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Dec 21, 2001

Fastrack Is Out And Willow Springs Starts Its Own Friday Practice And School, Practice Limited To 50 Riders

From a press release, which seems to indicate that WSMC is not involved and that the 51st rider to show up to practice will be sent home:<BR><BR>Willow Springs Raceway Announces Motorcycle Riding School<BR><BR>World Champion Eddie Lawson to Assist with On-Track Instruction, Q & A<BR><BR>Willow Springs International Motorsports Park owner Bill Huth today announced the formation of the Willow Springs Motorcycle Academy. The new organization, owned and operated by Willow Springs Raceway, will target street riders who want to learn more about high performance motorcycle riding, or want to find out more about riding on a closed course in a controlled environment. There will also be separate, track-only sessions for licensed racers who would like to test and tune their racebikes prior to the monthly Willow Springs Motorcycle Club races.<BR><BR> "Motorcycles seem to be most active group at the raceway now," commented Huth, who has owned the track since 1962. "I think there are a lot of riders out there who might not want to race, but would like to come out and see what it's all about. We have three tracks here that we'll be using for the school, and each one will give the riders something different to work on and learn about. With Eddie [Lawson] out here helping, I think we're really going to have something special for people."<BR><BR>The first schools will use the historic 2.5-mile road course. As the program expands, both the New Streets of Willow and the new paved oval will also be used. Huth believes the variety of tracks will let riders work on different skills with a much higher level of safety and comfort. <BR><BR>Four-time 500cc World Champion Eddie Lawson agrees. "I think when people get a chance to get on this new paved oval, they're really going to be surprised at how much fun it'll be," Lawson commented. Huth also feels the new oval will be ideal for developing cornering and bike handling skills in conjunction with sessions on the main road course and Streets of Willow. "Riders can go either direction, to work on either left or right hand turns. And it's really safe because of all the runoff area."<BR><BR>The school will be limited to a maximum of 20 students and will include classroom lessons combined with on-track sessions and "chalk talks" discussing various riding techniques. Classes will be broken into two riding groups, with no more than ten students on the racetrack at a time to maximize safety and individual attention. The classroom sessions will be conducted by Mitch Boehm, Editor of Motorcyclist magazine. Boehm has a long history as a research and development rider, journalist, and motorcycle racer. Eddie Lawson will join Boehm for the on-track sessions and will help to answer specific questions riders might have about riding skills or techniques.<BR><BR>The cost for either the school or the open tuning and testing is $150.00 per rider. Riders who are either a current member of the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club or who can present a valid professional or expert level racing license from a recognized organization such as WERA, AFM, Formula USA, or the AMA can also sign up for the tuning and testing sessions. The school is open to all riders, and is required for any rider who does not have an approved racing license.<BR><BR>The first school will be held on Friday, January 18, 2002. The maximum number of students is 20. The maximum number of riders who would like to sign up for open testing is 50. Open tuning and testing will be split into two groups of no more than 25 riders each. The groups will be based on motorcycle displacement.<BR><BR>Riders who wish to enroll in the school or sign up for open testing should contact the raceway in advance to confirm a spot. Schools will start at approximately 8:00 a.m. Students are urged to arrive early to complete signup, payment, and technical inspection of their motorcycles. Those wishing to participate in open testing only can arrive at any time during the day. Because of the limited number of participants, advance registration is highly recommended.