Well the Hampton Downs round of the New Zealand championships has been done and dusted for another year, this time in extremely mixed conditions but finally with some good results for myself & the team!
Friday and Saturday brought rain, rain and more rain which seems to be frequent occurrence at every round this year. I was feeling pretty comfortable in the conditions until qualifying where I lost my rhythm and couldn’t manage to put a good lap in. I knew I wasn’t going to be anywhere near the front but I must admit I was a little surprised to qualify in 7th on the grid!
Race 1 on Saturday had us scrambling to change tires at the last minute as the track was damp and not in great condition for either slicks or wets. I ended up going out on wet weather tires which may not have been the best decision but I hung in as long as I could and managed to come away with a 3rd, behind James Jarman and Jake Lewis. Congrats to James on his first nationals win.
Race 2 was held in very similar conditions to the first race however the track was drying a lot faster and I had learnt from the previous day to use slicks. It turned into a pretty crazy race with four of us all dicing together for the 10 laps. I knew it would come down to the slip stream to the line as to who was going to take the win so I sat in third and saved myself for the getting the drive around the final corner and up the hill to the chequered flag. I managed to nab 2nd place but couldn’t quite get the run to slipstream Jake Lewis who took the win.
Race 3 also doubled as the NZ Tourist Trophy title, a race I have been trying to win for four years now. Finally the weather was playing its part and we had a dry track to race on. I got a great start and rode around the outside of Jason Easton at turn 1 to take the lead, which I stretched out to 12 seconds and maintained for the 15 laps of the race. What a great feeling to come away with the TT title after all that time!
I have to say a huge thank you to Auckland Motorcycle Club for running the race meeting in very trying conditions and to the flag marshals who definitely got the short end of the straw with the weather but stuck it out for all three days.
Also to mum and dad for sticking by me all that time, Tim for his input with my riding and Kevin for sorting out the team again. And finally huge thank you to everyone who came out and watched and said hello throughout the weekend and my sponsors, I couldn’t do it without all the support I am so fortunate to get.
Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll have some more good news to share next weekend too!