NJ Motorsports Park – Lightning raceway
I had an awesome track day at NJ Motorsports Park (Lighting Track) in Millville NJ. Voytek suggested earlier in the week to visit the track. He would let me ride his Honda CBR600RR while we rode his MV Agusta.
We took a warmup ride to get me familiar with the bike on Friday (2 days prior). While I was on the CBR he was on the Husqvarna SMR 510. Unfortunately about 30 minutes into the ride his bike started steaming and before you know what we think was the coolant had exploded all over his bike. I was following just behind him and saw it all as it unfolded. We pulled over to the next exit.
Two days later we meet up at 5 am and took the New Jersey Turnpike towards Millville NJ. The ride was to last about 2 hours but with all our discussions felt like 1 hour. We had some drops of rain on the trip and a little bit of rain during our riders meeting. The schedule was cars at 9:00am, blue/red (pros) at 9:20, and white (newer riders) at 9:40. Right after the riders meeting we (white group) had a meeting in the classroom. Here we received explanation of the “line” for this track, the corners/sections to watch out for and to take it easy during the first few sessions since the track was still wet.
After returning from his first session, Voytek asked me to treat the track as ice. It was still wet from earlier morning drizzle. I was very excited and anxious to get on the track. I put on my rental track suite, gloves, boots and strapped in my helmet and was the first in line to go out on the track. The first lap or two were spent going completely against the “line” we discussed in the classroom. I was all over the place. There were cones to look out for but I was more focused on trying to stay on the track rather than looking for the cones (big mistake). Once I began looking out for the cones things went a lot more smoothly. I didn’t record my first session, but strapped the Xiaomi Yi on for the 2nd session. Prior to getting on the track (for my 2nd session) I took a few laps around the property to see if I could see Voytek producing chicken strips.
On the 2nd session I felt was better than the on first. I already knew what to expect and felt familiar with the track. Little did I know I would go off the tack in less than 10 minutes (Turn 7). I regained balance, got back on the track and continued with the race. What had happened was I lost confidence midway through the turn, tapped on the brakes and made a wider turn than anticipated (since the bike picked itself up). I can’t remember precisely, but I probably was looking at the grass as I was turning as well (target fixation).
One of the straps came off the exhaust after my 2nd session. So I skipped session #3 and helped Yoytek strap the exhaust holder back into place using some safety wire. I helped as much as I could using the safety wire “best practices” I remembered from Aviation High School.
Need a lawnmower? Too bad! I ain’t got one for you in this session. I managed to stay on the asphalt the entire session. This session also felt the best. Not sure if this was due to the sun being out and the track being dry, but I felt AMAZING!!!.
I wanted to catch a clip of Voytek’s bike as he was riding on the track. I got him pulling away and caught some shots of him on turn 7. That MV is a beauty!!
And here is clip of how the track is meant to be ridden (Voytek on his MV):
And again in the below video I went off the track around 15:50 (Turn 5). Apparently, I missed the checkered flag and went an extra lap around the track too (Had to make up for being lapped by everyone) 🙁 .
Oh you guys need a lawnmower again? I got you (Turn 1).
Xiaomi Yi Battery died 🙁 . But I don’t think lawn mowing was needed.
All in all I had a great experience and learned a lot about riding, and the importance of maintaining a good line.