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Quickbuck's Winter Series In Nz.

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Quickbuck's Actrix VMCC Round 1 14 MAY 2011

Righto, lets start with the week before......

Prolite 250 Ninja 250R was sitting there in the garage all naked with no wheels on it. Leathers were still with Sam at Celtic, and I needed to get my fairings home from work. I also needed some knee sliders.... So it was Trade Me for those.

Dunlop supplied me with some new tyres, and I got them fitted. Billy had finished my fairings and got them sent to work. Over the week I got all the stuff in one sock, and got my fairings fitted to my bike. Unfortunately I didn't leave the painters enough time to paint them. The gave me my race numbers and said bring them in after the weekend, and don't scratch them.....


So Saturday rolls around, and I load the bike on the ute... in the rain! Well, I guess it is winter series...

Got to the track, and sorted everything out, and picked my leathers up from Sam. I was a little apprehensive about taking my bike onto a damp track with brand new tyres, and new fibreglass.... last time I took the 250 onto a damp track, I scratched all the plastic!


Practice/ Scrub/ Warm-up/ Qualifying.... or that 3 lap session at the beginning of the meeting: Went out, took it real easy, got in plenty of peoples way, and slipped all over the place for 4 laps doing a best 1:46.198.....

Got back, and seems you can't really scrub tyres on a soaked track when riding like a total nana.

As it turned out, my team mate (Neil) ended up on the grid beside me on row 4 after finishing 1 times lap on his 150.


Got some fuel put in it for Race 1:

Got an average start, and watched in awe as Tyler Lincoln took off like he was on a 125GP bike and left the heavy weights (Neil and I) trying to twist the throttles off the handle bars... Then Tyler is 11, and weights 40kg dripping wet!

Then I discovered how much traffic there is when you qual row 4.... So I stuck to the plan of keeping it upright, and scrubbing my tyres. Thankfully the track was drying. I was having a bit of a dice with Damon Smith on his CBR250. He had much more power down the straights though, so the dice didn't last too long really.

After the 5 laps I finished 5th in class..... AKA Last in Pro-lite. Not too upset, as I kept it upright... Best lap of 1:36.231.


One thing I noticed was my lap times weren't as consistent as they used to be.... Spent too long on Manfeild on my 600 (Road bike) over the summer, and my reference points were all over the place!

Also, I had nearly a full tank of fuel.... Didn't mean to put that much in!

The front end is terrible with the extra weight.


After the race I noticed my tyres were scrubbed like I wanted. So it was all on for Race 2


Race 2: Got a good start, but put myself on the inside of turn 1.

Bad move, as it was another traffic jam.

I ended up dicing with Damon again, and we got pretty racey. I just about run into the back of him a few times through the esses, as I wanted to corner faster than he did.... After a few laps, he managed to leave me to it.

Another thing with a row 4 start is it is really hard to get onto the tails of the guys you normally race with. So after the 5 laps it was another 5th for me. Fastest Lap: 1:35.875.


After the race, I decided to change the way I was looking at things. Neil helped by reminding me (while he was telling Damon) to use the outside of the track in turn 1.

Nobody likes it out there, and hugs the inside....


Race 3:

Start was MUCH better. Tyler did his usual flying thing, and headed to the inside. Neil went to the outside, and I followed him. I kept on his tail right up to he point he went to the outside of turn 3. I stayed on the inside of turn 3, and managed to put both wheels on the seem of the new tarmac there.... It made things really interesting for a bit!

I then got in a battle with Simon Vollmer from Auckland on the Hyosung. We had a real dice for a bit, all the while I was keeping an eye on Neil. He had a real battle on his hands. Then on lap 3, Damon fell in turn 1 right beside Neil. I got there in time to see him run to the tyre wall and kick it in frustration....


I put in some consistent low 1:35's, and then lost Simon.... He disappeared for 31 seconds according to Mylaps. I then settled down to get 4th place with a best of 1:35.067. The best bit was my start, with a 1:39.290
standing lap
. (That is just shy of a 110km/hr average).


So finally I found all my reference points. Now it is a matter of trusting my new rubber, and increasing the corner speed. Hopefully next time I am back at the short track I can get below my PB of 1:33.659.

All in all, not a bad weekend. Kept the bike upright, and bagged 57 championship points.


Next meeting is long track, and I haven't on that since I had my GSX600 on a track day back in 2002! Looking forward to it.


Thanks to:


Celtic Leathers


pipson for the photo's

And a HUGE thanks to Skunk, and the rest of the Vic Club Team, for a great day.


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quickbuck's Actrix VMCC Round 2. 18 & 19 June 2011

As soon as I finished Round 1, I had the bike back in the shed, and stripped of it's new fairings so the Paint Shop could work their magic on them over the next 3 weeks. Lets just say Paul Martin is a perfectionist, and did a fantastic job on them.

On the Thursday afternoon prior to Round 2 I noticed my brake fluid a little low. This could mean one of two things. As I didn't have any leaks the only other explanation was my pads were low on material. A quick check confirmed this. So a ring to AFC in Palmerston North was made, and they said they had some standard pads in there… If I wanted harder ones then they could order them in. So I went for the standard ones. After a trip to Palmerston North, and back an hour later they were in the bike.

Friday was fairing fitting day, and loading the bike. All went without a scratch to my pristine paint work.


The Forecast for the weekend was WET. As we are only allowed to race on DOT approved Road Tyres, there isn't the hassle of what tyres to fit for the weekend. There is a concern that the track may be a little greasy…. Especially on the infrequently used track extension we are running on over the weekend.

Got up early Saturday morning to the track, and yes, it was wet. Not too much standing water and it looked to be clearing…. So it appeared we were in for a good day. With 2 Races on the programme for the day, with 2 more on Sunday it should be a fun weekend, with little stress. We were proactive and sorted a garage for the team. This means the bikes, and gear can stay at the track on Saturday night. This saves a lot of packing and unpacking.

So after Riders brief, and a few clarifications on some issues, we were up for the Practice and Qualifying Session. For those that read my last report, you may remember that I hadn't seen the extension for 9 years…. So it was going to be a little bit of an adventure for me.



I went out with the intention to bed in my new pads, and not let the new paintwork touch the ground. I also had to work out some reference points for the track extension. I managed to get myself around on the wet track and after mucking up the "new" hairpin big time (forgot my brakes weren't fully bedded in) and achieved a 2:49.768. To my pleasant surprise, this put me third on the grid! Yes Front row start. In fact the first 3 places were all ProLite 250's. Apparently the MiniLite 250's (4 cylinder bikes like the CBR, ZXR, FZR, GSXR) are harder to ride around the wet track… Or the riders don't like it…. Anyhow I was well pleased to be lining up beside Blair Mason (0.2 seconds faster, and Sam Croft on Pole. One Mr Chappell (Team Mate) on his 150 was conspicuous by his absence on the timing sheet too…. You might get to hear about what happened there if he writes up a report ;-)


So, it was then a case of checking the bike over and preparing for Race 1.

After getting to the grid last after the call up, I headed out. I did a Casey Stoner, and went from the back of the pack through to the front, and a higher pace than everybody else. I fully warmed the suspension by bouncing up and down on it, and warmed the brakes by carrying out some heavy braking, along with dragging the pads. I then saw Mr Chappell head to the pits as I took my place on the grid. Darn I thought; he will be gutted!

Race 1:

Got a ripper of a start, and was 2nd into turn 1…. Then I was about 5th out of turn 1. What happened there?? Okay, fly through the esses, and stay out of trouble…. Got a real good slide on the right hander at the end of the esses, and out braked everybody apart from Sam into the hair pin. So it was Ninja 1 and 2. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't keep with Sam, and he managed to leave me behind. I got involved in a battle with Billy Billington on a RG150 and Dale Albrecht on his CBR250, and Blair Mason on his GPX250. Then this Pink Bike went around the outside of me at the "new" hair pin, with somebody wearing Team Air Force Racing Leathers with Chappy written on them…. Last time I looked he was on a black bike… What is going on I wondered…. By the time I got my head back in the game I had to let Billy, Dale and Blair go and settle for third in class. I was having a few issues with traction at times. I'm not sure where Simon Vollimer was, as he was keeping pace with me last round…. So after a best lap of 2:44.666 it was back to the pits and adjust the tyre pressure in the rear.


Had the lunch break and waited for race 2. Unfortunately one of the riders in the Clubman Class had a bit of a fall out of the Dunlop Sweeper from his Triumph 675 and managed to spill 4 litres of oil on the main straight. Apparently that's how long it takes to grind through a side cover.

So the rest of the racing was postponed until Sunday, while a massive clean-up took place. The rain came back to help out.


After a good nights sleep, we made out way back to Manfeild. It was still wet, and the first thing we had to do was change the Slicks on Lee Bradford's bike to Wets. Lee had just got back from Eastern Creek, in Australia the night before, and as luck would have it, only missed one race for the weekend. At riders' brief it was explained to us, they would run the rest of Saturdays races, and then repeat Saturday's programme. This meant it was more 5 lap races for us, as opposed to the 9 laps that were programmed.


So it was off to prepare for the 2 lap scrub session. The session went well, and I explored other parts of the track to see if they could be used for overtaking….. This was helped by everybody else using the drying "ideal line", and riding quite cautiously.

After checking over the bike, and making a pit stop for myself, I came back in into the garage to find some decorations all over my bike! My Team Mates had idle hands and some very girly stickers appeared….. Rather than make a fuss I just smiled and put up with it. Before long the call up for race 2 came around. I headed out onto the track, and warmed up myself and the bike. This time there was a definite dry line all the way around the track. Upon lining up I noticed Sam was a little further forward on the grid than the line of dots we were supposed to line up on in accordance with what was said at riders brief. He was clear by at least 2 bike lengths! After some animated discussion between me and the girls on the grid, and confirmation with race control, it appears the person on pole is allowed to form up on the #1 slot for Cars….. Needless to say, I am a bit of a stickler for the rules, and follow briefs to the letter. There never was an "Except" in the brief, but Sam was in the right place…. I was a little wound up, let's say…




Race 2:

Lights come on one by one, and all 5 go out. I had the revs sitting at 11000 and dumped the clutch onto the flywheel…. The Ninja takes off like a bullet! I was keeping up with Sam, and fired it into turn 1 very quickly… and came out on Sam's tail. I followed him through the esses, and he managed to pull away on Denny Hulme straight. I settled down to a much higher pace than in the wet, and was really enjoying the track. I was essentially riding by myself, as Sam had disappeared into the distance. Then after a couple of laps I had this GPX run up the inside of me at the hair pin. Apparently I had a Troy Corser moment…. i.e. a mid race snooze. So I stuck to Blair's tail for a bit, and wanted to see who had the most drive out of the Dunlop sweeper. Apparently we were about even, and I didn't get enough drive to beat him to the line….. Sort of makes sense since his older GPX makes more power on paper than the late model Ninjas. So I followed Blair all lap, knowing I had a bit of pace. It became apparent he had really got the line into the new hair pin sorted. I followed him through the big left hand sweeper (Called the Hardy I-Plex in the old days, not sure if it still is), and short shifted to 6th, and wound on the power on the exit. This meant the bike run a little wider when entering back onto the old track, onto the wet tarmac. I was carrying about 20km/hr over Blair, and it all paid off so I fired the bike into the Dunlop Sweeper, and touched the brakes a little to put some weight on the front, turned the bike on its peg and made a Bee line to the line. I beat Blair by 0.15 seconds. What a race! Best lap time was 2:37.799 on the last lap.


It was then back to the pits, put in some fuel…. For bike and body, and prepare for Race 3. I was happy with the bike, and really happy with the traction I was getting, so didn't touch a thing. As we were about to race, the F2 class got Red Flagged due to a sudden downpour. There goes our chance to get a run on a completely dry track!


I warmed up the bike in the usual manner, and lined up for the start.


Race 3:

As the lights came on I was really keen to get another awesome start. Then just before the last light went out, I let the clutch bite…. The bike bobbled, as I immediately pulled it back in… DARN. Did they see that? Of course they did, pretty obvious on the front row! So I took off when I should have, absolutely angry with myself for making such a mistake. I decided there and then as I was about to receive a 20 second penalty, I might as well try and beat my competition by over 20 seconds. I diced with Dale A all race, trying not to hold each other up. The track was a little wet, so had to take some care about it too…. Come the last time off the I-Plex, I pulled the same trick on Dale, as I did to Blair the race before and crossed the line ahead of him. I cross the line second in class, and managed to get a 19.85 second lead over Simon Vollimer in third place… So Simon took 2nd off me due to the penalty. Apparently Blair M was having fogging issues in his visor, and had to ride with it open for most of the race.


