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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > Issue 324 March 2017 > TRACK-TASTIC UK CIRCUITS UNLEASHED

TRACK-TASTIC UK CIRCUITS UNLEASHED

Given how puny our sacred country is, we’re jammier than a jam donut covered in jam when it comes to motorsport venues and trackday opportunities.
Summer will soon be here, bringing with it the chance to do a bit of this!
IMAGES: ALEX JAMES PHOTOGRAPHY

In terms of circuit-to-land ratio, the UK must rank in the upper echelons among the ballers, with a scattering of tracks up and down the country, each offering idiosyncrasies and something completely different to the next – like only a UK track could do. In fact, unless you’re lucky enough to live in Cornwall, there’s (almost) a guaranteed circuit within an hour of one’s abode.

There are jumps, 150mph turns, spectacular coastlines, archetypal nadgery tracks and pukka GP circuits all at our disposal: an unrivalled array of challenges – each with its own foibles. There may not be the veritable feast of super-clean, expansive MotoGP tracks, free from reckless noise restraints, enjoyed by our friends in Spain or Italy, but we really do have an extensive playground – something that’s so often taken for granted. From replicating our GP heroes at Silverstone to jumping the Mountain at Cadwell, there’s something to appease every taste, and while MSV have an obvious monopoly when it comes to trackday venues, the smaller circuits can prove just as fun and fruitful.

Despite the trackday boom happening years ago, we’re still astonished at the number of newbs finally seeing sense after years of road-only riding, breaking that trackday hymen and sampling cornering nirvana in a safe environment. And regardless of bargain European trackdays with a promise of endless sunshine, it’s still a prolific industry on Her Majesty’s Isle.

There are glaring omissions though: not every track can meet FB’s required standards to ensure top-10 status. The likes of Mallory Park and Croft are steeped in motorcycling history but their fragility and uncertainty are tragic circumstance.

Likewise, Castle Combe is another iconic landmark crippled by noise restrictions – sadly not even standard bikes are good enough for the local council.

Rather than divide opinion and create another north/south willy-waving comp, we’ve selected the UK’s top-10 tracks, detailing all you need to know and ranked them alphabetically. No matter if you’re a seasoned trackday veteran or absolute novice, make sure you get out there in 2017 and make use of what’s on your doorstep.

Brrrrraaaaap, Britannia!

ANGLESEY

Nicknamed the Welsh Phillip Island, Anglesey in North Wales is one of the most underrated stretches of tarmac in the UK.

The fact that it’s not owned/run by MSV – and the small matter of access and a distinct lack of nearby facilities – are the only reasons it’s not on the British Superbike calendar. It’s certainly not the layout or fun-factor, or even safety for that matter.

There are two fundamental layouts commonly used: the Coastal and the International, the latter boasting a penis-shaped extension to give it a lengthier, faster lap. The former brags the UK’s only corkscrew, although Anglesey’s is far less undulating and scary than Laguna Seca’s. Still epic to ride, though.

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