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Greg - Vic Club #5, '05No Hair Racing Race Report Vic Club #5
Still Lots To Learn!
It was an action packed 2 days for me as I flew back from Melbourne at midnight on Friday then jumped on the plane for Palmerston North at 7am on Saturday morning. Mark was at the airport to meet me and chauffered me to the track by 8:30am with plenty of time for sign on and rider's briefing.
The first thing for me to learn was not to leave the petrol tank key at home! Luckily there was enough in the tank for the qualifying session then afterwards I removed the tank, tipped it upside down and refuelled it around the fuel pump in the base of the tank.
Qualifying was a ripper!!! My previous best at Manfeild fell by almost 2 seconds and I qualified in 17th just a few tenths behind Deane Labrum & Derek Hill which really surprised me (and them).
Race 1 and a good start saw me placed in behind Deane after the first corner. The R6 had a bit more power and I managed to get past him on the back straight (I think). I then had Barry New & Derek in my sights. Down the front straight then into Coca-Cola (turn 1) and they were both in front so I opened the throttle as wide as I dared exiting and ran a bit too wide.
Lesson #2, when the rear tyre looks like it needs replacing and you have a new tyre sitting at home, maybe it's a good idea to fit it... 'cos the old one let loose at least 30 degrees then regripped and flicked back. I stayed on, but headed out into the grass to do a bit of motor cross.
Lesson #3, road tyres don't work as well as knobblies on the grass...I tried to turn gently back onto the track but I lost the front and did a 180 at reasonably low speed. I had hit the kill switch just before it fell over, so I quickly pulled my leg out from underneath, picked up the bike and it restarted right away. I did a 'U' turn onto the track, then took it quietly to rub any mud off the tyres then tried to catch up before the 6 laps were over.
Craig Sherrifs went past easily but I managed to hold Derek Mc Adam up in the hairpin for a second (sorry Derek) and passed one of the super motards before the chequered flag came out. So, last in the 600 class...not what I had hoped for, but I did drop another 0.3 seconds trying to catch up.
Race 2 wasn't as much fun as I let the closest bunch get away from me but I did manage to drop another 0.1 secs for my fastest time of the day at 1 min 18.077 secs finishing in 16th.
I had a quick chat to Dave Cole before race 3 as I was finding the rear of the bike was going up and down under power through the esses. He suggested I increase the compression damping which I did and this settled the bike a lot, and also helped exiting Coke and Higgins.
Race 3 and the track was cooling a little and I had another small slide exiting Higgins so I didn't try too hard after that, my best lap being a 1:19.069. Karel Pavich got past me on her TZ-250 doing 1:16's and I finished in 17th.
It's amazing how helpful the other competitors are in motorcycle racing, Sean Bishop, Gordon Pullen & Todd Sutherland all had good suggestions with regard to bike set up that I'll try next round (thanks guys).
Even though I had dropped the bike I felt that it was a very positive day and I'm sure I can get into the 1:16's and catch up to the next bunch of riders. The bike only suffered minor scuffing of the paint work, so once I had picked & washed out all the mud and grass it looked almost new again.
Lots of thank you's are in order: Nevina Knight for giving me a bed and a ride to the airport on Saturday morning, Bob Knight for bringing the bikes down from Auckland, Dave, Sean, Gordon & Todd for words of advice. Also thanks to Uncle Fred for accomodation in Feilding & Mark for airport pickup & pit support.
And thanks to our sponsors, Henderson Motorcycles...that R6 with Arrow exhaust is very strong compared to the competition!!
Thanks too Pirelli Tyres... apologies for trying to run another meeting on an old tyre, but at least I know what to look for now.
See you all at Round 6 next month. It will be on the long track so I'll have to wait until the National's to see if I can get into the 1:16's.
Bye for now,
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz