Your first race meeting

Before

Let us know!  When you enter your first meeting give us a call. If you want we will put you in touch with someone who knows the ropes, can “look after you” on the day and introduce you to other MZedders. If you feel more independent at least we will know to look out for you.

Preparation The key to enjoying a day’s racing comes long before the day itself. The more time you spend on preparation the better, make sure you are ready to race before you arrive on race day

Track Location  Make sure you know exactly where the track is and how to get there. Allow enough time to complete the journey and then keep an extra hour up your sleeve for the inevitable delays along the way. Race days start early (around 8 am), so be prepared to get up before sunrise to travel to some tracks or arrive the night before (stay in a B&B, camp in the paddock, sleep in your van, etc.). Some circuits have better facilities than others and your fellow competitors will often know the best place to camp, a good B&B and the best pub in the locality.

At the track

The Paddock – When you arrive at the circuit  When you arrive at a ‘circuit’, head for the MZ paddock where you will be based for the day’s racing. Park next to other MZ racers if you want people to point you in the right direction.

Noise Limits  All circuits have strict limits about when noise can start and when it must end. As this is the only way clubs can hold race meetings please don’t start your bike outside these times.

Scrutineering  Before you are allowed to take your bike onto the track it is checked by the scrutineers to ensure it is safe for you and your fellow competitors. This is basically a racing MOT which involves checking the brakes work, the steering is free from obstructions, that everything is securely fastened to the bike, that your sump plug is lock wired into place etc. It also covers your clothing to make sure all your racing kit is in good condition & fits, so wear it when you take your bike. Scrutineers have seen it all before, do not expect to get a dodgy bike through as it will be sent away until you have it fixed properly. Trust us, failing scrutineering is not how you want to start the day. The card you get with your “Regs.” must be taken with you. The Scrutineers will sign this after your kit and bike are checked and they have put an “eligibility” sticker on your bike and helmet.

Signing On Usually in the race office or race control your licence is checked by race officials before you sign a register of all the racers taking part in the day’s events. No licence equals no race so don’t forget it! They will exchange your scrutineering card (see above) for a practice permit. Don’t loose this as another may be hard to get.

Morning Practise  All riders are required to complete a number of practice laps on Saturday morning. The practice sessions are usually run by class at times agreed in advance. Listen carefully for announcements over the tannoy and be ready to go. In many cases, no practise means no racing so don’t miss out!

The races  Your race programme will show the order of races during the day so make sure you know what class is currently out on the track. You will be called to assemble before the previous race is over to ensure your race is on the grid as soon as the previous race has finished. This makes the whole day run smoother so don’t expect any race officials to wait for you if you haven’t got your act together! When several other MZ’s start you should probably be with them.

Grid Positions  You will be told a specific position on the grid before you go out on the track for each race. This is where you will start the warm-up lap from. Don’t forget it on the warm up lap or you will look a little silly when you come back to the grid to form up for the start.

The warm up lap  You will get at least one sighting lap (depending on conditions) to see the current condition of the track and see where all the marshal posts are (they will hold a green flag). It also allows to warm up your tyres a bit. Weaving violently from side to side on the warmup/sighting lap does nothing to warm up your tyres, is dangerous and may be penalised by the race officials.

The “Racing line”  If you are completely new to racing, the advantage of your novice jacket is that it warns other racers that you may be using experimental lines around the corners. Many new racers spend a lot of time looking behind them, worrying about being in the way. If someone wants to overtake you, the onus is them to do that safely and you should concentrate on your own riding. Great books about racing lines and how to approach racing in general are ‘A twist of the wrist I & II’ and ‘The soft science of road racing’ written by Keith Code.

What do I do if I have a problem with my bike during the race?  If you have a problem during a race, raise an arm and pull off the track at a safe place, do not cruise back to the pits on the racing line or stop in the middle of the track to see what is wrong!

The Marshals  These volunteers are there to help you. The flags they display must be obeyed for both your safety and the safety of other riders and officials.
The Flags Obey all flag signals. You will find details in your ACU book and the programme of the meeting. Not obeying (or seeing) these signals will not only lead to exclusion from the results but may also result in fines, suspensions and bans. It can also lead to serious injury and death.

The race start  Races can be started by using either lights or by waving a flag. Starts are one of the most important parts of the race and one of the most hectic.

The First Corner  At circuits like Snetterton, 30 MZs may all be trying to get to the first corner first and this is not a place for the faint hearted, keep your head and your race will last more than a few yards!

Your first race Finish  The chequered flag signals the end of the race. If you have been lapped your race is also over at this point, and you will simply not complete the full race distance (please try harder next time).

The last lap!  A yellow flag with a black diagonal cross on it will be held over the start/finish line to indicate that there is just one lap to go (unless you have been lapped). This is traditionally the time for the silliest manoeuvres of the race to be attempted, so pay attention.
Pace Yourself  Remember that on any given day or weekend you will have several races and the object of the exercise is to take part in them all. There is no prize for winning practise and throwing yourself down the track on your first lap of the first race.

Where can I find the race results?  Live timings and results shortly after each race are on the Tsl-timing websiteBemsee also publish the race results on the day and you can take a photocopy home with you. The MZ Championship standings will be uploaded to the MZ Racing Club website as well. The next meetings Club bulletin will also have the results and details of how the Championship and other competitions are going.