It practically came with its own soundtrack, which is pretty impressive for a CRF100F. Rocking exactly the same style of number boards as what you see on my posters, the only difference between my race bike of two years ago and this little beauty being a customized sponsors list on his graphics. It was a very cool thing to see.
Jack was booked in for our second Ardmore session of the day. He probably would have been better suited in the earlier group along with Michael and the very stylish Penny brothers, but he shared some important needs with the Borrie family who we paired him with.
Leaning into every turn with the bike was crucial to their speed and safety, while keeping their inside leg bent was the only way they could achieve this. Front brake and patience on the throttle meant they could enter the turns much faster with more control, and making sure they could keep their arms bent and knees gripping the seat whenever standing was the key to completing the picture.
To then see Jack battle hard to win his class at Taupo’s MX Fest was something of a proud moment, even though I could not take the credit. One moment in particular had me happiest when his main competitor all but passed him, only to have Jack out-brake him into the next turn while practically locking handlebars for that whole straight. That was determination in a very tight space.
And The Lows
On the other side of the coin was disaster at the MX Fest. Jeremy McCallum has been making massive progress with his riding ever since participating in an Academy last summer. After we had helped his confidence come back from a set back at the Junior Nationals in April, we spent more time with him at his home track of Maungaturoto just before he headed to Taupo. He had been riding well, but a pile up involving eight of his fellow 85cc competitors saw him break both bones in his lower leg. Truly gutting.
The skills we had worked on at “Maungi” included the ability to stay in a very tight rut through front brake and supernatural patience on the throttle. Using power or rear brake to help control the bike in the air was something that he never got the chance to practice in a race situation though, as his crash happened just before the first jump. I regret now that we did not do more work on getting the holeshot in order to help him stay in front of that carnage.
I am hoping he and his mother can overcome the shock of it all, and that he then gets the chance to join us for another Academy this summer, where we can get him back in some tight racing with other kids his age, doing so in a controlled environment. Starts will be very important, along with more work on the full use of anything that remotely looks like traction, in order to really increase his corner speed. In the mean time, heal up well buddy!
Maungi was very good to us though. We had eight riders spread out over two sessions with many other riders arriving for the practice session afterwards. Aaron Fitness has expanded his realm to include both Maungi and Dargaville tracks now, putting in many hours on the digger which has given the local scene a real kick start. We look forward to coming back for more!