Frequently Asked Questions

Download and print a PDF Version of these FAO’s for a reference at the track

Our Job: Safety

We, as the corner working team, are an important part of the California Superbike School Team. Our job is safety. The perfect corner working day is when no one crashes or gets hurt. We are the eyes and ears on the track for Course Control and the rider-coaches.

While we are working and riding, we are representing the school. We need to be both professional and courteous. Remember that the students pay substantial money to be at the school and they are our customers.

When we do a good job, our track time is maximized and we have a great time on the track.

Our Pay – Track Time

We do not get paid for corner working. There are no free meals, tires, t-shirts or fuel. Our pay is free track time in a fun comfortable environment.

We normally ride every third student session on a rotating basis. We have 3 corner workers to cover every 2 corners. One corner worker will be a rotator with the other 2 assigned to specific corners.

On the first session the rotator will ride. At the end of the first session, the rotator rides to the first corner and covers while that person rides. When the second session is complete, the regular corner worker returns and the rotator then goes to the second corner to cover for the third rider.

This example pattern then repeats throughout the day for the 3 riders assigned to corners A & B:

 

Rider Corner A Corner B
Session 1 Rotator CW-A CW-B
Session 2 CW-A Rotator CW-B
Session 3 CW-B CW-A Rotator
Session 4 Rotator CW-A CW-B
Session 5 CW-A Rotator CW-B
Session 6 CW-B CW-A Rotator

While the students at taking their lunch break (30-45 minutes) the track is exclusively ours. We all can ride until we are flagged back into our corners by Course Control. Since there are no corner workers during the lunch break, we need to be alert for track hazards as we ride.

When & Where

Unless told otherwise, plan on arriving by 8:00AM. This gives us time to set up and do assignments and briefings. Be sure to give yourself time for traffic delays getting to the track.

You will be required to sign a Release of Liability at least once per year. If this is you first time this year, plan on filling out a release form.

If you have a question about the location of the track, be sure to call the Corner Worker Coordinator for directions. Make note of his/her cell number so you can call if you get lost.

What to bring

The only things that the school provides are radios and flags. The rest is up to us.

We are allowed to bring our vehicles out to the corners before the class starts so you can pack up your gear in your vehicle to bring out to the corner. We also park our bikes in the corners when we are not riding.

You should plan on cold mornings and hot windy afternoons. You never really know.

Here is a suggested list of things to bring:

  • Riding Gear (leathers, gloves, helmet). You must wear full protective leather or Gortex motorcycle riding gear. Blue jeans are not allowed, even with Kevlar.
  • Folding chair, awning, ice chest, etc. Be prepared to anchor you awning with steaks or tie downs. There is usually an afternoon wind at Willow Springs.
  • Bring enough water and drinks to share with your rotator. Also bring your lunch and snacks. The track will not have food services available. Sun screen, hat, sun glasses and/or ear plugs.

See our “What to bring” page for a complete checklist.

You may also need to bring things for your bike such as a stand, extra fuel and any tools you may need to prepare or repair your bike. The track mechanic is usually busy with school equipment, but may be consulted if you have a specific concern about your bike.

Preparing your bike

Your bike will be checked before it is allowed on the track. Be sure that all glass (lights and mirrors are removed or taped). I also recommend that you remove your mirror and the fuses for your head light and tail light if possible.

Tires must have adequate tread, at least 80% at the beginning of the day. Check with the track mechanic for tire pressure recommendations and check it before riding.

Flags

We have 5 flags:

YELLOW: Caution Flag. We will us this to warn riders of a hazard on the track. You should not pass and use extra caution when riding under a yellow flag. When there is a rider down, we put up a WAVING YELLOW flag in the corner before the hazard. The corner before that will have a STANDING YELLOW.

BLUE: Technical Error. We use this to tell riders that there is something in their riding that needs correction. They usually know what they did wrong already. If you see a rider error of concern, you should alert Course Control of the bike number and error. Course Control will then direct the next corner to BLUE FLAG the rider. When Blue Flagging, hold up the blue flag so the rider can see it and then point the flag directly at the rider as they pass. This helps them identify which rider is being flagged when there is more than one bike in the field of view.

BLACK: Exit the track. This flag is used to tell riders that they need to exit the track and talk to Course Control. It is usually used by the corner nearest the track exit. You will be given specific bike numbers to flag by Course Control. Like Blue Flagging, hold up the black flag so the rider can see it and then point the flag directly at the rider as they pass.

RED: All riders reduce speed and safely exit the track. This will be called by Course Control when there is a serious hazard on the track. When called, all corners should wave the red flag and have riders wait for instructions. Used when normal caution flags are insufficient.

CHECKERED: End of session. There will be one designated corner with the checkered flag. When told by Course Control, checker the riders and let Control know which bike is the first to be checkered. This way, they will know which bike would be the first to leave the track.

When WAVING the flags, be sure to wave them aggressively in an exaggerated manor. The riders usually do not see the flag when they are focused on riding.

Radios

The school uses standard PUSH-TO-TALK radios. You must pause momentarily before speaking to avoid having your first word cut off when transmitting.

Speak SLOWLY and CLEARLY using the following syntax:

  • Who your calling
  • Who you are (turn number)
  • The bike number
  • Your message
    Example: “Course Control, Turn 4, Bike 15 using brakes in the corner

Remember to keep communications to a minimum. We may miss an important safety alert such as a bike down, if we are chatting on the radios.

Under windy conditions, cover the microphone when speaking to minimize wind noise.

Hold the radio so that the antenna is perpendicular to the ground for better transmission and reception.

