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Greg - Vic Club #6 AMCC #1, '05No Hair Racing Race Report Vic Club #6 AMCC #1
End of one series, start of another!
September 23rd saw Bob & I back down to Manfeild for the final round of the Victoria Club winter series. Originally it was planned to run the long circuit but on the day the number of flag marshalls was not enough so we ran the short circuit again (which was good for me). At the last round I had gotten into the low 1:18 lap times on a worn rear tyre and thought 16's might be doable on new rubber, so now I had the chance to find out.
While I had been overseas the 2 weeks before, Henderson Motorcycles arranged for the R6 to be dyno-tuned and the results on paper looked good. With relatively minor fuel & ignition changes the engine went from 101 rear wheel hp to 107 and out on the track this was immediately noticeable with more power and a smoother torque curve right thru the rev range.
The program for the day was one pratice/qualifying session, then 1 x 8 lap race and 1 x 25 lap race. I qualified in 15th place with a 1:19.561 best lap. Then in race 1 my best lap time dropped to 1:17.07 while chasing Mike Grayling on his GSXR600 & Kevin Brookes on his RS-250 which was a full second off my previous best time finishing in 14th place (2 places better than last round). In the next 25 lap race I was glad that I had raced the 300km race back in May as I managed to pass 2 more slowing riders to finish 12th. I didn't get past Mike or Kevin but I did sneak into the 1:16's with a 1:16.9 :-)
Craig Shirriffs and Derek Mc Adam passed me twice exiting corners in the 25 lap race but the extra horsepower of the R6 allowed me to hold or gain speed slightly on the straights so I no longer have the excuse that my bike's not fast enough! Derek ended up winning the series in the 600 class with me a lowly 18th out of 45 entrants over the whole series. I missed one round but so did quite a few other people so it probably is a good indicator of my ability.
Vic Club again ran a very good series with respect to the tragedy at round 4 and I'm looking forward to competing again next year. Bob made a commitment to his family to stop racing at the end of this series but we may see him back again on a different machine?? Bob picked up two trophies, 3rd in Post Classic Jnr's for the series and a hard-luck trophy for barbequeing his bike at Round 4 :-)
The following Sunday was the start of the Auckland Club Champs for the 05/06 season, and a great opportunity to get out at Pukekohe before the National's in December. Logan and I (both sporting OXTAR boots and Pirelli Super Corsa Pro Tyres!!!) went out looking forward to a great days racing but with the weather forecast for heavy rain during the day.
I had a great practice/qualifying session out before Logan in the F3 class, dropping into the low 1:08's to qualify in 5th place just behind Chris' old rival Sean Bishop on his new Kwaka.
Logan went out quietly on the FZR-450 to scrub in his new tyres but after 2 laps I saw a wisp of blue smoke out the exhaust and then his throttle wouldn't close completely making it tricky in the corners plus it was only running on 3 cylinders.
When he got back to the pits I took the carbbies off and looking down the two inlet tracts on the #2 cylinder I could see two broken valve heads sitting in there. This was the second failure of the FZR-600A heads on the 450 but it looks like there is no bottom end damage this time. I'll try and rebuild the top end using the standard 400 head to get reliability. Both Logan and I were dissappointed as at the last test day it had been running very nicely and felt more like a 600 than a 450.
I only had one race in the 600 class before heavy rain ended the day just after lunch but it was a fun race! My grid position was on the front row of the 600 class behind the 1000's but I didn't get the best of starts due to the bigger bikes up front. I watched Sean pull away and I couldn't quite catch on behind him.
It didn't matter though as I had heaps of fun with Kevin Brookes on his RS-250 and Alpha Williams on his GSXR-600. I had a bit more performance than both of them down the back straight but Alpha was riding harder than me through the corners and Kevin's RS-250 GP bike was able to hold lots of corner speed. We must have passed each a couple of times every lap until I tried to get Alpha in the braking area at the hairpin. He must have heard me coming as unexpectedly he pulled in front of me and I had to move out of the way and missed dropping into the correct gear for the hairpin (doh!).
As I was slowly exiting the hairpin Kevin came back past and I was tail-end Charlie again with a lot of work to catch up on the last lap. Coming over the hill for the last time I took a wide entry and tight exit and powered my way past Kevin just before the line but was still a bike length behind Alpha to finish 6th.
Looking at the lap times afterwards I was reasonably happy as I'd gotten within 0.3 secs of my personal best in that short 6 lap race and was pretty sure I could beat both Alpha & Kevin in the next race. That will have to wait until next the next round due to the rain but I packed up on a high anyway. The R6 definitely has a lot more power and tyre adhesion than the old Thundercat.
Our next meeting is November 13th at Taupo so cross-fingers Logan will have the 450 going again for that one then Sunday 20th for round 2 of the Auckland Champs just before the Nationals in December so will be fun on the hot dry(hopefully) tracks over the Summer.
Thanks again to Henderson Motorcycles & Pirelli Tyres for their support and Bob's uncle Fred for accommodation in Feilding. Thanks too to the missus's for letting us out to play.
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz