Greg - NZRRC R1 '03/'04

No Hair Racing Race Report

National Road Race Champs Rnd 1, December 5th & 6th 2003

Well the National's are here!!! Exciting stuff for both Bob and I as neither of us have competed in them before.

Friday 4th was practice day and the weather was perfect... warm, dry, and very little wind. I had new tyres on the bike and repainted the fairings so was expecting some fast lap times (new paint makes it go faster!).

Bob was trialling some new brake pads containing carbon fibre and they seemed to be working extremely well as was his bike. In one practice session he passed me on the front straight and I couldn't catch him thru the next 3 corners...then down the long back straight his extra horsepower increased the distance. I was hoping to catch him under brakes at the hairpin but his new brake pads were super grippy and he waited until the very last second to 'throw out the anchors'. His back wheel came off the ground about 1.5m in a spectacular 'stoppie' and by the time he got it back under control he had run out of track and ran off, rolling in the soft capture dirt. Luckily not too much damage was done to either Bob or the bike and after duct taping his fairing and straightening some metal, he was back on the track again the next day for the qualifying sessions.

In Saturday's qualifying sessions Bob managed to beat me by 0.2 seconds to qualify in 13th place out of 16 entrants, but it was at a cost as on the very next lap his brakes faded going into corner #3 and he ran off into the grass falling over. More duct tape and metal bending, plus foot peg bracket fabrication late that night saw him back on the track for the second race on Sunday. Unfortunately he couldn't make the 1st race on Saturday afternoon.

In race 1 I had a good start, but so did everyone else and after a few laps I found my place near the back of the field, the engine wasn't quite performing as well as it had in the past and would not go past 14,000rpm in top gear. Also the brakes weren't quite as good as last time I had raced at Pukekohe (yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses!). My lap times were in the low 1 min 13 second range whereas I'd gotten down into the mid 1 min 12's previously. I finished in 11th place thanks to 2 bikes breaking down and a couple running off the track.

Race 2 on the Sunday started much in the same way, but was a bit more fun as it was over 15 laps and as I was passed by the front runners on the 11th lap. This allowed me to slip stream Ross King's 450cc Kawasaki and I saw 14,500rpm in 6th gear (~240kph) before he pulled away. That morning I had leaned the carburettors and replaced my brake pads and the bike was running a little better. Again I finished in 11th place but was credited 10th due to one bike being ruled ineligible for our class. Bob finished one place behind me (which I'll let him tell you about).

My fastest lap was 1:12.294 on the last lap but the race winner Terry Fitzgerald clocked a 1:04.634 on his Suzuki SV-650 to give you an idea of how fast the leaders are!

So, after round 1 I'm sitting in 10th place and Bob's in 12th, next weekend is Manfeild with 2 practice sessions and 3 races, and probably a lot more entrants, so points may be difficult to obtain. I was a little disappointed in not placing higher, but can take some consolation in the fact no one passed me on the corners (due to wobbling around too much!).

Thanks again for taking an interest in No Hair Racing, Alex competed in round 2 of the Bel Ray Cross Country series on Sunday as well (hopefully a report from him soon).

Thanks also to our sponsors, Haldane Motorcycles - the tyre specialists, WEBDES.CO.NZ ez-Site DIY web site, and SSSLodge - for REAL Horse Power.

Cheers, Greg

No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz


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