2017 Jan-Jun MX
Please scroll down to find all entries for January - June 2017
Battle of the Clubs, Taupo
Junior 250 qualifier and Junior B Grade racing.
24 June 2017
We had never before managed to get Vinny in a team for the BOTC. In 2016 he had a spot in the Rotorua team, but a week before the racing he got injured so that was it. This year we were still as keen and when Taumarunui MCC (TMCC) needed a rider we put our hand up!
The Taumaranui club has some new blood flowing this year, as a result they were only in the BOTC to support the NZ team for the MX Of Nations. Vinny would ride in the 250ccf class but on his 125cc. The other two Junior TMCC riders were 10yo Jamie Bennett in 85cc and Jayden Leatuafi in 125cc. The chance of a top spot for the team was nil, but the riders were still as keen as ever to do their best!
The weather prediction was for rain and more rain. But luckily that did not eventuate and the day was dry and the track good.
In practice Vinny continued his rivalry with Joe from HNHS MX Team re who was the schools top rider. (Joe was riding for the Central HB junior team in the 250ccf class). Here Vinny had 20'th fastest lap time and Joe 22'nd.
In the Qualifying race (where all three team riders placings would be added to decide what teams would end up in the 20 team A Grade and what teams would be riding in the 10 team B Grade) Vinny was initially sitting in 16'th, but then dropped to 20'th by end of the 5 laps. Joe finished in 21'st just a second behind.
In 85cc Jamie came 27'th and in 125 Jayden placed 26'th. This meant that the TMCC Junior Team would race in B Grade where all three classes would race together making it 30 riders on the line. Joe's CHBMCC Junior team had also missed qualifying for the A Grade, so the competition would continue!
In Race 1 Vinny was 7'th at end of Lap 1, he then climbed to 5'th before dropping one spot on the last lap finishing in 6'th. Jayden finished in 15'th and Jamie in 29'th. Joe had been 2 placings ahead of Vinny, but on Lap 3 crashed in a corner and finished in 26'th. Tommy Watts (who was racing for Gisborne MCC) easily won the race.
For Race 2 Vinny had to revert to his practice bike as his race bike had died after an alarming sound in the motor when back in the pits. The cold he was suffering from had also by now started to rob him of his energy. After having climbed up from 11'th to 8'th before the last two laps Vinny was last in a group of 5 riders but just did not have the energy required to pass them finishing in 8'th. Joe claimed 6'th. Jayden placed 21'st and Jamie 24'th. Jacob Thomasen had an easy win.
The Taumarunui MCC Junior Team placed 27'th with Cambridge MCC winning the Junior 2017 BOTC.
Thank you to the Taumarunui Team who allowed Vinny to race for them! A brilliant bunch of guys!!
With a broken bike and an energy-zapping cold we did not stay to race the Taupo Winter Series Round 3 on the day after. As a result Vinny dropped down to 5'th in the standings.
Central HB MCC Club Day
18 June 2017
We had no idea what the track was going to be like, so we left the bike setup same as for last race: setup for a hard and fast track. We got that totally wrong!
On farm paddocks outside Waipukurau the club had marked out a track that reminded of a short Cross Country one. The rain stayed away but the day started very foggy and chilly.
After practice Vinny knew that he would struggle here. He prefers hard and fast tracks and normally stays away from soggy XC tracks.
Nine riders lined up for the Junior 125/250f class. Our aim was to stay inside top four. But it proved to be harder than expected.
Vinny had a good start in Race 1 but then lost a few places. He tried to fight but found that the lighter riders with XC experience had an advantage. This would be his best race and he placed 5'th.
For Race 2 the track was ripped up and you had to select your riding line carefully. Many went far outside the lines they had picked in Race 1. Vinny crashed in Lap 2 and even if he managed to climb back a couple of places he finished in 6'th.
Race 3 was more of the same and often became a matter of keeping moving forward. Another crash and another 6'th for Vinny.
Jacob was unstoppable and won all three races.
We assume that the last race again was the points race. As none of the others did race in Round 1 Vinny should, by our calculation, be leading the series with 40 points and Jacob now second with 25.
North Island Secondary School MX Champs, Patetonga
Competitive 15-16yo 125cc
2 June 2017
We left Napier at 4am and arrived at Patetonga 8.30am. Our aim was a podium and Vinny felt that he could achieve this. The KTM had sofar not been performing. We had struggled to get the bike to work in high revs and low revs, always having to pick one or the other. I spent a day trying to setup the bike to work well through the whole rev range and felt confident it was achieved!
The day was dry and sunny with no wind. Perfect day for MX! We had been to the Patetonga track before with best a 4'th at their Champs in the 65cc class a few years ago. Our memory was that the track was at times tricky to ride. To our surprise there had been some changes to the track that suited Vinny better and we looked forward to the riding!
For Race 1 we were not properly prepared for the start. The orange terracotta clay (that covers the track) was very sticky and slippery and hampered Vinny's start making him come out in last (8'th). On Lap 1 Vinny managed to climb up to 5'th and by Lap 2 he was in 4'th. But he could not get close enough to Isaac to challenge for 3'rd. Seaton won the race.
For Race 2 we had made some minor changes and made sure the clay would not hamper his start. It worked! Vinny got the holeshot and managed to get a small gap to 2'nd. For 2 laps Vinny was in the lead, then Seaton managed to squeeze past by over-jumping a jump. For the next 2 laps Vinny was in 2'nd challing for 1'st and giving Seaton no time to relax. Then in Lap 5 a small mistake and Kieran managed to pass. But Vinny was not giving up. Sadly at start of the final lap Vinny's left hand slipped of the grip while in a jump and he crashed the bike. Luckily Vinny is OK apart from some soft tissue injuries and bruises. But sadly he could not finish the race or race in the final one.
Not what we came for. But the really encouraging thing is his riding in Race 2. Now we just need to make sure that it is that Vinny who comes out riding every time!
Seaton won. Kieran 2'nd and Isaac took 3'rd. Next year...
Taupo Winter Series Round 2
Round 1 had been seriously wet. So the wish was for a nice dry day. But nobody cares re what our wishes are and on offer was a wet and soggy day again and we pitched up our gazebo so we would have a dry spot where to be. The numbers were down in most classes and in Vinny's 15-16 125cc eleven riders lined up.
Vinny got a good starting gate for Race 1(most were soggy and with water in them) and this made him feel a little better. (We managed to keep the same start gate for all races!). His start was OK and he found him self in 6'th at the holeshot corner. Vinny raced OK but never got going fully as a result of the soggy track and he placed 6'th. Kydd won the race.
Race 2 was similarily soggy, but with the track now having had racing done there was some paths developing. A better start from Vinny and he was 3'rd at the holeshot. There was more "go" in Vinny's racing, he kept the speed up and was rewarded with a 4'th at the finish. Thomas did a good job and came 1'st.
Race 3 and the track had started drying up. Another good start for Vinny and he was 2'nd at the holeshot. This was Vinnys fastest race and his lap time was almost 10 seconds better than in Race 1. Vinny placed 5'th with Zac winning the race.
This places Vinny in 4'th in the series and our goal of a top five finish is alive!
HBMCC Taylor Corp. Magic Series Round 1
14 May 2017
The Valley Rd track had been expected to be too soggy after two days of rain. But what we got was a track that changed as the day went on. From a deep and heavy surface to a fast and nicely rutted one. With the sun on full blast the whole day and the temperature somewhere just under 20 degrees nobody was complaining. And the racing got better as the day went on!
19 riders lined up for the Junior 125/250f class.
Vinny was struggling all day with the starts and had to climb up from around 12-15 place each time. Time to sort his starts out!!
In Race 1 Thomas took the lead with Jacob on his heels. Vinny was somewhere around 12'th at the holeshot corner. For this race the track was still tacky and had some slippery spots and most riders strugged on the surface. Vinny managed to climb up to approx 7'th but then had a crash together with some other riders. They all got back up and he finished in 6'th. Jacob had managed to pass Thomas for the win.
