Categories: Features
May 24, 2017
| On 2 years ago

Fastrack Riders University

Fastrack Riders is a popular track-riding organization that has expanded way beyond that of the typical group devoted to giving street riders the opportunity to ride their motorcycles at their limits in a proper closed-course environment. With the majority of its events being held at Fontana, California’s Auto Club Speedway, Fastrack is the venue’s official motorcycle partner. The 2.36-mile road course on the inside of the superspeedway features 21 turns and a section of banking that allows the current generation of sportbikes to really clear their throats. In addition to its exclusive relationship with Auto Club Speedway, Fastrack is sponsored by BMW and KTM.

In 2015, Fastrack expanded its offerings to include Fastrack Riders Academy and 2016 saw trips to three European tracks featured on the MotoGP series: (Portimao (Portugal), Jerez (Spain) and Mugello (Italy). The Riders Academy is a three-month training program in a competitive format in which the riders are coached by professional racers, including four-time AMA Pro Roadracing Champion Eric Bostrom, and is primarily geared towards riders who are looking at a professional racing career.

Meet the professors (left to right): Chris Fillmore, Eric Bostrom, Imad Samhat, Chris Ulrich, and Jeremy Toye.

“There are trackday organizations and there are schools,” says Fastrack owner Imad Samhat, “Fastrack has great programs on both sides. Our goal is to offer a wide range of services that will improve riding skills and increase safety margins.”

After two successful years of the Riders Academy, Samhat has created another training program that is geared primarily for riders who are looking for the skills of a racer but are not necessarily pursuing it as a career. From this idea, Fastrack Riders University (FRU) was formed.

FRU’s program is directed towards advancing the skillset of trackday riders, making them both faster and safer. Through the use of nationally known racers Jake Zemke, Chris Ulrich, Jeremy Toye, and Chris Fillmore and directed by Eric Bostrom, FRU’s stated goal is to educate riders in how to go faster, giving them the understanding of what is the best way to improve rather than blindly increasing their speed and learning through trial and error. Instead, FRU expands the rider’s feel and confidence by giving them five building blocks to base their improvement on: advanced feedback, predictive awareness, base consistency, grip, and handling optimization.

Lead instructor Eric Bostrom follows a student through a corner.

“We’ve devised a program structured with a three-dimensional pyramid that covers everything from the basic to the most advanced handling techniques,” says lead instructor Eric Bostrom. “We are extremely pleased to see the riders improve their skills and ride faster while also safer. It is truly rewarding to see the University students excel as trackday riders and also dominate in race series that takes them to tracks they have never ridden before. These solid fundamentals provide a foundation that transfer anywhere you choose to ride. Enhancing the performance and fun factors is our way of showing gratitude by giving back to the motorcycle community.”

Both intermediate and advanced riders are eligible for FRU which will be held during one day of every 2017 Fastrack Weekend Event. The FRU group sessions are limited to a maximum of 16 students, and beginning on May 27, the sessions will be extended to 20 minutes of private track time away from other Fastrack attendees. Building on the program developed for the Fastrack Academy, FRU students will enjoy the same technological aids, including video assessment, in-helmet communications, and data-acquisition system which will allow students to study their lean angle, corner speed, braking and acceleration points, splits, lap times, and race line.

The team of instructors works with the students in the classroom as well as on the track.

Riders who want to race can, with advance notice, receive one of four certifications that can be used at participating racing organizations, allowing the rider to race at the FRU-Certified equivalent level. The certification levels are: Amateur, Probationary Expert, Expert, and Semi-Pro.

The program has proved so successful in the first third of 2017, that Fastrack is scheduling an event exclusively for FRU students.

“After four months of success, proven methodology, and completely satisfied customers,” says Samhat, “it is only natural to expand the program to host its own event; 100% dedicated to the University.”

So, on June 23rd, the first full-day FRU will take place, plus a third University Level, Beginner, will be added to the menu, opening the program to even more riders. Imagine sharing Auto Club Speedway with just 15 other riders, plus instructors for a total of 2.5 hours of track time broken into eight 20-minute sessions. Mix in roughly four hours of classroom instruction, and the potential for personal riding improvement skyrockets. Each FRU session costs $795 (which includes the trackday) for riders who chose to ride their own motorcycle. Students who want to utilized one of Fastrack’s 2016 BMW S1000RRs can do so for $1,295 for the whole package including the bike.

Bostrom demonstrates cornering technique for a student.

“This program provides a unique opportunity for the riders to get trained and coached by top professional roadracers in a semi-private environment,” adds Samhat. “Since we also have motorcycles available, there is the option of arrive and ride, which is ideal for out-of-state riders who can conveniently fly into Ontario airport minutes away from Auto Club Speedway.”

To learn more about Fastrack Riders University, visit the Fastrack website.