When the opportunity for a track day arises, one must seize it with zeal, so that is exactly what I did. There were no second thoughts as I packed my bags and headed to Chennai, where Yamaha had arranged the Madras International Circuit (MMRT as we fondly know it) for a weekend of blue revelry for its customers. As part of its Call of the Blue campaign, Yamaha has been organising such events all over the country with the objective of familiarising customers with the Japanese brand’s racing heritage, while providing them with first-hand track experience.
The event gives customers the opportunity to comprehend the potential of their vehicles, given that owners of the R3, R15, MT-15, FZ range and Aerox 155 were eligible to take part in the track ride. Registrations for the event cost an individual a sum of Rs 2000, which would get them 30 minutes of track time, a goodie bag and photographic souvenirs. What it also includes is a full leather suit, boots, gloves and even track-certified helmets to use for the duration of the event. At this rate, it is a steal of a deal!
Now, once we arrived at the track I saw a line of motorcycles all prepped to go on the track, while the first session had already commenced. With professional riding coaches at either end of the group, the riders seemed to be going at quite a relaxed pace to familiarise themselves with the track. A little while into the session, I noticed that they were slowly picking up the pace. Once the session ended, the riders came into the pits and the look they had on their faces once the helmets came off was that of pure joy. I knew that feeling very well, and it wasn’t long before I felt it again myself.
As soon as we got the call saying that the media session was next, all of us journos quickly went and kitted up. Next was the race to pick out our respective motorcycles from the provided lineup of the R15 and MT-15 motorcycles. I went straight for the Metallic Red R15, ready to fend off anyone who tried to take it from me (I almost heard a whisper of ‘My Preciousss’). I stretched a bit and quickly hopped onto the seat, thumbing the starter button and starting it up. I felt like a kid who managed to get a hold of the newest badminton racquet from the sports room during recess!
The media session seemed to take off the fastest, as we exited the pit lane with enthusiasm and almost immediately started pushing the bikes. The riding ergonomics of the R15 are pretty aggressive, resulting in a rather committed racing crouch which was just perfect. It flowed through the corners and picked up speed on the straights without a fuss. Halfway through the session, I pulled into the pits to exchange the R15 with the MT-15 and quickly set off again. The naked streetfighter also felt quite good around the track and I had quite a bit of fun keeping up the pace with my fellow journos.
As our session came to a close, I was left with a certain warm fuzzy feeling inside of me, a sense of fulfilment if you will. But that was not the end, because Yamaha had a surprise for us. They had on display the 2024 YZF-R3 as well as its naked sibling, the MT-03, which are both scheduled to be launched in India by the end of the year. Also on display were the MT-07, YZF-R7, MT-09 and the YZF-R1M which left most of us drooling just looking at it in all its carbon-fibred glory. The Yamaha Track Day was quite a success in my books, and with everything being offered, I surely would recommend all Yamaha owners to attend it at least once, because after that you’ll be hooked on the blue stuff anyway.