So back to the pits, and fuel the bike for race 4. I was really happy with everything, except my little mistake.





Race 4:


The track was still quite wet, and my goal was to finish… hopefully ahead of Blair. I will leave chasing down Sam Croft until another weekend. He is riding very well indeed. So line up, and notice Blair has his Dark Visor on…. It became apparent that this one didn't fog. I got a reasonable start, and settled into the race. As the track was still wet, I started to get a few slides going. So I thought it would be best if I just rode to the finish, and keep the bike in one piece for the next round. Blair was really hungry for points, so I just let him go. I managed to pass Neil, as apparently his bike was not running very well. Once the chequered flag came out I was third in class with a best lap of 2:44.454.


So over all it was a great weekends racing. Most probably the last time ever I get to race on the long track. A real shame we didn't get a totally dry race, but it is the Winter Series after all…

I managed to pick up 82 points in the weekend, and that put me second equal with Blair. I am sitting 3rd in the championship with 132 points, 18 Points off the lead.

The goal for next round is to see if I can obtain second place in the championship.

Next Round: July 16th.


Thanks to:

Paul Martin at the Ohakea Paint Shop Many awesome comments about the paint work.

Dunlop For a sticky Road tyre, they are not too bad in the wet…

Celtic Leathers Thankfully I never tested them fully by sliding down the track.


And a HUGE thanks to Skunk, and the rest of the Vic Club Team, for a well run weekend.



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quickbuck's Actrix VMCC Round 3. 16 July 2011

I'll start in the weeks leading up to round 3.


Basically I had parked my bike in the shed from round 2, and didn't look at it apart from take all the graphics off it that magically appeared.

I remembered on Thursday afternoon I was supposed to renew my race license! I rung MNZ, and found I was too late. If I remembered as soon as I got home after last round all would have been sweet, but I failed!


After basically four weeks of rain, I was looking forward to at least one fine day, and the forecast started to look good.


I loaded the bike on Friday night and got a good nights sleep.

I awoke early on Saturday morning to a clear sky. As I walked outside I almost froze, and could see frost forming on the car, ute, and bike.... Wow, we are in for a cracker day.


Got to Feilding, and got my fuel for the day. Put 5 litres in the bike, and filled my 10 litre container, then headed to the track and got organised. Needless to say, it was rather cold. track temperature was about 1 degree! I went and registered, and bought a Day Licence, and went back to the pit garage.

I gave my bike a clean, and checked all the fasteners and tyre pressures. All appeared to be serviceable.

After walking around in the cold for a bit, it was then time for Qualifying.


I like to get out first, so i can take a good look at the track without the worry of running into other bikes. The first lap I saw what I needed to see, and then started to go for a good time. I was overtaken by Dale Albrecht on his CBR and thought I could get a draught off him to boost my qualifying time. It became apparent that in the dry there was no way I could keep with him! So it was settle down and put in a smooth lap. I managed a 1:35.072. rather happy considering a cold track. This put me 9th on the grid though, so a bit of traffic into turn 1 I suspect.


I noticed Sam Croft had managed a flyer for Pole on his Ninja, and Simon Vollimer was 10th on the grid on his Hyosung, but some 7 seconds slower in qualifying. These are the only ProLites that turned up for this round.


Race 1:

I like to be one of the last to enter the track so I can put in a fast Warm Up lap, and not sit on the grid for too long. I lined up and noticed Simon Vollimer was not beside me as expected. As the lights start to come on I noticed he was starting form Pit Lane. Ripper I thought, all I have to do is finish and I have 22 points. It would be very difficult for him to come through the pack and catch me.

The lights went out, and I managed to get an average start. The first time I had let the clutch out in anger on a bike for over a month!

I rode into turn 1 and managed to avoid all other riders.... Well, they left me in turn 1! I got through the esses and up to the hair pin and settled into a battle with Tyler Lincoln. As we came out of Higgins and up the back straight we were passed my my Team Mate (Chappy) who had started from the back of the grid. As I was only out there to finish, I followed Chappy for the whole race, following his lines, and finding out where he was quicker (and slower). I managed to get a huge draught down the front straight and pulled up beside him. As I know from years of watching Chappy on the pit wall, I know never to challenge him into turn 1. So it was the left I chose to go, to let him have the corner.

