The basic motto for cornering is “smooth in, fast out” – the faster you exit the corner, the less energy you will have to spend accelerating out of it. The thing to remember is that without proper technique, faster in does not necessarily make faster out.
Racing line – the ‘racing line’ is the fastest way through the corner. When approaching a corner, push to the outer edge of the trail as this will give you a shallow turning angle and more visibility of the track. Turn in, aiming to be at the closes to the inner edge at the ‘apex’ of the corner, and drift slowly to the outer edges.
Braking – brake before you get to the corner as you’ll be leaning in and you’ll have less grip.
Eyes on the exit – keep your eyes as far around the corner as you can – this will give you as much warning as possible and keep you heading for the right part of the trail.
Lean the bike over – Lean into the corner and keep your inside pedal higher. This will increase the amount of your weight going through your tyres giving you more grip.
Berms are banked corners which give you more grip, allowing you to lean further and enter faster. Keep your bike lent over and your weight on the outer pedal.
Berms not only allow you to corner faster, but give you a small boost if ridden well. Over-weighting the bike on the way in, and under-weighting the bike on the exit will kick you out the other side a little faster. In this way, you can treat berms as horizontal bomb-holes.