Mesa Track Stats
- Length: 185 yds. on the pole 1/10
- Shape: Varies from oval to football
or egg with pole placement
- Width: Straight 33' Corners: 48'
- Surface: Clay base with D.G. surface
- Arena Size: 300' x 150'
- Seating Capacity: 8,750
The first modern United States
National Championship was held at this very race track
way back in 1969.
Although the sport of Speedway
is constantly changing, the Costa Mesa Speedway track
remains mush as it was when Steve Bast claimed that
Sure the track has been widened
a bit since then, but it still looks narrow at 60 mph
with no brakes! And there is more banking now but that
crashwall is just as hard as ever!
How about that awesome D.G. (decomposed
granite) base which is trucked from North Hollywood
and makes such a even track? It can also be a clumpy,
muddy, rutted-out trip to plywood city during the wet
Costa Mesa Speedway remains too
narrow, too tight and too difficult to ride a 500cc,
methanol-burning, brakeless motorcycle around. Maybe
that's why the racing here continues to be the most
exciting and unpredictable in the world.
Keep an eye on the racing surface
during the wet and heavy first round. Many championships
have been won or lost when a rider fell victim to the
event #1 muck!
Watch as the spinning rear wheel of the motorcycle creates
two distinct racing lines, the inside groove and the
outside cushion. The inside groove is the shortest,
surest and often the fastest way around Costa Mesa Speedway.
Unfortunately, a rider who is leading is most often
blocking the inside groove causing a trailing rider
no chance other than to try the outside cushion.
The outside cushion is the dark,
fluffy dirt just beyond mid-track. Riders love it and
hate it. It can propel a skilled rider past his competition
or, through the wall! The outside cushion can pay big
dividends or big penalties. Ouch!
The hot tip is to use the cushion
when you have to, then get back to the safer groove.
The ability to both read and ride is a major key to
Costa Mesa Speedway Track 2007
Costa Mesa is small by
comparison to tracks in Europe but many european fans
agree that the shorter tracks make for more exciting
racing. The racers are often wheel to wheel, shoulder
to shoulder and grip to grip while they charge down
the straights and double up in the turns.
The sport of Speedway uses a
unique type of 500cc motorcycle that are capable of
going from zero to 60 in 2.5 seconds.
Machines used cannot:
- Use a Supercharger in any
- Be constructed in any
part from Titanium
- Use uncoated ceramic parts
- Use telemetry during a race except for timing purposes
- Use any electronic components to control the engine
- Use brakes of any form
In addition all motorcycles
must have a safety cut out device fitted, this is
defined as a switch that "must cut off the circuit
of the electrical supply by the simple action of pulling
a lanyard or a non-elastic string (with a maximum
length of 30 cm) attached to the rider's right wrist."
As Speedway bikes do not use
brakes, the clutch is used as a release mechanism for
Typical program is based
on a championship format which has been used to determine
speedway championships worldwide since 1930. It insures
that every rider meets each one of his competitors
once. It also gives a rider one start in each of the
four start line positions. The catch is, each rider
competes in five heats, so luck of the draw determines
which position he starts from twice.
Points are scored 3-2-1-0 in each heat with a maxi¬mum
score of 15 points possible from each riders 5 scheduled
rides. Finishes are decided by two scorekeepers who
record the race order at the end of each lap. Championship
races are run over 4 laps. Points are awarded by the
scorekeepers who determine all finishing orders. All
riders must complete all 4 laps in order to earn points.
No points will be awarded to riders who fails to complete
Heats with 4 riders
|1 -Don't touch the tapes!
|2-Don't cause a restart
|3-Don't cause another
rider to fall or crash
|5-You must finish on the
lead lap to score points
|6-Don't delay the start
|7-Over 2 minutes
DON'T TOUCH THE TAPES!
Starts are critical in a race which lasts only 50
seconds, and competitors know this. More races are
won and lost in the first 30 feet between the tapes
and turn one than anywhere else. Quick reactions and
a good drive to turn one can put a rider in the perfect
position to control the remainder of his race.
All riders are required to stage in their assigned
box with the front wheel of his machine set 6"-12"
from the tapes. When all riders are staged to the
satisfaction of the referee the green light is turned
on. Once the green light comes on the start is "eminent"
and the tapes must go up within 2-5 seconds. During
the staging period no rider shall touch the tapes
or anticipate the start . Any rider who touches the
tapes, anticipates the start or has a mechanical problem
during the staging procedure shall be penalized.
If the starting gate malfunctions or in the opinion
of the referee a rider rolls creating an "unfair
start" the race may be stopped and restarted.
If two or more riders touch the tapes simultaneously
the race may be restated.
The closest, scariest and most unpredictable action
of each race will surely come in the first turn. Four
riders all fighting for one position can mean only
one thing, trouble. Be cautious in the first turn
and watch the field ride away. Go for broke and there
is a good chance you'll end up on your head.
If half of the field (two or
more riders) falls before one lap is completed a full
restart shall be ordered. A rider who is deemed to
be the cause of the restart may be excluded from the
restart. The race will not be stopped for a rider
who falls alone unless a second rider caused him to
fall in which case the second rider shall be excluded.
A rider who falls alone and causes the race to be
stopped "in the interest of safety" shall
be excluded from the re-run. If all the "mays"
and "shalls" are beginning to confuse you,
don't feel alone!
Determining fault among four
riders fighting over 12 feet of first turn real estate
can be nearly impossible. When more than half the
field falls in turn one look for a full restart unless
one particular rider does something "ugly"
to his opponents.
A rider who hopes to win a heat without being first
to turn one has only one option, passing! Passing
against the best short-track riders in the world is
very, very difficult. Often it involves contact or
stealing the leading riders line which results in
contact. Controlled contact alone is not basis for
exclusion, but knocking a competitor down may be.
Contacting a rider or his machine front wheel first,
taking him into the wall or losing control resulting
in a crash are all basis for exclusion. Good close
racing which results in one rider going down will
most likely not bring out the red flag. Survival of
the fittest is the game but speedway racing is not
a demolition derby. Once again this is all judged
by the referee and is at his discretion. No referee
wants to decide a title with a call. He, like the
fans, want the #1 to be earned on the track.
has the best seat in the house to be judge of the
starts, but has a tendency to order a full restart
when he has any doubt as to who was at fault in a
racing incident. When he does make a call however,
it's the one "he" saw and he call 'em as
he see's 'em.
Controversy is inherent and
there is no reason to believe this years events will
be any different. Some riders will push the rules
and get caught, others will push them and be rewarded.
No referee can see everything all the time. Every
rider will take any advantage he feels he car get
away with. It's the nature of the sport, it's what
makes the racing exciting, it is SPEEDWAY!
Two minute warning
This period of time is standardized to two minutes
from a time determined by the match referee. All riders
must be at the tapes under their own power before
the two minutes have elapsed. Additional time between
races may be allowed by, and at the discretion of,
the referee if a rider has two consecutive rides,
to allow the rider time to prepare.
A rider who is not at the start
line within a reasonable period of time is also liable
to be disqualified.
Marked by white lines or barriers on the inside and
outside of the track, any rider who crosses this boundary
with both wheels will be disqualified unless they
only did so in the interest of safety or were forced
to by another competitor.