Saturday morning was the usual hectic struggle to get the bike scrutineered, gear checked and transponder allocated with enough time to get the bike put back together, warmers on and make the briefing before quickly getting suited up for the D grade (novice) warm up which is first. The longest part this time was getting gear and helmet checked off.
The extra warm-up was a blessing for me as a lot had changed on the bike since the last race meeting. New rear sets, brake master, levers, slipper clutch and race clip on’s. Warm up was ok, few scary moments as you are out with bikes from different classes so the closing speed can be extreme.
On to qualifying next…and so the rain came….luckily my brother Frederick had gifted me a spare set of wheels (along with the other parts mentioned above) with wets on them so I was able to go out and put a time down so I wasn’t relegated to the rear of the field. First time being on wets I took it easy the first lap and just tried (so I thought) to build speed and find the grip limit of the tyres (which I didn’t, those things hang on!). The session was only 10 mins long which allowed me 4 laps. To my surprise, i had qualified in second place which had me regretting going out as being new I wasn’t ready for a front row start! Video of qualifying lap:
Race 1: As mentioned, I was full of regret about my qualifying effort as I was totally out of my depth being anywhere near the front row so was incredibly nervous. Made a fairly average start and was swamped by the quick dry track riders who either didn’t go out to qualify or took it incredibly easy. I tried to stay out of trouble for the first couple of laps and was feeling totally out of rhythm until the traffic cleared and i could get into a groove. i had lost quite a few places but made some back to finish 11th. Video of Race 1:
Race 2: Was feeling more comfortable at the start as i was in a more familiar position on the grid and around riders of similar pace. Lights went out and DISASTER. I had stalled it! Luckily for me all the riders behind me were on the ball and avoided me, bike took a few goes to get going and i was in 23rd place and about 400m behind the back of the pack. Rode as hard as i could and had made it back up to 15th place by the end of the race. Video of Race 2:
Race 3: Still trying to work out why I had stalled last race, I rolled out to go again, being Sunday morning we got an extra warm-up lap and a practice start which went well and I thought I had it nailed. Grid up, lights went out….stalled again!!! Once again everyone avoided me and the bike started quickly this time and I was off again at the back of the pack (23rd) but without the massive gap. I was angry! (with myself) and rode accordingly making a few spots up by the time we had hit turn 2 and riding the rest of the race in the same manner and had managed to claw my back up into 11th position by the end of the race. Video of Race 3:
Race 4: Finally!! got a decent start and rode a fairly uneventful race from 11th spot to finish in the same spot. The start still wasn’t fantastic and I had dropped a few spots but made them up quickly and tried to tag onto a couple of quicker guys in front. I made a couple of mistakes and lost touch with them and decided to settle for the position i was in and just get me and the bike home in one piece.
Race 5: Went ahead without me as it was my son Isaac’s first birthday and I was lucky enough that Cara handled his party on her own but i had agreed to be home by 3pm for a family get together to celebrate the occasion again. Video of Isaac smashing a cake 😂
Thinking of hitting up Sydney Dragway on March 8th for Bike Night to work on my starts to get ready for the next race meeting. For now just happy to keep it shiny side up.
Til the next one..