They never taught you in art class how to ride your motorcycle at full speed on pottery clay, where corners form into a series of curving waves and straights become a snake pit for the casual foot dabber.
This year I qualified in fifth after my warm up run on the nearby hills which was fine, however it was a lack of forward thinking on my part that caused shocking starts in the first two races.
I had been practicing my starts on different concrete pads with full success- rocketing off the line. Problem is I didn’t count on the lack of traction that having a brand new tyre would make on the now slippery concrete and spun up large both times. Hopefully the cloud of smoke from my rear wheel spinning looked good in the close up starting pics Shayne Rice took!
Race one I filtered quickly through the pack but then got stuck behind Rhys Carter. I couldn’t find that extra gear and ended up getting passed by Damien King to finish in sixth place, something of a missed opportunity there but with the top order all mixed up it wasn’t too bad.
After an even worse start I seemed to get stuck in fourteenth place for a while in the second race and almost panicked that I would not be able to make my way through the quick young riders. Fortunately I started picking them off one at a time and got into a fast pace to end up in seventh and glad to finish after one of those massive wave like ruts caught my radiator and twisted it like a banana simply from leaning too far in a new line. Meanwhile Luke Burkhart had a get together with another rider and points leader Cody Mackie finished right on my back wheel after going down twice in his race.
Arriving late to the gate for the final I lined up on the hard inside and got a better jump off the gate before sneaking a tight inside line to come out of the first corner around the top 5. Getting a bit keen three of us braked way too late after a fast straight and ran off the track, piling into each other stock car style. I then had to again make a charge but was definitely on the pace this time, really enjoying making passes stick.
Look left, step right
One pass wasn’t good where I missed my line passing Damien King and made his life difficult, but my favourite pass was tricking one top rider into thinking I was on his inside by staying off the throttle, then boosting around his outside when he turned his head left to see where I was.
Just like the weekend before I caught Aussie rider Daniel McCoy late in that last race, feeling like another lap was needed to get the podium spot.
I ended up 5th equal with Burkhart for the day which solidified my placing from the weekend before while the leaders didn’t get too far ahead with their up and down results- that is apart from the wise Mr DK coming away with the points lead.
And the Hard Workers Award goes to…
Danny from Botany Honda deserves full credit for his excellent work in the pits keeping me on track, so thanks to him and well done to a great team effort from the Patetonga Club for doing a great job. We are looking forward to the Hauraki Plains North Island Secondary Schools Moto X there on May 6th where we are sure to see many of you there. And Thanks to young Callum Holdt from the Taranaki MCC for the great pics!