Join Date: 06-12-2006
Location: Victoria, Australia
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SMALLMAN 55- Last round of the HMCC Championship- PHILLIP ISLAND 28/29 Oct
I have had plenty of people asking "where's the race report" (well it was two actually but that does not sound like people are as interested as I hope they are)
Surely had I won the championship as was the possibility from Winton's penultimate round you would have received my post by now but you must read on to find out wether I won or not.
A huge thanks to all my sponsors.
To the panel shed and Visual Signage Solutions (sorry about all the hard work you had to put in to constantly tidy up my machine however it looked great and I am sure the combination of fresh paint for reduced drag coefficient and sign writing for the sense of professionalism was the determining force.
Clipstone Yamaha, Your help and assistance has been fantastic. Hopefully I will be on a Yamaha again shortly to fly the colours of your brand as they deserve to be flown. Please pass on my best to all of your suppliers (Technic Leathers, Braking Rotors and Elf Oils) who have assisted with reducing their prices even further to ensure I could be as competitive as possible.
Schematik Design will be launching a website shortly dedicated to the race category I compete in with information and race updates from riders. I will advise you all to wait in anticipation of my email advising when it is up.
Going into the race...
With only a 4 point lead in the championship and strong competition at one of my traditional weaker tracks (Phillip Island) I needed to win all my races to become the championship victor of the over 600cc Super bike Non-Expert class.
A cold and windy start to the weekend on Saturday saw the mercury creep to only 10.2 degrees by the time of the first practice session. After a promising start (and re-training myself how to ride a motorcycle after a month and a half of not riding it) I had a small altercation with the tyre bundle at Lukey heights (a fast uphill left hand corner in the last quater of the track) when I out braked myself after a bad exit from the previous corner. I speared off the track and ran across the gravel run off but could not stop and hit the tyres head on at about 10km/h. No real damage (no need for repaint or sign writing) however a real scare to what I had to achieve over the 4 races.
I lined up for the first race in pole position and as the red glow of the starting lights disappeared I was once again plagued by my inability to get of the starting line without concern. I popped the clutch and wheelied, stalled the bike, clutch started it again and snapped the throttle to take off doing both a burn-out and wheelie at the same time. I dropped close to the back of the grid as the precession headed toward turn 1 and managed to punch my way to the inside of the sweeping right hander where I held the throttle wide open past 12 of my fellow competitors. By the time I exited Southern loop I was in third and got the last two before the end of the first lap. 1.45 68, 12 hundredths quicker than my personal best.
I stayed in position 1 for the remainder of the race and took chequered flag honours in the first and second qualifying races.
Sunday. The championship day...
The day opened with a 6 minute practice session (just enough time to squeeze in 4 laps). The bike was feeling strong however the rider was fatigued after battling the wind, heavy braking and acceleration that Phillip Island offered on Saturday.
Once again I lined up on pole for the first championship race and made a slow but not poor get-away from the grid. I quickly regained the two places lost off the line and pushed hard to make a solid lead.
With the conditions just right I was able to produce 2 low 1.45min laps when coming out of Siberia corner I lost the front end. I regathered the bike before crashing and slowed my pace just enough to keep me well in front of the group for a win in the first championship round.
I went into Race 2 needing to finish in better than 5th to win the championship. The red flag rose, the revs climbed, the lights went out and finally a start that was not terrible. I shot away to a good lead and lapped consistently in the high 45's. On the last lap locked into a close battle for the race and championship win I conceded two places to Martyn Cook and Grahame (the runner up in the championship) however crossed the line in 3rd to win my first ever championship.
I lifted the front wheel high in the air and thanked all the marshals for their efforts as I pulled off the track after my cool down lap.
You could see the smile through my helmet as I revved the bike pulling into the pits to make sure everyone knew how happy I was.
We stood on the Dias in place for our photos and I thanked all my fellow competitors for the wonderful competition and comradery.
How do you top this? Well I race as an expert next year which brings many new challenges. I still have 1 race left in the interclub challenge on the 12th of November where I currently am in second place in the C-Grade interclub title. It would be great to bring home another title but I will be happy with a fun day.
Once again to all my sponsors, a huge thank you and I hope I have conveyed my appreciation fully