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Greg - AMCC#2 '03/'04No Hair Racing Race Report
Auckland MC Club #2, November 16th 2003
(aka 'Warm Up for Round 1 Nationals')
It didn't seem like 5 weeks since the 1st round of the Auckland Club series, but here we (Bob & I) were again at Pukekohe..this time in perfect weather conditions, sun shining and light winds. The track had a little rubber outside the racing lines from the cars the day before but otherwise all was good. We had a good turn out of No Hair supporters too with Alex, Chris, Stella, Nevina, Haydn, Jane, Shane & Vernessa ridiculing us.
I'd just got back from 2 weeks travel for work on Saturday afternoon and had to rebuild the front end of the bike after Dave Cole had fine tuned the fork damping rates so things were a bit hectic but the bike passed scrutineering without issue.
Formula 3 practice/qualifying I thought went reasonably well for me, last time here on the 400 my best lap was 1min 15.2 secs and was 6th on the grid. This time I managed 1:14.4 so had improved almost a full second but was only 10th...everyone else had improved more including Bob (1:13's) 9th on the grid. There were also a few of the National class riders warming up for Round 1 of the National Champs at Pukekohe on Dec 7th, so I knew I'd have to work hard to stay in the top 10 this time.
Race 1, and luckily for me Ross King failed to start and his grid position was vacant in front of me. I had an excellent start off the second row and was 4th into the first corner just behind Mark Wigley (#71) who had beaten me in every race last round. His bike wasn't running well and I went round the outside of him to gain 3rd place into corners 2 & 3. I held 3rd for almost 2 laps when one of the RS-125 GP bikes went past, then another one came past and I was in 5th. Lap 4 and one of the 125's started to slow, so I was back into 4th and it was the last lap. Going down the back straight I was passed by Lindsay Ross then as we neared the hairpin I saw riders hands going up and the race was ended while the ambulance made a pick up. Positions were taken as of the 4th lap...so Lindsay finished 6th instead of the 4th place I was credited with.
Races 2 and 3 weren't so good for me, the wind came up which slowed my top speed on the back straight and I failed to get the great start that I had in Race 1...it took a little while for me to get through the traffic in both races and by the time I did get through the front pack was too far away for me to catch them before the end of the 5 lap races. I managed 8th and 7th to finish 6th for Round 2 and 5th in the series. The other positive note was that in the first race I got down to 1:12.70 lap time.
Bob's improvement was awesome as he lapped at the same time as I with a best of 1:12.77, I'll have to ask him for track tips now! Bob finished in 9th, 13th, & 14th finishing 12th for Round 2 and 9th in the series (he's got to work on his passing skills now!).
This time I focussed on getting into and out of turns 2 & 3 and late braking into turn 4 (the hairpin), but I'm losing time on turn 6 (over the hill) and turn 1 by just not holding enough speed through those high speed corners...I think I might be able to pick up another 1 to 1.5 seconds which would get me into the low 1:11's on a good day...but it's not fast enough to be a top 10 National's contender...the bike's down in top end power compared to Bob's and a whole lot down compared to the class leaders...they'll be doing 1:05's to 1:08's during the National's if it's dry. So, I'll need to see what I can do in the engine department before Dec 7th.
Thanks for taking an interest in No Hair Racing, Chris is taking a break over this summer, Bob & I are hoping to do all 4 rounds of the National Champs in December & January, and Alex is competing in the Bel Ray Cross Country series on his new YZ-125. Thanks to our sponsors too! Haldane Motorcycles - the tyre specialists, WEBDES.CO.NZ ez-Site DIY web site, and SSSLodge - for REAL Horse Power.
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz