2018 Jan - June MX
Please scroll down to find all entries for January - June 2018
Cambridge Winter Series Round 2, 15-16yo 125cc
24 June 2018
This class is run together with the 14-16yo 250ccf but scored separately.
We had for some time been struggling to get Vinnys 2016 to run properly. We think it is fixed, but the gremlins always come back and she starts "4 stroking" at higher revs. This time we felt the problem was sorted...
In Race 1 Vinny had a good start and soon passed the leading 250ccf while 2'nd in his 125cc class. Luke was in the lead and Vinny on his heels. On the last lap the pressure got too much for Luke and he crashed with Vinny taking the win.
In Race 2 the gremlins re-emerged (you can clearly hear it at 6 minutes). Vinny still placed 2'nd behind Luke in his class.
Before Race 3 we did what we could to fix the issue. But it did not work. Vinny went out to mop up any points he could grab. A crash on start of final lap and he could not re-start the bike. So he waited until the chequered flag went up and then pushed the bike over the line. Only to be told that he would have had to get around the complete lap. (pushing it??)
So only points from Race 1 (25) and Race 2 (22). But what we came here for initially is working: To learn the track for NZ Secondary School MX Champs in 2 weeks... Let's just make sure that all gremlins have been excorcised by then!!
Hawke's Bay MCC Magic Series Round 3
10 June 2018
We had no idea what to expect at the Mere Rd track just outside Hastings. The week had been wet and the track is unpredictable. But Andy and his crew had done a good job in making the track very rideable. The long track had been made in to two tracks; the longer part for the Juniors and Seniors and the shorter part for the Minis.
After breaking his leg here two years ago in the NZ Junior Champs in one of the doubles of the track, Vinny was always going to be cautious re the jumps.
In Race 1 Vinny had an OK start and was soon in 2'nd after Bryn who pulled away with Vinny happy to stay there and to keep the 12 other riders behind him.
Race 2 started very similar until Bryn had a crash on the first lap. Vinny increased his speed knowing that Bryn would soon catch up. 2 laps from the finish Vinny was overtaken but not before putting up a fight for half a lap and then happily settling for 2'nd.
By Race 3 Vinny had figured out that he had the speed to stay with Bryn and it was only his lack of confidence in the many doubles that stopped him from taking a win. He was planning to change that in this race! But that never became necessary as Bryn again crashed and this time did not get back racing leaving an easy win for Vinny.
A good day of racing with Vinny coming away with highest points score of the day. When writing this the points are not yet available but we estimate that Vinny now sits in 3'rd of the class and at striking distance of the lead. With 2 rounds to go he is in with a chance!!
2018 FMX HB East Coast Flat Track Championship
This was the 4’th year Future Motocross Hawke’s Bay (FMX HB) held this event. Vinny only missed the first one and had done well in the past in the 125cc class but placed just outside the podium both years. That was to change this time!
The club had set up the track on a field by SH50 between Napier and Hastings just east of Fernhill. There was promise of rain, but apart from some minor showers over the night and rain setting in at prize giving, the weather was perfect for the two days of racing with the track having just the right amount of moisture in it.
Vinny was entered in the 12-16yo 125cc and the Senior Support Under (up to 125cc/250ccf) classes. With the 2016 bike having had some new bits fitted we felt confident it would all go well. How wrong we were…
In Vinny’s first race of the Junior 125cc class, that was run together with the Junior 12-16yo 250ccf class, he was riding his main bike, the 2016 KTM 125sx. He had a very good start and was in 2’nd in the race for the first lap, but then the bike started to misfire. He came first in his class but only managed 4’th overall (of the two classes) as the misfire got worse.
Back in the pits we started to work on solving the issues but then reverted to using the 2012 backup bike.
In Race 1 of the Senior Support Under 250cc class Vinny was in middle of the field at end of the start straight as the 2012 bike was in need of a new piston to get the compression back up. (Sadly our funds had not stretched that far after rebuilding the bikes clutch department as result of the damage at NZTT). By riding smart he managed to climb one spot and finished in 5’th with Seaton Head winning the race.
We tried some more magic, but could not solve the 2016 bikes issues so the 2012 bike it was for yet another meeting!
In his second race of the Junior class Vinny’s start was again poor and he had to come from last to pass for 1’st a few meters before the finish line to the annoyance of Zak Scott!
