This was the first time in many years that the motorcycle sportsman in conjunction with Motorcycle Australia ran a round of ASBK. Formula 3 and Supermoto were the support classes chosen to represent racing at a club level.
We arrived on Friday lunch time and set up our pit and did all the paperwork so we would be ready for Saturday morning qualifying. The weather was perfect for racing and I went out for qualifying just after 10:00 am. There was a 15 minute session so I took the first 10 minutes to get a feel for the bike. We had only been given 1 qualifying session so in the last 3 laps I had some clear track and put down a 1:25.8 which was fast enough to put me on pole position for the weekend. Mark Gordon (Suzuki SV650) was second and Mojo Webb (VFR400) took third. I was happy with pole as the other two riders are very good at starts so that little bit of a buffer in front helped. There was one race Saturday and two on Sunday.
Due to the meeting being a national event there was a lot more fanfare including grid girls, bike stunts during breaks in racing and past and future superbike champions in and around the venue. There was television coverage of the main categories as well. With national events there is a warm up lap and then a sighting lap. I lined up in pole position and changed the way I usually start (poorly) and to my surprise it worked pretty well and I was in third position by the first turn. I was behind Mojo and Mark and followed them to turn 4 where Mojo made a move up on the inside of Mark. I noticed Mark had a bit of a front end moment and ran a bit wide so I followed Mojo. I settled in and continued following Mojo who was setting a pretty good pace. I tried a few times at a pass but Mojo was doing a pretty good job on the late braking so didn’t want to try and play the ‘last one on the brakes’ game. It was an 8 lap race and by lap 5 I had a good run out of turn 3 and made a pass up the inside into turn 4. From then on I tried to put in a few fast laps hopefully, to make a small break. I finished first by 3 seconds with a best lap of 1:27.3.
Race #2: Once again Mark repeated his good starts with his trademark wheelie for the spectators. I slotted into second position but by turn 3 Mojo had performed a good inside pass just before the bridge and I was back in 3rd again. Down to turn 4 and Mojo went up the inside of Mark and I followed in third until turn 6 and then went up the inside of Mark. I got a slow exit from turn 7 and Mark powered by before turn 8. I then started my run after Mojo following for 5 laps and finally passed him down the straight just before turn 1. I finished the race winning by 2.4 seconds with a best lap of 1:26.8.
Race #3 It was business as usual for Mark with his trademark start. My start was not so good and by turn #1 was in 5th but went around the outside and regained 3rd by turn 2. Mojo was on a mission and quickly passed Mark into turn 4 and I did as well.
Mojo was riding well and was braking and covering all the corners so I did not want to risk either out braking myself or running into Mojo. I kept in close and followed and waited for a chance to pass but none really came along. It was lap 6 I think when I looked at my lap timer as I crossed the start/finish line and realised there was only 2 more laps to go! Next lap I had a good run onto the straight and finally passed Mojo and kept him at bay for the last laps. Winning the race by 3.5 seconds with a best lap of 1.27.
It was a great weekend of racing and we even got to spray some champagne while on the podium just to make the day a little special. Special thanks goes to Mark (“Lucky”) Gordon, Mojo Webb (Mojo Webb Band) for some fun racing, all the gang in our pits, the officials/flaggies, the Motorcycle sportsman club, David and Yvonne our hosts at the Buckaroo Motel , Osella photographics, Nikki Carpenter and most of all Sheree for all her support and help.
Next race meet is the MASTERS OF MORGAN PARK on 9th and 10 May.
Race report from Motorcycle Australia, click the link below
Highlights of the ASBK by Mojo Webb.