The first thing is to acknowledge what you want out of the day. Are you there to learn how to be a better rider or are you there to show off to your friends? Hopefully, not the second reason just mentioned. Make sure you start to drink plenty of water 3 or 4 days before the event. During the summer months, you lose a lot of water weight while you are on the bike
Arrive at the track relaxed and well rested. Do not try to get the bike finished (prepared) the night before the event. You may forget something important the day of the event (like the key) and become stressed at the start of the day.
There will be items that you will need to bring to make your day at the track more comfortable. The following list is not inclusive by any means: tire gauge, tools, extra fuel, spare key, drinking water, chairs, easy up (cover), sunscreen, ear plugs, bandanna, glass cleaner, bike cleaner, hand cleaner, masking tape or duct tape, spare brake lever – front and rear, spare clutch lever and shift lever
Try to find out the meanings of the flags that will be used at the event. The more you know before you arrive, the less you have to absorb during the day.
Try to develop a rapport with one of the track instructors or coaches. If you cannot feel ‘warm and fuzzy’ with one of the instructors/coaches, ask the staff to switch to another instructor/coach. It is your money and you want to be comfortable with the person helping you.
Attend the riders meeting and listen to all the directions provided by the track day organizer or the control personnel.
If you are in a class environment, take notes. You can look at your notes later in your pit area after class and when you start to ride on your own.
Try to find an aerial shot or track layout of the track you are planning to ride. If you can memorize the corner numbers/names so that in class you will be better prepared to implement instruction when the lead instructor talks about a particular corner or strategy.
Robert is the owner of Elite Sportbike, a Southeast U.S. track day provider. Elite provides track day instruction for riders on racetracks in a safe, controlled environment. We have multiple groups for the Novice, Intermediate, and Advanced rider. Go to http://www.elitesportbike.com to read rider reviews and to look over our program. Gain the knowledge, live the experience.