Tracks & Track Bikes

My first ever track day was on the NC30 at Cadwell and as I said was great but underpowered on the straight and the very next time with the NC30 was at the Nürburgring which I also did on the white 848 the very next year.

The Nürburgring or more correctly named Nordschleife (North Circuit) came about with TVAM. but more than TVAM it was David Jacobi (sadly no longer with us) who really made it come about and this was hiring the whole circuit for the day for us only. What a guy. The work he did with TVAM was above and beyond. Weirdly though there is no mention of David what so ever on TVAM web site. Having the whole circuit to ourselves was just brilliant and David managed to organise this two years running. The following 3rd year never happened due to financial difficulties at Nurburgring.

Bikes I have used on tracks are NC30, Ducati 848 and 848 SE EVO Corse (the very last of the 848s they made), CBR600 FI (the first injected one) and a Ducati 1098. I sold the 1098 in early 2021 as I decided that the roads were so bad that it would be more sensible to use the 848 on the track and get a road bike happier with pot holes. I removed all the expensive bits including the alloy fuel tank and fitted track fairings and a plastic tank. With the quick shifter and traction control it is nicer to use than the 1098 so it’s a win, win.

The thing with bikes is, they’ve got to fit you and the narrowness of the V twins does just that for me whereas the CBR didn’t and I only kept it for two seasons. Also the V twins deliver power differently than the four across the chassis.


We are very lucky in the UK with a large number of superb tracks and those run by Dr Jonathan Palmer I.E. MSV are exceptional.

It’s difficult to say which is my favorite track but probably Oulton Park and equally Brands Hatch GP circuit, Donington, Cadwell Park and Snetterton. They are all great tracks but Oulton just gets my favorite as it’s got a great mix of corners, rises, drops, stops and the banked corner which is Shell Oils is a real hoot and scary as you leave it. However without doubt my bestest track is not in this country.

And the best one!

Portimao Autódromo in Portugal. This track is like Cadwell Park on steroids. You may have seen it on World Super Bikes and in 2020 both Moto GP and the Grand Prix circus went there. I can’t really describe how good it is, you just have to try it for yourself. Better still up until 2020 it’s price has been really good. If you do track days and want to do a European one then this is the one I’d recommend.

Last visit May 2002 for a third time but with good mates Gary, Chris and Dave.  Managed to destroy two rear tyres and a pair of knee sliders in the three days on track, 😉

me gary, chris and dave in pits with bikes at autodromo protimao
As for the Nürburgring it’s not for the feint hearted and I’m not sure I’d want to do it on an open day due to the mixture of vehicles and skills. Technically it’s not a circuit but a toll road and one you don’t want to crash on, Not that you want to crash anywhere but if you do they charge you for every bit of damage including the grass! The first lap around it was an eye opener and one bit of it actually made me laugh. Coming up hill slightly turning left with a blind crest which looked like it would next go right, what came into view? nothing one would expect to see but a zebra crossing!