2018 July - Dec MX
Please scroll down to find all entries for July - December 2018
Ebbetts Pukekohe Sand Prix 2018, Mercer Waikato. 15-16yo 125cc.
18 August 2018
This was Day 2 of a three-header weekend. (BOP/Trident School MX Friday, Junior Sand Prix Saturday and National 125cc Sand Prix Sunday). Friday did not go as well as planned, would Saturday be better? We would find out...
The 2016 KTM 125sx had run well at BOP and so we hoped same would happen today. The positive was that the bike performed. But the negative was that Vinny made too many errors (probably trying to over-compensate for Fridays poor performance).
We had done the Sand Prix last year also and loved the experience then! This time it was a perfect day for MX: some overcast to keep the sun hiding but no ran. Temperature was an OK 17 degrees Celsius.
Vinny had a good practice and got 5'th fastest time in a field of 15 riders.
In Race 1 Vinny got the start totally wrong and was 15'th at the holeshot but by end of Lap 1 he had climbed up to 8'th. Then a crash after he could not see (he had not replaced the almost empty roll-off and now paid the price). He threw his goggles and raced this first race with no goggles (remember, it was a sand prix and sand was flying everywhere...). By Lap 5 he was in 7'th. Then another mistake and he finished in 10'th. Jack Dunlop won the race.
Vinny was 8'th at the holeshot of Race 2. Then a crash just before end of the lap and he was in last after spending some time getting sorted. After that he only circulated to pick up the points and two of the ladies (who raced together with Vinny's class but started later in a split start) managed to beat Vinny to the chequered flag. Vinny finished 2 laps down from winner James Rountree in 14'th.
Race 3 was about pride. A secure race where Vinny finished in 10'th after only minor mistakes. Jack Dunlop took his second win of the day.
Vinnys end result, placing 11'th overall, was not a real representation of his capabilities, but perhaps a show of where he is mentally and fitness wise in MX currently. Jack Dunlop won the Champs with James Rountree in 2'nd and Luka Freemantle 3'rd.
We came back on Sunday for the National 125cc class, but only managed to get the bike to run for 10 seconds in the pit. So we spent Day 2 of Sand Prix as spectators.
Vinny's MX and the future
17 October 2018
There has been some questions re where Vinny has disappeared in regards to MX.
Last meeting for Vinny was Sand Prix at Mercer 18-19 August. There he raced in Junior 125cc on Saturday and the plan was that he would race National 125cc on Sunday. But when we got ready for racing on Sunday the bike only lasted 10 seconds. We found that a circlip had come off the piston and the pin made a deep groove in the cylinder. So we spent that Sunday spectating. (First circlip in 10 years! Yes, even that is one too many!)
Since then Vinny has focused on passing Level 2 at school and also turned 17, so he is now a senior rider. We are currently sorting out the two 125 bikes with the plan to sell one or maybe both.
As Sand Prix also was Round 1 of 3 in the new North Island MX Champs, Vinny can carry on racing as a Junior until the end of this series (where Round 2 is Valley Champs at Patetonga 10-11 November and Round 3 is King of the Mountain in New Plymouth 19-20 January 2019). We have yet to decide if we will do so.
UPDATE 18/11: We did not race at Patetonga. Still very little enthusiasm to get back to serious racing by Vinny. We have agreed that Vinny will race at Wairoa School MX in beginning of December. For him it will be a fun day with no expectations of podiums. Just a day to see if the fire is still somewhere inside.
UPDATE 22/01: Wairoa School MX did not work out: After getting parts the day before it was a all-nighter to fit them. But bike would not run when we got to Wairoa. Vinny has just had his first full race day after 5 months off and we both enjoyed it!
With many years ahead of him as a senior rider there is no urgency for Vinny to get back in. He had become a fraction "burnt out" after 10 years of very active riding so this is a brilliant opportunity for us to take a breather, sort out the current bikes and find a 250 bike, buy some new racing gear as much of what Vinny has is now too small, pay off some bills... and sleep in on the weekends!!
UPDATE 18/11: The 2012 bike is now being sold in parts. The 2016 125sx is still awaiting final bits for the rebuild. And there is no 250sx that we have our eyes on yet.
UPDATE 22/01: Not much left of the 2012 now sadly (it is hard to dismantle and sell parts from a bike that has been so brilliant to us!). The 2016 had a motor rebuild where all bits got a check, repair or replacement. We solved all the issues we have been having and the bike showed it's appreciation by not missing a beat at the Central HB Club Day in January. Still no 250 in sight...
So yes, we will be back. But when is all up to Vinny. Another change is that gone are the days when dad paid for everything in regards to his racing. He will now have to contribute. And that will be a wake up call and reality check...
We want to thank Vinnys awsum group of sponsors who have stood by us in good times but more importantly in challenging times. Without you we could not have done the past ten years!
MOTOZ Dirt Tyres for that brilliant grip in any condition!
MOTOMUCK for making the cleaning of our bikes a breeze!
