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Greg - Vic Club #4No Hair Racing Race Report Victoria MC Club #4, August 30th 2003
An action packed weekend that started off bad but ended up quite well.
Bob and I headed off for Feilding for the 4th round of racing on Friday morning and arrived without problems at Bob's uncle Fred's home at around 3:30pm. We had plenty of time so we went in and had a look at some of the bike shops in Palmerston North before eating and hitting the hay for an early night's sleep.
We had parked the car and race trailer across the road on the other side of the house and at around 5am we heard some voices outside but thought nothing of it. Unfortunately when we got in the car at just after 7am we saw that someone had tried to break the front windscreen but only succeeded in cracking it from top to bottom on the passenger side (problem #1). There wasn't much we could do about it so we headed off to the track.
Bob and I had entered into both F2 and F3 classes again and all seemed good as we went out for our F2 qualifying session but I didn't even make one lap (problem #2), as I came down the front straight the electrics completely died shutting off the engine. I rolled into the pit road and coasted to a stop. The bike started again so I went back to our pits and checked over the electrics. The positive battery connection plug looked like it may have been loose so I taped it together but couldn't find anything else. I went out in the F3 qualifying session and it failed to make it around the first corner so I waited until the end of the session before I got back to the pits.
I managed to reproduce the problem by revving the engine above 12,000rpm at which point the electrics shut down then came alive again after a few minutes wait. I concluded it must be the ignition control unit (ICU), so went looking around the pits for anyone with a spare but none was found. I pulled the ICU out and noticed it had two air breather holes which I had mounted upwards and probably had collected water when I cleaned the bike the previous weekend. With nothing to lose I proceeded to gently cut open the sealed unit with my side-cutter pliers. Sure enough there was water/dust/blue crystals inside. I cleaned it all with alcohol and a soft cloth and taped it back together with some duct tape...and surprisingly it ran right up to red-line and beyond.
It was time for lunch and I had missed both qualifying sessions and both first races for F2 & F3. Bob wanted to try a jetting change on his bike so we set to and leaned them off a small amount. I noticed his crankcase breather tube had a small split near the end so we cut 20mm off and pushed it back on. Unknowingly as we put the fuel tank back in we crimped the breather tube (problem #3) which pressurised the engine and when Bob went out for his 2nd F2 race he found oil on his boot after the warm up lap. He pulled off and missed both F2 & F3 races while fixing the problem.
I went out for my first F2 race and had to start off the back of the grid...I still hadn't scrubbed in my new rear tyre and got a poor start finishing last, but I seemed to be keeping the back markers at a constant distance. I didn't know it but I had been lapping in the high 1:21's which was a lot better than my previous best in this direction on the 400 of 1:24.
I came back in and waited on the dummy grid for my first F3 race of the day...again starting on the back (6th) row of the grid, but this time I knew the tyre was working well, and the newish 2nd hand front brake disks (from Power Motorcycles) felt great.
The flag dropped and I got a great start, charging through the 18 bike field to enter the first corner in about 10th place. The races are only 6 laps long so there's not much time to make up places but by the 4th lap I was in 7th and slowly catching Gavin Mc Kay on another FZR400 who in the past I could never get close to. The brakes were working excellently and I was able to move my braking points at least another 40 metres closer to the corners and this must have been where I made up the difference as my lap times came down to the high 1:20's. I didn't quite catch Gavin but there's always next time!
In the last F2 race I had a lot of fun chasing two Ducati 900SS's, I managed to pass one by again braking as late as possible and almost got the other on the finish line but he was 0.1 seconds in front.
Both Bob and I pulled out of the last F3 race when it started to rain... I had a lot of fun up until then and didn't want to spoil it by crashing in the rain, so the day ended well afterall. I'm now circulating Manfeild at about the same lap times as I did on the 600 engine. My best time on the 600 with 95hp was 1:20.21 and now on the 400 with ~60hp is 1:20.58!! Bob did very well too, dropping his personal best another 2 seconds a lap to 1:23.419!
We packed up and headed back to Te Kauwhata arriving at 10:30pm. My bike came out of the trailer and Alex's YZ-80 went straight in ready for his Motorcross event at Huntly the next day.
Alex, Bob & I managed to get up at 6:30am and got to the track by 7:50am, it was the final round of the Huntly MC Club winter series and Alex was in 5th position in the Junior 13-16yo 85cc class. The fog lifted right on Rider's briefing time to give us a clear sunny day. Alex had a few problems on the track as it was heavily rutted on some corners with a few deep puddles and crashed quite a few times during the day but managed to hold on to his 5th position to finish the series (congrats Alex!!!).
We also trialled an additive from Rohm and Haas NZ Ltd. to control the dust and tested it on some sections of the track...by the end of the day it was easy to see which parts had been treated as there was almost no dust whereas elsewhere it was billowing off the back of the bikes and blowing across the track. Hopefully we'll have enough to treat the whole track in time for the Senior Nationals round on Sept 28th. The day finished in the stock car club rooms with prize giving and it was great to see everyone pick up their trophies and certificates.
Well that's it! Sorry for such a long race report this time, but lots happened this time.
Thanks again to our sponsors Haldane Motorcycles (Rennsports are amazing), WEBDES.CO.NZ, and SSSLodge, and thanks Uncle Fred for your hospitality once again.
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz