Please scroll down to find all entries for January - June 2016
2016 NZ Junior Champs Day 1. 12-14 125cc
22 April, Ngaruroro Raceway, Hastings.
This was planned as a 3-day event. The only question mark was what the weather would do on Sunday. Luckily there was only some light rain and so the racing went as planned: 2 races day 1, 2 races day 2 and 3 races day 3 for Vinny's class.
In practice we had agreed that as there were only 16 riders in his class, Vinny did not need a full-on attack for a good time. He took it easy and had a good look at the track but still qualified 11'th.
First go at Race 1 was cancelled and re-run, as four riders took the right turn after the start instead of turning left. (The tapes across the track were missing). Second try and all went well. Vinny was about 7'th at the holeshot. As the race goes on Vinny's placing is around 8'th - 12'th and he finishes in 9'th. The SI rider Grason takes 1'st and Reef from Hamilton 2'nd with Jesse from Auckland 3'rd. These three would have a 3-way race alone at the top in all 7 races.
In Race 2 Vinny upped his racing and was 6'th after the start. He held that spot until Lap 2 when he crashed and found himself in 13'th. He slowly started the climb back up but then another setback as he got a rear puncture. Vinny circulated and finished the race in 12'th gaining some important points! We were looking for some luck to go our way tomorrow and also would make some changes to the bike to help.
The three at the top finished in same order and it was already clear that if anyone wanted to beat Grason they needed to find some extra speed somewhere!
2016 NZ Junior Champs Day 2. 12-14yo 125cc
23 April, Ngaruroro Raceway, Hastings.
Vinny was sitting in 11'th after day one. Today we would focus on climbing inside top-ten. The bike had been given a once-over through the night. Quite a few things had been tweaked to make riding the track easier. (And the punctured rear tyre had been fixed too!)
In Race 3 (of the Champs) Vinny had an OK start and was in the middle of the group. He settled in to 9'th and finished the race in that spot. The race was won by Grason with Jesse 2'nd and Reef 3'rd.
Race 4 was harder work for Vinny. He was in 14'th at end of lap 1. He then worked hard and climbed up each lap to again finish in 9'th. Again Grason won, this time with Reef 2'nd and Jesse 3'rd.
The bike had developed a slightly slipping clutch so there was work to do in the dark again.
On Day 3 Vinny's class would have 3 rides. At end of day 2 Vinny had a good 9'th placing but we were hoping to be able to climb one, or perhaps 2 spots more on the last day!
2016 NZ Junior Champs Day 3, 12-14yo 125cc
Ngaruroro Raceway, Hastings
The clutch had a rebuild over the night and now was grabbing well. Vinny was keen to get racing and cement his first top-ten in a NZ Champs. The full-on rain that had been promised never eventuated and even if the track was a little slippery first thing in the morning, it never really caused an issue for the riders.
In first race for the day (Race 5) Vinny had an average start and was sitting 9'th at the first doubles. In the turn after he dropped the bike and got going again in last. As the racing went on he slowly clawed his way back and finished in 12'th. This was the only race Vinny was lapped as Reef, who won this race, managed to pass him a few corners before te finish line. Grason also passed Vinny, but dropped his bike just before the finish and Vinny managed to go past him.
For Race 6 we decided to take a different approach; Vinny changed starting gate to the left, he was to be more aggressove in the start and then keep the speed up more. This worked well to starters as he was 6'th at end of lap 1. Then a crash and he dropped down to 12'th. He again chased hard and managed a 10'th at end of the race after an epic 3 lap battle with Cory! This was also Vinny's fastest race and he cut almost 10 seconds of his best lap time! Vinny was now sitting in 9'th in the championships with one race to go!
In the final race Vinny had his best start and was in 5'th for the first lap. Then disaster! In a double at the back of the track Vinny gets it wrong and cases the bike on landing. He crashes out and breaks the tibia and fibular of his right leg just above the ankle. That is the end of his NZ Champs for this year and he gets a DNF in the race placing him just outside the goal in 11'th. Still his best NZ Champs by far, but it is frustrating as we were so close to the elusive top-ten finish. Next Year!!!
Grason takes the win with 6 x 1'st placings, Reef comes second and Jesse is 3'rd. Congrats to the three of them who were never challenged by the rest of the riders the whole day!
Wanganui Winter Series Round 1
17 April 2016
The WMCC had done some major work on their already awsum track. The area down by the river had got some new corners and straights making the track more technical. Cool!
We got a warm day with some clouds to keep the sun in hiding. No rain or wind; a perfect day for MX!
In Vinny's 12 - 16yo 125cc class 21 riders lined up. (The 14-16yo 250cc class was also racing in the same races but they started first in a split start, see vid). The day before we had fitted the re-worked suspension (front and back) thanks to Patterson O'Connor Motorcycles. This was sorely needed as Vinny has grown heaps in the last year and as a result also got heavier (All muscles he tells me...) So this would be the suspension test!
In Race 1 Vinny came out of the gates first but then dropped to 6'th at the holeshot. At end of Lap 1 he was in 8'th but a couple crashes (by others) and he was back in 6'th. Vinny had a good race and finished in 6'th (TBC).
In Race 2 Vinny was 8'th at the holeshot. He then had his only crash of the day while trying to pass on the outside in a corner and ended off the track. He was back up in approx 18'th and started the chase. Heaps of passing and we think he finished in 12'th (TBC)
A 7'th at the holeshot in Race 3 and some really good riding where it was obvious that Vinny was now getting used to the new suspension setup and it was paying off! The two riders he had been battling with in earlier races were now left behind and Vinny had his best race finishing 5'th (TBC).
Hayden was again unstoppable and easily won the races.
With a field of 21 riders this was a good warm-up for the NZ Junior Champs the coming w/e in Hastings. And Vinny's riding has gone up a notch or two!
HB Magic Series Round 2
10 April 2016
It had been drizzling on Saturday and through the night. From experience we knew that this was not good for the Valley Rd track. The track has a tendency to become very soggy when wet.
We had missed Round 1 with an injury, and with only four rounds in the series it would damage Vinny's chances of placing well in the series. Add to this that we will also miss Round 3 as we will race in Wanganui and we were not sure if we would bother with a transponder for the series. I had taken out $50 to cover the membership and entry fee, but did not realise that I also needed $20 for the transponder (had not seen that mentioned anywhere). Would have been cool to be in the results. So little disappointing, but no major issue.
Practice had been soggy and slippery and we realised that as more bikes went riding the track would get worse.
Vinny had a good start in Race 1. Bradley took the lead and Vinny was in 3'rd... until bottom of the hill where he crashed in the wettest spot. It took him some time to get back up and he got help with the bike. He got back going in 11'th of the 12 riders. He rode well for the rest of the race. Add that many more crashed and he was approx 6'th at the finish.
We were hoping that there would be no more rain (there had been a shower when Vinny's first race was out). But no such luck. A heavy shower just before the second race and the track was even more slippery. Vinny again had a good start and was 2'nd at the holeshot at top of the hill, once again behind Bradley. He stayed in 2'nd for the first lap and it looked good. But then in middle of lap 2 a crash in a deep wet and muddy spot and it fell apart. After again getting some help Vinny was back up racing, only to crash a second time. He was now approx 10'th and I expected that he would pull off. But to his credit he kept on riding and finished the race somewhere around 8'th.
With more rain coming down we did not worry about racing the 3'rd race as it now started to become "blown motor territory" (heavy riding at high revs and low speed).
The crashes were the negatives, but Vinny's riding was a positive.
FMXHB East Coast Flat Track Champs
26-27 March 2016
The FMX club had done a brilliant job in setting up the track at Crownthorpe 15 minutes outside Hastings. The track was wide, there was places to wind it fully open and a handful of more technical stuff too.
Saturday was a fraction wet. But it only kept the dust away from the track and did not hamper the racing.
