2.17 miles/3.49 km
World Federation lap record:1:52:56. Special bike requirements: none Tips:
The apex of the first lefthander into Charlies can be slippery. Pick out a
reference point fora good entry into the blind centre section here.
KNOCKHILL (FIFE, SCOTLAND)
Situated on the northern banks of the Firth of Fourth, north-east of
Glasgow, Knockhill is Scotland's premier racetrack. It is unusual in that a
large proportion of the spectating public are accommodated on the inside of
the circuit, as well as more conventionally on the outside perimeter. From
the start, bikes accelerate under the spectator access bridge to a fast
medium gear righthander, dropping down via Duffus Dip and through a faster
left before coming back a couple of cogs for the tight-entry McIntyre, a 90
degree right. Up one gear on the exit, revving out through Butchers (a 45
degree right) and then braking for the left-right chicane before opening up
onto the shortish back straight (Brabhams). Brake, and back down a gear for
Clark, a difficult medium right whose exit carries your bike to the outside
of the track, which is by then curving left at the start of the Railway
bend. Shortshift up the box until the bend straightens out, then give it
full wick but only for a second, because then you'll have to brake hard for
the ultra-slow Taylors righthand hairpin which leads back onto the
Knockhill Scotland Circuit length:1.30 miles/2.09km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:09:42. Special bike requirements: Knockhill is a
short course, without too much in the way of a main straight, so gearing
can be low here for good pickup out of the corners. Tips: Rain and cold
winds from the North Sea are a constant threat at Knockhill. Keep those wet
weatherr tires handy!
OULTON (CHESHIRE, ENGLAND)
Attractively located in the green Cheshire country-side, Oulton Park has
plenty of length and variation to interest riders and spectators alike. The
tarmac surface is generally good, but can become slippery in hot conditions
(unfortunately all too rare in this part of the country). From the start,
the track runs more or less straight to the medium fast 90 degree
righthander at Old Hall. Bring the bike back from the outside to the inside
of the track for Cascades, a decreasing radius right at the end of a
fifth/sixth gear straight. The flat-out run from there along Lakeside takes
you to the hard-breaking Island Bend righthand hairpin on the intermediate
length circuit. Hoisting the front wheel under acceleration on the exit
from Island, gas it hard up the hill before before dropping back a gear and
opening up the throttle for the fast right at Knicker Brook. Bearing left
under the footbridge at Clay Hill, keep on the power through the Water
Tower sweep right before easing up for the testing Druids righthander. Then
it's an exhilarating rush along the tree-lined back straight, under the
Bailey bridge at half distance, before hitting the brakes hard and coming
down three or four cogs for the 110 degree Lodge Corner righthander. From
Lodge, the track rises steeply under the bridge at Deer Leap. Accelerate
hard while cranked left for the start-finish straight, keeping the bars
under control as the front end goes light.
Oulton England Circuit length (intermediate): 2.77 miles/4.46km World
Motorcycle Federation lap record:1:23:16. Special bike requirements: Oulton
is relatively straightforward apart from the chassis-twisting Deer Leap
section at the end of the lap, but the straights make it advisable to gear
up for a reasonable top speed. Tips: Shortshift through Deer Leap so as not
to be in the meaty part of the powerband when the front wheel tries to
SILVERSTONE (TOWCESTER, ENGLAND)
A classic airfield track, Silverstone sprawls across a flat and often bleak
site in the very centre of the English mainland. As a viewing spectacle, it
scores few points, but riders addicted to speed and wide-open sweeping
bends find it very much to their liking. Winds, and bad weather in general,
can be a problem here. From the flag-drop, it's a straight dash to Copse,
an off-chamber righthander which falls away downhill, obscuring the apex.
As a result, many riders find themselves running wide on the exit. Hard
acceleration down the hill into the flatout left kink at Maggots, before
scrubbing off speed for the righthander Becketts, Silverstone's slowest
corner. Out of Becketts, and back up to maximum speed through the gradual
left sweep of Chapel on to Hangar Straight. Down to third, holding a tight
line round the Stowe righthander, a longish 120 degree curve with no single
apex. No time to wave to your mother in the Stowe grandstand; you're too
busy piling on the power for the dash up to Club, another righthander, this
time 90 degree constant radius. Through Club, good traction is important
for the uphill drive through the Abbey kink, halfway down the back
straight. Under the bridge, flat out in top, then brake hard and drop down
three gears for the wide Woodcote righthander leading back onto the
start-finish straight. Keep it tight here, or risk running out of road on
Silverstone England Circuit length:2.97 miles/4.78km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:13:00. Special bike requirements: high gearing and
big carb jets are derigueur at Silverstone. Steering dampers should be set
to maximum to prevent weaves and wobbles on the incredibly fast bends.
Tips: the high number of right handers means that the left side of your
tires hardly ever reach its full working temperature, so watch it around
the lefthander at Maggots. The wind can blow hard enough to lift your tires
off the ground - and it rains a lot too. Keep your wet tires option open.
BRANDS HATCH (NEAR DARTFORD, KENT, ENGLAND)
One of the world's most famous tracks, Brands Hatch is another stadium type
circuit (like Hockenheim). The Club circuit, used for less major races, is
all entirely visible from just about any vantage point in the main arena;
for more important meetings, the full circuit is brought into play,
carrying the bikes through a wood before bringing them back into general
view at Clark Curve. From the startline on Brabham Straight, third gear
will see you into Paddock Hill, an extremely tricky adverse camber downhill
righthander with a blind apex - just about the worst combination a track
designer can throw at a racer. Compounding the difficulty is a vicious bump
mid-corner, and if that wasn't enough, the track then disappears underneath
your wheels in a stomach-churning, suspension-bottoming depression. Then
it's up hill towards Druids, a righthand hairpin. Brake late, but not too
heavily, as the surface can be slippery. Maximum lean around here, drifting
out to the left on the exit before moving back right for Graham Hill Bend,
an adverse camber lefthander leading onto Cooper Straight (which actually
curves to the left). You may be able to get fifth gear before notching back
one or two cogs for the uphill lefthander, Surtees. Under the bridge on the
big straight that leads out into the country, front wheel going light as
the track dips down again at Pilgrims Drop before going under another
bridge. Hard on the brakes and down two or three gears for Hawthorn, a very
fast uphill right. Back up through the gears, then slowing for Westfield, a
bumpy righthander, back on the gas and down into the dip at Dingle
Dell, uphill through a 90 degree right, then a short straight before a
slowish 90 degree left (Stirlings). Sliding the back end through the exit
of Stirlings, onto the final straight leading back under the bridge into
the Club circuit, dropping down two gears for the awkward double-apex Clark
righthander before accelerating over the finish line.
Brands Hatch England Circuit length:2.60 miles/4.18km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:22:22. Special Bike requirements: Shorter gearing
suits this circuit. Tips: Go steady around Paddock Hill, short-shifting on
the exit to keep the bike balanced if necessary. Guard against sneaky
overtaking moves around Druids by taking a centre line on the entry. Watch
out for damp patches in the wooded sections.
