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Greg - VMCC#4 07No Hair Race Report from Greg Actrix VMCC Superbike Champs Round 4, August 18th.
It's been awhile since I've written a race report due to not being too happy with the 2006 Yamaha R6 I purchased back in March. It had one previous owner who had kept it immaculately and had added quite a number of the necessary "go fast" parts to make it race ready.
I had it out for the last two rounds of the Auckland Champs but the best I achieved at Pukekohe was 2 seconds slower than my old 2005 model, so since the end of April I've been working hard on suspension set up and engine tweaks to get it at least as fast as my old bike.
Toby at Henderson Motorcycles spent a day tuning and remapping the fuel injection on their high tech dyno and he managed to swap 3 horsepower up the top end with 10hp at 10,000rpm which I thought would be interesting out on the track especially on the shorter straights away from Pukekohe (he did an excellent job by the way, definitely worth the $$$).
We drove down to Feilding in the rain on Friday night and during the night I could hear shower after shower passing overhead so I didn't hold much hope for a great day of racing at Manfeild. Arriving at the track at 8:15am it had stopped raining and the sun was trying to break through. I had put on a new Pirelli Super Corsa rear tyre and wanted to scrub it in, so rather than switch to 'wets' I left the 'drys' on and quietly went out for the Super Sport qualifying session. It was pretty wet but I didn't have any scarey moments and qualified 13th with a lap time of 2mins 27.13 secs on the long track. The fastest qualifier was in the 2:07's, so not too bad I guess. Derek was 8th and Phil on my old bike was 14th.
Next up was the Super Bike qualifying and the track was starting to dry a little. My confidence on the new R6 and tyre was increasing as I got use to the extra mid-range grunt exitting corners and my times dropped to 2:15 which put me 26th on the grid with Derek 20th and Phil 39th. There was one exciting moment as Wiggles tried to clean turn #1 with his body and the side of his ZX-10 for me, but I managed to ride around him and left him to pick it up off the corner.
Super Sport race 1 saw me get a slow start but I managed to make up a few places in the hairpin (sorry Phil) and was out on my own after a couple of laps. I had #132 & #75 chasing me down and both passed me in the 3rd lap. My right arm was suffering from arm pump after 4 months of not racing (or training much), but I put my head down and chased #75 and managed to beat him over the line by 0.021 seconds for 13th place (my first points for the series). Derek came in 4th and Phil, not far behind me in 16th. When we looked at the lap times Derek had set the 2nd fastest lap of the race thanks to his new Pirelli rear tyre. We were both very pleased with how much drive we could get out of the corners.
In the first Super Bike race there was a large field and I had a lot of fun playing with some of the 1000's, my lap time came down to the 2:09's about 4 secs slower than my personal best from last year and I finished 20th with Derek coming in 9th.
The second Super Sport race started well but in the second lap a rider just in front of me ran wide entering the front straight and hit a puddle on the edge of the track. He was OK but his bike ran down the start finish straight and became a hazard requiring a restart. I went OK for the first 2 laps of the restart but my right arm, then my legs started cramping up. I couldn't keep up with #132 or #75 this time and finished 15th, Derek again was 4th so he was having a great time up front.
The last race of the day for me was the second Super Bike race and was similar to the Super Sport race, two riders went down in Higgins in front of me and we restarted. By this time it had started to rain and in combination with my aching body I called it quits for the restart and we loaded up the gear to head home.
We headed home with Jane driving and me snoozing in the back arriving home before midnight. I'm very pleased with how the bike is now running and once we get some warm dry weather I'm sure I'll be breaking some more personal best times. A good start for my build up to the National Champs early next year.
Big thanks again to 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. Lastly an extra big thank you to Tim & Joan for accommodation on Friday night.
Hope to see you at the next round, Greg
No Hair Racing http://www.nohair.co.nz