At the end of the race, I felt very relaxed. I was relaxing all race, and really just riding around (quite quickly) to get 2nd in class, and managed a fastest lap of 1:33.789 on the last lap. Very close to the 1:33.659 PB I managed in the PMCC Round 1 in October 2010.


After the race I was so wrapped with myself, and full with confidence as I was riding with the guy who was the second fastest Street Stock out there. My laps were also very consistent. I couldn't wait for Race 2.


Race 2:

Again went through my warm up lap routine and formed up on the grid. Looked to my left to see Simon Vollimer had made it, but looked ahead and noticed out Pole Man, and championship leader (Sam Croft). Wonder what happened there I thought. Lights came on one by one, and went out. Ninja got off the line really well, and got past heaps of people into turn 1. Got a great first half of the lap. I was leading Chappy and Tyler into Dunlop, and managed to make one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made into that corner! I managed to get the bike around the corner without running off, but it meant Chappy and Tyler were left to battle it out for themselves. As i was by myself I tried to put in a few fast laps to catch them, and to see if I could get a faster lap that Chappy. I also had a feeling Sam was in the race, as I caught a glimpse of his Ninja in lap 3. Then lap 4 he got past me on the front straight. He was flying! I was amazed to see how fast he turned his bike into turn 1. I look around and see Simon was some way back, so I settled for second. Best lap was on Lap 4 with a 1:34.168.


I was trying harder, but my laps were slower..... Time to think about this....

Yup, RELAX!!!!! I came to the realisation I needed to move some reference points. Sort out the Hair Pin, and generally turn later and faster.


I looked the bike over and put in a couple of litres of fuel. and got ready for race 3. This time I was looking at improving my PB.


Race 3:

I got a reasonable start for this one, and settled into the race. The race was pretty uneventful, and I was tying to change my reference points a little. I enjoyed watching Chappy and Tyler battle up ahead, and hoped to catch them. This was not to be.I also I hoped I would improved my PB.

I finished 2nd in class (again) and managed a 1:33.761. Close, but no cigar.


So, at the end of the day 66 valuable championship points, and Second in class for the meeting, and second in the championship with 198 points. 52 behind Sam Croft (on a Maximum of 250), and just 10 ahead of Simon Vollimer.


A huge thanks to:

Dunlop, for sticking really well, even though it was a cold track.

The RNZAF for all the support I recieve, and the paint work.

Celtec Leathers, they are improving with every round.

The Volunteers of the Victoria Motorcycle Club who put on another fantastic meeting.

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quickbuck's Actrix VMCC Round 4. 21 August 2011

Hi All,

As per usual, I will start with the events leading up to round 4.

After round 3, I needed to put the number on the nose of the bike on the other side. So, I contacted Billy from race fairings, and got him to make me a new top fairing.

Thanks very much for the prompt service on that Billy.

Then I got it painted, along with my front guard (Stone damage from my crash last year) by Paul Martin, at RNZAF Base Ohakea Paint Shop. Top work Paul, and there were many comments on race day on how shiny my bike looked.


I took the bike into work on Friday, to get a bit of a public viewing, and to get it prepared during my spare time for the weekend ahead.

Friday night I loaded the ute with all the gear I need for the weekend, and then sat down in the lounge, and pulled out my copy of "Twist of the Wrist 2". Then I decided to come up with a plan to work on during Saturdays Track Day.

Saturday rolls around after a good nights sleep, and looks a cracker.

I get to the track nice and early, set up in the garage, and register for Race Class. Might be slightly mad on a Pro-Lite 250, but I was wanting to work on some things, and at least I knew the race boys would all be on the same page..... Seemed to work, as long as I concentrated on my lines, and didn't watch in awe the amount of rubber Choppers BMW left on the track....

I also had my heart rate monitor on during the sessions to see what my heart was doing. I have seen them put one on Rick Kelly in V8 Supercar, and his sits at 190 during a race. My max heart rate is 190, so I was hoping I wouldn't get near that, but I wondered if mine was at 90%, as I'm picking Rick Kelly's max is closer to 210, or so.