JT Racing for making Vinny look good in their awsum racing gear!
Broxy Rider Coaching for helping Vinny get his riding right!
Patterson O'Connor Motorcycles for providing us with fast and reliable service that has often been the difference between racing or spending the day on the sideline!
MOTOZONE for finding those tricky bits for us!
454 unlimited for dedicated supply of parts and support
DRD for having been in our corner over the last year
Sandra for always having our back and being a huge part of any success we have had!
Race report from 17 August 2018
BOP MCC/Trident Inter School MX, 15 - 18 125cc
17 riders lined up to race. In timed practice Vinny did OK and had 9'th fastest time. As he had not pushed too hard we felt confident that a Top 10 was there for taking. But we set our aim for a Top 5!.
With Brodie Connolly using this as his final preparation for the Junior Worlds in Oz a week later, top podium was always his. But there was still heaps to race for!
In Race 1 Vinny had an OK start and was in 7'th after Lap 1. Then a crash at the holeshot corner. Vinny's glove had come off when he fell and he struggled to fit it back on. The best option would have been to throw the glove and ride. But he persisted and in the end got the glove on. By then he was in last. He started chasing and passing riders but only managed to climb to 12'th. As expected Brodie won the race.
Vinny's start in Race 2 was not as good and he found himself in 12'th after the start. He then only managed to climb one spot to 11'th at end of the race. Brodie again was to fast for the rest of the riders.
For Race 3 we almost missed the start and sadly forgot the camera. But as the race was, for Vinny, very similar to Race 2 and he again came out in 12'th and by the end had climbed only one spot to 11'th, we were not too worried. Brodie made it 3 out of 3.
On a day that had promised so much we walked away with a 11'th overall for Vinny. The podium was 1'st Brodie Connolly, 2'nd Joshua Bourke-Palmer, 3'rd Luke Van Der Lee.
Top Secondary/Intermediate school was Tauranga Boys, 2'nd Hamiton Boys High and 3'rd Paeroa College. As Vinny was the only rider from Havelock Nth High his school did not place.
Hawke's Bay MCC 2018 Magic Series Round 5 (final) Junior 125cc/250ccf
Sunday 12 August 2018
The last round of Magic Series was run at the Valley Rd track. A free flowing natural terrain track that has man made alterations and jumps.
Vinny had the chance of winning the series in this his last year in Juniors. But we have had more bike troubles in 2018 than we have had in all the prior years together, and we are starting to think that the 2016 bike is possessed... So as a result Vinny has not managed to build the amount of points that he would have had if the bike had been running well every race. He was sitting in 3'rd before this final round and needed a miracle to climb higher. But if the bike carried on like in the past he could easily drop a placing or two also...
Vinny went out in practice on the 2016 bike, but once again, even if the bike had had work done to correct the issues and she had been running OK when testing, all was not well. She was hard to start and the compression was down. We decided to strip the motor down and look for the issue and then use parts from the 2012 bike to fix it. But this meant that Vinny was not going to be able to race in Race 1. So he went looking for a bike to borrow. He found an older 125cc bike that he could use. But the bikes owner weighed 40 Kg less than Vinny and so the suspension was far to soft for him. This meant he could hardly do any jumps and he would bottom out in ruts and corners. Even so we were very thankful for being allowed to use the bike and Vinny managed to pick up some points from Race 1 (as the final results have yet to be posted we are not sure, but we suspect Vinny placed about 15'th from the 18 riders).
We had taken the piston from the 2012 bike and fitted it to the 2016 bike solving the compression issue just in time for Race 2. Vinny had an OK start, but then the motor started to missfire and a few laps in the motor died and he had to push it back in to the pits.
Vinny gave up, as he figured that whatever forces were working against him were far to strong, and he picked up his license. Then he went to watch other classes racing. But there was still some hope... After swapping the spark plug and testing there was still no spark. After nothing helped we borrowed the 2012's CDI as a last desperate attempt... and she came to life! Vinny now only had a few minutes to get his gear on and take his license back plus line up for Race 3. He just managed to do that before the race started!
Initially in 5'th Vinny soon climbed up to 3'rd and after a few laps he was getting ready to grab 2'nd. But the gremlins had not given up yet... now his seat came loose and fell off. There was 2 1/2 laps left to race and Vinny did all he could to hold on to his place, but was slowly passed by riders and we think he finished in 6'th.
We did not feel confident that Vinny had done enough to hold on to his 3'rd placing. But to our surprise that was what he had done! As mentioned, this should have been Vinnys Magic Series. But considering all the issues we have had we are happy with the 3'rd placing Vinny managed to salvage!!
2018 New Zealand Secondary School MX Champs.
14 July 2018
The School Champs were held at Cambridge MX Clubs track. We had elected to do their winter series this year to prepare for these champs. Two rounds had been held sofar and Vinny felt he knew enough about the track for it to help him.
23 riders were entered in Vinnys 15 - 19 125cc class and 20 of them lined up for the first race. We had looked at the entry list and felt that Vinny should be able to finish inside top 10 and if all went really well there was a chance of a top 5.
