A sea of red was the curtain, sunburned spectators the audience. Front stage was an entry list prestigious and lengthy enough to satisfy the requirements of a true World class event, two days worth of action on a venue that anyone with even a hint of blood in their veins would want to ride. Welcome to Woodville 2013.
It was a year to remember for all the right reasons. With the help of Workshop Graphics we had our pits looking great and the posters were flying out of it which are all thanks to Alick Saunders. My man James Ashton and his brother David were working their magic as our chief workers and Sarah was her awesome self as well. Anyway on to the action!
The Saturday was full of talent in both the mini and junior classes, both Kiwi and Australian. Of note was Maximus Purvis edging out Tony Cvitanovich in the packed 11-12 years 85cc class, and total dominance by Brodie Connelly in the 8-10‘s.
Sunday brought the heat in more ways than one. Paul Whibley was back for the river race and showing his ever smooth style, hardly ruffling a feather even with an amped up Mitch Rowe hard on his tail in race two. And the crowd certainly got its moneys worth, at the expense of more than one rider who put their bikes under water, throttles stuck on and all.
Things really started getting serious in the MX1 class with International names including the impressive Todd Waters all battling to take Townley off top spot. But it was Mount Maunganui’s Cody Cooper who got the start and rode well to win race one, until Ben put in some incredible moves to pass him and win the last two races over Cooper with Todd third in race one and two, Kirk Gibbs rounding out the podium in the final race.
Our MX2 class had all the usual suspects with one noteable addition, Red Bull KTM’s Jake Nicolls. Currently the World number four in MX2 he showed us how it is done with wins in all three races and fifth in the International Feature, but he didn’t have it all his own way.
I had a plan. Starting off easy, I formed some lines in qualifying and found my groove. That served me well out on the track, the only problem was trying to be too tricky off the starting gates which saw me having to battle my way through the pack, getting caught up in all the usual carnage and not being carried along with the pace out front. Sixth and seventh places were all I could manage but I was happy with my riding and was sure that the results would come. Which they certainly did.
Finally, A Start
Thanks to some helpful advice from the likes of Digby Bartosh and Craig Guy, I lined up well to the inside for the Feature race. The flatter gates down that end were more like what I had been practicing on at home, and when they dropped I got an excellent launch before hugging the inside line around the corner. After such terrible starts in the first two motos I was a bit shocked to find myself in second place against the 450 machines. From there I made a few mistakes and fell back to seventh but was able to really get in to gear, shaving three seconds off my previous best lap time, and doing it every lap.
For the final moto I lined up in the same place and while my launch wasn’t as good, the inside once again pulled through and I was in second place behind Cam Dillon. Things changed quickly as Jake held the throttle on like a mad man to pass both of us in one section, before I passed Cam in the next before latching on to Jake and not letting him get away.
At times we were pulling three seconds a lap on those behind us and once we started hitting lappers I was keen to take advantage of the carnage and see if I could give Jake even more of a run. Unfortunately he handled the traffic much better than I did and won with 11 seconds over me, while another 19 seconds back was Rhys Carter. The second place gave me enough points for fourth overall, with Scott Columb and Daryl King in second and third.
My new team mate on the Broxy Race Team, Kieran Scheele, also rode well but never got the starts he needed all day. Keep an eye out for us at the races with our new set up and make sure you cheer on the two of us aboard our Castrol Honda machines in the classic JT gear! We also want to say a huge thank you to Paul Stewart who has been my man with Honda since I started on the Honda Race Team 15 years ago, this was his last Woodville and a very special way to finish it.