After 4 sessions,m I find my max HR was 160, typically 155, and average around 70% of max (133 beats per minute). Interesting..... And I good sign that I'm breathing, and actually keeping relatively calm.

In the last session I went out in fast class, as this was the class Chappy was running in on his RG 150 Street Stock. This was a test to see if what i has practiced during the day had worked.

I lead him for a bit, then he past me. I stuck to his tail for the entire session. Not quite literally, as I had discovered some new things about the Ninja, and didn't fall into the trap of following his lines. We finished the session, and I was very pleased of what I had achieved during the day.

Packed the bikes into the shed, and went home. I was in bed by 2200, and had a good nights sleep.


Race Day:

The morning was very clear, and promised to be an awesome day weather wise.

I got to the track at 0745, and signed on. I didn't really need to get there that early, as there was nothing to unload, but I didn't want to rush anything.

After sign on, I put some fuel in the bike, went to riders brief, and got ready for qualifying. It was great to have all the previous days practice fresh in my mind.


I was first out on the track, and put in a sprightly lap first up to get some heat into the bike. We have 4 laps, so no time to muck around really. My laps got progressively faster and qualified second in class, and 8th overall with a time of 1:34.811. That happens to be my fastest qualifying time ever!

After a check of the fuel state, and catching up with fellow racers, it wasn't long before we were called up for Race 1.


Race 1:

Found my grid spot on the outside of row 2, and waited patiently for the lights to come on, and go out. I got a bit of a bad start, but managed to get through turn 1, and the esses, and hairpin without anything untoward happening. I watched as my team mate, and his competition headed up the track. My competition was with them too. I kept my head down, and my mind forward to put in some quick lap times to ensure the previous day had paid off, and my qualifying lap wasn't a fluke. Near the end of the race Larry Tilson had managed to catch me on his 150 Street Stock. So I kept my mind forward and him behind me. Finished the race in second (Sam Croft was quite a way up the road), with a best lap of 1:33.505 on the last lap. This was better than my previous best of 1:33.659 set in the summer. I was pleased all my laps were in 1.2 seconds of each other, so a 1:33 is no real fluke.


Race 2:

With my new found pace, I was very keen to get into race 2. As it happens too keen, as I waited for the 5 lights to come on, but forgot to wait for them to go out! Yup, another jumped start for me! I was so angry with myself, and then got dealt to in turn 1 anyway! Sam Croft took off and I knew I was going to get a 20 second penalty, so I put my head down, and mind forward to try and put 20 seconds on Simon Vollmer back in third. The track Marshals thanked me later for making my numbers so big they knew exactly who to ping for the jumped start. I basically rode the race alone. My previous challenger (Larry Tilson) couldn't get near me. Then on the last lap I see Sam was picking his bike up out of the gravel. I could see was okay, and glad for that. the bike was a bit of a mess though. I finished first in class by 9.914 Seconds... Not enough to take the win due to my jumped start! Well done to Simon on his first race win.

I awarded myself the Muppet of the day award.

I was pleased to see my best lap was 1:32.421 on the second lap, and all my flying laps were with in 0.533 seconds of each other.


Race 3:

Found out Sam had to take the bike home. It was too damaged to repair. So I knew if I could put all my stuff in one sock, I was up for a race win.

The Lights come on one by one, I have the 250 bouncing off 13000 RPM, and then I waited for the lights to go out, and feed in the clutch. What a start! I managed to get ahead of Richard Ban in P7 who was on a F4 Bike. The race went very fast. I was dicing with Richard the whole time. He had more corner speed in the hair pin, but we were evenly matched, apart from the extra legs of the Ninja. So we swapped positions all race, and crossed the line together... The computer put him in front by a little bit, but as he is in a different class, it didn't really matter. I still took my first victory in Pro-Lites. I was wrapped. My best lap was a 1:31.488 on lap 4. All my laps were within 0.820 of each other, so the 1:31 was no fluke, as I rode the last lap at that speed too. I won the round on the round on points too, so all in all it was a fantastic day.


Many thanks to:

RNZAF - The paint job speaks for itself

Celtic Leathers - Sam is always at the track for us

Dunlop Tyres - They are fantastic when conditions are great for racing.

Racefairings - Great service there Billy.




