Motorcycle track day at Lakeside Park Brisbane

It happened in the last round, on the last lap, and all caught on video...

On a perfectly sunny mid 20's kinda day on 16 September, I joined 25 or so East Coast Female Riders and their loved ones at Lakeside Park north of Brisbane. The aim: Listen, Learn and Lean - the three Ls. By the end of the day I added a few more Ls!

Not knowing what to expect the day proved to be full of emotion, a near miss and an almost tragic end to something very close to my heart!

OH Andy had spend several months doing up an R6 with the sole purpose of getting it on the track on this day. With one week to spare and many hours under torchlight, she was good to go.

My excitement to ride on the track super seeded the fact that I'd only managed a quick run on her the weekend prior. We had hoped to swap her over through the day as we would be in different groups. Luckily we took my trusty Street Triple 660 - just in case.

I was grateful we'd decided to trailer the bikes there and didn't have to ride the 1.5 or so hours to the track. This helped greatly in feeling ready for the day. 

motorbikes on a trailer

We headed to check in early to make sure we could share the bike between the East Coast Female Riders group I was joining, and Andy's mixed group, only to be told that this wasn't possible. To ride the R6, I had to enter the mixed group, and Andy had to swap and ride my bike, blossoms and all. He didn't hesitate, bless him. I wish I'd brought him a pink matching skirt.

Motorcycle with number 18 on the front Motorcycle with number 22 on front 

The briefing session set the scene and settled the nerves. It was a great help with knowing we were not alone, would be supported through the day and how the day worked. Its a fine tuned machine in itself, with five sessions, each with several laps over a 15minute period, back into the class for a debrief then a little time to chill before the call to suit up once again. 

two people standing  Two people in motorcycle leathersgroup of people

We bought all our gear and also hired our suits from Race and Road, who were super helpful. So I felt protected and ready to go as we took off for the short ride around to the start line. Once on the bike the nerves turned to calm as the  concentration took over. 

Female motorcycle track rider at start point
MissMXG - CE Level 1 Female Chest Armour

Being a 52 year old female, I struggled a bit with how I looked. I felt like a black marshmallow. My suit was a little roomy, but it's hard to fit a one piece well when you're large breasted. Plus I have no idea how riders keep their pants up! I spend the day holding mine! 

I was lucky enough to be able to ride wearing chest protection from FemPro Armour. This fit well under my suit and I didn't even know I had it on. Highly recommend!

The first round is a slow one where they point out all the things on the track, guide you on the best line and let you get to know the corners at a pace where you're not going to end up a human crayon. It's nice and slow. Probably too slow for those who are experienced riders and just want to carve it up. lol  

Motorcycle riders on track Motorcyclist with hand up

The second round saw us overtaking on the straight. After a couple of track delays to pick up a fallen rider or two. This made me a little nervous as this time I was riding the R6, which is higher and requires expert slow riding balance skills on tippy toes. Its more powerful and I'd only had an hours ride time on her. But I LOVED this ride. In my head I was carving the corners like Rossi.... the reality was I was a total noob, pretty much looking like I normally do. Certainly no elbow or leg out in the shot below! haha

 motorcyclist on track

What an amazing race bike the R6 is and how proud I am of my man for rebuilding it from the ground up.

The third round was faster again, with everyone was getting quicker and more confident. After sitting happily behind some riders, I took the opportunity to pass where allowed on these laps. I've done a lot of riding in my 3 years so it felt good to practice and use the bikes potential. Funny thing is, whenever I passed someone, a faster rider also passed me!!! The track pecking order.

three motorcycles and riders

I felt comfortable being back on the Street Triple for this round and the next. Listened to the great tips from our lead instructor and tried hard to look for the visual cues and to ride the right lines, which is hard when you have riders overtaking on the outside.

Hungry corner was my favourite as I love a good left hander.

This swept beautifully from left to a sweeping right hander. 

Hungry corner motorcycle rider

This round saw us riding Blue group rules, so there was more overtaking options. With these options comes a higher risk of accidents as the more confident riders try to get around us noobs.

Motorcycle following guide showing lines on a track

This footage is a perfect example of how things have the potential to go awry, and that you may have absolutely no choice in the matter regardless of how perfect your lines are! These riders were super lucky and the braking skills were next level, but I'm sure there was a change of undies required at the end.

Watch this spectacular video of a VERY near miss.

No Idea how he saved it!

Andy smashed the fourth round on the R6 and could not wipe the smile off his face back in the pits. Pretty sure he is hooked and will be looking for more adrenalin action. For a track first timer he was a natural.

motorcyclist on track

Motorcycle track riders

For the last round, Andy encouraged me to ride the R6. I really didn't want him to have to ride the girly bike with blossoms on the tail, but he had no problem sharing the R6 and I am so grateful I got 2 rounds on it.

The last round was by far my fastest and most confident and I could feel myself leaning more into the corners. There was more jostling for position and experienced riders were riding to their abilities.

I had fun trying to keep up with my friend and fellow ECFR member Loren on her new, beautiful yellow Aprilia. This is as close as I got haha  In this video we are riding into the straight, only to be smashed by a bigger bike.

Two female motorcycle riders

As the checkered flag was waved for the last time and we headed for the pits, I whispered quietly to myself 'I did it!'.

Bit of a panic at the end as I heading back to the pits, the Insta 360 was missing of my motorcycle, which Andy was riding. Although it was double tethered, it had broken off at the base and bounced somewhere near the bus stop. Massive thanks to the ground crew who gladly took us around the track on four wheels to find it mostly unscathed sitting in a grassy patch at the bus stop.

Ironically it took quite a nice shot as it bounced on the tarmac!

view of motorcycle from the ground

As we loaded the bikes on the trailer, we couldn't wipe the smiles off our faces. Chatting happily about the events of the day and waving goodbye to the equally happy ECFR ladies and their partners.

As Andy peeled off the speedo tape on the Street Triple, something became glaringly obvious.....  


Here's a video of me riding a full lap at Lakeside Park.

My tips

  1. Check your bike isn't in rain mode hahahaa
  2. Don't forget a chair if you can bring it.
  3. Pack liquids with salts and healthy snacks.
  4. You'll have a variety of feelings through the day - get out of your head and get on the track. You won't regret it.
  5. Ride at 80% of your skill level. I never once felt like I pushed too much but I certainly used my skills and got better with every lap.
  6. Know that your first track day gives you the basics. Looking at the pics taken and talking over the tips given, I came away realising all all the things I didn't put into practice, like leaning into corners like I wanted to. 

Can't wait for the next track day. Better start saving... lol

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