After the disaster at Rotorua School Champs we were looking forward to a good race meeting for Vinny. When looking at the entries we figured out that Vinny might have a small chance of 3'rd, but lower than 4'th was a no-go zone!
Race 1. Vinny comes out of the start gate in 1'st but looses one spot to Jye just before the holeshot. In a fast race Vinny then looses two more placings and finishes in 4'th.
Race 2. Again Vinny is 2'nd at the holeshot (note that there is a 250 in the picture, but as they race in a separate class I do not count them). Jacob passes Vinny and then Troy gets close. They fight for quite some time, but in the end Vinny again places 4'th.
Race 3. Once more a good start and Vinny is in 2'nd after Jye in the 125cc class. Again Jacob and Troy fight their way past Vinny. At the end, while in 4'th Vinny has a good fights with the top 250cc rider and manages to pass him with 2 laps to go.
After Day 1 Vinny was sitting in 4'th place and it would be very hard to clim up on to the podium. But the idea was to give it all we got tomorrow!
The rain is gone and sunshine greets us! Warm enough so the track has to be watered between the two rounds!
Race 4. Vinny's best start and the holeshot is his. Sadly he drifts wide in the next corner and finds himself in 3'rd. Vinny again passes the top 250 rider, but is later relegated to 5'th by Jacob and also Luke on his nice 2006 Honda CR 125.
Race 5. Vinny has made it his mission to place 3'rd. Again he has a good start and sits second after Jye at the holeshot. Then Troy passes him. For the rest of the race, until the last corners, 3'rd place is Vinny's. That is when Jacob has managed to get close enough after a small mistake by Vinny. Jacob squeezes past on the inside and Vinny is back in 4'th.
This was two days of fun on wheels! Vinny loved every minute. The FMXHB club had done such a stellar job, and at the prize giving nobody had to go home empty handed as there was more than enough spot prizes for everyone! We know of no major injuries and apart from some motors giving up all went well.
125cc 12-16yo Top Placings:
1. Jye Deacon
2. Troy Andrews
3. Jacob Beal
4. Vincent Andersson
5. Luke ...
We will be back in 2017 faster and more determined!!!
See you all then!
Rotorua High School Champs MX
18 March 2016
This was supposed to be it. The first time HNHS had a MX Team at an event. But it all started falling apart early:
The 3'rd member did not sign up.
But all good. We were 100% stronger than in 2015 when it was only Vinny (and 2014 and 2013 when Vinny was HNHS's only rider, even if he was at HN Intermediate...).
Practice went OK. It was raining, and had been raining most of the night. The track was porridge! But it would be the same for all.
At start of Race 1 Vinny's hydraulic clutch failed and the bike went in to the gate. He was last starter of 38 riders. He then climbed up to approx 15'th, but crashed before end of Lap 1. By end of the race Vinny had climbed up to 28'th. But it was not what we had come here for.
Sadly the clutch could not be fixed with White Mans Magic and it was Vinny's only race of the day.
George had an OK practice but his gear leaver came loose. As a result he did not line up for Race 1.
By Race 2 we were hoping that the problems were sorted. This was first time he had been behind an MX starting gate! His start was OK and by end of Lap 1 George was in 13'th! But then the gear lever came loose again and all went wrong. George finished in 24'th.
In Race 3 George went back out (after more repairs) and started well. But sadly the gear shifter stopped working and he did not finish the race.
George is also made out of tough material; his comments after the riding (this was his first ever MX racing, in fact first any type of racing wher he started behind a starting gate!!): "What a buzz MX riding is!!!"
So HNHS MX Team could have done better. And so we will at the next School MX!!!
Central Hawke's Bay Club Day
21 February 2016
This was Central HB MCC's final round of their Club Series. Vinny had not been riding in any of their previous 5 rounds. And as he is not a CHBMCC club member he would not get any points. As we were here for the riding experience this did not matter.
It was a warm and sunny day in Ashley Clinton below the Ruahines where the club had marked out a natural terrain track with just enough of challenges. In the Juniors there were two classes: 85cc and 125/250cc. With small numbers both classes would ride together and then for the points race (Race 3) have a split start.
We had been considering a 3'rd gear start for some time and this was a good time to test it. So for Race 1 Vinny started in 3'rd gear. But the 125cc did not have enough torque to pull it off up the slight hill at the start and Vinny came 2'nd at the holeshot. He then passed the leading 85cc and had no problems keeping the first place to the end.
In race 2 Vinny reverted back to starting in 2'nd gear and got the holeshot. He again won the race without being challenged.
For the points race Brendon (who had been riding in the Clubmans class until then) came in to the mix. Vinny got the holeshot but before the riders disappeared behind the hill he had been passed by Brendon. The distance between them grew with approx 1/2 second every lap and even if Vinny had his best ride of the day, with no mistakes, it was not enough. Brendon 1'st and Vinny 2'nd 6 seconds behind.
Thanks to CHB for a really good day of racing!
Wairarapa MCC Club Day
7 February 2016
We had been down to Wairarapa for racing a few times. Always had a good time and a friendly atmosphere. Their home track, The Boneyard just south of Carterton, has had some serious upgrades. Track is longer, has a few jumps, step-up, two loops in to the forest, has been widened and runs over 3 levels! (see picture of track below).
But it surprised me to learn that this Club Day was to be the decider if the club was to fold or to carry on. Last club day here had only been five (yep, 5...) riders. The Committee members were inserting their own money to keep the club going. So today, with approx 100 riders, would have made a huge difference, and the club will keep going.
It would be a pity if this club closed it's doors as the track has to be one of the coolest around. When they have a race day, go support them. You will not regret it!!
The day was very warm and we were thankful for the clouds in the early stages. But as the day went on the sun came out and it got over 30 degrees. No matter how much water had been poured in to the track over the week, the surface became dry and dusty. Between races the tractor was used to try and water to keep the dust away, but the added water first made is slippery and then quickly burned off by the sun and the heat.
It was a no-points fun day and this suited us well. Vinny is far from ready and low pressure racing is what we need now. Add a sore tail-bone from a pushbike accident a day ago and we did not come here to fight for top placings.
In Race 1 Vinny managed a good start and was first to the corner. He then was overtaken by Max (who was fastest on the day. Glad to see that he is now back from his broken hip and concussion!!!). As the race went on some of the other riders also caught up with Vinny who was slowing down little. To his disappointment the bush-loop was cut out after practice as it was too dry and dusty up there.
The Race 2 start was not as good, but second at the corner was OK. A couple of riders was late for the start and joined in as the racing went on. Vinny managed to get a nice flow going, but then had a crash in a corner where the added water had made it slippery.
Only three riders lined up for the last race as the heat was taking it's toll. And as some of the others had been riding in two classes it all became too much. Vinny managed to out-gate the two but was passed in the next laps. A safe and controlled race from him.
We really hope that the Wairarapa MCC puts on a Wairarapa MX Champs this year to get the riders here. It would be soo worth it. Oh yes... They now also have a separate Mini track, but the 65cc riders preferred to ride in the 85cc class as the big track is soo cool!
King Of The Mountain 12-14yo 125cc
24 January 2016
We had managed to get Vinny's MNZ clearance on Friday 2 days before the racing. We also knew that Vinny was still far from 100%, but we really wanted to ride here. So off we went.
Vinny had lately suffered from really bad cramp in his fingers when riding and normally in Race 3 he could not ride full-on as a result. We had worked hard on coming up with a remedy and now was the time to see if we had solved this issue.
New Plymouth provided a sunny and warm day for the racing, The club had worked hard to get water in to the track and all was in place. There were 10 riders in Vinny's class (they would ride together with the 14-15yo 125cc, and also have a split start with 14-16 250cc) and when looking at the names we would, before the injury, have felt confident of placing inside top 5. But for us today was not about placings, instead to find out how well Vinny's return was coming along.
