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Thread: 2016 Wellington Pit Bike Champs race report

  1. #1
    Join Date
    13th February 2004 - 06:46
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    Forza 155 SE Pit Bike
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    2016 Wellington Pit Bike Champs race report

    Christ knows when the last time I posted on ol' KB was, let's give it a whirl! Race reports were something I really enjoyed writing when I was road racing as it's a great opportunity to reflect on where you might have gone wrong and where you can improve. So here goes......

    Well the TSS Red Baron, Wellington Pit Bike Championships are done and dusted for another year and for me it was a very mixed bag. Being the third running of this event and with a lot of promotion it turned out to be bigger and better than anyone expected. Entry levels were three times higher than previous years and a very strong contingent of Auckland and Northland riders traveled down in the hope of wrestling the #1 trophy from the locals.

    My own preparation was a little rushed, having just received my new Forza FXR155 SE a week earlier. That being said, we got the bike run in the weekend before then set about getting the first service sorted and final touches put on for the main event on Saturday. Running the bike I was extremely happy with how it handled and the suspension in particular, being far stiffer and stronger feeling than my previous bike.

    On Saturday we arrived at the Moonshine track in Upper Hutt really early in order to set up and secure a good pit spot, we were very surprised to see the paddock half full and a lot of people already in attendance. Once set up myself and my two children (who also race MX) went to walk the track and check out the changes since our last visit. Mike Friday from A1 Homes had spent the whole week previously out there with two large diggers reshaping and building the track bigger in preparation. To say we were impressed is an understatement, the whole track was beautifully groomed and the jumps resembled more AMA Super Cross than the usual Mini MX track most people see. Our out of town racers who normally race Harrisville were absolutely blown away by the size of the place.

    As we had 24 entrants, and only room for 18 on the gate, we were split into 2 groups at random. I drew the "B" group so was second group out on track. Sitting on the gate we had the pleasure of watching the "A" group practice and it was instantly apparent the Auckland guys meant business. Full attack was the order of the day with two riders in particular, Ben and Aaron really making their intentions known. Last years title holder Mike Friday was struggling to stay with them on his 190cc Braap and all three were showing real speed and throwing down huge whips and massive air. Shayne Burns was also quick on his 125cc Braap. All of us in "B" group riders were starting to feel very worried about how we'd fare.

    My original plan was to slowly build the speed and build into the rhythm of the new track. The bike was running really well and as we built pace the suspension really came into its own, handling everything I could possibly throw at it. The change in gearing I'd made at the first service really paid off with the bike easily pulling through the sand hairpin and firing off the turn into a really long double with no problems at all. The first few laps I came up a little short here but the rear shock just ate it up, really impressive. With the first practice down I was probably second fastest in the B group, our fastest rider Stu rode a FXR 155 SE like mine but using a Daytona 190cc 4 valve motor.

    While on the line for our first race, while the A group were on track, there was a call for medics which was very worrying. It transpires one of the fast Auckland riders, Ben riding a 190cc YCF had got it all wrong in the big double and required hospitalization for some fairly nasty injuries. Luckily nothing too serious and he's home now but it was a very sobering reminder of how dangerous the sport can be. It didn't slow us down for our heat race at all and while Stu had the lead early on, his rear wheel bearings collapsed and he scored a DNF. I had an unfortunate crash but recovered with only twisted bars and a bruised knee to finish second. Second heat race and Stu got the early lead again but slowed in the last couple of laps and let someone get through. I caught Stu and could see he had a rear puncture but rather than pass him I knew he'd need the points to make the top 16, final two races so shadowed him the remainder of the race to finish 3rd.

    For the final two races, the top 8 from each group were merged and would race two races for points and the championship. My goal, having seen the caliber of the field, was a top ten finish due to my lack of Motocross experience. On the line I got a great start but managed to get myself boxed in pretty badly on turn one, dropping a number of places. The first lap with 16 fast riders was an experience I'll never forget. Lots of bar banging, elbow locking and wheel rubbing. Exciting does not describe this, it is EPIC to see. Everyone had the jumps dialed now and knew what they were doing and a number of lines and ruts had formed giving many different places to attack. I decided a strong offense was the best defense and stuck high on the rough berms, relying on high corner speed and momentum to keep some of the more powerful bikes behind me and not allow them to get far enough through on the inside to block me. At the front I could see Stu from our club and Aaron from Auckland having an epic battle on their 190s, just behind them was Mike on his 190 Braap and I was chasing him hard. As the race wore on I was beginning to get tired and my lack of time on the bike was becoming apparent. Chris Rey from Wellington was close to me on his 155 Braap but not close enough to try a pass. I focused on hitting the jumps and railing the berms and trying to be a smooth as possible to avoid tiring any more than I was. We managed to bridge the gap to Mike in third place but came up just a little short at the chequred for 4th in this moto. Aaron won by half a second from Stu Both myself and my family were ecstatic to finish not only top 5 but also first "small" motor stock bike.

    I knew I was in for a shot at third place trophy if I just rode smart and smooth in the final moto and had a bit of luck. Sadly, is was not to be. While awaiting the 10 second board Aaron Jones bike refused to start and the points leader from Auckland had to push his bike off the line. On the start the Forza once again had the punch towards the hole shot but I once again dropped a little too much speed for the inside line on the turn and came out of the turn in 6 th. Through the next few turns I made up a couple of places but found myself locked in huge two lap battle with my good friend Shayne on his Braap. We ride together regularly and trust each other very well but even so, with bragging rights and trophies up for grabs it got very close in places. Stu managed to get clear of the field by a good margin and Mike settled into second. With three laps to go while waiting for an opportunity to get around Shayne I came over a big table top and as the bike landed it just died and would not restart. The finishing order went Stu, Mike, Chris and I was really disappointed as I could easily have finished 3rd for 3rd place overall had it not been for the mechanical failure. All in all I am really astounded at how well the FXR 155 SE Forza went, given the big dollars most of these other guys have invested in their bikes. We are running a stock bike with a UNI filter fitted, 15 tooth front sprocket, SKF wheel bearings and Michelin tyres. Remarkable really and when looking at the quality of the racing, the disappointment of not finishing on the podium was very short lived.

    The weekend was a resounding success for all involved and it was amazing to meet so many new friends and competitors.

    I have to say a huge thanks to my sponsors who supported me for this event, obviously NZ Motor Factory for supplying such a great bike first and foremost and TSS Red Baron for getting behind the event again.

    Attached a link to a video of some of the racing and some images.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNsGTtT8qe4

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Vote David Bain for MNZ president

  2. #2
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    20th October 2005 - 17:09
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    ''Christ knows when the last time I posted on ol' KB was''

    January 19th of this year..

  3. #3
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    25th June 2003 - 13:54
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    Very cool.

    Cheers for the write up.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    13th February 2004 - 06:46
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    Wellington
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    Quote Originally Posted by bungbung View Post
    Very cool.

    .
    Racing kids bikes on a kids track. Hardly very "cool" mate. But thanks
    Vote David Bain for MNZ president

  5. #5
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    27th April 2016 - 17:54
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    lame report, where the pocket bikes

  6. #6
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    6th May 2012 - 10:41
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    tl : dr

  7. #7
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    13th March 2003 - 11:47
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    Good on ya White trash, keep the stories coming
    Cheers

    Merv

  8. #8
    Join Date
    22nd April 2005 - 21:18
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    2002 XR650R Supermotard
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    Zork
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    Still have the Forza WT? Any issues with it? I'm considering picking up the motard version as a play bike/lunch getter.

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