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Greg - AMCC #4, '05/'06No Hair Race Report
Protecta Insurance Auckland Club Champs #4, April 1st.
I made a Fall of myself on April the 1st.
Woohoo! What a day! I decided to enter both Formula Auckland (unlimited capacity) and Formula 2 to get some extra track time so this meant 2 practice sessions and six races for the day as long as my old body could hang in there.
The weather turned out great and after doing some minor engine tweaks since the last round I was sure I was going to go faster than ever before around Pukekohe. Formula Auckland practice was up first and I warmed up myself and the bike with a good fastest lap of 1:06 putting me in 8th place on the grid behind about three 1000's, a 750 and the rest were other 600's like me. My personal best at Pukekohe after 3 days of the Nationals last December was 1:05.65 so I wasn't too far off that pace.
The next practice session was F2 and I managed to put in two laps in the 1:05's the better being 1:05.10. I was pretty happy with myself dropping another 0.5 secs off my pb so was looking forward to the first race as I usually go harder when racing.
Race 1 for me was Formula Auckland and as the flag dropped I got a good start and headed around the track. The bike was performing well and I just touched red line at 15,500rpm in top gear down the back straight when out came the red flags and the race was stopped so that the ambulance could pick up a fallen rider. The race restarted and again I had a good start but then while down changing through the gears at the hairpin I didn't quite get it right and ended up in third gear instead of second. I leaned it in trying to hold corner speed as I knew everyone would pass me on the exit when just past the apex of the corner the front wheel lost grip and down I went on my right side. The bike slid off into the grass with almost no damage but due to its position I couldn't get it back upright and had to wait for the marshalls and the end of the race.
I rode it back to the pits and straightened a small bend in the right clip-on, cleaned off the dirt and took it down for re-scrutineering. Lyndsey passed the bike but Trevor failed my helmet. I had brought a spare helmet so all was well but by the time I had gotten back to the pits I missed the first F2 race.
Next was the second Formula Auckland race and again I started well but I didn't push too hard until I was sure the bike was handling correctly after the fall. Paul on his Honda passed me in the 1st lap then I got him back in the 4th with a best lap of 1:06.04 so I wasn't quite up to the pace I had achieved in practice.
Back out again for the 2nd F2 race and this was a lot more fun. Ricky on his Suzi got past Sudeep on another R6 in the 2nd lap and I sat behind both of them for most of the race. They were both faster (braver) than me over the hill onto the front straight then I'd catch up a little into turn 1 then lose them again thru the esses. Down the back straight I had a bit more top end and almost caught Sudeep 3 laps in a row at the hairpin. Seudeep takes quite a different line and I almost ran into him the second time but I couldn't quite get enough advantage to make a pass. I finished 8th with a best lap of 1:05.43. I didn't realise it at the time but Vaughan on his Yamaha 250 GP bike was hunting me down about 2 secs behind.
On the way back to the pits I was thinking to myself...next time Sudeep :-)
Problem was I was starting to get arm pump after four sessions on the track so I decided to opt out of the last Formula Auckland race and save my meagre energies for the final F2 race...so last race of the day and I psyched myself up to have a go at staying with Ricky & Sudeep again but it was not to be. I stuffed up some gear changes again and started to get major arm pump after braking for the hairpin. At one point down the front straight I realised that I had only opened the throttle 3/4 of a turn as I couldn't really feel the grip. My best time had slowed to 1:06.21 and Vaughan had shown me his front wheel a couple of times exitting corners. Meanwhile up front I could see Sudeep & Ricky slugging it out, Ricky finishing 3rd with Sudeep 1.1 secs behind, then me another 7 secs back. So much for my plans of duking it out with them (but I did beat Vaughan to the line by 0.5 secs :-). Both Ricky & Sudeep lapped at 1:04.98, if only I hadn't crashed, if only I hadn't had arm pump etc. etc. Ha ha, that's what racing is all about, dang I'm going to have to wait until Spring for the rematch at Pukekohe!
Next race meeting will be the 5th round of the Protecta Insurance series at Taupo on April 30th so that should be a change as I haven't ridden there for almost 2 years. I'll get a little practice though as VMCC are having a ride day for the new full length track the weekend before...so hope to see you there.
Big thanks again to Henderson Motorcycles, Pirelli Tyres and the Missus! Thanks also to SSSLodge 'for real horsepower' and www.ezsite.co.nz for their continued support.
Catch u L8R, Greg
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz