Logan - SsangYong SB Champs R1, '05/06

Saturday/Sunday 10th/11th December 2005 No Hair Racing Report - Logan Bennett Ssanyong National Super bike series, Round 1 Pukekohe

Well the race weekend actually started with a practise day on Friday however I had to work, so Greg was going to run in the new 450 kitted FZR400 motor, when in the 2nd session it (again) all turned to custard, she blew. This didn't stop me from being able to race the weekend though; as Greg stayed up that night swapping motors and putting the faithful '87 FZR400 motor in so that at least I could race.

Saturday was here and the first of 2 qualifying sessions was up, I was still sick, the damping on the front end was jammed on, and to make things worse the bike wouldn't start! A long time on one of the post classics racers rollers of winding and backfiring and the old girl started... but no tacho - well id already missed half the session to qualify so I shot out there as quick as I could and tried to change gears very early as I'm not very familiar with the Yammy and didn't want to run it thru the red and blow it up.

Between the end of the first session and the second session we managed to get the tacho working, however after messing around with wiring I had left the balancer tube out of the air box... so after one lap of practise I realised why it wouldn't go faster then about 80kmph... Again gutted and disappointed with myself I came back into the pits more frustrated then ever, as in the first race I had qualified 16th/18.

So last thing Saturday they slipped in our first race which was 9 laps. I was nervous and broken from the previous experiences of the day, which lead to a sub-standard start gaining no extra places. I tried hard but wasn't really there, with the rock hard front end it shook all over the place and I couldn't focus enough on stuff all and kept coughing whilst trying to ride, I came in 15th place but at least as happier that I had had some fun and was out there doing it.

Same time, same place, but a new morning after my works Christmas do, and the grolsh + medication on Saturday night must have really done something! I was feeling better and not coughing so much, although we couldn't fix the bike not starting problem (Evidentally the inlet valves need shimming and were staying part open so as it didn't have so much compression) however Greg solved the front end issue! So set for the first race of the day I got out there but again didn't quite have the start I wanted. It didn't bother me too much as I was up having fun dicing with 2 SV650's ahead of me... coming underneath Phil in Turn 1, and in the hairpin but nothing ever was enough, I even caught up to the SV650 further ahead but despite getting the best drive out of Castrol onto the back straight and running his rear tyre the old girl didn't have enough to slipstream and be pulled down the straight, and soon Phil's SV650 came by me again. A Finish of 13th put a smile on my face not to mention my new personal best time on a 400 around Pukekohe of 1:10.045

Some bottles of water and a few bits of bread later was the final race, a 15 lapper. This time I focussed and wanting to get ahead of the 2 SV650's ahead. After an alright start I drove onto the back straight ahead of them and climbed onto the gas as early as I could but again it wasn't quite enough, I watched Gary's VFR440 and the SV's go passed again, and to their credit they all braked really well into the hairpin leaving the door well shut so as I couldn't get in underneath. I was trying to remain calm during the race as I had never raced a 15 lapper before and didn't want to burn myself out short of the end, which worked out well and I can say that it was one of the few races I didn't get myself into any nasty situations - e.g. the race before lifting the rear wheel too far coming into the hairpin and landing a bit crossed-up, and for a second contemplating running off the track. I rode as hard as I could, tried my best and despite the many attempts, and the final turn coming over the hill to the chequered flag running underneath the black SV650 and getting maybe half a wheel length ahead... already on full gas nearly ready to hook 5th gear, it chugged away to the finish line, leaving me behind the both of them.

Well it's not all as disappointing as it sounds! I don't think I have ever put so much determination into my racing, nor so much physical effort (I was physically drained after the race) and I benefited from the racing a great deal moreover there are always improvements to be made.

Thanks heaps to Greg for yet again the last minute efforts on the bike taxing his time to settle/rest for racing, and dad for helping. Also thanks to our Sponsors: Henderson Motorcycles, Pirelli Tyres, SSSLodge, www.ezSite.co.nz, New Zealand Towing ltd, Golden Gun Panel and Paint, The Pallet Company, Autostop New Lynn


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