Now that is the way to start the nationals- out front! After a qualifying performance that was nothing special it felt very good to get in to my own rhythm out front of the first race for around three laps. Eventually I was passed by one of the two top Aussie riders in the field Cody Mackie before Daniel McCoy made his way around a few laps later. By that stage I was just wanting to keep it together and with arm pump sneaking in Kayne Lamont was the last to get past me, finishing in fourth place.
The improvements we had made to my Botany Honda CRF250R were definitely working with strong power and the same Performance Factory suspension settings I had been running all year.
The next two races started out with a top ten start from which I battled back into fifth place. Lamont again made a charge but went down shortly after making his pass while McCoy hung around not far in front. Feeling good near the end of race three I made a charge which very nearly got me fourth place, finishing just .4 of a second behind the Suzuki rider to finish fifth again.
It was definitely the solid start to the series I had been hoping for with a pace not far off the leaders and no major mistakes, something that is not easy to come across on a challenging track such as this. The Backflips track was prepared to perfection with multiple line options in the corners that changed all day long and no dangerous ruts on the straights.
The South Canterbury club deserves an award for their diligent effort and professional handling of the event. Another team worthy of credit was Noel and Adele May from Timing Tech for working the transponder side of things with the added service of lap sheets given to the teams after each race showing every lap time of every rider the whole day long, not to mention the gear saver socks that Adele has developed that made sure my POD knee braces didn’t have anything to catch on.
Great job to all and a huge thanks to Blue Wing and Botany Honda, Alpinestars gear, Pirelli tyres, Spy eyewear and Backflips Clothing for their awesome support! Finally thanks to Ryan Burrows for capturing the moments on film!