2020 Jan - Dec MX
Please scroll down for earlier 2020 race reports!
Central HB Club Day Round 3
18 October 2020
On a nice sunny day we went to south of Waipukurau to race on natural terrain. Vinny was adamant that he would ride MX3. I felt the "Unders" class (MX2) was a better fit. But he argued that MX3 was for him as he did not want the seriousness that came with "Unders". As points are only awarded in the 3'rd (last) race we would have time to figure out where he belonged.
We had written down the race schedule for all the different classes, but as a result of there only being six "Overs" (MX1) riders they were put together with the "Unders" in a split start. So the MX3 class came up one race too early for us and we missed the start by one lap. Vinny joined in when the others were lapping their first lap. This gave him a boost and he was passing riders every lap! But no idea where he placed.
In Race 2 Vinny also raced MX3. But as result of being on time for the start we could see where he was placed. Initially he was in 2'nd, but before Lap 1 was done he was in the lead and created a good gap to the rider in 2'nd place. When Vinny started catching up with the slowest riders he reduced his speed as he had by now figured out that perhaps MX3 was not for him... and he did not feel it was right for him to rob them of one lap (as if he had passed them they would have gotten one lap shorter race...). To his credit he stopped at the chequered flag (after having won the race) and told the organisers that he would race in "Unders" for the points race.
Back in the pits we had a good discussion about Vinny's dilemma. He was not interested in full on competitive racing in "Unders" but realised that he was far too good for MX3. As he has not done any training for MX this year (and most probably will not do any) he lives on the talent he has built up in 12 years of racing and is good enough to race in "Unders" even if he does not want to compete in that class.
My solution is simple: Start training so you get to the same level as the top "Unders" riders and the fun will come back. But when I mention that I only get a disliking look from Vinny.
So he went out in "Unders" on his 2013 150sx. 13 other riders on 250 4 stroke bikes lined up for that class and they started after the "Overs" six riders had done approx half a lap. Initially Vinny was in top 4, but then dropped to 6'th. I could see that he was not giving all he had and happily was sitting a little back from the rider in 5'th. As the 7'th rider was far back there was no need to push and he finished in 6'th.
But we will have to solve this dilemma. As mentioned, my solution is to do some work on the fitness and riding skills, then take aim at the top rider in the class (as I feel confident he could do that!). But I think I will have a hard time trying to convince Vinny.
If we only could find a decent practice track we could use a couple of days in the week I think we could get Vinny to find the spark he seems to have lost. So if you who read this know of any place where we could go riding in middle of the week in HB please let us know!! A small fee is OK!! (As the tracks we know of where we could practice are all 2 hours away (Wairoa, Taupo, Manawatu, Paeroa)
EDIT: We have found a track! Let's see if we can find Vinny's mojo!
2020 Wairarapa MX Champs
10 - 11 October
This was a 2 day Champs on two different tracks.
Saturday was Flat Track day just outside Carterton. The track was well laid out and there was technical areas plus full-on racing ones. We had entered Vinny in MX2. He is not ready for full on MX2 racing yet, but we felt that here he would be ok. And we were found to be right.
In Race 1 Vinny was sitting in 11'th of the 16 riders. In Lap 2 he climbed one spot, but then dropped the bike in a corner on the hard and dusty surface. He got up quickly, but not before two riders passed him. He soon passed one of them, but even if he was on the back wheel of the other one he could not do anything about him and finished 11'th.
Before Race 2 we did some changes to the bike to get more power to the ground and it worked well. Vinny was 7'th after the start but soon climbed to 6'th and had no problems keeping that spot to the end.
The idea had been to run three rounds on the Flat Track. But the dust got soo bad that the pin was pulled after all classes had done 2 rounds. After 2 races Vinny was in 8'th overall.
Next day it was MX racing on the Wairarapa "Boneyard" track. We had been here a few times before and always liked the track and the experience. And with the major developments of the track we were looking forward to the racing!
In practice Vinny qualified in 7'th.
Race 1 had to have two goes to start as one rider was to eager and got tangled in the rubber cord used for starting. This happened on the other side of the starters box from Vinny and for a moment Vinny believed he took the holeshot and had the lead... that was before all riders were stopped and asked to go for a re-start. At the second go Vinny again did well and was 4'th at the holeshot. At end of Lap 1 he was in 7'th but then dropped one more spot. In the last two laps he made a few minor mistakes that cost him two more spots and he finished in 10'th.
Before Race 2 we again did adjustments to the bike that made a big difference for Vinny. He was 6'th after the start, a position he held until the bike started to missfire on the 4'th lap. This dropped him to 9'th at the end.
We tried to sort the issue before the 3'rd race and almost believed we had managed the fix, only to have the bike start misfiring at the start. So Vinny came back in to the pits and we had to settle for a DNS and a 11'th overall. This was not a disaster as we came here for racing and to find out if Vinny is ready for MX2 racing. And he proved that he is up to it!
2020 NZ TT goes OK for us.
3-4 October 2020
We have done six NZ TT's now (I think...) and Vinny enjoys them. As he now is a senior he decided to race in MX3. And that was all good, as we were not here to win anything, just to get back in to racing with our own 150sx that we picked up a couple months ago.
Vinny is not fit and has had very little time on the bike so we had no expectations. As he was up against 450f and 350f bikes (plus the 250f ones) it was always going to be a tough ask. And Vinny hated the starts where the bigger bikes would take off and spray him with rocks and dirt. But as a grown up man now he just had to suck it up.
Once out of the start he normally found himself in approx 12 - 15'th from the 30+ riders. That was when the fun started as he picked them off one at the time, until he caught up to the better riders around 6'th position.
The two day meeting went well for us and Vinny was very consistent in his riding placing 7, 7, 7, 7, 6 for a 6'th overall.
We will stay with the 150sx for this year and probably also for next year. After that we have a look at where to from there.
Thanks to our sponsors Patterson O'Connor Motorcycles. @454Unlimited https://454.co.nz/, @MOTOZ Dirt Tyres http://www.motoz.co.nz/, Motomuck and Sandra! And a big thanks to Patetonga MX who puts these events together! We be back next year!!
𝕋𝕒𝕦𝕡𝕠 𝕎𝕚𝕟𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕊𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤 ℝ𝕠𝕦𝕟𝕕 𝟚
𝟚𝟞 𝕁𝕦𝕝𝕪 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘
In Round 1 Vinny had taken it easy and placed 17'th overall after stopping to help a rider that was stuck under his bike and allowing the others to start before he took off.
This round we had agreed that he would try to get inside top-ten in all three rides. He was also to learn how to start from the new steel grills that were now fitted to the start gates.
Again there was MX1 and MX2 riders in the mix who used the MX3 ride as an additional chance to get a ride in. Most of them were faster than the MX3 riders, so there would be only limited interference between them. And as they would not get any points in the races the MX3 riders would be left to have their own battles.
In Race 1 Vinny settled in to a good rythm and was enjoying the ride. We had done some changes to the bike and they seemed to work well. A group of four riders developed that Vinny would ride with for all three rides. He finished in 7'th in his class and we were happy with that!
In Race 2 We wanted to see if Vinny could push a little harder. He did just that and managed to keep the three other riders, that he had been fighting with in Race 1, behind him.. We were both surprised with his 3'rd placing!
Race 3 was more of the same. He tussled with the same riders, but his good result in Race 2 had given him confidence and he finished in a respectable 5'th place.
To our surprise 7'th, 3'rd and 5'th was enough to give Vinny 4'th overall on the day. We came looking for a 10'th or better but had not expected this! As an additional bonus Vinny had climbed to 3'rd overall after two rounds! Not bad from the first day of serious racing for Vinny. We are looking forward to Round 3 on 9'th of August!
𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘 ℂ𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕣𝕒𝕝 ℍ𝔹 ℂ𝕝𝕦𝕓 ℝ𝕠𝕦𝕟𝕕 𝟙
5 July 2020
The club had searched high and low to find a place to race as the weather had not been on their side. In the end a flat field was found that ended up being a good first round for all.
Vinny entered in the Intermediate class. We expected that he would probably be a fraction above that class, but figured that after 9 months of no riding he could do with an ego boost. As expected Vinny took the holeshot in a group of 40 riders and held the lead from start to end. Only one other rider was initially staying with him, but then dropped back a fraction.
For Race 2 we changed to the “Unders” class (250fcc/150cc and under) being the top class for these bikes here. We were aiming for a top ten. Vinny came out in 8’th and then slowly climbed up spot by spot having good tussles with everyone he managed to pass. He finished in 5’th and we were happy with that.
In Race 2 Vinny had got bad arm pump. So for Race 3 he tried to help his arms to cope, but we knew the arm pump would be back. His start was poor (by our standards) and he looked lacklustre for the laps he raced. Vinny pulled off a couple of laps before the race finished complaining about the arm pump and motor not responding properly.
An OK day of racing. With some work on his arms and more time on the bike (plus sorting whatever was causing the lack of power in the 3’rd race) we will be able to slowly become better and hopefully fight for podiums here.
𝕋𝕒𝕦𝕡𝕠 𝕎𝕚𝕟𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕊𝕖𝕣𝕚𝕖𝕤 ℝ𝕠𝕦𝕟𝕕 𝟙
𝟚𝟠 𝕁𝕦𝕟𝕖 𝟚𝟘𝟚𝟘
Vinny had not been racing since September last year. We had found a KTM 150sx race bike for him, but he had only been down on the beach twice with the new weapon.
We had in detail discussed what class he would enter at Taupo. But in the end we concluded that as he now will be a Senior rider for quite some years, let's start with MX3 and if the mojo is found we can then move up to MX2.
After 9 months of no MX and not really even thinking about it, it was hard to get back to the routine regarding sorting all out. We found that we made mistakes and realised that stuff we had taken for granted were not where they should be. But that will sort it self in the upcoming racing (we hope...)
The starting gates at Taupo now had a steel grill the bikes took off from. This provided masses of grip and Vinny had never used one before. In practice he tried to get a good start, but it became a bit of a lottery. But as he had no intention to be fighting for places in the riding he decided he would let the rest take off and then come out from the gate.
In Race 1 31 riders lined up, but as 6 of them were MX1/MX2 riders who wanted additional time on the track (and would not count in the points) MX3 had 26 riders racing.
Vinny came out in a group of riders who held back at the start. He would speed up now and then, but was just out there to get back in to racing without risking anything. As result he placed 15'th of the MX3 riders.
Sadly a Mini rider and a rider on the senior track both had a bad crash before Vinny's 2'nd race. With only one ambulance on site plus a helicopter needed, the racing stopped for 1 1/2 hours. This meant that everyone would get only 2 races.
In Race 2 Vinny again elected to come out in last. He also stopped on the track to help another rider who was stuck under the bike. As result he placed 14'th in this race.
Vinny was never riding to his full potential on the day, in fact it looked like he was only going at half speed.
The results were just a side issue for us. It was more about testing the 150sx and finding out if this is what Vinny still wants to do. The bike did run well and Vinny will race more was the answers!