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Greg - VMCC#5 and #6 07No Hair Race Report from Greg Actrix VMCC Superbike Champs Round 5 and Round 6, Sept 22/23rd and Oct 13th.
Round 5 of the Actrix series was again at Manfeild but this time it was on the short track and as an added bonus we had 2 days racing for the price of one. Saturday consisted of qualifying and one 20 lap race for each class with a 15 lap and 10 lap race on the Sunday. Ian had come down as pit crew and the Booths very kindly provided accommodation in Dannevirke (thanks Paul & Geraldine!).
I had paid for both Superbike and Supersport classes but after doing the two long qualifying sessions on Saturday morning followed by the 20 lap Supersport race I realised that I didn't have the fitness needed to do the Superbike class as well. I qualified reasonably well with 22nd in SB and 14th in SS.
At the last round on the long track I had suffered from arm pump after 4 laps so I was worried that I'd have the same problem in these longer races. Race 1 for Supersport started well with a good start and by lap 3 I had gotten up to 9th place passing Glen on his SV-650 (which is good for me). I managed to reduce my personal best by 0.1 secs over last years time but by the 9th lap my arm pump had returned and my lap times increased by 2 secs and by the end of the race I had dropped back to 12th. It was at this point I decided not to do the SB races.
We packed up for the day and had a couple of beers at the pub then home to Dannevirke to watch Moto GP reruns on TV. Sunday looked overcast when we got out of bed but once we got through the Manawatu Gorge it was reasonably fine all day in Feilding. Races 2 and 3 were fairly uneventful and I was still feeling a bit tired from Saturday's effort but I managed to finish 10th and 11th respectively.
Driving back to Te Kauwhata that evening I was pleased that I now had the new bike running at least as fast as the old one at Manfeild but I was worried that I wouldn't be able to cure the arm pump problems. Alex had bought me a gyroscopic powerball which seemd to help, so I decided to get in as much work on it as I could before the next round.
The following week Dave Cole rang to say he had a race kit ignition unit for sale and Colleen reminded me that we (AMCC) were running a rider training day at Pukekohe the Sunday before round 6 of the Actrix VMCC Champs. I managed to fit the unit in time and Dave emailed thru a different fuel map to try so the training day would be a great opportunity to try them both out.
For the training day AMCC had split the riders into 4 groups, slow novice, fast novice, intermediate and fast. I went out in the intermediate class using the fuel map Henderson M/C had done. This was the first time I'd had the bike out at Pukekohe since April when it wasn't going as fast as my old bike but all that was changed now with the bike pulling horsepower peak easily down the back straight. Within 3 laps I was circulating on my own so I came back in and went out again with the fast guys. Someone had dropped their bike in the hairpin so when we went back out there was oil and cement dust right thru my favourite race line.
Paul Pavletich lead us around on a standard R6 to show us where the oil was and I let him get 50 metres away thinking I could catch him up with out problem, but I guess once you're a super fast rider it's hard to go slow because I couldn't catch him up over the next 8 or 9 laps. I asked him later on if I could follow him around the next time out but I guess he preferred going for a ride in the ambulance instead (thankfully it wasn't too serious!).
Before the next fast session I swapped the fuel map over and went out again...it was hard to tell if there was any difference but the motor felt a little harsher. Looking at the tyre wear afterwards you could see that Dave's map was probably making more power and from the exhaust colour slightly leaner...so now I have two maps that work well if I need them. Paul had left a nice oil trail over the mountain too, so there wasn't much hope for doing fast lap times but I did have fun trying to keep up with 2 or 3 of the 1000's with my best time of the day being a slow 1:08 about 3 secs off my old '05 time.
The best news of the day was that I did at least 40 laps of Puke without getting any arm pump. That was a big relief as there wouldn't be much point to running in the Nationals with my right arm not working. Phil W. also helped fix the unstable rear end that I encountered under brakes at the hairpin too, so all in all it was a very productive day with everything set up for the last Actrix round the following weekend.
Round 6 was at Taupo on the full circuit which I had ridden only once a year before and that was before the circuit was changed for the A1GP cars, so a new bike on a newish circuit. The week before I didn't expect to do too well but tried to think positive.
Taupo is only two and a quarter hours from home so Jane and I left home at 5:45 with the weather report predicting rain in the afternoon. We got to Taupo and the weather turned out to be cool but dry and windy all day. I entered both SB & SS again and managed to complete both qualifying sessions and all four races without any arm pump or other health issues so I guess I'm up to the required race fitness.
I qualified 28th out of 33 in the SS class with a time of 1 min 51, then qualified 31st in the SB class doing 1:47's. By the end of the day I got down to 1:44.3 which was 10% slower than the fastest 600 SS class bike so I wasn't too disappointed. Starting at the back of the grid all day re-emphasised the importance of getting a good grid position as it was difficult to make headway against such a big bunch of riders with only 5 laps.
In the first 600 race I stuffed up a couple of times...waiting for the lights to go on when the flag dropped on the other side of the track (duhh)...then finding a false neutral going into the hairpin and letting Phil and Martin go past.
Then another time while exitting the hairpin the front wheel came up as I changed from 2nd to 3rd. I was still leaned way over which produced a lot of head shake (both me and the bike) when the wheel came back down.
The day was pretty much spent re-learning the track, even in the last race I was still experimenting with gear changes but at least I improved on my qualifying positons with a 26th in the SB class and 23rd in the SS class but no points for the last round. Even though I had missed the first two points rounds of the series due to work I ended up 22nd out of 51 in the series. The bike is now up to the performance I was hoping to get from the newer model so hopefully I might get a point this time in the Nationals over summer.
The Victoria M/C club turned on a really good series once again and I very much appreciate the time and effort the club officials and marshalls put in to making the series such a great success...THANK YOU !!!
And not forgetting my sponsors who help make it all possible for No Hair racing to compete.... Henderson Motorcycles, Pirelli Tyres, Motul Oil, and to Jane & Ian for their help over the weekend. Thanks also to SSSLodge 'for real horsepower' and www.ezsite.co.nz for their continued support.
Hope to see you at the AMCC 1st round on November 18th at Pukekohe, cheers, Greg
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz