This may seem overly basic, but it is crucial to hug the inside wall (without touching the electric wall) at all times. Even drifting to the middle of the track now and then can cost you a LOT of time over the course of five laps. Stay focused on maintaining the proper racing line.
The most basic turning technique is simply pushing to the left or the right on the d-pad (directional pad). But there are several other strats used to turn:
Sharp turn: To turn more sharply, hold down the d-pad and the shoulder button in the direction you are turning. Blast turn: For those stubborn turns where you always slide across and hit the far wall, try tapping A through the turn. Drift turn: This advanced technique requires you to hold the d-pad in the direction you are turning while holding the OPPOSITE direction shoulder button. This is used to be able to prepare further in advance for the most difficult turns. At the proper moment in the turn, you switch shoulder buttons to cut the turn very sharply. This is one of the necessary strats to control the Jet Vermilion well.
There are four ways to "boost" (temporarily increase your speed beyond the normal maximum speed of your vehicle):
Turbo Boost: After each completed lap you earn a turbo boost. Press both shoulder buttons at the same time to execute the boost.
Dash Plate: Scattered around the tracks, dash plates give you a short-term boost to even higher speeds than the turbo boost. They are sometimes placed strategically before a jump plate to help you cross the divide.
Rear Bump: Another vehicle bumping you from behind gives you a boost. It is usually a small boost, but depending on the angle in which you were hit it could be quite large! This technique is vital to the best players. Use a Master level opponent for a one-time bump in Time Trial mode, or get bumped ahead repeatedly by playing in Grand Prix mode!
Mine Boost: The mines that new players try to avoid actually help the advanced players! You get a large boost when you hit a mine, but you have to be able to maintain control of your vehicle afterward to benefit from it. That is the hard part! Along with drift turning, this is another main advantage to using the Jet Vermilion. It recovers from hitting mines better than any other vehicle. Top players who are setting their times in Grand Prix mode can even take advantage of the ball-shaped floating mines that appear.
Most jump plates in the game can be used to take a shortcut or at least cut a corner. The more speed you have when you jump, the farther you will travel in the air. Also, pressing down on the d-pad will add distance to your jump, but you will lose a little speed. You must press down on the d-pad when you land to avoid the harsh bouncing that costs you speed.
Strafe driving is an advanced technique. Its definition is simple: Hold down one of the shoulder buttons while driving. In reality, it is difficult to master. When you press a shoulder button on a straightaway, the vehicle pulls to that side. So you must straighten out your vehicle by tapping the d-pad in the opposite direction until you are satisfied with the path you are taking. This path won't ever be perfectly straight, unless you are using The Stingray, in which case it is possible. Your speed indicator won't show a higher speed, but you will cut much time off of your race by performing this technique. It is often used to prepare for a drift turn.