For Race 2 we agreed that he should push a little bit more. With the track drying up and getting harder he did just this. Vinny again had a poor start and found himself close to the back. But his speed increased and there was more of a flow and he managed to make some passes to finish in 8'th after having one crash. Jacob again won the race.
Before Race 3 Vinny felt that he was getting a hang of the track and he decided to push even more. He was now hanging on to riders who had been well ahead of him in the earlier races. This was easily his best race of the day and he placed 7'th. Once again Jacob was unstoppable.
South Waikato MCC Winter Series Round 2, Tokoroa
7 May 2017
Vinny was sitting in overall 8'th after Round 1 and our plan was to climb up a spot or two. It was a good day for it: Sunny, warm and no wind. The club had changed the track layout and we were looking forward to it!
32 riders lined up for Vinny's 125/250 "All In" class. Many of them had not been here for Round 1 and were probably here to test the track for the NZ Secondary Schools MX Champs in July. Some of them did not have transponders and would not be part of the results
Vinny had a poor start in Race 1 and was approx 18'th at the holeshot. He raced OK and climbed up to 10'th at the finish. Maximus easily won the race.
The bike had not been running well, so we spent time trying different settings and jets before Race 2. In Race 2 Vinny had an even worse start and found him self close to last at the holeshot corner. He then started the work to climb up and, apart from a quick crash, he raced well and finished in 9'th. Brodie won this race.
More work on the bike before Race 3 and we got her running well. Vinny had his best start and was in 9'th at the holeshot. He worked hard and managed to finish the race in 7'th giving him a 9'th overall on the day. Zac took the win in this race.
Vinny now sits 6'th in the overall standings. Our aim is minimum a top-five placing at end of the 5-round series. But we are working towards a podium finish!
Taupo Winter Series Round 1
30 April 2017
After six years doing the Taupo Winter Series, 2016 became a gap year after Vinny's broken tibia and fibular at NZ Junior Champs just before Round 1. So we were soo happy to be back for the 2017 series! This year Vinny is riding in the 15-16yo 125cc class and the MX3 Senior Support class.
The rain had made the track very soggy and the start gates were all filled with water. It was cold and still raining, but there was a promise of dry weather after lunch.
In practice Vinny was struggling to find good lines and he came back shaking his head not looking forward to it.
In Race 1 Vinny came out of the gates in last of the 13 riders. He then managed to climb to 9'th at end of Lap 1. One crash and he finished in 10'th
Race 2 was more of the same with one crash again placing Vinny 10'th.
For Race 3 the rain had gone away and the track had started to dry up a fraction. It was clear that Vinny felt more comfortable and he was having a good tussle in 7'th before dropping one place to finish in 8'th.
We had hoped for a little better results, but are OK with Vinnys 10'th overall as we know there is more to come. Joshua Bourke Palmer leads the class after two wins and a second, Zac Hetherington is in 2'nd after Round 1.
Vinny was suffering from stomach pains this day so we agreed that his main class was the 125cc one and for the MX3 he was only there to do laps.
In an initial field of 32 riders Vinny elected to come out of the gates after all had gone and then ride his own race.
In Race 1 Vinny kept climbing up from last and finished in 20'th.
In Race 2 Vinny again came out last. He kept climbing up the ladder and at end of Lap 2 was in 15'th. Then a crash and he finished in 16'th.
For Race 3 a few riders elected not to start. Vinny's header pipe had broken it's mounting lug and he would only circulate. He finished in 14'th.
Vinny is in 16'th after Round 1. Dan Kerley won 2 out of the 3 races and is leading
Sadly I had left the memory card for the camera behind, so no vid this time.
Central HB MCC Club Day
23 April 2017
The NZ Junior Championships were the same weekend in New Plymouth, but we had decided not to travel. So we did the first points round at the CHB Club Day instead.
The club had struggled to find somewhere to ride that was not too wet after all the rain. A paddock outside Waipawa fitted the bill and on a warm and sunny day we turned up for some flat track racing.
The four boys from the HNHS MX Team (Vinny, Joe. George and Sam) were all there and would ride in the Junior 125/250f class. Vinny was also riding in the Clubman/Senior Support class to get more track time.
For Race 1 seven riders lined up. Joe got the best start but Vinny hung on as they increased the gap to the other riders. It was a close race and Vinny stayed a few meters behind Joe the whole race without managing to get close enough to pass.
In Race 2 it was Vinny's turn to take the lead. This race became a nail-biter as Vinny kept Joe behind until the last lap when Vinny took a corner too wide and Joe grabbed the opportunity to pass. As they were fighting side-by-side they lapped Sam a few corners before the chequered flag and passed him on both sides! A lesser rider would have panicked, but Sam calmly focused on his own race and the two, fighting for the win, passed him w/o incident. Joe got the inside line in the last corners and pipped Vinny to the flag. This has to be the first time I have heard applauses and people cheering at end of a club day race!
Race 3 was the points race, so Vinny elected not to ride the Clubman race just before. Joe managed to grab the lead but Vinny was on his heels. Joe could not shake off Vinny and on Lap 3 he made a mistake in a corner and crashed. That was all Vinny needed and he won the race.
In Clubman/Senior Support Vinny went out to do laps. He found that most, if not all, riders started before the start rubber cord went. (This was made possible by the start line being a few meters from the cord) As a result Vinny was being sprayed by the roost that had heaps of stones in it, so he slowed down but got buried in the field. He then picked the riders off one at the time. Two things came out of this: 1. We need to make that roost deflector we have been talking about for his upper arms, and 2. Vinny will next round ride in the MX2 class.
A good days racing at a well run event by the CHB club! Thanks!
FMX East Coast Flat Track Champs
15-16 April 2017
We raced at this Future Motocross (FMX) event in 2016 and decided that we would be back this year. A well organised event with good competition and just outside Hastings (20 minutes from home).
There had been some rain a few days before, but it was just what the field had needed to keep the dust to the minimum. Two warm days of racing in the sun and no wind to talk about. Perfect!
We turned up with Vinny's 2012 KTM, but also had a 2016 to use that we only got an hour before the racing. Would be interesting to see what the difference was. The 2016 was stock standard compared to our 2012 that has some changes done to it.
Last year Vinny had placed 4'th, so this year we aimed for the podium. But it would be hard work and all had to go to plan. Sadly it never does.
The plan had been to compare the two bikes in the first races. But that was before we lent the 2012 to Jaego, whose KTM 250 2 stroke stopped working. So Day 1 would be riding the 2016.
Vinny quickly found out that the 2016 had much more bottom end but lacked top end. He struggled to get it right in the starts as the bike wanted to lift the front wheel no matter what (the missing holeshot device did not help). Later we changed from a 50 to a 48 rear sprocket, but this did not make a huge difference (apart from that Vinny now had to use 1'st gear at the start)
The 12-16 125, with 9 riders, and 14-16 250f, with 6 riders, would ride together but be separately scored.
In Race 1 Vinny had a poor start and was 13'th at the holeshot. He then climbed up slowly and finished in 8'th (5'th in his class). Jacob won the race and would do so in all five races with Bailey doing the same for 2'nd place.
Race 2 was similar but Vinny had a better start and was in 8'th. Again he climbed up slowly and finished in 6'th (4'th in his class) just behind Troy but ahead of Oliver.
Race 3 was more of the same with Vinny 8'th at the holeshot and then slowly climbing up and finishing 6'th in the race and 5'th in his class.
Race 4 and no Jaego at the racing on Day 2 so Vinny reverted back to his 2012 bike. With a holeshot device and a bike he knew (plus more top end) he was a different rider with 5'th in the race (3'rd in his class) at end of Lap 1. After a small mistake in a corner Vinny was down in 7'th (4'th) but a lap later he was in 2'nd place in the race and his class! This was before he dropped the bike in a corner and had to settle for 4'th in the race and his class.
Before Race 5 we had a look at where Vinny was sitting in the points. He was currently in 4'th equal with Oliver but 10 points behind Troy in 3'rd. So the plan was to finish 4'th in the race and his class. Sadly this did not work out as two separate crashes in corners dropped him to 5'th. (Sorry, camera stopped working so no video of Race 5).
Congrats to Jacob for the win, but also to Vinny's school mate Joe who had four 1'st and one 2'nd to win the 14-16yo 250cc class!
We are OK with 5'th, but realise that, if not 3'rd, then 4'th was there for taking. Next year...
FMX East Coast Flat Track Champs
15-16 April 2017
Senior Support 250cc and under.
Vinny's main class here was the 12-16 125cc one. He was also entered in this "Senior Support Under 250" to get him some additional track time. With the many classes there would be enough time between his races not to impact on his riding.
In Race 1 16 of the entered 19 riders lined up. Vinny was worried about the roost at the start and had decided to hold back and finds him self last at the first corner. He then climbs up to 7'th at the end of the race.
For Race 2 we fit a makeshift roost deflector to his upper arms (that are already bruised). He has a better start and sits in 8'th before dropping the bike in a corner and being passed for last. He then climbs up to 10'th where he finishes.
Vinny's first race on Day 2 is Race 3. He is now on his 2012 bike that has more top-end and decides to race this race full-on. His start is not the best and he is in 10'th. From there he then works his way up and without any mistakes finishes in 4'th.
In Race 4 (sorry no vid) Vinny takes it easy as he is focusing on a small possibility to be on the podium in his other class. As a result he places 8'th.
In the final race for the day (Race 5) he has no enthusiasm left, after ending up a disappointing 5'th in his 12-16yo 125cc class, and with no chance of a podium here. As a result he is only there to complete the racing and finishes in a low 13'th. This puts Vinny in 7'th overall.
Tauranga Boys College Secondary School MX Champs
7 April 2017
A day on the road, 600Km's, a practice ride and a crash resulting in gravel-rash and an injured groin. That was our day.
There had been some serious rain in the week, but the Tauranga track at the TECT Park had held up surprisingly well! Apart from one spot that became a little of a bog early in the day, the track was perfect for MX!
Vinny's 15-19yo 125cc class had 12 riders lining up. Vinny only got 5 laps in at practice and was clocked 7'th fastest without having tested the track properly.
Vinny came over a jump and the back wheel caught a lip and threw the bike sideways. He managed to ride back to the pits, but was in such pain that we had to throw in the towel.
James Scott was unstoppable on the day and easily won all races.
We will be back next year!
South Waikato MCC Winter Series Round 1
2 April 2017
While Vinny was in the 65cc Mini class we used to come here to race. That was now a few years ago. Since then we have planned every year to be back, but for a reason or another it has never worked out. So this year, with the additional carrot of the NZ Secondary School Champs being held here in July, we made sure we were back. And what a buzz it was!!
The club had spent huge amount of man-hours working on the track and made some changes. On a sunny and warm Sunday it would have been one of THE places to be if you were in to MX.
22 rides lined up for the 125cc/250ccf Junior class. A few were not there for the results and had no transponder. But as our plans are to do the whole series Vinny would be in the results.
In practice Vinny took it easy and had a good look at the track figuring out what were the fastest lines. He also wanted to test the starts from three different spots (left, middle and right). He did not conquer the looong table top (100 footer??) but jumped further each lap. He told me he would take it in Race 1!
In Race 1 (sorry, no vid of this race) Vinny started from left (from his view) next to Maximus. He got a decent start and soon was in 6'th. Then on lap 5 a small crash and he was down in 8'th where he finished. We were OK with this as the field was tough. And he had managed to jump the long table top every time!
For Race 2 Vinny picked a middle gate. An OK start, but it got crowded at the first corner. Vinny was in 5'th and by Lap 3 he had climbed up to 3'rd. A couple minor mistakes and he was in 7'th at the end of the race.