In the 2’nd race of the Senior Support Vinny had managed to climb up to 6’th from 12’th by the last lap… then his gear leaver came loose while in 5’th gear making it impossible to finish the race with the low compression motor. With a DNF we decided to instead focus solely on the Junior 125 class.
The third race was very similar for Vinny. A poor start again made him having to come from behind to take the win in the class. The worn out piston producing the low compression had much to do with this and as result Vinny had adjusted his riding technique so that he would keep the throttle on in the corners, where others would brake and rely on turning the power on when coming out of the corner. This made Vinny pass riders in the corners, but then be easy prey on the straights. But it worked and Vinny started to fight with the 250cc class riders for overall race wins coming 2’nd past the chequered flag!
On Sunday there were 2 more rides in each class. There was promise of heavy rain, but that only arrived for the prize giving! We had not done any work on the bikes over the night, so it would be more of the same for Vinny with a couple of changes: Do the starts in 1’st gear, keep throttle on full noise as much as you can and refine the cornering! All this worked surprisingly well and in Race 4 at end of Lap 1 Vinny was already in lead in his class. By end of the race he was 3’rd on the track.
For the final race Vinny wanted to be first at the chequered flag from all the riders. After another good start in 1’st gear he was soon again in lead of his 125cc class and 5’th on the track. Then Cory crashed on his 250cc ahead of Vinny who now found himself in 3’rd after Lewis and Murdoch on 250cc bikes. A crowd of spectators cheering for Vinny had gathered at the finish line and each time he managed to do a passing manoeuvre they would cheer!
With his ailing bike Vinny had to dig deep to get past Murdoch and then set his sights on Lewis. In the next laps the boys passed each other a few time. Just before the white flag Vinny made a pass that seemed like it would stick. But Lewis came back and took the lead. One lap left… At half way of the lap Vinny made a pass that looked like it was done, but Lewis came back and they went in to one of the final corners side-by-side with Vinny on the inside. Lewis drifted wide and that was all Vinny needed to take the win! When crossing for the chequered the spectators cheering was the icing on the cake for Vinny!!
The worn 2012 had done us proud! Vinny wanted one more ride and went out in the Senior Support Unders class, but the bike felt she had done enough and after only one lap the piston melted and seized the cylinder! Time for a well deserved rebuild!!
Vinny won the 125cc class with 5 wins with Kieran 2’nd. The 250cc class win went to Cory who came back from his crash to take 3’rd in the final race with Lewis 2’nd on the podium!
HBMCC Magic Series Round 2
13 May 2018
We were sitting at home until the last minute watching the rain fall and expecting a cancellation. But the message never came, so we went racing.
A cold and miserable day and a track that had water everywhere. We had been there before at Valley Road so we knew how the day would be.
At briefing the club justified running the day with the comment: "It would be unfair to the ones who enjoy riding in these conditions and who are good at it". Looking at the small numbers (approx 1/3 of what normally turn up) we were still undecided re all this. But here we were and Vinny would do the 2 races in his Junior 125/250f class (reduced from normal 3). The club was in a no-win situation as it would get complaints if the day was run or if they had cancelled. As the riding had nothing to do with MX a cancellation would have been our preferred option.
Before Race 1 we agreed that Vinny would take care of the motor, that had just been fully reconditioned, and not squeeze the last out of it on the muddy track as cooling would today be an issue.
In Race 1 Vinny waited until the other 7 riders got away before he started. He then did ride safely and only had one crash when he tried to get over one of the black plastic water pipes on the side of the track to pass. (Most of the racing was this day done on the side of the track as riding on the track became a lottery). He got back up and finished in 8'th.
Vinny took same approach at the start of Race 2 and settled in to riding his own race. He did 2 laps and then waited for the chequered flag to come up before he finished in 7'th. At the end it was about getting the points today.
We had our water and blaster with us and managed to get rid of most of the baked on stuff before we packed up and went home after a very short day of racing where there only was 4 classes on the track. The 85cc classes were moved to the Mini track as the Mini's could not get around their track and the 85's smaller wheels made it almost impossible to ride on the big track.
Here is hoping for a sunny and dry next round!
2018 NZ Mini TT, 12-16yo 125cc/250f
The NZ Mini TT had traditionally been held by the Taumarunui MCC in middle of North Island but was this year held by Patetonga MCC and Huntly MCC just outside Taupiri. Waikato can be a wet place in autumn, but apart from a small shower on Sunday, that took care of the dust for most of the day, nobody could complain about the warm and sunny weather!
