Greg - AMCC #1, '06/'07

No Hair Race Report from Greg

Protecta Insurance AMCC Champs Round 1, Nov 26.

It was great to get out on the track at Pukekohe before the end of the year afterall!

Originally all racing had been cancelled at Puke due to the "dangerous" armco barrier but after this was removed and not replaced for the Classics event in October, one date came available which the AMCC was lucky to get.

I had a lot to do to get ready for racing with Logan's 450 not being fully run in, plus needing correct gearing for Puke's long back straight. In the end the new blank sprocket arrived on Friday morning and I spent that evening cutting out one big hole and six little ones to make it fit. Then of course the chain was too long and I didn't have a rivet link left in my parts bin. MR Motorcycles in Pukekohe came to the rescue on Saturday morning and the bike came together even getting a wash that afternoon (didn't get a chance to clean the R6 so it looked a bit dirty on Sunday).

Sunday morning Alex and I got to the track at 8am and set up pits under cover in the pitlane next to the Robinsons. Both bikes passed scrutineering without issue (thanks guys!) and we were ready to go. There was a light to medium North Westerly which got stronger as the day went by but at least it was dry and not too cold. Bob Knight and Haydn turned up to add moral support and also Eric Neilsen...long lost motorcycling buddy from almost 30 years ago!

First up was the "look see" practice session for new riders and Simon R. took the R6 out for his first ride on a 600. By the look on his face when he returned I'm pretty sure he enjoyed it, especially when he said he'd ride my races for me if I got too tired which was highly likely (no training for me since mid October).

I entered both Formula Auckland and F2 again and had a pretty good day, qualifying 10th in FA and 6th in F2. In the last round of the Vic series I had been beaten in every race by Paul Garrett on his CBR600RR and Cleve Brown on his 05 R6 and they turned up at Pukekohe too. I knew it would be hard work as Cleve had installed new fork internals and Ohlins rear shock but worse was that Paul had bought a new '06 Suzuki!

Paul had entered both FA and F2 so my first race was spent watching his rear end...I'd catch him up at the hair pin then he'd pull away over the start/finish straight then I had to do it all again. We both managed to hold out a GSXR1000 for a few laps and got down into the low 1:05 lap times about 0.1 secs off my best.

The next race was F2 and Cleve joined in the battle. I got baulked on the start by the rider in front and by the time I got round, Cleve had shot up the inside and both Paul and he were in front. After about 5 laps, Paul had left us both behind and I managed to get Cleve under brakes into the hairpin. I powered off around the left handers and then saw what we all hate to see...Paul tumbling into the armco as he entered the right hander over the hill...not a nice place to come off as I remembered from Dec 2000. Crossing the start/finish line the red flags came out and we slowed down to return to the dummy grid. I stopped opposite the crash on the pit road with Cleve and saw Paul raise his hand but he was taken to hospital with a possible back injury the last we heard.

There were quite a few crashes, even Lance came to grief pulling one of his trademark wheellies out of the pit lane in the next FA race when a gust of wind hit his bike. I think the strong wind plus relatively cool track temperatures were mostly to blame.

In the next FA race I had no one to play with without Paul and as I was slowest, so I cruised around slowly and I was even lapped by Craig on his new 1000 which doesn't usually happen over an 8 lap race but I had to work a bit harder again for the last F2 race as I again managed to just get in front of Cleve to finish 4th and 41 secs behind the front 3 who were fighting hard 5 secs a lap quicker than us.

Hopefully Logan will write a race report too as he has a lot to be happy about although it didn't start out that way as the 450 had severe clutch slip from 10,000rpm onwards in the higher gears. Luckily Bob had salvaged his clutch from the fire and he raced home to Manurewa and back and Nod fitted it to Logan's bike in time for the last race allowing Logan to finish a very creditable 2nd against quite a strong field of F3 bikes. We had been worried about how strong the motor would be so Logan was only revving it to 13,000rpm, so it still has 1,500 rpm in reserve...we were both relieved that the motor ran so well all day as this is our 3rd attempt to put a 450 motor together (thanks to Derek Hill!).

Time ran out before the 3rd round of races so we packed up and headed home. It was great that AMCC was able to pull together the race meeting at such short notice and we very much appreciate all the hard work from flag marshalls and volunteers!

Big thanks again to Henderson Motorcycles, Pirelli Tyres and the Missus! Thanks also to SSSLodge 'for real horsepower' and for their continued support.

Catch u L8R, Greg

No Hair Racing

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