There had been some rain through the week and in places the track was quite soggy, but rideable. We had hoped for a dry and fast track as Vinnys 85Kg would give him an disadvantage in soggy conditions.
For Race 1 Vinny elected to start from the left side (from riders view) as he dislikes the quick descending right hand turn at end of the start straight. The result is a safer turn but you end up loosing ground to the riders on the inside. Vinny came out from the holeshot corner at back of the group and at end of Lap 1 he was in 18'th after a small mistake. He had a steady race and climbed up to finish in 11'th. Marshall Phillips won the race and to our surprise local boy Luke Van der Lee placed 2'nd. With a well running bike Vinny had been able to beat Luke here on club days! Today Vinny's best lap time in this race was 9 seconds slower than Luke's!
Before Race 2 Vinny reluctantly agreed to change starting gate to the right hand side as we felt he had given away 10 places at the start as result of his gate pick. This worked and he was 9'th at end of lap 1. He then lost two places to finish in 11'th again. Luke had now upped the ante and took the win after leading from start and also had a best lap time 4 seconds faster than anyone else, with Zak Fuller placing 2'nd. Vinny's lap times were encouraging as his now were 6 seconds slower than Luke's but on pair with many of the riders ahead of him.
When lining up for Race 3 Vinny refused to start from the right as he had a close call at the holeshot corner in Race 2, so we agreed on a compromise where he would start next to the starter box from the left side. Vinny came out in 10'th and apart from a quick drop of the bike he had an OK race and finished in 8'th after some good racing and close fights with a few other riders. Luke dropped his bike on lap 2 but came back to take a 2'nd. This was enough to give him the top podium of the day! The big surprise for us was local boy Callum Peterson who with a win in this race claimed 3'rd overall! (Vinny had on club days also raced Callum and even with an ailing bike in one race beaten Callum!). 2nd on the podium went to Marshall, after countback as both he and Callum had 61 points. Marshall would have been as surprised as we were over the brilliant riding from the two Cambridge boys! This was Marshalls first race meeting back after 9 months away from racing as result of a major injury.
Vinny finished in 12'th overall. Not what we came for, but on the day it was all we could do.
Tauranga Boys College was #1 school of the day with Te Awamutu College 2'nd and Hamilton Boys High in 3'rd.
HBMCC Magic Series Round 4
8 July 2018
We had again spent time trying to eradicate all gremlins from Vinny's 2 bikes. As result the 2016 was now only good as a parts bike (until new bits gets installed) so it was again up to the 2012 to do the work. She sounded good and all was well initially... until the carbi started flooding. Quickly off with the thing, dismantle and clean up. Back on...and same issue. So the 2016 carbi went on. Problem solved! And Vinny had time to get to the start gate for Race 1.
Thomas Watts was also there. He had crashed in last round here at Mere Rd and been out of action for 3 weeks, so he was in a bad need of some racing to get ready for the Junior World MX Champs in Australia in 7 weeks.
Vinny had a good start and was approx 5'th at the holeshot from the 16 riders with Thomas a few bike lengths ahead of everyone. Thomas was first to jump the 100 footer (that now was closer to 80 foot long after a request from MNZ). Thomas had a good jump... but the landing is what matters and that did not go too well as he disappeared over the side where he broke his arm. Less than 20 seconds of riding and he is out for another 6 weeks. MX can be soo cruel!! That leaves him one week to get sorted for the Worlds. Can it be done??
After Lap 1 Vinny was in 8'th and then climbed a few spots to fight with Lewis, a fight Lewis won.
Back in the pits Vinny's body language said it all. He was supposed to be up fighting with Bryn (who won every race on the day) and with a well running 2016 bike he would been there! More of the cruel side of MX! This was the round he had planned to, at last, cement his victory in the 2018 Magic Series. But it was not to be.
Before Race 2 more maintenance and bits stolen from the 2016. Would that be enough to sort it. No was the answer. Vinny had an OK start, but then only managed 1/2 throttle for two laps before he gave up and parked just before the chequered flag to wait for the end of the race and what points he could salvage. He also had time to help another rider get his bike started after a mishap, while awaiting the end of the race.
Back in the pits he made it clear that he would not ride the 2012 again on the day, so went looking for a bike to borrow. He found a 2010 KTM 125sx that was Shae Brooks bike. And as Shae had crashed and injured his hand badly Vinny was allowed to borrow it! Thanks heaps to Shae and his dad for doing this, anything you need just ask us!!
In race 3 Vinny came out well in the start and was approx 4'th. Then the issue of not knowing the bike became obvious as the front brake functioned like a switch and Vinny went down to come back up in 10'th. He got busy and climbed up to 4'th where he finished.
We recon he now sits in 3'rd in the Championship with one round to go (Tricky to be sure as the club does not post the points before a couple of days ahead of the next months meeting). We already have our strategy clear for the final round and there are no delicate finer details to it. The strategy is called "Ride it like you stole it!"