The last few years have been a little shaky. Too dry or too wet, some parts too fast, some too tight. But like the earthquake that shook the region a few days before this years MX GP, the memories fade as quickly as the scars; where all is forgiven when we have a perfect weekend, and we remember why Woodville is called the King of New Zealand Motocross.
We arrived on Saturday to an eerie stillness. The raking winds of last year replaced by a calm so perfect that even the windmills on the hills above us had frozen in their version of a minutes silence. It made a stark contrast to the whirlwind of activity going on below, a business that only got more frantic for the seniors who were to follow as rain threatened to end our serendipity.
The Hard Way
If ever there was a chance for me to shine, this was it. The wonky ruts from Saturdays racing were replaced by something akin to a slot car track, albeit with a few extra bumps along the way. While those ruts were not to my New Caledonian teammates liking, I should have been in my element, yet neither he nor I started the day all that well, qualifying in 17th and 9th place respectively.
This turned out to be the beginning of the end for Laurent as he got caught in the carnage in all three of his race starts, leaving him with two DNF’s and a hard fought thirteenth place. Fortunately there was one other chance to shine, getting on the podium with a second place finish in the under 22 years Rodney Smith Memorial Feature race. The other slice of good was how much he felt that he learned, even though it was learned the hard way.
One Lap Too Many
On the flip side it was this same carnage that saw me come the first turn of the first race in third place, a position I held for around 20 minutes. Unfortunately arm pump combined with a difficulty passing lapped riders to see me lose focus and three positions on what turned out to be the final lap. I was pretty gutted.
Redemption did not come easily either, exiting the first turn in the top ten and working my way up to the sixth place two more times. I did enjoy some decent battles with a number of privateer racers who have been putting in some serious training. Also there was a lot for me to learn about bike set up, thanks to Mark and Scotty of MSPEC Racing. With these suspension and engine tuning experts on our side, we should have much more to offer against the two stroke tide.
Along with the massive support of Botany Honda, Castrol, JT, Backflips, Spy and MotoMuck we are looking forward to laying it on at Timaru on February 8th. The real racing year has begun!