Our Local Observer, Paul Carter, took up a thrilling track exploit this summer. He tells us about the different experiences the Honda Ron Haslam School has to offer at Donington Park.

What the School says about their Premier Plus Experience:

For £350

Our all new for 2018 Premier Plus Experience has been developed with one to one instruction on the CBR600RR with an open pit lane giving total flexibility to work very closely with your personal instructor developing your riding and confidence, whether you are a novice or advanced rider.

These exclusive one to one courses have limited capacity and fill up quickly so book early to avoid disappointment if you have a specific date in mind.

Your course ends with a group debrief providing feedback from the notes made by your instructor and you receive a certificate to take home to show you successfully completed the course.

The Premier Plus course is designed for 18 years and over.

Paul’s Verdict

I did this course earlier this year, and what it doesn’t tell you until you dig deeper is the duration: you only get an hour, so on the face of it, it is rather expensive.

However, saying that, it’s not your bike or safety equipment so if you do throw it at the fence, you’ve got no pain money-wise (physically maybe another matter, mind)!

There’s no excess like you get on California Super Bike School if you use their bikes. So if you’re unfortunate to drop the bike (very unlikely – it’s safer than actually getting to the track on the roads) it won’t cost you anything. So if you don’t own full leathers or a suitable bike and always fancy a go on track here’s your chance.

The set up is quite straightforward; once you turn up you have to sign in, etc. You then get suited up with all that you need, and can of course wear you own stuff, but as you don’t get any discount for using your own, why not just use theirs! I do use my own helmet mind, (they use decent-quality Arais) and you have to wear a balaclava, so it’s kept fresh for the next person. I must admit on this occasion, some of the kit had seen better days, obviously still safe, but some of the kit looked a bit tired.

Once you are all kitted out you have the briefing. You’re run through general safety and what to expect, including an opportunity to ask questions. In fact, they encourage you to ask your instructor as many questions as possible, as it’s your day after all.

You then get to look at the bike you will be using, a Honda CBR600RR. Trust me: it’s a very fast and suitable bike. Once the briefing and questions are out of the way you are introduced to your instructor for your sessions.  Here you can tell/ask him what you are looking for out of the session.

Then you’re off. You follow the instructor out of the pit lane onto the full GP Track to start the session. You can go as fast or slow as you feel comfortable. There’s no speed limits or restrictions; you are free to overtake.

Your instructor will bring you into the pits to give advice or just to make sure you are OK, during your session.

So I suppose the main question is: is it worth doing?

Well, if you are quite new to riding or just haven’t been on track, then I’d say no, as it is quite an intense session. It’ll be much better to do the premier experience (below) as it’s more relaxed. Yes, you may not get the one-to-one coaching, but you get a little more time, and more time to rest in between and get your head round things.

What the School says about their Premier Experience:

For £310

Using the same Honda CBR600RR machines complete with ABS we offer a more advanced session. This course gives a greater knowledge of machine and riding techniques, a detailed classroom debriefing, plus a more in depth introduction to the track and the bike.

Your course begins at sign-on where, if required, we provide all the kit you need to safely ride at high speeds on track. This includes Arai helmets, leathers, boots and gloves. You then receive an in-depth briefing in the classroom to describe the circuit and how best to approach your sessions including information about track position, the circuit line, vision gear changing, steering, braking and throttle usage.

Your group will then head out onto the Donington Park Grand Prix circuit for three track sessions, with de-briefs in-between, with the speed picking up through the course as your skills develop.

Ultimately this half-day course gives you more intense, personalised tuition compared with our introductory On-Track Experience and prepares you for our ultimate Elite Course should you wish to hone your skills further and progress to the awesome Honda CBR1000RR SP Fireblade complete with telemetry.

Your course ends with a group debrief providing feedback from the notes made by your instructor and you receive a certificate to take home to show you successfully completed the course.

The Premier course is designed for 18 years and over.

Paul’s Verdict

If you are an experience rider, and want to improve your riding, this could be for you. You get to ride one of the UK’s premium tracks – not the shortened version, but the full GP circuit used for both BSB and WSB, and even Moto GP in the past.

But the strange thing with both courses is that you don’t need a licence!

Paul Carter at Folembray Track Weekend, France

Thank you, Paul, for this blog on your track day. If you have any motorcycle musings and/or photos to share, drop an e-mail to the Editor, Parveen: progression@elam.org.uk