Vinny was to ride in two classes: 125cc and 12-16yo 125cc/250ccf. But when the 2016 bike developed issues in practice we reverted to the trusty 2012 and he only raced the first race in the 125cc class to make sure the bike was all go. He placed 11'th and last, but not before having passed Ben Townley who was racing this class as his second one. (OK, so Ben crashed soon after the start and came back to pass all to take the win, but still... the statement that Vinny passed Ben IS correct...)
We had initially aimed for a top 6 finish, but after reverting to the 2012 we re-adjusted our aim to a top 10 finish in the class.
In Race 1 Vinnys start was not the best and he was in approx 16'th at hole shot corner. He then started doing passes and at end of the first lap was in 11'th. In the last 2 laps he had caught up with Josh but could not get past. Vinnys cornering was better but he did not have the top speed for the straights. In the 2'nd to last corner Vinny threw himself ahead of Josh but the front brake failed and he crashed and finished in 11'th. Reef took the win ahead of Zac.
Race 2 was Vinnys best and he finished in 9'th after for a lap having held 7'th.The two top placings again went to Reef and Zac.
In Race 3 (on Sunday) a pattern started to develop. There was 9-10 riders in the top group and the same in the second group. Vinny would find himself between the groups together with Angus. Vinny came out in 15'th and climbed to 11'th. The win went to Reef with Daniel coming back from a crash in Race 2 (that we all thought had ended his riding at this event) to place 2'nd.
Vinny had managed to climb up to 10'th from a 15'th at the start and had just passed Angus on the 2'nd to last lap of Race 4 when he got a hole in his motor. The gearbox oil was leaking out and the bike started slowing down having lost it's power band fully. On the last lap Vinny did the most defensive riding he has ever done and stopped Angus from passing him in any way he could. It paid off and he kept 10'th! Reef had his 4'th win with Zac in 2'nd.
Now we had two ailing bikes. In the time between the races we took the best bits from both bikes and made a working one. Not a winning bike, but one that would get Vinny to the end (we hoped...). And it worked out! On the "hybrid" Vinny managed 10'th finishing on same points as Angus but getting the nod for 10'th overall on count back! Reef had his 5'th win giving him the win in the class with Zac coming 2'nd and also getting 2'nd in the class.
A brilliant w/e of racing! Even when taking in to account the issues we had. Seems to be never ending and we just have to learn to live with it!
Cambridge MCC Winter Series Round 1
22 April 2018
We travelled here with the intention of getting a feel for the track in preparation for the upcoming NZ Secondary Schools MX Championships, but it all became more serious than that!
After a 3am wake-up and a 4 hour drive we arrived 8am. It had been raining over the night and when going through Tirau we counted 24 MX bikes that were going in opposite direction to us. Did this mean that Cambridge was cancelled and we were doing an 8 hour round trip for no reason?? As we found the track it became clear that the 24 were on their way somewhere else as Cambridge was all go!
The track, that years ago had been far away from the city's inhabitants, was now surrounded by houses in recently developed suburbs. As a result the club has been fighting hard for the right to co-exist and has had to accept a bunch of restrictions type: - No motors to be started before 9am, - Last race has to end before 4.30pm, - Only one Sunday/month can be a race day (and if the day rains away there is no alternative day), - No racing through the summer and list goes on. The club has a couple of years left before they must vacate so there is an urgency in finding a new venue to secure the future!
We were only here to do some riding but decided to grab a transponder to see what times Vinny was getting. Vinny came back from practice with a smile. The track suited his riding with a bunch of technical sections and very few jumps and no doubles! Add plenty of places to pass and this would be fun!
Vinny decided to come out last in Race 1 to be able to test the first corner w/o interruptions. He then quickly climbed up to 9'th in the 125cc/250ccf group of 16 riders (4'th in his 15-16 125cc class). Two groups developed and Vinny was leadng the second one... until the 2016 KTM motor seized on the 2'nd to last lap! James Scott (125cc) won the race from Reef Wheki.
Time to get the trusty 2012 KTM sorted. We needed some bits from the 2016 but it was stuck on the track and we were not allowed to go and get her. So there was some panic starting to set in while doing what we could. Vinny was informing that there was one race before his next race and we were still sorting the bike! We just got the bike to the start-line and Vinny went riding... only to find that the seat was loose as we had forgotten to fit the screw. Bummer! He threw the seat after lap 1 and stood up the rest of the race but was riding slow. Not good! He finished last... Then we learned that he had gone out in the wrong class (MX2 Support). And we had a few more races to sort it all!
