Greg - VMCC #1 '08

No Hair Race Report from Greg Actrix VMCC Champs Round 1, May 25th.

May 25th was the start of the Actrix Victoria Motor Cycle Club champs for 2008 and was held at Taupo raceway on the full circuit. I had only raced there once before so I went down for a Moto TT track day on the friday week before.

Clocking up 4 x 20 minute sessions at the track day was very worthwhile as I need to keep my fitness ticking over plus I need a lot of practice for the 13 corners at Taupo. At the end of the day I had dropped a second from my best laptime the previous year.

The following saturday came up quickly, Jane and I got up about 5am and arrived at the track just after 8 for sign on and rider's briefing. This was the first Vic Club meeting since Derek's accident. Derek had been a past club president and had offered help and support to many of the club members so at the end of rider's briefing Mel (current prez) said a few words and called for a minute of silence in his memory.

The day started out cold and dry but soon warmed as the sun came up. This year I'm going to try and do as many Superbike (F1) and Supersport (F2) races as I can to try and improve my fitness levels. Last year I tended to drop the last F1 race at each meeting due to lack of stamina.

Looking around the pits I saw a lot of new faces and unknown quantities, but also a lot of last years combatants all on newer machinery. Phil S. has moved up to Midge Smart's 07 R6, and both Aria and Mark H. are on 08 models. A couple of years ago it was all Suzuki's in the 600 class but now it's mostly Yamaha's & Kawasaki's. I knew I'd have to go hard to have any chance of a top 10 finish to the series.

I've even got some pit crew support for the series, my brother Mark rode up from Upper Hutt and Dad came down from Mt. Maunganui so it was a real family affair...they'll be good with some training (a bit too cold for their bikini's and umbrella's though).

Superbike qualifying was up first and with a very large field there was a possibility I would be bumped off the grid. Fortunately the practice day the week before put me in good position and I matched my pb from a week earlier with a 1:43.691 lap time for 18th on the grid. Jimmy Mair set pole on his 1000 with a 1:34.002, so I was almost 10 seconds off the pace!

Supersport qualifying was up next and I tried harder as the track was warming up and dropped another second to 1:42.804, but everyone else was getting up to speed as well and I was further back on the grid at 21st much to my annoyance as that's 6 rows back. Johnny Burkhart had pole at 1:35.725, I had 7 seconds to find (ha ha).

Superbike race 1 and I had a great start again as is becoming usual on the '06 R6 but I chickened out a bit in the first corner mayhem and tried to stay with a couple of the 1000's. They'd zip away on the straights and I'd catch 'em up a little on the bendy bits. I was surprised to see my new pb aftewards at 1:40.777 which was over 3 seconds better than last race day at Taupo and I finished just in the points in 19th place.

Supersport race 1 and I muffed the start a little and didn't gain the next row as expected and must have had my brain disconnected as my best lap was slooowww at 1:42.969. Aria finished just in front of me in 19th but at least I got 1 point for 20th. A bit annoyed with myself for not going harder it wasn't long until the last Superbike race.

Superbike race 2, and another good start. I must enjoy chasing the 1000's more as I got back into the 1:41's and finished 18th for another 3 points.

The last race of the day was the 600's and I was getting a bit tired. Had a good start and must have been in about 14th position at the start of the 2nd lap when exitting turn 1, Brooksey just in front, spun up his rear tyre and did a mini highside with him landing on my exit line. I had to pick the bike up to go around him and as I did so a couple of riders sneaked through underneath. Later on I couldn't keep up the effort and lost another place to finish 17th for my best result of the day. Sam Smith set the fastest lap for the 600's at 1:34.67 only 1 second off the best 1000 time of 1:33.724 by Carey Briar. Sam's time is a new lap record so I got my calculator out, usually I'm about 10% slower than the fastest but this time I was only 6% slower which is encouraging!

Sooo, round 1 was over and I had gained some points in both classes...better than nothing, plus a new pb. Jane and I packed up the gear and headed home arriving about 8pm...a very good day all in all.

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

Catch u L8R, Greg

No Hair Racing

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