Greg - VMCC #2 '08

No Hair Race Report from Greg Actrix VMCC Champs Round 2, June 21st.

It doesn't take long for 5 weeks to go by and time for another round of Vic Club racing. This time it was back at the club's home track at Manfeild. The Manfeild owners had a test day on the day before and as I don't work on Fridays any more (except at home on the farm etc.) I didn't need much excuse to tow the trailer down to the Manawatu on the Wednesday before and visit customers on the Thursday.

This time I had new racer Phil C's bike on board as well, a nice little CBR400RR eligible for Clubman's and Pre '89 Junior classes. Unfortunately Phil couldn't get into Pre '89 as it was over subscribed but he did have some fun out in the Clubbie's races and didn't come last either!

Friday was cool and dry and I did about 3 sessions on the track to refamiliarise myself and get use to the different gearing. I kept with the slightly lower gearing from Puke & Taupo as I'm getting much better drive out of corners. Dropping into the low 1:16's I didn't want to get too tired and be stuffed for the racing on Saturday so I let my brother Mark loose on the R6 for 1 session (as he's going to ride it in Clubman's in Round 3). He looked like he was enjoying himself out there with his new leathers, boots etc.

Saturday morning was quite cold but dry so I left my tyres soft to warm up quickly. I had put on a new rear on Friday before leaving the track, so for the first 600 Supersport qualifying session I didn't go too hard which was a mistake as the 1:18 best lap put me 21st on the grid for that class.

The next session was the Superbike qualifying for bikes up to 1000cc and feeling annoyed with myself for not doing better in the 600 session I did a 1:15.4 lap to put me 16th on the Superbike grid (that time would have put me in the top 10 in the 600's, doh!). My personal best at Manfeild set back in February was 1:14.9 so I was only 0.5 secs off!

Race 1 for the 600's came up and I had a good start and pushed reasonably hard into turn1 but being 21st on the grid meant I was a long way back. After about a lap I remember passing Sam Love on his SV-650 near the end of the front straight. He was obviously a bit better under brakes than me because as I was turning into the first left hander in the esses, bang he hit my left side. I managed to hold it for a split second and it seemed like we pulled apart then came back together again and down I went. I felt my helmet hit the road just like cracking an egg on the edge of a fry pan.

My left ankle got caught underneath the foot peg and so both the bike and I slid off the track into the grass. My ankle was stuck so I had to wait for one of the marshalls to lift the bike off me. Being only a 6 lap race it was pretty much all over by that time and my visor had disappeared along the way.

The bike fired up first go, so I rode it back to the pit garage and we knocked the dirt off it. I had a few bruises and a raw spot on my elbow but other than that all was good. The shell of my nice AGV Ti Tech was cracked though and luckily Phil S. had his as a back up which was the same size. The most annoying thing was not getting any points in that race!

The first Superbike race was up next and Andreana had done a great job on patching up my elbow. 16th on the grid was a much better spot to start and I got away cleanly and had fun with one or two of the 1000's finishing in 14th place out of 35 entrants with a best time of 1:15.54 so neither the bike or myself had suffered much from the crash. My confidence was back up to normal!

Race 2 for the 600's and they doubled the laps to 12! I actually tried hard to make up for the earlier crash. Sam Smith finished first again with a 1:10.037 time and I was about 6% slower with a best of 1:14.608 ( a new pb :-) which put me in 11th...almost a top 10. I didn't even get lapped (ha ha).

The last Superbike race was next and I was feeling pretty tired after 2 days of riding and almost considered not doing it, but went out and had a heap of fun. I was too tired to stop a couple of 1000's from getting past me about halfway thru the race, but for the last 3 laps I had to work hard to keep in front of Mark Hay on his '08 R6. The sun was very low on the horizon so every time I braked for the right handers at turns 1 and at "Higgins", I could see his shadow come up alongside me. Luckily he must have been feeling a bit tired too as I was only doing 1:15's but managed to hold him out to finish 14th again.

I ended the day doing better in Superbikes than in Supersport with 14th on the day and 19th in the championship with 19 points out of 48 entrants. Whereas in Supersport I was 16th for the day and dropped to 21st in the series out of 45 entrants on 15 points.

I'll just have to try harder in the 600's next time on July 19th eh?

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 (he's gonna ride Clubman's next round!).

Catch u L8R, Greg

No Hair Racing

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