In Race 2 (the actual one and with the seat securely fitted) Vinny again was at the rear end of the field at the start. He then started passing riders and had a good fight with Quinn for most of the race winning this tussle and placing 8'th in the race and 4'th in his class. Reef Wheki (250ccf) won from James.
Race 3 was similar and again Vinny was leading the second group, this time fighting with two 250's. He managed to stay ahead of Jack and Wade to finish in 7'th (4'th in his 125cc class). Reef managed to find the chequered flag 0.5 seconds before James!
As a result of his DNF in Race 1 Vinny sits in 7'th after Round 1in his class.
This was supposed to be it for us in the Cambridge series, but we agreed that this year we will, after 7 years, drop Taupo (as they run on mainly same Sunday of the month) and do Cambridge! So we paid the club membership! Now lets just hope that the 2016 bike will keep running properly after the rebuild so Vinny is able to show what he can do!
Hawke's Bay MCC Magic Series Round 1
8 April 2018
This was a day when the gremlins took charge.
It was a nice and warm day, the last for the summer. The Valley Rd track (in our opinion the better of the two HB ones) was in good shape with some dampness in the soil but no wet spots.
In practice the 2016 bike started playing up. After some checking we realised we could not sort her for the racing, so Vinny reverted to his back-up bike; the 2012 KTM 125sx. She had not had much use lately, but last when used she was all go.
In Race 1 Vinny struggled to get out of the starting gate, but as the race went on he climbed up from 13'th (last place) and had a good battle to get 7'th.
Before Race 2 we fitted the 2016 clutch in to the 2012 bike, Vinny had struggled as the clutch had been slipping. But this was sadly only a partial fix. The clutch worked better but was still slipping. Vinny managed to beat a rider that he could not pass in Race 1 but he still placed 7'th.
For Race 3 we did some magic and the clutch was now grabbing properly. Vinny still struggled in the start as the clutch was not as he would have wanted it. But once he got the hang of it he quickly climbed up to fight for 5'th. And on the last lap he managed to grab the spot.
Vinny sits in 7'th after Round 1.
2018 Tauranga Boys College School MX Challenge, 15-19yo 125cc
6 April 2018
With Vinny only been on his MX bike twice this year (KOTM and Rotorua School MX) as a result of focus being on his school and part-time work, we came here with modest expectations and settled for a top-ten being a pass.
In Race 1 Vinny came out in 13'th. He then settled in to a safe style of riding (and got rid of the ghost from last year when he crashed in practice and did not race at all). After a few battles with riders around him he managed a 9'th. James Scott took the win with Joshua 2'nd and Jack 3'rd.
Very similar racing in Race 2 again gave Vinny a 9'th after a race-long battle with #57 James. Vinny won this battle on the last lap! The podium places again went to same riders in same order.
Race 3 was about consolidating the Top-10 result and not making any mistakes. Vinny came home in 10'th. This gave him 9'th overall in the field of 25 riders, and we were happy with that. James again took the win with the other two swapping the placings.
James took the overall win with Joshua 2'nd and Jack 3'rd.
The school results were:
1st Hamilton Boys High School
2nd Tauranga Boys College
3rd Saint Peters
Rotorua Secondary School MX, 15 - 18 125cc
16 March 2018
Only one rider from HNHS MX Team raced here this time. Vinny was entered in the 15 - 18yo 125cc class. Our aim was a top 15 placing, but we fell short.
The Junior and Intermediate kids would be riding on the same track the next day, so some of the tough bits that were part of the NZ MX Champs Round 2 a few weeks ago had been removed or made easier for the school kids.
Vinny managed a 23'rd of the 36 riders in practice, but as there would be a peg-draw for the gates in Race 1 the practice placing did not matter and Vinny focused on figuring out the track. Zac Jillings had the fastest lap time.
For Race 1 Vinny decided to ride with the school jacket on as it was a fraction chilly. He was cautious in the start (as it turned out, this would be his approach all day) and came out in 14'th. We expected him to climb from there but he slowly lost placings and finished in 19'th. It was a very safe and steady Vinny who was racing, but he did nothing exciting. Luke van der Lee passed Zac on the final lap for the win.
Race 2 was more of the same from Vinny apart from that he now had taken the jacket off... He only managed a 23'rd in the start and then slowly climbed up to again finish in 19'th. Zac got a 2'nd holeshot, but then started dropping places and finished in 10'th. Luke took his second win with Reece McBride in 2'nd.