Race 3 was when Vinny had picked to start all the way out to the right. The closest rider was 17 gates away... But by having the track for him self and being able to 'rail' the first corner on the outside of all other riders, while keeping the throttle on, he was in 3'rd for a quick moment before dropping down to 5'th. Vinny then seemed to loose some focus and made some poor choices and dropped to 7'th before a three lap tussle with Jacob got him firing. The moment of the day was when both boys jumped the long tabletop next to each other and were screaming of delight as they were flying through the air only two feet away. Jacob placed 4'th and just tipped Vinny in to 5'th (his best result for the day).
After Round 1 Vinny sits in 8'th place only 3 points from 4'th!
Sadly I had forgotten the memory card for my camera, so thanks to Sandra and Dust n Dirt Images for being allowed to use their filming!
Central HB MCC Club Day
19 March 2017
Another sunny and warm day perfect for MX! The club had the use of land in Ashley Clinton where they had laid out a flowing fast track.
We had expected the other three from the Havelock Nth HS MX Team to be here, as per promise while at Rotorua two days ago, but they never turned up, and so the Junior 125/250 class line-up was a low six riders.
We knew Vinny had a slipping clutch and so his starts would suffer, and also the uphill riding. Taking that in to consideration we still had a good day of racing!
In Race 1 Vinny came out last in the start. He was still hoping that the clutch slip would not be too bad and looked back to see if there was a roost... bad idea! Another rider had crashed just ahead of him and when he turned around it was too late to stop. He crashes in to the other rider and ended up quite a bit behind the other four riders. After two laps he passes for 4'th. But that is as close as he got.
A clean start in Race 2, even if he is in 5'th. But before first corner Vinny is in 4'th. He fights for 3'rd, but ends up outside the track and decides to go back and go around the peg. (As he had no advantage this was not needed, but...) As a result Vinny is still in 4'th and just that little behind so that he never manages to catch the three at the front.
In Race 3 a similar start, but soon Vinny passes for 3'rd. He keeps that placing even if there is some challenges.
A good fun day on the bike! We have decided to become CHB club members for the new year starting 1 April so Vinny can also collect points!
Rotorua Secondary School MX
17 March 2017
Last year here the day was a disaster, weather was wet and with Vinny only getting one ride in before the clutch piston failing.
This year Vinny returned with the Havelock Nth HS MX Team (now a team of four riders). He was entered in the 15-18 125cc class that had 54 riders. In qualifying Vinny placed 20'th (after some transponder issues) and all was still on track.
The day was warm, the sun was shining and the track was the best we had seen it. A good day for MX!
Vinny knew the track well and felt confident a top-ten was inside his range. That was before his clutch plates started to slip putting him close to last in every start.
In Race 1 Vinny had climbed up from last to 31'st at end of Lap 1. Then a crash and he had to do it all again finishing in 21'st.
Race 2 was Vinny's best race where he again had to come from last and pass a bunch of riders to place 13'th.
Race 3 started well and by Lap 3 Vinny was in 15'th (again coming from last). Sadly a rear puncture put stop to any plans of a top-ten finish and he finished in 33'rd a lap down. Vinny placed 22'nd in his class and we have to be OK with that considering the issues we had.
We really enjoyed being there with the team. The plan is now to do more of the school MX events with the team!
Central HB MCC Club Day
26 February 2017
We have done very little racing lately, so to have the CHB Club Day only 30 minutes down the road was a good excuse to get back in to it!
12 riders lined up for the 125cc/250ccf Junior races on a nicely laid out track covering a few paddocks. The day was warm but enough cloud to keep the sun away and even if there was dust we only ended up changing the airfilter once.
Before Race 1 we had contemplated what would be the best strategy at the start. You could start on the inside and have the shortest distance to the first corner, but if you did not hit the corner first there was a chance of carnage. Or you could start from out wide and keep the throttle on while taking the first corner; a little further to ride but there was an added advantage of having space on the outside. So Vinny decided on option 2.
