With the biggest entry list I think any MX event has seen in a few years, the 2012 Summercross rounded off the year like none other. It also ended up under water, but not without delivering the action in a big way both in the dry and the wet.
On a hot Saturday the junior and women classes duked it out on a challenging track still holding on to the remnants of the last weeks rain. Ruts and holes got surprisingly deep, especially for the brave 65cc riders on the big track and made for some big opportunities for those confident enough to take the shorter line, fraught with danger as it may have been.
For us big bikes the conditions were perfect, and there was some tough competition on hand. First of all lets just lay the 450 class out right here- Townley got every holeshot and showed the pack the way to ride, 3-4 seconds a lap faster than anyone in the final three races. Justin McDonald finished second overall with Alex Snow all the way from England to finish third. Yes, Townley is good.
This was a big deal for us here at Broxy Rider Coaching as it marked the first event for our very own race team. Supported by Honda NZ and Botany Honda as always, making my own team means I have been able to put together the ultimate in product sponsors for myself and any riders we may be able to take on board- the first of whom being Kieran Scheele of Hawkes Bay, also racing in the MX2 class.
This means linking back up with old friends Castrol Oils, and a new partnership with a new one- JT Racing, to name just two. Keep your eye on this space.
After some awesome concrete starts at the Patetonga I really struggled with the slipperiness of the Summercross starts, and when there is less than one second between the fastest lap times of the top five of us, that start makes a difference. Especially when the race is less than 10 minutes long in the back to back race format!
Five minutes between the leader crossing the finish and the drop of the gate for race two did not leave any room for error, and I made a dousie. Through a miscommunication I stalled my bike while warming up my tyre and wound up kicking my bike over even after the gates had dropped, saved from the stigma of being dead last only by another top rider who had slid into the gates. Not ideal but far from the end of the world, I weaved my way through to a solid sixth position in the short time I had, with prospects for better had it been a normal length race.
Then down came the rain we had all been expecting, which we were hoping would miss us somehow. It turned the corners to lakes, with rivers running across the roller section. The rain washed away any chance of back to back races so we were in for a solid 8 lap tour of duty.
While I did manage to get over the gates with everyone else, it was well back in the pack, especially after getting smashed by the aquaplaning antics of a dozen riders in front of me into the first lake. The next ten minutes were pure chaos trying to stay upright and weave my way through competitiors and poor souls stranded in the bike sucking holes that had been ruts just a few laps before.
I managed to find some good lines and eventually I was passing my main competitors, the last of which being Rhys Carter to give me second overall. Not that I had any idea what position I had made it to at the time. And despite the fact that no one would have been able to tell, it was an awesome advertisement for my new Dragon goggles that somehow lasted me most of the race and the butty Scorpion radiator braces that saved me from a certain DNF.
With all the topsy turvy results, a win in the final would have won me the day and we were looking good for taking it out after quickly getting into second place behind Cam Dillon in the final race. Surviving the worst, I was so focused on the next challenge that I suddenly found myself skidding down the track on my bum after being spun around on the fastest and dryest part of the track. It was frustrating to watch the others ride by as I got back into the mix, made worse still by another fall that saw me starfish fully submerged face first into a lake of slop just a short time later. There was nothing to do from there but my best, managing another 6th place.
While fourth overall was not what I had planned, it was a bonus to find out that my new team mate Kieran finished 5th right behind me. All I can do is give my greatest thanks to Danny of Botany Honda for his massive support and letting me use his sons bike in the last race to save my race bike, along with my awesome new mechanic, James Ashton and his brother David. Look out for big things from this team- peer pressure is good in this case!