In Race 3 Vinnys cautious starts almost backfired as he ended up in a big pileup of 8 riders. One of them (Travis Wiki) was flung 5 meters forward from his bike to land at Vinnys front wheel. Vinny lost approx 5 second as a result but came out in 13'th only to slowly drop places and finish in 18'th. That placed him 20'th in the Championship. Reece, Cole Dalley and other of the top runners missed the pileup and with Luke taking a 3'rd he secured the win of the class. Reece won this final race and that gave him 2'nd overall with Cole manning 3'rd on the overall podium.
Vinny is currently fitter than he has been for ages as a result of cycling to school each day (25Km return) and a 45 - 60 minute run in the evening. But he is lacking track time as sadly there are no practice tracks in HB where we can rock up, pay the fee and work on his riding. He is also focusing on his school and has a part time job that takes some of his time, so MX has had to take a backseat.
King Of The Mountain
Junior 15-16yo 125cc
20 January 2018
We travelled from HB on Friday and stayed with a friend (thanks Yvonne!). Vinny had a good nights sleep, the bike was all sorted and he had nice new gear from our sponsor JT Racing. It was a warm day with no wind, the track looked brilliant and there was 15 riders in Vinnys class.
Sadly the final step down on the long downhill had been changed so there was no jump anymore. There was also a new split lane before coming to the rollers.
A few weeks ago we did ride at SummerX where Vinny's results were lower than expected. This was the chance to correct that. He had not done much riding for over a month, but with nine years of riding it should be no major we concluded. How wrong we were! Vinny was riding like a beginner and did not commit. He would slow down for the holeshot corner and let others past, he refused to do any decent jumps and he never attempted the 100 footer.
In Race 1 Vinny came out in 12'th and then climbed to tenth, but lost that spot by the next lap. By the last lap he was in 13'th from 15 riders. Jacob won the race after holding first all the way. Seaton came second.
Vinny had an OK start in Race 2 and was in 8'th but then crashed and dropped to last. He was approx 25 seconds behind 14'th and started the chase. By the last lap he had managed to climb to 14'th and passed for 13'th at the finish line. Seaton climbed from 3'rd to take the win and Jacob came from 7'th to place 2'nd.
In Race 3 Vinny's start was again poor and he was in 13'th after the holeshot. He then dropped one placing before climbing up two to finish in 12'th. At end of Lap 1 Jacob was in lead, but on Lap 3 Seaton passed him and managed to hold on to the win even if Jacob threw all in but came up to the finish line 0.2 seconds short!
With two wins and a second Seaton was the winner of the class with Jacob second and James third. Vinny placed 13'th and was very unhappy with himself. As he would also ride the next day in the National 125cc class we were looking for a better result there!
21 January 2018
Three races all 20 minutes long on a warm and sunny day. With less than a year left as a Junior Vinny has started also racing in this National 125cc class that caters for riders from 15yo to 21yo.
Yesterdays riding did not go to plan. Vinnys speed was missing and he struggled with jumps and in corners. Could we change that today?? Hard to say, but Vinny wanted to give it a go!
The first race was less than 2 laps old when it was stopped. James crashed on the finish-line jump and hit his head badly bringing out the yellow flags. As it became clear that he would stay there for some time the race was stopped and points were awarded based on the riders placings after one lap. Ryan also crashed. And with Jacob being disqualified Vinny climbed up three placings to 21'st from the 24 riders after again being very cautious at the start and in the first lap. Seaton was awarded the win with Joshua 2'nd.
In Race 2 Vinny came out in 20'th and finished in 21'st not being able to improve his riding. Joshua won by leading from start to end. Grason, who was 14'th after the holeshot had a top race and climbed up to second by the end of the race!
With only 20 riders lining up for the final race Vinny had his best race and placed 17'th claiming 4 points. Joshua took the lead on Lap 2 and never let it go! Grason again had a poor start but a good race coming from tenth to take 2'nd.
With his 4 points Vinny placed 21'st. Two wins and a 2'nd gave Joshua a deserved overall win with Seaton claiming 2'nd with one win and two 3'rd placings. Thanks to his two 2'nd placings and a 4'th Grason placed 3'rd.
We now have a uphill battle to get Vinny ready for his final Junior NZ Championship in April. But we will do all we can to get it sorted!!