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  • 4 weeks later...

quickbuck's Actrix VMCC Round 5. 24 September 2011



Hi All,

I had the Friday preceding Round 5 off, so rather than enter the Manfeild "Test Day" I decided I would be better just to relax and go over my bike in slow time, and prep for the next days racing.

I headed into Palmerston North and got some new blood for the bike in the form of Motul 5100. I also picked up a measuring container for fuel while I was there. I decided to get my petrol there too, as it would save me 15 minutes the next morning.


I Changed the Oil, and re lockwired up the drain plug, filter housing, and filler cap.

I then carefully measured out the amount of fuel I would need for practice, and race 1.

I don't want to run with any more weight in the 250 than I have to.....



Woke up to a glorious morning, and headed to the track.

I set up the Pit Garage I was sharing with my Team mate Chappy, and our mate Eamon Timms.

We all went to riders brief and returned to the garage to get ready.

The F2 bike was out first, and shortly after the Pro-Lites/ Street Stock/ Mini Lite class.



Headed out and felt very relaxed. The most relaxed I have felt all season.

I rode around getting progressively quicker, guessing I was at about 1:33's, and wanted to put in a real flyer for lap 4 (Final lap of Qual). I got a little baulked as I tipped it in to Splash by another bike that didn't want to go as quickly as me through there.

Not to worry, I managed a 1:33.487 on my third lap which put me 8th on the grid (Outside Row 2). I was right beside my team mate who qualified 7th on his Street Stock with a 1:32.041, so I was always going to be 8th anyway.....


Upon returning to the pits I check the fuel gauge, and it was pointing to E for Enough. This is exactly where it has been for previous races, so there is no need to put more fuel in.


Race 1:

We got the call up, and I head out nice and early, as I needed to hold the Street Stock for Neil, as he was coming in on the 600 and swapping bikes.

We were there for a little while due to a short delay on the track.


After the delay we headed out onto the track. I warmed the bike up nicely, and got ready for racing.

Red lights come on one by one.

I "select" some high revs on the Ninja and as soon as the lights went out, I feed in the clutch. I took off like a Bullet into turn 1. So good I found myself around the outside of everybody.

The line is quite long, and i wasn't really confident to hold the corner speed, so let a few bikes around the inside (Not by choice).

I settled into a comfortable pace and watched my team mate battle with a Mini Lite (I think it was Dale Albrecht), Street Stock with Tyler Lincoln on board, and a Pro Lite with championship leader Sam Croft on board.

I had a box seat for this battle for 5 laps. Then as I got the white flag my bike started to splutter! Dang, that would be the "carefully" measured fuel!!

I only managed to get to Splash before the bike was completely dead!

I sat there and watched the field go by.

Needless to say a few emotions were running, and I was trying to piece together why my "calculation" had failed......

I was also trying to do the maths on my championship, and came to the realisation that this would mean I loose my second place, and there would be little chance for a win....


After some thought I realised where the fuel went....

I forgot to add fuel for

- the engine run I did for the leak check post oil change

- Running in and out of the pits twice

- Sitting on the dummy grid for an extended period of time.


As it turns out a cup full would have got me home.... 500 mls would have been better!!!!


Once I saw the race results, I saw I did a 1:32.644. Just over a second off my PB, but the wind was pushing us around a little.

I also saw Simon Vollmer got a DNF as well. Apparently he had fuel issues too...

So second in the championship was still on!


I then put in the required amount of fuel in my bike, and 500mls more for contingency!!!


Race 2:


Lines up on the grid for a damp race.

Again I got a ripper of a start. So much so my team mate wondered where I was going, and thought i had jumped it!

As it happens I hadn't, it was just a ripper.

I didn't get the drive I wanted out of turn 1 though, as confidence in the amount of traction around the outside of turn 1 was an issue.

Simon Vollmer came up the inside of me, and I thought, "That isn't in the game plan", so I attacked him back through the esses.


Simon and I had a great battle for a couple of laps on the damp track, then coming into Higgans I heard the terrible noise of a bike sliding down the track behind me!

As I was tipping into the corner I was keeping my mind on the task of cornering, but hoping Simons bike wouldn't hit me.

Thankfully it didn't. I had a look across once I had exited the corner, and saw Simon was okay. Apparently he had tucked the front on entry, and I didn't cause the incident.

