Covering half the distance or leaning twice as far, these were the skills that got Phillip flying. Maungaturoto proved to be a brilliant visit with an excellent group of mini riders, some juniors and two very keen adults. With much of the track ripped and rolled the night before we were in for a treat, but it was two sections that really brought the goods.
Confidence using the front brake deep into the turn gave most of the control in both cases, patience on his throttle doing the rest. Being known for jumping further off the finish tabletop than anyone doesn’t necessarily make for the fastest way through the shicane afterwards. We all loved watching him lay his bike into the berm afterwards but it definitely made for the long way around. I had a different plan for my friend.
Jumping smaller was the necessary evil, but hooking the tight inside was a good start. The problem was that throttle happy style we all have a bent towards, which made him drift wide to0 early and made hard work of the next turn. After plenty of coaxing I finally had Phil patient enough to wait until most of his turn was done before powering, so that he could basically straight line it from one corner straight through the next. And man, was it fast! Phil was hitting the next jump so hard, I was a little concerned that he would make that 125 of his land at the base of the next hill.
Fortunately the next section required less patience on the throttle, instead needing just a whole lot of leaning which Phil was more than happy to give. With leg up on the shroud, by the end of our session my only critique would have been a lack of ballerina pointing in his foot to stabilize everything just a bit more. Otherwise it was the kind of rut riding that James Stewart would have been happy with in his glory days.
All of this came after a successful club meeting the evening before. We look forward to helping more experienced riders gain confidence in coaching over the next few years so watch this space. And taking a page from Phil’s book of commitment wouldn’t hurt either!