In Race 1 Vinny was cautious in the start. He then passed a few riders and settled in to 5'th place. On the 3'rd lap he was trying a pass but it did not work out and he crashed and finished last.
Race 2 started in similar fashion. Vinny sits in 5'th until end of last lap when Dylan K works on a pass. Vinny crashes trying to cover and finishes in 6'th.
When Race 3 starts two other riders (Lukas and Dylan T) has same points as Vinny in 6'th. We agree that Vinnys job is to secure 6'th and he does that with a safe race. Brody wins all three races to take the win with Grayson second and Luke 3'rd.
Vinny also races in the Junior King Of The Mountain but only to have some fun in the jumps. He allow all others to take off before he starts. Even so he passes a few and places 9'th.
We know where Vinnys current weakness is and are working on correcting it. We are OK with the KOTM results as we know that Vinny will keep on getting faster. And we found out that our remedy for his cramping fingers worked perfectly! A well worth trip!
Wairoa Twilight Series round 3 (final)
21 Jan 2016
Last round and numbers down a fraction. But a good evening of racing even if a little dusty.
In Race 1 Vinny has a good start and sits in 2'nd for almost a lap until passed for 3'rd. He comes first in Senior B.
Race 2 runs well and Vinny is challenging for 2'nd but crashes and finishes last of Senior A and B.
In Race 3 all goes well until Vinny's hand cramp gets really bad and he slows down from the pain. He still manages 4'th.
In the results over the three rounds Vinny finished 2'nd in senior B.
Thanks to Wairoa MCC for a cool series!
Wairoa Twilight Series Round 2
14 January 2016
It had been a sunny and hot day. When the racing started at 6pm the temperature was still in the middle 20's and the track was dusty and dry.
A few more riders had turned out and 15 riders lined up in the senior classes that all (Senior A, B and Social) raced together but were scored separately.
In Race 1 Vinny had a good start and was 2'nd at the holeshot. He then managed to keep that placing until 2 laps from the finish when he pushed just a little too hard and crashed. He got back up but finished in 7'th. Vinny had 2'nd fastest lap time behind Karl (who rides a Honda 450), so we are pleased with that.
Race 2 went smoother. Vinny got the holeshot and had a good consistent race where he held 1'st place for almost 2 laps. He finished in 3'rd (first in Senior B).
Vinny wanted one more holeshot and pushed hard in the first corner in Race 3. But the dry silt track was unforgiving, he lost the bike in the corner and crashed. Vinny got back up and started the chase but pushed too hard and went off the track twice in a corner loosing more time. A 10'th was the best he could do.
We are very happy with the improvements Vinny has made. Yes, there was a few crashes, but when you push hard that is what happens. Vinny sits in 3'rd in Senior B after today's placings of 4'th, 1'st and 5'th.
Wairoa Twilight Series Round 1
7 January 2016
We love the friendly low-key attitude at Wairoa! (Check the white plastic bag as last lap flag and the red T-shirt as finish flag! There was also a free drink and sausage/meat pattie for everyone after the racing). The Mangapoike track is one of the cool tracks. There is a little of everything including a jump over the access road!
Vinny was entered in the Senior B class (no license required here). With only a handful of riders in each class the senior classes would all ride together (Senior A, Senior B and Senior Social). It was decided that the two races today would be 20 minute ones.
In Race 1 Vinny stuffed up his start and drifted wide. He then settled in to the riding and was doing OK having climbed up to 6'th in the 10 rider field, until a crash on Lap 4. He finished 2 laps down. When back in the pits he was buzzing about the riding and made plans of doing much better in Race 2.
Vinny had a better start in Race 2 and was initially in 2'nd. But Troy (who was the surprise today for us and won the race!) passed him before end of Lap 1. Vinny would fight for 3'rd the whole race against the older riders, and by using some of the techniques he has learned, managed to hold the placing.
We both agreed that this had been a fun experience and we will be back for he next two rounds!