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Greg - VMCC#4 06No Hair Race Report from Greg Actrix VMCC Superbike Champs Round 4, August 19th.
It's that time of the month again when I can stop thinking about everything else in my life except racing :-)
I got to Manfeild nice and early after having a good rest with Paul, Geraldine & Geoff the night before which I needed due to getting home from Aussie at 2am the day before.
The track looked great with new smoother tarmac sections covering up last months holes, plus it wasn't raining and the sun shined thru occassionally too!
Program for the day was qualifying, then 1 x 6 lap race and 1 x 15 lap race for each class on the short track. First up was Supersport with 24 entrants. I qualified 14th with a time of 1:19.036 which wasn't anything wonderful considering my personal best was 1:16.900. I'd have to try harder!
Out for the Superbikes and I got much closer to my pb even beating it a little at 1:16.81 coming in 16th out 26...I was pretty happy with that as the track was still warming up (and so was I).
Race 1 for Supersport and I had a good start and managed to make up a row before turn 1. There was a bit of argey-bargey mid-corner but nothing too bad and after a lap or so I was sitting behind Glen Williams on his SV-650. He was holding more corner speed but the R6 has a lot more power so I managed to pass him on the front straight only to see him come flying past under brakes in turn 1. So, I sat back a bit and started to follow his lines and as it was only 6 laps I tried to be close enough on the last corner to out-gun him across the line. Unfortunately as I came out of the last sweeper and went to change up a gear and blast pass him, I missed the gear change and had to try again crossing the line about 2 bike lengths behind. I don't think I was quite close enough to get him anyway but I did attain a new personal best time of 1:16.564 which was the highlight of my day...at least we had another longer race coming up so I could try again:-)
The first Superbike race was next and this was quite different as there were about 4 of the 1000's doing similar lap times to me. I managed to get past all of them except John Baker on his old GSXR1100. He was a bit slower thru the corners but would drag me off with mid-range grunt on the exit. Whereas with Glen's SV-650 in the first race, Glen was helping to carry me thru the corners. I only managed a 1:17.365 that time.
I was looking forward to race 2 of the Supersports as Glen was lined up in front of me again on the grid. I managed to get past him on the start but he completely aced me into turn one and I turned the corner just behind and inside Craig Freethey on his 749R. All of a sudden Craig's 749 lost rear wheel traction and came around the full 90° and he highsided and was thrown in front of his bike. I turned in a bit harder and missed him and powered off for the esses thinking to myself that it could be a red flag occasion and sure enough by the time I got to the hairpin the flags were out and we were off to the dummy grid while the ambulance was out. Craig seems to have only suffered concussion so hopefully all's well now.
For the restart I was disappointed to see that Glen had decided not to come out again. I again had a good start and because it was a 15 lapper I tried to take it easy and go for the finish. I got in behind Paul Garrett on his CBR for awhile and saw he was doing 1:19's so I pushed past but only got down to 1:18.145 which was a bit slow but due to the high rate of attrition (Craig and Glen out, Derek with a flatty) I managed to finish in 11th for some extra points :-) Craig Shirriffs won as would be expected doing lap times of 1:10.589 but Jay Lawrence wasn't too far behind with a 1:10.861. It's great to see the strength in this class with the young guys coming thru with the first 5 riders lapping me over the total 15.
Now I just had to survive the last Superbike 15 lapper and all would be sweet!
This last race turned out to be a lot of fun with me managing to get past John's 1100 this time and I thought I was home and dried until I started hearing the noise of a big V twin catching me in the center part of the track...I managed to get away on the straights but each time I got to the hairpin I could hear that horrible noise again until on the last lap Barry got his big Ducati past me and beat me to the line.
I'll have to change my gearing again plus try some new lines to improve my corner exit speed but that'll have to wait for next the round in September. I didn't have any trouble with my fitness this time so the extra push-ups certainly paid off :-)
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