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Thread: Stickman Winter Series Racing

  1. #1
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    24th June 2014 - 22:22
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    Stickman Winter Series Racing

    Bridgestone Winter Series Round 1 Review

    The build up to Round 1 for me was pretty stressful because I had a lot of work ahead to get my Kawasaki EX250 ready for the track and racing. I purchased it as a road bike 2 weeks prior to Round 1 as I was having issues with my RG150 and felt it was time to move up into the 250 Production realms. But with the help of the team at Bayride Motorcycles Tauranga I was able to get in all the parts I needed and had it ready to go just in time.

    Come Saturday morning I was relatively nervous about taking my new bike (which I hadn’t even had time to test on the road) out on a track I had never ridden. But with so many people supporting me when it came time for qualifying, that nervousness faded and I was just glad to get out there. The goal for qualifying was simply to get to know the bike and track, bed in the new tyres and brakes and simply bring myself and the bike back in one piece. I took it easy for the first 3 laps then built up confidence and speed during laps 4 and 5 managing a satisfactory 1:34.218 on lap 5 to place me 2nd on the grid.

    Race 1 provided me with a perfect learning situation given the racing circumstances as I spent most of the race on my own in 2nd place. After a wicked start which saw me first into turn 1, Josh Head came by under brakes into Higgins and then pulled a lengthy lead to allow him the race win. But blasting around by myself meant I was able to test a few of the different lines and turn in points Chappy and I had discussed pre-race. This allowed me to drop my best lap time to a 1:32.242.

    Race 2 went down much the same as Race 1 as I once again took off from the start and was first into turn 1, this time holding Josh off until the back sweeper. I tried to stick with Josh for a lap or two before dropping off to concentrate on cementing my lines and turn in points at Higgins and the final turn. By the end of the race my best lap time had dropped to a 1:31.517 which I felt was satisfactory but left plenty of room for improvement.

    By Race 3 I had started to find some lines and points that worked for me and I intended on pushing these a bit more during this race. 3rd time was the charm off the start and I stormed into the lead and built a good lead from Josh and the rest of the pack. I’m not sure how long it took Josh to catch me but I managed to hold him off for two laps before he passed me under brakes at turn 1. This time though I was determined not to let him get away as easily and passed him at the back sweeper. The battle continued for another lap but mistakes from me while I was pushing my lines meant he was able to once again pull away and take the win with a very good ride. I was satisfied though as I had already achieved my goal for the weekend of getting below 1:30 with a best time of 1:29.319.

    Sunday brought much warmer weather which lifted the track temperature and created much more grip. Race 4 started well much the same as the other races but I had lost my touch overnight and it took me a few laps to get back into the groove again. Once I had though, the tyres provided a lot more feeling and I started pushing a bit harder. I had already worn down the foot pegs a lot on Saturday finding the edge of grip but the extra grip on Sunday generated ground clearance issues with the stock exhaust. I battled with Josh for a few laps again but he quickly created about 1.5-2 seconds lead. This was close enough for me to follow his lines a bit and find areas where I was strong and he wasn’t so strong. He’s a good rider though and there were very few areas. Once again I finished 2nd and again I improved my best lap time to a 1:29.185 (not much but still an improvement).

    With all the improvements I had made over the weekend and all the help and encouragement I had received from numerous people, I felt obliged to give it my all in the last race and leave nothing on the table. While I knew I wanted to push harder still, I was well aware that a DNF doesn’t mean much to any championship hopes. For this reason, come Race 4 (the very last race of the weekend) I was determined to put on a show for my supporters and the fans who had hung around. I blitzed the start once again and put my head down in an attempt to open a gap. Unfortunately, Josh was aware of what I was trying to do and caught me pretty smartly. We battled for the rest of the 8 laps, changing leaders 2 or 3 times most laps. It developed into the best race of my life so far with both of us pushing each other harder every lap, determined to win. It was such a close race and such an epic battle that my competitive streak did not want to let me finish 2nd once again. With so much adrenaline pumping, I decided to make a last ditch effort into the final corner, braking extremely late and throwing the bike up the inside. Unfortunately though, the tighter line caused me to lose traction in the back wheel as I hit the tightest point of the corner which ruined my drive for the line. With Josh almost rubbing fairings with me at this point, he stormed out of the last corner and crossed the line 0.6 seconds ahead. While I once again finished second, it was a race I will not soon (if ever) forget with both of us beating our PB lap times. In the final lap we both pushed in to the 1:27’s with Josh throwing down a 1:27.984 and me a 1:27.946 (at least I can claim the fastest lap even if it was only by 0.04 seconds).

    Overall it would be hard for me to be happier with how the weekend went and I couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help. I just wanna thank Vic Club (Brent and everyone else involved) and Kiwibike Insurance for helping me get out there by providing my scholarship. Also California Superbike School – namely Chappy – for all his help as there is no way I could have improved as much as I did without him. Joshua Head for making me push myself and the bike as hard as I did – watch out next round though ;D. Also my handy-dandy pit crew, Jake, William and Kyle who worked extremely hard standing round and starving themselves all day. Finally I wanna thank the marshalls and anyone who came up to me with advice, encouragement or just to have a general chat because you guys are what makes the motorcycle racing scene such a friendly and awesome atmosphere.
    Cheers everyone, I’m counting down the days till Round 2 and I hope to see you all there again.
    Regan
    Last edited by Mental Trousers; 25th June 2014 at 14:20. Reason: Good report, difficult to read though!!

  2. #2
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    24th June 2014 - 22:22
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    Bridgestone Winter Series Round 2 Review

    After finishing second in every race at Round 1, I came into Round 2 determined to improve my times and get a win on the board. What made me feel even more positive about my chances was when my Uncle and his brother gifted me a new exhaust for an early birthday present. The bike was now screaming and with a couple of suspension changes felt faster than ever. I was literally counting down the days before I could get away from the stress and boredom of my upcoming Uni exams and get out on track – and I wasn’t disappointed.

    I knew the bike was now up on power thanks to the exhaust and faster through the turns thanks to the suspension changes so when qualifying came around I was eyeing up pole position. Manfield produced another of its specialty cold winter mornings though with track temps fluctuating around 1.5 degrees meaning caution was key to surviving the morning. It took a while to get my rhythm back again after a month off the bike but on lap 4 of 5 I managed a 1:28.562 which was on par from where I left off at the last round and was enough to put me on pole.

    Our first race was pushed forward on the schedule meaning the track was still pretty cold and this caught out a couple of the riders. After another wicked start though, I lead from flag to flag and spent most of the race on my own but I was on a mission to drop my times to the level of the boys at nationals and so I pushed right till the end. But with the track temp still way down I could only manage a 1:28.154 – not bad but not enough to keep up at nationals.

    The weather played nice for Race 2 and it got the warmest it would all day – perfect chance I thought to see what difference the changes to the bike would make to my times. I also had a few other cornering bits to work on after discussions with Chappy and these paid off when I dropped my PB to a 1:27.293. Only .6 faster but it is no doubt a step in the right direction and something to work from for the next round. Lapping consistently at high 1:27’s meant I once again lead from flag to flag finishing with a 12 second lead over 2nd.

    The final race was one in which I simply wanted to get through in one piece and cement a strong finish for Round 2. The temperature had once again dropped making fast times a struggle to reach but I still managed to win giving me some valuable points for the championship. With a fastest time of 1:28.216 I finished the day well off the pace of nationals but made some ground up for the Winter Series Championship and that is certainly nothing to frown about.

    Overall it was another great weekend of racing and Vic Club once again did a fantastic job in getting through the day without a hitch. Once again I just wanna thank Vic Club and Brent Watson for putting together a wicked scholarship program with some awesome, awesome learning opportunities for novice and upcoming riders. Also California Superbike School for providing our invaluable coaching (namely Chappy and Lee) cause you guys help us improve every time we go out. For all the work that gets done behind the scenes to help me get to the track and have the bike ready to rock I have to thank my Uncle, Jared Gillard, and the rest of my family. I also want to wish Josh a speedy recovery so we can get back to our epic battles for the rest of the season. Last but not least, I wanna thank the marshalls and anyone who came up to me with advice, encouragement or just to have a general chat because you guys are what makes the motorcycle racing scene such a friendly and awesome atmosphere.

    Cheers everyone, I’m counting the days till Round 3 and I hope to see you all there again.

    Regan
    Last edited by Mental Trousers; 25th June 2014 at 14:21. Reason: Good report, hard to read though!!

  3. #3
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    Well done Regan.

    It's been a great start.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    VMCC scholarship riders Philip and Regan; and captain slow...

  4. #4
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    31st January 2005 - 10:15
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    Wicked stuff from both of the VMCC scholarship CSS coached riders - Great report, wicked times for your only 2 meetings at Manfeild!!

    You have set the standard now, Round wins, Championship wins and lap records here we come.
    Chappy

    Come see what the fuss is about....................http://www.californiasuperbikeschool.co.nz/

  5. #5
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    Well done and great reports.
    After just 2 meetings on the Ninja you are looking at times that are as close to the fastest we have seen in the winter! Seriously, you are flying... And the bike is still clothed in original plastic.
    Looking forward to seeing what you achieve at Round 3.


    Sent from my Nokia using Tapa talk.

  6. #6
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    24th June 2014 - 22:22
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    Thanks for the support fulla's. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good results in the rounds to come and I'll be sure to keep adding my race reports to the forums from now on for anyone that wants to keep updated with my progress.

    Roll on Round 3

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by knee-dragger83 View Post
    Thanks for the support fulla's. Hopefully I'll be able to get some good results in the rounds to come and I'll be sure to keep adding my race reports to the forums from now on for anyone that wants to keep updated with my progress.

    Roll on Round 3
    Yeah keep the updates coming. Well done on some slick times in shithouse cold conditions. Well done.

  8. #8
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    Round 3 snuck up on me a bit as I finished exams and only had a week to prepare so I didn’t manage to make any significant changes to the bike, but had enough time to analyse some areas to work on for my riding. The fast back sweeper leading onto the front straight was a major focus for the weekend as it can make or break a fast lap. Turn one was the other focus and CSS coach Chappy provided me with key improvement advice for both these sections.

    The weather prophet, Jim Hickey, seemed the bearer of bad news on Friday night with wet weather and low temperatures to be expected for race day. However the gods smiled on us and while ominous clouds loomed throughout the day, the rain held off till late afternoon (thankfully after my last race). Qualifying started with relatively cold temperatures and I struggled to find my rhythm again only managing to post a 1:29.335 (2 seconds off my PB) which put me fourth on the grid for the day. While it wasn’t the position I was hoping for, at least I was still on the front row and not too far off 125GP rider Rogan Chandler who jumped in the class on his old 150 after engine issues with the RS125.

    The temperatures warmed for Race 1 which I’m sure everyone was happy about as we lined up on the grid. Once again I managed a wicked start from the flag and lead into turn 1 with Rogan tucked right up behind my exhaust. We had a wicked little battle for most of the race and it was great getting out on track with a rider who has plenty of race experience. It was a very close race with both of us jockeying for first place and it ended in a photo finish come the chequered flag. He had managed to slip stream me out of the final turn and we crossed the line with him 1st by 0.002 – damn I wish I’d put that transponder on the front of my fork now!!! But with Rogan pushing me along I managed to cut my PB again to a 1:27.128 – a good start point for race 2.

    Race 2 had shenanigans galore and ended with me getting a slap on the wrist and 1 minute penalty (that must be close to a record surely!). It started great with Rogan and myself battling once again but Robert Hadley crashed his Mini Lite right in front of me in the turn 5 hairpin which left his bike just on the edge of the track. The race continued but I was so consumed in our battle for 1st that I neglected to notice the stationary yellow still presented at turn 5 and passed Rogan after lining him up through splash – naughty naughty boy But matters got worse as on the last lap both Rogan and I still missed the stationary yellow being shown as we passed a much much slower back rider So much for ignorance being bliss as this meant we both received naughty boy forms and a 20 second penalty each and this penalty combined with my false start and the other yellow flag pass left me finishing in 6th while Rogan still finished 1st – certainly a dent in my championship points but lessons were definitely learned. On the bright side I managed to reach the 26’s with a 1:26.855 on lap 4 so I couldn’t bicker too much.

    In the final race I was determined to amend my shocker of a race 2 and try and finish with at least one win for the weekend – after all the ninja was supposed to be faster than the RG… Rogan wasn’t going to just sit back and let me have it though and we both pushed hard all day with big close calls for both of us – I almost tucked the front in splash and he almost lost the rear in Higgins. It was a battle I thoroughly enjoyed after the last round of racing around by myself. We were hot on each others heels the whole racing using slip streams to make plenty of passes but when it came to the last lap I was in front with Rogan desperately looking for a slip stream into the Pepsi sweeper. I managed good drive out of both Higgins and the last corner though, forcing myself onto the throttle as early as possible. It paid off and I crossed the line first and managed a PB time once again of 1:26.262 but I certainly can’t take anything away from Rogan’s killer 1:25.995 while he was chasing me – talk about smokin!

    So in summary I brought myself and the bike back in one piece for another round and while I dented my championship points, I also gained some valuable ones and will be looking to take the lead from Josh Head after the next round. I’d just like to once again thank my sponsors and supporters, Vic Club, California Superbike School, Chappy, Brent and everyone else helping and supporting me. I may not be quite reaching the national boys times yet but I know with the continuing support of everyone, those fast times will soon come – and it’s a day I am thoroughly looking forward to. Thanks again to the supports, volunteers and marshals whose help is essential for the continuation of the series and the club and I hope you get the recognition you deserve for the work you do behind the scenes.

    Cheers everyone, I look forward to seeing you all again at Round 4 for another wicked day of racing

    Regan

  9. #9
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    24th June 2014 - 22:22
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    Round 4 Report:

    With the Saturday of Round 4 being changed to a track day instead of a race day, I was super keen to get out on track in a more relaxed atmosphere to work with Chappy on a few things. The weather was wicked – not hot but warm enough – and it made for a great day out with an awesome number of people attending.

    When race day came, having the time on track from the day before came in really handy and I was smokin’ during qualifying. I made it onto pole with a 1:28 while Josh was still in the 1:30’s. I knew I needed to win every race today to move ahead in the championship and this was a great way to start it off.

    Race 1 threw a spanner in the works though and may well have stuffed my chances for a championship. I went out ready to rock and hoping to lay down some fast times but at turn 1 on lap 2 disaster struck. I had already built a couple seconds lead after one lap but while powering out of turn 1 the bike suddenly lost all drive and died on me. It didn’t seize but rather seemed to be starved for fuel. I pulled up and watched the rest of the race from the tyre wall – not a nice sight watching your rival gain valuable championship points on you.

    We checked the bike over and it seemed to start and run fine, almost like the issue had never happened… must’ve got ghost chips in the fuel or something. Anyway I went into Race 2 eyeing a win and lead from flag to flag with a handy lead over Josh.

    It was in the time during Race 2 and 3 that I realized Josh needed to make a mistake and get a DNF for me to have a chance at getting the championship. I was a little gutted but Josh has ridden consistently all season and consistency seems to be key to winning championships these days. So in Race 3 I just wanted to prove what I could do and went out with nothing to lose. I lead from flag to flag again and while I didn’t set any really fast times to be proud of, I had a big lead over everyone by the finish, so I was happy enough.

    Big thanks to Vic Club and their sponsors for an awesome weekend, Chappy and Brent for their ongoing support and the marshals and supporters who attended.

    Cheers for a great weekend guys and I hope to see you all again at the last round.
    Regan

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by knee-dragger83 View Post
    Round 4 Report:

    With the Saturday of Round 4 being changed to a track day instead of a race day, I was super keen to get out on track in a more relaxed atmosphere to work with Chappy on a few things. The weather was wicked – not hot but warm enough – and it made for a great day out with an awesome number of people attending.

    When race day came, having the time on track from the day before came in really handy and I was smokin’ during qualifying. I made it onto pole with a 1:28 while Josh was still in the 1:30’s. I knew I needed to win every race today to move ahead in the championship and this was a great way to start it off.

    Race 1 threw a spanner in the works though and may well have stuffed my chances for a championship. I went out ready to rock and hoping to lay down some fast times but at turn 1 on lap 2 disaster struck. I had already built a couple seconds lead after one lap but while powering out of turn 1 the bike suddenly lost all drive and died on me. It didn’t seize but rather seemed to be starved for fuel. I pulled up and watched the rest of the race from the tyre wall – not a nice sight watching your rival gain valuable championship points on you.

    We checked the bike over and it seemed to start and run fine, almost like the issue had never happened… must’ve got ghost chips in the fuel or something.
    Hmmm,

    Didn't hit the killswitch with the chinguard on your helmet by any chance? Its happened to a few others in righthanders if your still running the stock bars.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    Hmmm,

    Didn't hit the killswitch with the chinguard on your helmet by any chance? Its happened to a few others in righthanders if your still running the stock bars.
    Interesting observation but nah I don't think so... pretty sure I wasn't leaning forward far enough to do that. And when I pulled up against the tyre wall I checked the key and the switch to make sure they were still on. I thought I had seen a tiny bit of paper go into the tank while I was refuelling but we drained the tank and didn't see anything come out. While the tank was off though Brent noticed a few kinks in the fuel and vacuum hoses so we straightened them out, threw it all back together and it worked fine... it was wierd

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by knee-dragger83 View Post
    Interesting observation but nah I don't think so... pretty sure I wasn't leaning forward far enough to do that. And when I pulled up against the tyre wall I checked the key and the switch to make sure they were still on. I thought I had seen a tiny bit of paper go into the tank while I was refuelling but we drained the tank and didn't see anything come out. While the tank was off though Brent noticed a few kinks in the fuel and vacuum hoses so we straightened them out, threw it all back together and it worked fine... it was wierd
    Okay,

    Just a suggestion, Seth Devereux did it while I was chasing him at HD exiting the final turn, Got real interesting for a second or so as I had gone in deeper than norm and gassed up early to get by in the draught up the straight... Nek minnit!!!!! Haha,Aaron Hassan did the same there as well.

  13. #13
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    Nice report. Another day Club racing and learning the lessons before they really matter.... Looking forward to watching you at Round 5.

    Sent from my Nokia using Tapa talk.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy View Post
    Okay,



    Just a suggestion, Seth Devereux did it while I was chasing him at HD exiting the final turn, Got real interesting for a second or so as I had gone in deeper than norm and gassed up early to get by in the draught up the straight... Nek minnit!!!!! Haha,Aaron Hassan did the same there as well.



    Yup, I know of two other NI riders who have done it too...
    I do suspect a combination of fuel and pneumatic things in this case though....



    Sent from my Nokia using Tapa talk.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by quickbuck View Post
    Yup, I know of two other NI riders who have done it too...
    I do suspect a combination of fuel and pneumatic things in this case though....



    Sent from my Nokia using Tapa talk.
    As an aside, Did anybody check to see he hadn't run out of fuel when the bike returned to pitlane ???

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