Jacob had the best start and quickly built a gap to the rest of the field. (He would do this in all three races and also in his second class, Unders/Overs, where he on his 125cc was up against senior 450cc bikes). Vinny came out in 6'th but very quickly was in 5'th after Luke had a small crash. A lap later Bryn's Yamaha blew the engine and the fight for 2'nd was now down to Fletcher, Joe and Vinny. A few laps later Fletcher had a spectacular crash and suddenly Vinny was in 3'rd behind Joe. A lap later Vinny managed to come up level with Joe and just squeezed past. Joe made a mistake and hit Vinnys rear wheel with his front one and crashed out. He got a deep cut on his arm but apart from that Joe was well. Sadly this was the only race he did this day. Luke had slowly climbed back after his early crash and on the last lap he caught up to Vinny. Vinny did a brilliant job of making his bike very wide and managed to hold on to 2'nd.
Race 2 had 10 bikes on the line. Jacob again disappeared up the front. Luke took second and Vinny 3'rd in a race that was missing all the close battles of Race 1.
In Race 3 there was more of the same, but then Vinny crashed while in 3'rd and suddenly Bryn could smell blood (now riding on a borrowed KTM 250sxf). Vinny managed to hold on to the 3'rd place for close to a lap, but a little before the finish line he had to give way.
We were OK with the 2'nd, 3'rd and 4'th placings even if it did sting Vinny that he had thrown away the 3'rd spot in the last race. But as Sarah Walker says: "If you don't crash you are not trying hard enough!" (NOTE: As Vinny is not a club member his placings do not count).
It was cool to see all the HNHS boys (Vinny, Joe, George, Sam and Thomas) out riding in the same class and it will be interesting to follow their development this year. I feel proud that we now have a HNHS MX team with 5 riders!
King Of The Mountain, New Plymouth
21 January 2017
This is Vinnys first year in the 15-16yo 125cc class. The plan is to work hard this year and try to make an impact in 2018. We like the KOTM and have come here since 2012 that was Vinny's last year in the 65cc's and also his best result here finishing 3'rd. This year we came here hoping to get inside top ten.
There had been some rain on Friday and more expected for Sunday (Sunday was the senior KOTM and sadly the rain came and all classes only managed a few laps in their first race before the racing had to be cancelled as a result of the un-rideable track), but Saturday was perfect for riding.
In practice Vinny got 11'th fastest time in the field of 20 riders. This was encouraging as we had agreed that he would not focus on a fast time but learn the track. Vinny felt confident that he could go faster in the races!
In Race 1 Vinny got the start on the concrete base wrong and had to work to catch up. He did this well and soon was in 6'th. (Perhaps a top five was possible??) Sadly he got T-boned in a corner at the top of the track and came back in sight in 20'th. From here he worked hard and climbed up to 13'th at the end. Riley won the race with Leroy 2'nd and Zak 3'rd.
For Race 2 we had changed the starting process for Vinny and it worked. Vinny came out in 5'th. He lost one positions and climbed up the hill in 6'th. Again a mishap at top of the track and Vinny came down the hill in 16'th. A few more mistakes and he finished in 14'th. Leroy took the win with Riley 2'nd and Sam 3'rd.
We realised that to get in to top ten Vinny would have to ride a perfect race. Sadly in Race 3 he had his worst start of the day and found himself in 17'th after a tangle with a fallen rider. He then slowly climbed up until, at half the race, he lost his gear shift leaver and raced the end of the race in 3'rd gear. (This was a mystery as the leaver had been checked for the earlier race and been found tightly screwed on with a Locktight supported bolt). Vinny finished the race in 15'th and the 2017 KOTM in 14'th. Riley was in the lead until he crashed in the downhill on Lap 3 and Leroy passed for the win and top of the podium. Riley came 2'nd and Bradley 3'rd in the class.
This was not a disaster for us, even if we would have liked to finish inside top ten. We know what we need to work on and as long as Vinny has a season without any major injuries we feel confident that we will keep on climbing up the ladder! Our ultimate goal is the 2018 NZ Junior Champs.
(Sorry, video ended up a fraction longer than planned...)