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Greg - VMCC#5 06No Hair Race Report from Greg Actrix VMCC Superbike Champs Round 5, October 23rd.
Off to Manfeild again hee hee :-)
Back a whole week from Australia this time, and no flu with plenty of sleep...plus I'd been a good boy and done all my push ups and steep hill walking etc. since the last meeting so I was feeling in good shape.
Paul and Geraldine gave me a nice bed in Dannevirke the night before, and race day turned out to be perfect with warm, dry, Spring weather. This round we were on the long track and my personal best was 2 mins 9.44 secs from last year, but this time I had a secret weapon...a new set of AGV Sport leathers that were very comfortable (maybe a little loose around my bum but just right around my belly :-).
I again had entered both Super Sport and Super Bike classes and qualifying for the 600 Super Sports was up first. Even at 9:30am the track had plenty of grip and I qualified 15th out of 30 entrants with a 2:09.7 lap time, very close to my PB. I was still feeling good. Super Bike qualifying was next and quite a big field of 33 riders. My PB dropped to 2:07.9 but everyone else was going fast too and I ended up 21st on the grid (1 place out of the points)...oh well I thought, just concentrate on the 600's.
Race 1 on the 600's and we were all hyped up on the start line, the flag dropped and I got away very quickly but chickened out a bit at the traffic jam in the first corner. I took a tight line and got thru unscathed but there was a lot of bumping and banging going on.
Thru to the hairpin and two bikes go down...no oil though! I start to settle down into some kind of rhythmn and passed 1 or 2 guys. Lap 2, and another 2 go down at the hairpin...red flags come out, so we all slow down and reform on the dummy grid. We hadn't completed half the race distance so once the track was clear we gridded up again for the last two laps. I knew this would be my best chance for a good placing with 4 riders down, so again I got a great start, and with less congestion I managed to get a nice clear 2 laps in to finish in 9th place and a new PB of 2:05.9. Part two wasn't without incident either with Chris Sucich losing his front end and knocking off Derek at the 2nd right hander on the long track, but neither was hurt and both managed to get their bikes back out for the next race.
I don't remember too much of the first Super Bike race except that I managed to catch up to Sean Donnelly on his 1974 Z-900, he was running at mid 2:06's and he had lots of grunt coming out of corners but less braking and corner speed. Amazing what those old bikes are capable of!
The second Super Sport race was extended 1 lap to 5 laps over the first race but this time there was a lot less carnage and I finished 13th.
The last Super Bike race was lots of fun! There was a bit more track time available so the race was lengthened to 7 laps and I had a terrible start finding myself behind a big bunch in the first corner. After a couple of laps I caught up to Paul Garrett on his CBR600RR and got past, then slowly caught up to Stephen Lys on his '05 R6 like mine. He was pushing John Baker on the GSXR1100 pretty hard until John lost the front end under brakes on the far hair-pin corner.
So it was my turn to try and push Stephen along and we both caught up to Sean on the 900 again. Stephen got past, then I got past on about the 6th lap. I then just caught up to Stephen on the last lap and I tried to make up as much distance as I could coming out of the last left hander before the right hand sweeper onto the front straight.
I thought I might have a slim chance of getting Stephen out of the sweeper but it must have been my lucky day because as we exitted the left hander, he stayed close to the left and left the door open for me to shoot up the inside into the right. I managed to hold the lead to the chequered flag finishing 13th with a best lap of 2:06.4. Not quite into the 2:05's but usually by the last race I'm going pretty slow so my extra fitness has paid off.
So all in all a very good day's racing for me with 3.5 secs off my PB and No Hair Racing looking very good in the overall series. Derek is 5th in Super Bikes and 6th in Super Sport classes and I'm 18th and 10th respectively.
I got away from Manfeild at about 4:50pm then 2 hours later realised I'd left my race license behind (again). Stopped in Turangi for dinner with Bob & Nevi and got home just before 11pm.
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