BMW Motorrad Motorsport
Munich, 04/03/2015, BMW Motorrad Community
It’s the dream of many sporty motorcyclists: To experience just once what it’s like to fly blind, after the apex at Eau Rouge, towards Radillon at Spa-Francorchamps. To test the run-off areas at the High Tech Test Track in Paul Ricard. And to tame the famous TT Circuit in Assen once.
No surprise to hear that the BMW Motorrad Track Days organised by BMW Motorrad partner EYBIS and the racetrack trainings by the Race Academy are usually quickly fully booked. Always on standby: An entire armada of BMW S 1000 RR to test / rent. For anyone who still doesn’t have a BMW sports motorcycle to call their own, but wishes to satisfy the urge to feel for themselves the performance of the super sports machine.
For EYBIS company boss Frank Slabbynck, it is very important to have the famous GP circuits on the programme: “To see the WSBK or MotoGP stars live or on television at tracks like Assen, Magny Cours or Portimão makes us all feel the need to try it ourselves at least once. Which is why the time spent on the circuit is also very much in focus at our BMW Motorrad Track Days. Without too much theory or riding forever in a convoy behind the instructor.”
A factor for the success of the BMW Motorrad Track Days: Participants are graded according to their riding abilities from the word go. To prevent false assessments, the participants enter their previous fastest lap at the respective circuit during the booking stage. After all, the majority are ‘repeat offenders’. “Many of our participants are regulars. By requesting their best lap time, we guarantee that the riding skills are well balanced in every group from the very beginning. In keeping with our motto ‘EYBIS – enjoy your bike in safety’.”
If somebody doesn’t know their lap time or is participating for the first time, they are graded according to the time at another race track or by self-assessment from 1 (very good) to 4 (beginner). As a result, not only is safety guaranteed, but also the maximum amount of fun on track.
As in recent years, Troy Corser will also attend most of the events in 2015. Together with 15 other EYBIS coaches, the ex-Superbike World Champion is on hand to answer a rider’s specific questions. “At the BMW Motorrad Track Days, the main priorities are the time and fun around the race track. This is why the various groups take it in turns to ride on the track for 20 minutes. Nevertheless, our coaches as well as Troy Corser are always available to answer questions and to give tips for improvement,” adds Frank Slabbynck.
The 2015 calendar is already fixed. The only exception is the Nürburgring. Frank Slabbynck hopes to confirm the traditional race track shortly.
Between 140 and 300 participants, divided into as many as four groups of different speed levels, start each track day. Spa-Francorchamps, Le Mans, the Hockenheimring and the former GP circuit Dijon are hot favourites. The demand for the BMW Motorrad Track Days increases every year. In the meantime, the participants come from ten different countries. It’s not just about being fast on the race track, but also with your booking.
The Race Academy, also an official BMW Motorrad partner, follows another concept. Learning to understand your bike and go faster in a safer way is the focus of attention at the events staged by Maudie Veenstra and her team. “Our sessions are aimed at race track novices as well as advanced riders. Many sporty riders are very enthusiastic on the race track and want to improve their skills. We are happy to show these riders riding techniques that will improve their lap times dramatically. The main goal of our Race Academy is that every rider feels safer and more confident on their bike.”
The Race Academy attaches great value to small groups. “Each instructor is allocated a maximum of three participants. Everybody is divided into corresponding groups based on their riding skills and assigned to a teacher who guides the group during the course. He will also assess what the main areas of improvement are for each individual student. In this way we guarantee that everybody gets the best out of the training, because the course is tailored to suit the individual needs of the students.”
The programme consists of classes in which racing and riding techniques are explained in theory. Because theory is nothing without practice, things continue on track directly after in order to implement the lessons learned. Students ride individually at their own speed and the instructor monitors their progress. Feedback from the instructor follows, before going back to theory and the next task. All this as many as five times a day. “Depending on their personal progress, our participants can also swap between the groups.”
At Race Academy events, between 30 and 60 racers join the action depending on the race track. As is recent years, Troy Corser will attend most events in 2015. Besides being on track and available for questions he will also be teaching some theory. The Race Academy training sessions are also held in the rain. Bikes are then simply fitted with rain tires because Maudie Veenstra knows: “You usually learn how to handle a motorbike even better in the rain.”
Furthermore, the Race Academy has just started a photo competition on Facebook. Simply post a photo that reveals your own ‘Make Life a Ride’ motorbike feeling, and with a little luck win a two-day training session. Click here for the competition: www.facebook.com/TheRaceAcademy
Although the BMW Motorrad Track Days by EYBIS and the Race Academy follow two different concepts, they nevertheless have something in common: They offer participants an unforgettable experience amidst innumerable likeminded people. The events are open for riders of all brands, but one thing is perfectly obvious: The spirit of BMW Motorrad Motorsport.