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Greg - Vic Club #3 '05No Hair Racing Race Report
Vic Club #3
Can Nothing Dampen Our Enthusiasm!
The last weekend of June, and time for round 3 of the Victoria Motorcycle Club winter road race series at Manfeild. I had missed Round 2 due to work commitments so I was looking forward to getting back on the track.
Bob and I left Te Kauwhata at 6:10pm on the Friday night in the new Commodore SV-6 with the trusty "No Hair" trailer in tow. The new car has about the same capacity as the old "Mitsi" but another 27KW and noticeably a lot more torque on the hills so we thought we'd make good time to Feilding. We would have too except that the fuel gauge drops super-quickly after halfway and we had to go out of our way to fill up in Bulls at 11:45pm finally arriving in Feilding at 12pm.
We decided to get up early as all the best stalls go quickly and we got to the track at 7:15am and yep, all the stalls were gone so we picked a nice piece of parking area and started to set up camp for the day. It was overcast but dry and about 7°C so I sent Jane a text message saying the weather wasn't too bad. Just as I pushed the send button a few drops of rain came down and then it hosed down for the rest of the day. We had just put Bob's dry tyres on, so we had to switch them back to wets and change mine too.
Logan came in late too and set up next to us. He had only ridden Manfeild the previous day and had not used "wets" before on my old '87 FZR400 so there was a lot for him to learn in the pouring rain.
I went out in the Supersport practise session and after circulating for a couple of laps tried to go a little faster. As I applied power coming out of the left hander in the esses, the rear wheel let loose in a big way sliding out more than 45° then flicking back the other way almost the same amount. I saw grass, track, grass, track, grass, finally track again and managed to recover. I wasn't too sure what had happened as normally the wets are great in the rain so I settled down and qualified in 20th place with a time of 1 min 38 secs. Later on someone told me there was mud or clay on the inside of the track which I hadn't seen due to my foggy visor.
Race 1 and it's still raining, I line up on the 4th row of the grid, the flag drops, ease out the clutch in 1st gear, moving well, change to 2nd, open the throttle wide....wheel spin 50m+ up the straight as everyone else takes off for the corner. I join the back of the pack into turn 1 and try to get use to racing in the rain again. Nothing very exciting happened, I got my time down to 1:31 and passed some of the super motards but couldn't catch one of the F3 guys (#33) on his SV-650. I did get past #15 who was taking it quietly on std road tyres. It was a 10 lap race and 6 riders DNF'd to improve my placings over that of round 1 and I finished in 13th.
Race 2, yes, it's still raining but not quite as hard. I had a lot more fun in this race as I got a better start but was still behind the pack going into turn 1. I then remembered that sometimes you can go around the outside as everyone else is lined up on the inside of the corner. I passed about 5 riders before the left hander then conceded a couple of spots before the hairpin. Looking up from the hairpin I saw #15 in front of me...OK, I should be able to pass him due to my tyre advantage but it seems he's going a lot quicker this time!
2 laps go by and I still haven't passed him, this ain't right so down the front straight I had a little more speed and passed him on the inside entering turn 1. Now I can get back into my rhythmn and chase the SV-650 again, only every time I look back there's #15 sitting a little way back. Wow, he's going a lot faster this time. By the last few laps I started to get worried that he would be back past me so I tried a bit harder and dropped my lap times to 1:29 and finished the race. As I was waiting to cross the track #15 came up alongside and I saw that he had wet weather tyres too, but it wasn't Sudeep (#15) riding, it was Nick Odermatt who's normally way up front. It turned out that Nick had blown his motor and Sudeep had very generously offered him his bike to continue scoring points so that explained why I'd had problems getting away.
I finished 13th again in Race 2, so no improvement there but at least my new bike hasn't been upside down yet...can't wait until the next dry day hopefully in July to continue my preparation for the National Champs!
Logan & Bob are writing their race reports and both had a lot of fun although they whined all day about cold fingers.
Thanks again to our sponsors - Henderson Motorcycles, Pirelli Tyres, SSSLodge, EZSite.co.nz and BK Engineering. And, thanks too to Victoria Motorcycling Club for running the event on such a terrible day.
Hope to see you all at round 4 on the 23rd of July.
Bye for now, Greg
No Hair Racing