How should you show up on your first day on the track? We have come up with 10 fundamental points you should know before facing the curbs for the first time, so that you can prepare the perfect bag and never find yourself unprepared.
1. Helmet with a dark visor
Racing helmets have a peculiar wedge shape and aerodynamic appendages that optimize air penetration. Your helmet should have a double D closure, the safest closure available. Unless you're riding in the rain, or the sky is particularly gloomy, dark visors are the best option. It doesn't strain your eyes, therefore improving concentration. Don't forget your tear-offs so you don't have to stop during a session to clean your visor. On hot days, an integrated hydration system that you can attach to your water bag in the hump of your suit is fundamental.
2. One-piece suit
The suit is a modern armor for the rider, an integrated protection system that guarantees maximum safety and freedom of movement. The latest generation of suits have a D-air® intelligent electronic airbag system that gets activated and protects the rider when needed. A detail that often goes unnoticed is the metal plates inserted in the shoulders, knees and elbows in all Dainese suits. Unlike plastic, metal slides off the asphalt without getting stuck and therefore avoiding the joints from getting twisted into harmful positions. Take note of the elastic panels on the back, knees and torso. Thanks to these panels, the suit is comfortable in all situations, furthermore, professional one-piece suits are designed to be worn in the riding position and not upright.
3. Back protector
Never forget your back protector. Introduced in the late '70s, it soon became the most fundamental protection both on the track and on the road. There are various types of back protectors, some of which are made specifically to be worn on the track. They are lightweight and compact. All D-air® suits come with a back protector made for this purpose. It is light and perfectly integrated into the suit.
Race track gloves must be long and made in leather, with rigid plates of either carbon or metal on the back, the knuckles and the fingers. All seams must be sewn with aramid fiber, a material capable of resisting the very high temperatures generated by friction against the asphalt. A DCP - distortion control device - on the outer part of the little finger is needed to avoid strange twists that could cause injuries. Gloves have evolved immensely in the past 30 years, they used to contain not even 20 components, but now have over 80.
All Dainese race track boots feature the D-axial system, a particular joint that protects the ankle from unnatural twists and bends. IN models, worn under the suit, improve aerodynamic performance, they reduce weight and increase protection. Being integrated in the suit, it protects the foot from twisting and decreases the external volume of the leg in the ankle area, thus reducing the risk of getting stuck on external objects.
6. Inner suit
Never forget your inner suit, especially on warmer days. A thin layer of breathable material between skin and suit helps you stay dry and improves comfort considerably. An inner suit helps when putting on and removing the suit as it reduces the friction between your skin and the inner lining. This reduced friction helps by reducing the risk of the suit scratching the skin in case of a fall. They come in various materials and weights, to be chosen depending on the current air temperature.
Medium or long socks are the best option. Ankle socks or "footies" are not ideal when wearing boots. Even though boots can be comfortable, their seams or Velcro parts can become annoying on the lower calf and ankle area.
8. Drinks and supplements
It's extremely important to stay hydrated, especially on warmer days. Mineral salt supplements are very useful and better than plain water as they facilitate re-hydration. Ideally, you should have your energy drink on you during your session: this is made possible thanks to the integrated hydration system that connects the AGV racing helmets to the bottle in the hump of the suits.
9. Shower necessities
Is there anything better than a reinvigorating shower after a day spent sweating in a leather suit? Bring everything you need to freshen up after your track day, circuits always have showers and amenities.
10. Your motorbike keys
The night before a track day, the motorbike is usually loaded on a truck or a trailer. And obviously the keys are taken home at night. Don't forget them in the morning! Imagine getting to the track, only to find out you've left your keys at home.