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Cobie Fair

Favorite Coach Track

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As always, like any to participate in this, but like the coaching staff to sound off on this one too:

 

A number have said they like VIR (we use the north course). A little bit of everything, lots of elevation changes, some high, medium and slower turns, beautiful scenery, and very nice staff. I'm not outright saying it's my favorite (I'll think about it a bit more), but I do like it.

 

OK, let's here about it! Oz and Euro dudes can chime in as well.

 

CF

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As always, like any to participate in this, but like the coaching staff to sound off on this one too:

 

A number have said they like VIR (we use the north course). A little bit of everything, lots of elevation changes, some high, medium and slower turns, beautiful scenery, and very nice staff. I'm not outright saying it's my favorite (I'll think about it a bit more), but I do like it.

 

OK, let's here about it! Oz and Euro dudes can chime in as well.

 

CF

 

This is a tough one. I like Barber because it keeps me on my toes visually--you've really got to have your visual skills working for you to go fast there. Virginia International Raceway has beautiful scenery, friendly staff (as Cobie pointed out), and the elevation changes are totally fun. But with all these fancy tracks to choose from I think my most favorite of all is our home track, Streets of Willow. It is a great place to coach because I know it so well. We get to run it forward and backward on two-day camps, which changes things up and keeps it fresh. It just plain feels like home to me.

 

Kristi

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Even though it wasn't on this year's schedule Mid-Ohio is a hoot; but then I'm not a coach so does it still count?

It flows, it's got elevation changes, blind corners, high and medium speed corners and a screamin' 6 gear straight with a high speed kink (OK, VIR has one too).

 

Then there's Infineon (nay Sears Point) with all that plus a chicane and a 180 degree bowl plus a 180 degree slow speed corner...

 

Rain

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Barber gets my vote, it's a fun track with nice facilities, beautiful surroundings and lots of cool sculptures around. I also love Thunderbolt in New Jersey. In California my favorite is Infineon (Sears Pt.) followed by Streets. Streets really is a great track to learn on because it has a bit of everything. I also like the infield track in Vegas because it's so short you get a ton of laps on it.

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This is definitely a tough one, I really like them all. :) I think to be fair, I'll choose a track on the East and a track in the West.

 

East: New Jersey Motorsports Park. Why? Because I like it. I like the pavement, the curbing and the flow of it. Specifically, I enjoy the little elevation changes and blind turns, along with the back section - which is really techinical. There are so many lines you can run through there - it never gets old trying a new one. Plus the S1000 can wheelie onto the front straight at a high rate of speed!

 

 

West: I have to agree with Kristi and Lyle - Streets of Willow Springs. Why? It's an excellent training track. Fast esses, slow esses, blind turns, elevation, tricky double apexes, a bowl turn and it bumpy. Bumpy! Yes, it really test your L1 skills. Actually with the types of turns, it tests every drill we have. Plus it's an easy track to coach at.

 

I also like Eastern Creek in Australia. It reminds me a bit of NJ and just plain fun!

 

 

Cheers,

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Cool topic Cobie. Real interesting reading the responses. Where do I start......

 

Honorable mentions...

 

Portimao in Portugal. I remember checking the track out with Andy (Ibbott) the day before schools there, and counting the number of blind turns. There's really only 2 or 3 turns that don't have something blind about them, be it entry, a mid corner crest, a blind exit, or a mix of the 3. That last turn onto the front straight is one of my favourite turns in the world.

 

Kyalami in South Africa. Just a burly circuit, with some wicked elevation changes, and some very fast turns. Toes the line between exciting and frightening! Cool surroundings too.

 

Barber MP in the USA. Partly for the circuit layout, but mostly just becasue it's an incredible place to visit. It's a crazy mix of racetrack/botanical gardens/museum/art gallery.....

 

The favourite...

 

Perhaps I'm a bit biased, but like Pete and Kristi, I'd have to say the home track is the favourite. Phillip Island. I've not ridden another circuit that flows like the Island, and certainly nothing comes close to the sheer speed of the place. The surface is getting a little aged, so the grip is not as good as most tracks. I get butterflys thinking of what it might be like once a resurface is done! We have good friends amongst the circuit staff, and I always enjoy seeing them when we're there.

 

 

 

 

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Hhhmmm...tough question! The reality is that there is a lot to like about a lot of tracks. This got me to thinking about what I like about my favourite tracks and how I would break it down. I think I really like places that have a lot of elevation changes and a majority of corners that link together. I also like medium to high speed stuff more than slower or tighter corners.

 

Considering this, my honourable mentions would be (in no particular order); VIR; Mid-Ohio; Barber; Sepang F1 (Malaysia...some long straights, but wide with flowing sections); Pasir Gudang (Johor Bahru - Malaysia - wicked elevation changes but surface); Hampton Downs (NZ...big time elevation changes and excellent surface); and finally Lakeside Raceway (QLD...perhaps being the site of my first National Championship race win in 1988 might have something to do with it...). Each of these circuits have an excellent 'spirit' to the way they deliver each aspect of the challenges you face when riding them. Having said all that...there can only be one winner...

 

For me it's got to be Phillip Island. I first rode here in February 1989 and loved the place straight away. I was under the lap record on the first day and it was the scene of my second ever Championship win. It is the epitome of fast and flowing with seemingly constant elevation changes and has the fastest average speed on the MotoGP calendar. Although I have some favourite corners and / or sections from other tracks, this circuit combines all the elements of a truly great piece of tarmac in my opinion. The imagery around the track is also breathtaking with the view straight onto the ocean and the rugged coastline that disappears to the left and right of the track. Despite having ridden countless laps of this track over the last 21 years, I never tire of riding it. The only downside can be the rather unpredictable nature of the weather. You can't have everything I guess...

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This is a very difficult question. I have a tendency to like elements of tracks rather that the whole thing. Some circuits have an expectation before you get there and riders feel obliged to like it, for example, Laguna Seca, Catalunya or Brands Hatch. Each of these have some great elements but they are not necessarily my favorite track. The Spaniards have some good ones and I really enjoyed Almeria for its elevation changes, blind corners and the combination of turns. There is no hiding from any of the drills at that track, you need them all. In Norway there is a small track called Rudskogen that was great fun. 1.1 miles with 11 turns, elevation changes and a huge amount of fun. Thunder Hill in California has a couple of great corners that keep on your toes every time you go through them as well.

 

I do have a soft spot for my home track here in New Zealand. Hampton Downs is very special to me as I watched it being built and I was the very first person to do laps on a motorcycle. Having said that I agree with Brouggy about the elevation changes and the levels of grip being awesome as well. If I had to pick one track I think I would go with Catalunya. The facilities are really impressive from the minute you drive down the entry road all the way to the restaurant on top of the pit garages. The food is awesome and the track is just a pleasure to ride. It is an awesome environment to ride in and just riding there makes you feel like a top level racer due to the surroundings.

 

Just give me a track, I don't care where, there is always something that is to like. Even if it is the road that leaves it.

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MID OHIO!!! Mid O is my favorite track to ride for the flow and the elevation changes and I liked the accommodations as well (5 mins to the track and yummy breakfast!).

 

Barber is high on the list for the facilities and the track and Streets of Willow gets my vote for being the best track for coaching as it is small, technical, easy to cut through with lots of places to view the students from.

 

Mist

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Just popped on the forum for a visit, and saw this, couldn't help myself.

 

Well, my list goes like this: -

 

  • Ascari resort Spain, (incredible place, bit dangerous, and very challenging. Is very long, but incredible.
  • Nurburgring, great circuit, poor surface, and way too dangerous to go mental at, but still amazing that it's even allowed.
  • Brands Hatch GP, stunning circuit, great mix of fast and flowing cicuit.
  • Oulton Park, my local circuit, (we race here), stunningly fast and very technically challenging fast circuit.

I'd probably have Portimao on my list, as Adam said, it really does look incredible, unfortunately I only got spectate due to my shattered shoulder. (How gutted). It really does look like nothing else though. Never ridden in US, (will fix that one day soon with luck).

 

Scarriest circuit goes without doubt to Kacergine (neumo zidas), in lithunia, poorest surface I ever rode, and near to zero run off. Check out this video,

and see the telegraph pole in the barrier at exit of turn 3, (i kid you not), (around 46 seconds in) and the run off at the hairpin (i.e. none, at 1:10), then just to finish you off, look at the speed in the final uphill turn, flat out, 4th gear (zero run off, nice link fence to fall into. That aside, it really is a great track. rolleyes.gif

 

Bullet

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Hey all,

 

Gotta say Phillip Island. Basically its got it all. Even a view, just cant look for too long! Have also really enjoyed Hampton Downs in NZ short and technical. Cant wait for the long track to open, should be a cracker. Looking forward to sampling some US tracks in Sept - Can't wait.

 

TC

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Good responses, I can see how this for some had different answers (good for training was one).

