Fancy trying your hand at motorbike racing? Before you start, there are a number of things you need to do writes Nicole Lynch
All my life I have been around motorbikes. My Dad used to race, but that was years before I came along. He has always had motorbikes though and some of my first memories are of being on the back of his bikes and riding around the country. I also got my first bike when I was just five years old. My brothers raced sidecars, which are custom built chassis with three wheels, run with motorbike engines. This was my first introduction to racing as my Dad brought me to Mondello Park to see my brothers race. I loved it from the first day and always asked to go back. It was 10 years later when my brother asked me what I wanted for my 21st Birthday present and I asked him could he help me get my racing licence. I had wanted to race for a couple of years before but didn’t know how to go about it. The process was much easier than I thought.
Join a club
First, you have to join a club. There are clubs located all around the country and a simple check on motorcyclingireland.com will bring up a full list. You can join any club you want usually for a very small joining fee. At the start of each year, most clubs will run a short meeting, which will tell you a bit about the club, and they will usually give a small seminar on flag rules and anti-doping regulations, however, they are moving to online seminars at the moment.
Once you have joined the club and completed an anti-doping and flag seminar either with the club or online, you can download licence application forms from Motorcycling Ireland. A quick self-declaration medical is required and sometimes an eye test. Send the forms back in with the appropriate fee and then there’s just one more step to take.
Before you will be sent your licence, the last step is to go on Mondello Parks licence test day. Before you can do the test day, you’ll have to have all of your personal protective gear. This includes full leathers, gloves, boots, identity tags, a back and chest protector are optional but recommended, and a helmet which is within five years of its date stamp and has a double D fastener. You will also need a motorbike. The test day is very welcoming and you will be met with an introductory briefing and instructors. You will do some classroom sessions explaining flags, race etiquette, rules and some other useful track info. Then you’ll go on track and ride around, as well as doing some braking and acceleration drills. After the assessment, you will get a form signed off and can send that in with your licence forms.
Once all of this is completed you will receive your licence in the post and will be able to start entering races!
8th May 2019