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Greg - SS R2, '02Suzuki Series 2002 Round 2 Manfeild May 19th
4am Saturday morning saw us leap out of bed to drive down to Manfeild for Practice and Round 2 of the Suzuki Series.
We managed to leave Te Kauwhata by 4:45am and I dialled up cruise control and sat back to wait for Manfeild to appear approx 5 hours later....well almost! I had cruise control set at 102kmph which is a little naughty towing a trailer, so just south of Mangaweka I was given a warning by a nice gentleman in a white car.
Having saved $170 and 35 demerit points I knew it was going to be a good weekend (even with the grumbling getting out of bed). I missed my first practice session, but managed to get in 3 rounds before the end of the day. My previous best time on the old Thundercat was 1:21.02 and I clocked a 1:20.75 to prove that I can still improve (I had done a 1:20.3 on Chris's R6 during the 4 hour). I was reasonably pleased but I was hoping to get into the 19's. We packed up and stayed at Bob's uncle Fred's in Feilding and went to dinner at the RSA. Dad's mate Noel, stuck $4 in the pokie machine and walked away with $300...so another good omen.
Sunday we brushed the ice off the car & bike and got to the track at 8:00am, all going smoothly except I missed my call for the practice session. I wasn't too concerned as yesterday had gone well.
Race 1 saw me on row 6 of the grid and just before the lights went on 3 riders sneaked up to row 5 and a half and blocked me a bit, but I had a really good race with Brett Grice on an old 400 four honda (a really old one - air cooled), he was so much better under brakes and entering corners than me it was disgraceful! But the 600 passed him easily on front and back straights.
In Race 2 everyone seemed to slow down a little & Brett only passed me once and I managed to get away and catch a group of 4 riders with Sally Steadman in the middle on her RS-125 she was getting held up by them in the corners and I followed her around to the end. Best lap in Race 1 was 1:21.2 and in Race 2 1:21.8 so not quite as fast as I'd like.
Race 3 I had a terrible start failing with the clutch so the bike lurched down the track in fits and starts, but I got mid pack by turn 1 and managed to pass a few guys to catch up with Sally again. We had clear track ahead but trying hard I couldn't quite catch her before the end. I did achieve a new personal best of 1:20.21, not quite into the 19's but there's two more meetings at Manfeild to come, and I picked up my first point of the series finishing 15th in race 3!
So, it's a very slow process for me but I am improving.
Thanks to my support team, Vern Percival, Noel Tarrant, & Bob Knight (& Bob's uncle), and thanks to Suzuki Series for another great weekend.
Cheers, Greg P.
No Hair Racing Team