OLIVERS MOUNT (SCARBOROUGH, ENGLAND)
Oliver's Mount is a switchback track running over a hillside. As a result,
there are many elevation changes along its near 2.41 mile length. The
track's narrow and bumpy character, and the continuing presence of trees
and street lights on the trackside, have earned it a reputation as the
British mainland's own Isle of Man TT course. As at the real TT, several
riders have met tragic and untimely ends at Scarborough. From the start,
accelerate through the gears to Mere Hairpin, keeping to the inside line to
avoid being overtaken under braking. The hairpin is a first gear corner,
tight and slow; then back up the gearbox, negotiating the left kink halfway
along Quarry Hill before coming down a gear for the right-left Esses. Bank
hard right, then notch up a gear during the transition to the hard left to
avoid upsetting the bikes balance. Now you're on the top straight, with the
sea visible in the distance on the right. From being flat-out at two-thirds
distance, come down four gear for the double lefthander (Memorial). The
second element is tighter than the first, so you may have to drop right
down to bottom gear here. A short squirt then to another tight lefthander,
then hard on the gas towards the Mount righthand hairpin. Downhill, curving
left, and up to fourth or fifth gear for another hairpin (Mountside), this
time turning left onto the long but very bumpy and undulating downhill
start-finish straight. Keep in the middle of the road, and be prepared for
the front wheel coming well off the deck when you cross an especially nasty
bump before the finish line.
Olivers Mount England Circuit length:2.41 miles/3.86km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:14:37. Special bike requirements: Jack the back end
up to put more weight over the front wheel for exiting Scarborough's many
slow hairpins and corners. Maximum damping on the suspension for the bumps.
Tips: Try different lines through the hairpin; the wider line will maintain
your speed, but there's a greater risk of being overtaken. Fog from the sea
can reduce visibility on some sections. The downhill stretch between the
two hairpins is usually slippery. Overtaking on Scarborough's ultra-narrow
track is tricky and risky.
Tetbury Gap England Circuit length:1.76 miles/2.82km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:05:36.
Harrogate GP England Circuit length:1.81 miles/2.90km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:21:50.
Ladbroke GP England Circuit length:1.68 miles/2.69km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:13:05.
Chiswick GP England Circuit length:1.71 miles/2.74km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:09:15.
Nutford GP England Circuit length:1.74 miles/2.78km World Motorcycle
Federation lap record:1:17:27.
Manton Park GP England Circuit length:1.93 miles/3.09km World Motorcycle
Federation lab record:1:21:69.
Waddesdon Manor Scotland Circuit length:1.67 miles/2.67km World Motorcycle
Federation lab record:1:18:82.
FORMULA ONE RULES
All 750cc four stoke bikes are eligible, and there are virtually no
restriction on tuning for either the engine or the chassis/suspension
parts. The basic engine unit must be homologated, ie recognised as a
production model, but other than that, anything goes. Carburettors,
compression ratios, gearing wheels, tires etc can all be changed, so long
as the engine capacity does not exceed 750cc.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
A point on the inside of a curve which would be touched (clipped) by a bike
taking the ideal line through that curve. Some larger bends may have more
than one apex.
The slight upward curve to the centre of the road surface (adverse or
negative camber - the road surface falls away to the left on a lefthand
bend, or to the right on a righthander, making the corner in question much
more difficult to negotiate).
A testing track section, usually rowed, and usually featuring two rapid
That section of the tire that is in actual contact with the track surface
at any one time.
A curve which opens out on the exit, allowing the rider to accelerate
earlier and harder.
Less friendly curve, tightening on exit, requiring extreme care with
A type of accident in which the rider is thrown over the highest side of
the bike, following the unexpected regaining of traction at a point during
The angle made between a motorcycle and the road during a cornering
manoeuvre. Can be as high as 55 degrees from the vertical in dry
A less violent accident that the highside, in which the motorcycle tires
lose their grip during a banking manoeuvre and the rider falls a relatively
short distance to the road.
The spread of revs in which an engine produces most power. Stay in
powerband for best acceleration in gears.
The end of the powerband; entering the red zone beyond the powerband will
stress and possibly damage your engine.
Changing up to the next gear slightly before the start of the main
powerband-a useful way to keep the rear wheel under control when
accelerating on a difficult surface.
An adjustable hydraulic or friction-activated divise, mounted between the
motorcycle frame and the handlebars, designed to damp out any tendency for
the bars to waggle uncontrollably in the middle of fast bends.
Provided by THE SOUTHERN STAR for M.A.A.D.