If you want to race a motorcycle on a road course, you must obtain a valid racing license by passing an accredited racing school. The big tracks can help you identify the official organizations that are scheduled at their facilities, and many organizations honor licenses obtained by their counterparts (your organization can provide you a list of organizations that honor their license).
The initial cost is NOT an issue! Clubs love to see new people join the community - as a racer, volunteer, and fan... all are welcome. They make the NRS process affordable in many ways, see what OMRRA offered NRS for... just $199 (the equivalent of a track day):
Long before the season starts, check with organizations to determine when they offer NRS. I predicted that at the beginning of the season, I would be riding even more like a squid since I don't ride in the winter... and that proved correct. In addition, in the event that I successfully got my license I wanted to race the next day... and my bikes weren't ready until June. And as I predicted, I stunk up the place pretty bad in the early season - not even close to where I was at the end of 2018.
In July 2019, I attended OMRRA's second NRS of the season. The instruction was led by Alex Taylor who is a seasoned racer and has a really laid back demeanor... so I knew this would be a good fit for me (plus after a mountain of encouragement from so many new racing friends, he was the guy that pushed me over the edge after riding with him on a track day at the end of 2018).
OMRRA provides an in class introduction on a Thursday night before a race weekend, that covers scenarios on video, presentations, and photos to help identify how to make the best choices and also demonstrates the speed that you need to execute the correct choice. They showed situations that drove home good decision making and should be thought of and practiced regularly before entering the track environment.
Each hour you will start in a classroom where the instructors will talk about what you will be doing next. Pay attention to the details and do execute on the track. Generally you will be in the classroom near the top of each hour, and you need to be lined up for the hot pit on the 45's (like 9:45, 10:45, 11:45).
Don't be a jerk. Show up with your bike, gear, and pit ready. Be on time for each session - instructions will start with or without you being there. Don't be that racer that shows up and immediately starts running around the pits asking for help with various things that you should have taken care of before you came to the track. When you are the new guy and you show up asking for stuff, you are sending a message to your fellow racers that you don't have your act together... and you will have already violated one of the first and most basic requirements - BE PREPARED! It should go without saying that you want to leave a good impression on the racing community.
See my Race Prep section for info related to what I did to setup my bikes, gear, and trailer.
The written test is approximately 40 questions and if you miss more than 10 questions, you will fail the written test and will not be getting your race license today... understandable, because you shouldn't expect the racers to want to be on the track with someone that doesn't know the rules. I missed one :)
The instructors want to see that you are capable of holding your line and comfortable riding close with others. Throughout the day, you will ride a little faster and a little closer. It is most important that you do not push yourself beyond what you are capable of. This isn't the time to try new things or push beyond your limits... know your limits and ride within them.
You will have an opportunity to practice gridding up, and race starts for an entire session. You will ride to the grid to a grid box, and the crew will go through the gridding process and you will indicate that you are ready by raising your hand... when all is ready, the starter will wave the green flag and you will rip just like you are in a real race.
Throughout the day, there will be several opportunities to react to flags. It is essential that you ride aware of the flaggers and know what to do when you see various flags. During the red flag drill you will signal (acknowledge that you have seen the flag by raising your hand or leg), and then gradually decellarate but keep riding a fair pace to get around the track quick enough that others can expedite a solution to the problem. You will ride into the Hot Pit and then stop and wait for a flag that either tells you to go back around and grid up (Red flag with G) or proceed to the pits (Red flag with P).
At the end of the day, racers are invited to come out and ride with the novice school in a mock race. There is no way for you to win this race, but if you crash you will fail and not get your license.