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Greg - AMCC#5, VMCC#1 06Protecta Insurance AMCC Round 5 April 30th. Actrix VMCC Superbike Champs Round 1 May 14th.
The good weather is definitely over!
April 30th and it was down to Taupo for the final round of the Protecta AMCC champs. Logan was tied up with work so I had only one bike to take down, so borrowed Alex's van to save fuel and time without the trailer. Alex & new pit crew member Ian (seems to have caught the bug after Rnd 4), didn't mind getting out of bed on a cold wet morning in the Waikato and we made good time to arrive at the track at 8:30am.
It was still raining so we swapped the tyres for the wets and passed scrutineering without problems. I entered both F1 & F2 classes again to get some more track time but the weather had put off quite a number of riders as there were only 8 entered in F1 and 9 in F2...still, a good chance to pick up extra points for the end of the series.
The first F1 & F2 races were both wet so I didn't try too hard, coming in 5th behind Nick O in the F1 race and followed Cleve around in the F2 race finishing 6th.
The track dried out before the second set of races so Ian and I changed tyres back to the Pirelli Super Corsa's and in the F1 race everyone was going harder...I finished 7th out of 8 in that one but I was having problems at the sweeper where 3 streams of water were running across the track. Each time I opened the throttle the rear would step out making it difficult to get drive. The F2 race was more fun as I started to work out a strategy to handle the sweeper. I managed to out-brake Cleve at the end of the back straight in lap 3 and later he said he'd run into the over-shoot area trying to do the same to me on the next lap. Again I finished 6th but it was a lot more fun.
The last set of races and it started to rain again. I decided to sit out the F1 race and focus on F2. A combination of old body plus wet track saw me finish second to last but at least I stayed upright. Newcomer Matt Olding picked up a lot of speed in this last race on what looked to be Stroud's GSXR600 so will be someone to watch out for next year. Also Ricky McKay who is normally half a second or so in front of me at Pukekohe was flying at Taupo scoring 2nd, 3rd & 1st places.
I finished up the series in 15th place in F1 having only done 2 rounds but in the F2 class I had completed all 5 and this gave me enough points for 5th place (much nicer than finishing last in the Nationals!).
Ian, Alex & I packed up the van and we got home in time for dinner...apart from the wet track it turned out to be heaps of fun as usual.
Actrix VMCC Superbike Champs Round 1 May 14th.
More testament to the fact that Winter isn't far away!
Off to Manfeild for the first round of the Actrix VMCC winter series. Again Ian wanted to come help (I think he'll be out racing soon) and so we headed down on the Saturday afternoon. I had multiple offers of accomodation as Vernessa came down to stay at her friend's in Woodville, Paul & Geraldine had offered a bed in Dannevirke but it was Joan & Tim who had the displeasure of my company in Palmerston North...thanks everyone :-) Next time I'll probably be sleeping in the back of the van after they read this.
Not much to say about the racing unfortunately...the weather was cold, wet and windy. This time we had 2 more members of No Hair Racing competing, Derek & newbie Jeremy (way to go Jeremy!!!) to keep us company.
I qualified 14th in F2 and 18th in F1 and for the first F2 race the track started drying out so I swapped to the dry tyres (had to do the work myself as pit-bitch Ian was off helping Tim and Joan, grumble, grumble). Derek is getting used to his R6 now and qualified 5th or 6th!
I lined up on the 4th row of the grid and got away very quickly to gain a number of places into the first turn. I managed to hold about 12th place when Geoff Booth slipped past in lap 4 which was annoying as this is his first year on a 600. Then on lap 5 (last lap) I realised I was catching Derek...I knew there was something wrong as he had very little drive coming out of corners... of course I shouldn't really have tried to take advantage of his misfortune but I couldn't help myself. I thought I had him right on the line but Tim's timing system must have suffered a fault as it recorded Derek ahead by 0.012 secs...bugger! Oh well 13th was one place better than qualifying but better still was that I clocked a 1:16.900 on the last lap which was 0.024 secs faster than I had ever been! My previous best was last September on a warm dry day without the dirt/pot holes/rough patches that Manfeild has degraded to so I'm doing something better. Derek's rear sprocket had worn and the chain was slipping badly causing his lap times to go from 1:14's back to 1:19's. He put the sprocket on backwards and did well (7th) in the next F1 race.
Before the F1 race the rain came down again so I swapped back to the wets and cruised around not trying too hard as I had an overseas trip for work the next day and managed to finish 16th.
The rain got steadily heavier as well as the wind increasing significantly. We lined up for the second F2 race and it was starting to get quite bad...very reminiscent of the Nat's at Teretonga. The flag dropped and away we went, around the first corner, a couple of bikes left the track, around the hairpin another one, exiting Higgins was a fourth. Part way through the 3rd lap the red flag came out, we exitted the track and lined up on the dummy grid to be told that the race was over and the meeting was abandoned (the safety car had aqua-planed 3 times following us around :-).
Good ol' New Zealand in the Autumn! We loaded the van then picked up Nessie from Woodville and headed home with storm warnings coming over the radio. Apart from driving in the rain most of the way home we had a good trip home with Nessie only asking "Are we there yet?" a few times. Home just after 11pm and fall into bed...up the next morning and pack for 2 weeks in USA for work (at least it's Spring here with a few sunny days) but I'd rather be at home getting the bike ready for the next cold rainy weekend at Manfeild in June! Hopefully we can get Logan away from work for this one too.
Thanks again for the great support from Henderson Motorcycles & Pirelli Tyres. Also, SSSLodge, www.ezSite.co.nz, New Zealand Towing ltd, Golden Gun Panel and Paint, Glen Eden Pallet Company and Autostop.
Hope to see all of you at the race track soon, cheers, Greg
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz