On Track: SMSP Ride Day

There’s always a sense of anticipation and excitement when the opportunity arises to go to the track. In this case, we were at an SMSP Ride Day; an event facilitated by the Australian Racing Driver’s Club (ARDC) and Motorcycling Events Group Australia (MEGA).

We were there to mark good friend of Exhaust Notes Australia Rich’s 50th birthday, giving him the opportunity to unleash his Ducati Streetfighter V2, as well as spend some quality time of our own, putting in some high speed miles.

Arriving at the early time of 6.30am at Sydney Motorsport Park, just as the gates opened, we unloaded the Ducati, parked it, and sorted the hire bike this writer was to climb aboard for the day. A simple and hassle free process, we landed a BMW S 1000 RR.

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This is definitely the easiest way to get aboard and try a track day if you haven’t experienced one before, with MEGA offering the ability to hire literally everything you’ll need for the day, from the bike, to safety gear.

As an added bonus, all your needs are taken care of for the day, including fuel, fundamental setup of the bike, tyre pressures and the like. From there, we jumped into a safety briefing.

SMSP Ride Day
SMSP Ride Day

SMSP Ride Day events allow you to select from four groups; White, Yellow, Green and Red. Each group varies in rider experience and pace to ensure you are paired with others of the same skill level. Importantly, riders can be moved up and down, depending on lap times.

In a nice touch, we got to ride the full 3.93km Grand Prix circuit, a track which comprises a mix of sweeping corners and tighter more technical turns, providing plenty of room and opportunities for overtaking and growing one’s skills.

There are six sessions in total throughout the day and each lasts for 20 minutes. As Rich hadn’t been to the track for a long time, we took the opportunity to partake in the sighting laps before the real fun began. It’s a nice reminder of where the braking markers are too.

The first session went by in a flash, but the smiles on our faces when we returned to pit lane were massive. As we told stories of our highlights of session one, it was soon time to refocus and prepare for the day’s second outing.

Now familiar with the track, session two and three offered the chance to improve on track. We also found plenty of time in-between sessions to make sure we took on plenty of fluids and food to cope with the 30-degree heat the weather gods had dished out.

SMSP Ride Day
SMSP Ride Day

By the end of session four, fatigue was starting to set in for Rich, and while he was still grinning, his body was starting to say no. It was then we made the decision that session five would be it for the day.

For our final session, we turned the fun up to maximum, testing the true capabilities of bike and rider, before calling it a day. There’s no pressure to do all six sessions, and the team from MEGA are there to make sure you get the most out of those you do.

The experience you gain from one outing, let alone five or six on a single day, is priceless, and we can’t endorse doing at least one track day in your life enough. And for those who have never done a track day, there’s a first timer program (just to ease you into it).

MEGA also provides a comprehensive tyre supply and fitting service, should you need new hoops. It’s a testament to the experience that as yours truly writes this story, a few weeks post event, Rich is still smiling, and still talking about being able to let loose on his Ducati.

It’s a well run event from two professional organisations, in the form of the ARDC and MEGA, at one of Australia’s best tracks. Full details, including dates, what’s included and other information, can be found on the SMSP Ride Days website.

SMSP pits
In the pits at the SMSP Ride Day

Images courtesy of SDPICS.

Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.

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