Terminology

The below are some of the things that we are watching for in each session. Please be familiar with these terms before you come to the track. It’s important that we all speak the same language with we communicate on the radio.

BRAKES – If you see anyone pulling the brake lever, or if the front end of the bike dives down before the turn. (This is only during the no-brakes drill sessions) Later in the day though even after they are allowed to use light brakes, or full brakes, if they are hammering on the brakes in the turn, or using brakes while leaned over, or using the rear brake at anytime, report it. Corner workers are expected to follow the brake drill during their riding sessions. If the students are riding with ‘no brakes’ or ‘light brakes’, please follow the same drill guidelines.

SHIFTING – Any shifting of the gears, you can usually tell this by sound, the engine is going at one sound and then suddenly gets quieter and then louder. (This is for during the 4th gear only sessions, or more then 1 shifted gear during 3rd and 4th gear sessions, etc.) Corner workers are expected to follow the shifting drill during their riding sessions. If the students are riding with ‘4th gear only’ or ‘2 gears only’, please follow the same drill guidelines.

HARD PARTS – Students dragging parts of their bike around corners. Sound of metal scrapping on the pavement.

THROTTLE CONTROL – One of the most important things we teach at the school. If you hear students being on and off the gas coming into, going through, or exiting turns.

DRAGGING TOES – pretty self-explanatory.

DUCK FOOT – Student is riding with toes down off the pegs or pointing out from the bike. This can be a judgment call on our part. If the student’s toes are pointing out, but they are not in danger of dragging toes (no lean angle), then we can let them concentrate on other riding issues for now. If they are getting close to dragging toes, call it in.

OFF-TRACK – Again pretty self-explanatory. Be sure to report if they lay the bike down, or if they come back onto the track. Use the Standing or Waving Yellow Flag to warn other riders.

RUNNING WIDE – If a student looks like he is truly out of his normal or the correct line.

MISSING TURN-POINTS – When a student goes through the turn missing the large “X’s” that have been put down in the turn. This is called only when the student is making unsafe turns because of the missed turn point.

MISSED-SHIFTS – When they shift and you hear any kind of sound, that shouldn’t be.

SPEED SHIFTING – When a student shifts and holds the throttle open, over-revving the engine.

RACING – When a couple of students look like they are hooked up and riding together more then working on the drill.

CLOSE PASSING – a student/corner worker/coach passes another rider and there was less then 6 feet between them we want to hear about it. The person in front has the right away no matter what. That means that if a rider starts to make a pass on the inside of another rider and the one in front comes in on the passing one the passing one is at fault. He/she did not give enough space.

EXITING – During some courses we will have the corner closest to the track exit report bikes leaving the track to the pit area. If the student appears to be following a coach off the track, then report this as ‘Exiting with a coach’. Do not confuse ‘exiting’ with ‘off-track’ or ‘Rider Down’.

RIDER DOWN – Again, as it sounds, this is a bike down on or off the track. As a PRIORITY, put up your waving yellow flag. Report the condition of the rider, the track and when coaches arrive. If a coach makes the Village People ‘A’ over his/her head, report this as a request for ambulance.

Riding Rules and Etiquette

Rules for US to follow on the track.

PASSING: The school requires 6 feet of passing space for students and corner workers. Allow for students to react to you when passing in corners.

DRILLS: We need to follow the same riding restrictions as the students. When they are restricted to one gear and no brakes, we should also follow those guidelines. Consider this a good drill to get used to the track.

CHECKER FLAG: When the session is ended, exit the track with the students. Then, go through Course Control and back out to your assigned corner. The students will get confused if you continue to ride past the exit when they are expected to leave the track.

STUDENT/COACH PASSING: When you notice a riding coach working with a student, try to be patient in passing. Avoid getting between the coach and the student if possible. Usually, the coaches will wave you by when they can.

TIMING: You need to get back to your assigned corners as soon as possible after your session. Do not stop to chat. Delays will take away from our riding time. If you need to use facilities or talk with people in the pits, please do so during your riding time, before the end of your session. While school is in session, NEVER LEAVE YOUR CORNER UNTIL RELIEVED.

Other FAQ’s

What happens if I crash?

A: Don’t crash. However, if you do crash, you will be expected to finish your corner working obligations, regardless of the condition of your bike. We will make every effort to get you back riding if possible, but it’s still better not to crash. NOTE:  If you crash, your bike must be inspected and cleared by the Lead Mechanic before you will be allowed to ride it on the track again.

Can I bring a friend or spouse with me?

A: You should clear guest with the head corner worker before the school. We generally allow guests in the corner as long as they do not interfere with operations. Once your guest is in the corner, do not expect to leave until lunch or the end of the day. Everyone on the track, including non-riding guests, must sign a Release of Liability Waiver.

How about pets or kids?

A: No. The track environment requires full attention and adherence to safety rules. It is not a safe environment for kids and pets.

Can I ride my bike to the track?

A: Don’t crash.

Can I buy fuel and tires at the track?

A: There is no fuel available at the track. You need to come with a full tank, and extra fuel as needed. The mechanic may be able to assist you with new tires, if he has time and there are tires available. NOTE: Willow Springs has some fuel pumps that are self-serve (Credit card only) pumps. They are located near the main track, so you will have to go during the lunch break.

Can I drive my personal vehicle (truck/trailer) to my assigned corner?

Yes, we can bring our vehicles to the corner at set-up time in the morning, before the track goes live. Please check with the lead corner worker for safe placement of your vehicle.

Thanks for reading our FAQ’s. This should help you get started as a Corner Worker. If you have any questions, please ask your LEAD CORNER WORKER when you arrive.