 

I'd heard the question for years, and didn't really have a favorite. I like the Streets of Willow Springs for training, no doubt. No time limits, lots of places to cut across, you can see much of the track from almost any where on it, nothing to hit, about the best weather (windy at times, but dry!) lots of pluses. And it is also a very technical track: if you don't have your key fundamentals in order, you cannot go fast there, won't happen.

 

Like Steve, some places have an emotional response connected to them, like the old track in Aspen, Colorado. Not much of a track, but amazing scenery and site of my first endurance race.

 

I'll think about this some more (but have to say, like Rainman I have enjoyed Mid-Ohio a lot over the years).

 

CF

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For me I like Road Atlanta. Road Atlanta is really two tracks. It has the connected corners of turns 1-5 where any mistake really haunts you until you exit 5. And it has the 6th gear back straight that isn't a straight. Turn 9 at 160+ is really a turn that takes a bit of planning. Finally, the Turn 11/12 combination is great. Wheelieing while leaned over cresting the hill at turn 11 and heading down to turn 12 in 3rd and then sliding around 12, great fun.

 

Another favorite for the sheer lunacy of trying to go fast at - Nurburgring Nordschleife.

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So while I am not a coach I thought I would chime in here too.

 

Favorite track that I have ridden: Philip Island, Australia. This track jumped to the top of my list after riding it only once back in 2004 when I went down to Aus, to do some Course Control work with my counterpart down there. The whole place just blew me away with how fun and technical it was.

 

Favorite USA Track that I have ridden: VIR, First track I ever rode, first track I hit 160 mph on. This track was my all time favorite before Philip Island, and still is for any track that I have ridden in the US, it has almost every type of turn you can think of, and has good elevation change, plenty of connected corners and a great straightaway.

 

Favortie Track to run as Course Control: Las Vegas Infield Course. I can see every turn from start finish, nuff said.

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My favorite track in the world, Laguna Seca. I just love that track. It used to be better before the flattened out the crest on the approach to the corkscrew, but it is still a ton of fun for me. Trying to go over turn one pinned on a big bike is a real thrill and the corkscrew...

 

 

A very close second is Philip Island. It reminds me of a better version of Willow Springs big track. I love the mix of high speed sections with slower corners and change in elevation. That track has everything for sure.

 

These are the tracks like like to ride, not coach. Laguna is one of the toughest tracks to coach at.

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:D Looks like the Aussies are winning with Phillip Island :D

 

Phillip Island (PI) is a great track due to it's pure speed, I'd have to say my home track of Eastern Creek is a great coaching track. Very fast and very slow bits, elevation changes, 3 transitions, seams, bumps, hairpins, increasing radius turn over a crest, decreasing radius up hill, high speed blind exit, kerb/berm (T7), great supply of visual markers, and, the all important 'Bridge' (T8 for the locals)... yes it has one, what track is really a racetrack without a bridge? (is it still a bridge if people can't walk across it?).

 

But the big plus, is that there's a cut-thru that if were watching or waiting we can see two main sections of track that give us more opportunities to view our students. (T4 -T9 for the locals)

 

Plus... it was on the GP500 calendar... yep, years ago, but it's a nice touch.

 

We're VERY spoilt here in Aus for having world class tracks so close to us.

 

P.s. Anyone wanting to see this track, have a look here at the overview or a video of the CSS Aus director (Steve Brouggy) taking us for a lap around the 'creek: Eastern Creek Ride days

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My favorite track for coaching is Eastern Creek, Sydney, I also love to ride it. The track has lots of varying turns and elevation changes. Having two places to pull off track with a cut through from Turn 4 to Turn 9 to catch students makes it easier for time management.

 

Second place for both coaching & first place for personal riding is Hampton Downs, New Zealand. This is a new track with heaps of grip and some great corners, turn one is a blind decending right hander at the end of the main straight, turn two and three are a right/left combination with the turn point for three just before the crest of a rise with an off camber exit. Four is a tight right and five a decreasing radius down hill left hander, six is the longest sweeping right I have entountered bringing you back onto the main straight. The straight rises up towards pit exit with a slight right hand kink at the top of the rise. To top it off there is a kicker at the top of the rise just to make things interesting. This makes up the national curcuit with the international circuit to be completed in around 18 months. A lap is around a minute & a bit so by days end your legs are talking to you. If anybody is keen for a trip to the South Pacific make sure you check out the New Zealand School website and come pay us a visit.

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I do enjoy Laguna, but would rather have more transitions. From the Corkscrew to T-11 is fun. Hard to coach on, but that's mostly single day schools, it's fine on 2-day schools.

 

VIR, Mid-Ohio and Barber are good like them. Both for coaching and riding.

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