I rode on and then came upon a yellow flag at turn 1.

I then saw Sarah Rosacher running across the track without a bike.

Dale Albrecht was riding on the infield with another CBR250 attached to his.

Apparently a CBR500 V8 doesn't work so well, as their lap times dropped by a whole minute!


I crossed the line 4th over all with a lap time of 1:40.329.


The weather then really couldn't make up it's mind what it was going to do.... I was going to get organised and pack my ute before race 3 so i could simply load the bike on and relax for the rest of the day. However I ended up helping swapping wheels on the F2 bike in a mad rush to get it out on the correct rubber!


Race 3:

Well the most consistent thing about the day was I got ripper starts.

I ended up behind the main bunch, and knew I still don't have an answer to Sam Crofts pace.... So I rode around essentially by myself just to keep the rubber side down and finish a solid second. Then I noted that Blair Mason was closing on his GPX250.

I continued at my pace until he caught me. I just wanted to have a little battle, and Blair wasn't really going to take any points off me, as Simon was behind him by a little way.

So once Blair caught me, and got passed i sat in behind him to study where he is strong, and where he isn't.

It has been a few rounds since Blair has competed, so it was great to have a dice.

I found the Ninja 250R has a little more top end than his GPX. Not sure why, as I don't remember it being that way..... It might be my corner exit speed has improved, and I am further up the rev range on exit.....

After a bit of a battle I managed to beat him over the line by 0.071 Seconds....

My fastest lap was 133.166.


It is always good to put on a show for the fans.


Many thanks to:

Team Air Force Racing and the RNZAF

Celtic Leathers - Sam is always at the track for us

Dunlop Tyres - They stuck like glue all day

Racefairings - Great service there Billy.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Quickbuck's Actrix VMCC Round 6. Taupo 29 October 2011


Hi All,

Round 6 of the Actrix Victoria Motorcycle Club Championships saw us heading to Taupo to compete. It has been a while since I was last at Taupo Motor Sport Park, and that was on my 1992 CBR600 Road bike. In fact it was 2008, when we had a RNZAF only day there with Honda Riders Club. So, I had almost forgotten which way the track went, and the lap record had absolutely no relevance to the Ninja 250R in any case.

As I didn't want to take 2 vehicles to Taupo, I managed to organise getting my gear up where in the back of Lee Bradford's Transit van, driven by Neil Chappell, with 2 bikes, and 2 Jet Ski's in tow. My bike was kindly taken to Taupo by Josh Walby in the back of his van. Josh wanted a bit of time on it at the MotoTT track day the day before hand, as we are entering it in the PMCC 1 Hour enduro in a couple of weeks time. I had ¾ of a tank of fuel in the bike, as I filled it up the last time I had it out at Manfeild coaching with ProRider. Plenty of fuel in the tank for Josh to burn off, and ideal for him to get used to with the extra weight up front.


I had put my original top fairing back on the bike, as Taupo does indeed run the opposite way to Manfeild and the number is painted on the opposite side.


After getting up early in Turangi, and getting to the track and setting the pit area up, I went and stood in the line to sign on. All went smoothly, and fitted the transponder to the bike. I then went out and had a look at the track to remind myself of the layout. I heard the day before there was some oil spilt on the section of track only the Street Stock/ ProLite/ Mini Lite/ F4 classes were using, so a new track had to be "invented". After riders brief, Andrew Pleasant showed us on the map where the oil was, and the Ad-Hoc track that was going to be used to get around it…. On the map it looked like a real "non-track" area, also known as grass! But in real life it is a huge tarmac run-off pad that some cones were placed on to direct us back onto the long straight.

This was all in aid of preventing boredom, and saving engines on the little bikes, as they would be "pinned" for an extensive length of time down the back straight.



I headed out to the track first, and got a good look at it with an uninterrupted view, for about 30 seconds…. It really was like heading out on an unfamiliar road. I had a little idea where the turn in points were, but had no clue where to brake for the corners, and absolutely no idea what gear I should be in. Then there was the Ad-Hoc hair pin that we had to negotiate… That seemed a little weird to get your head around, and I never really got it right. I managed to get a real big slide off the infield hair pin and put the bike up onto the rumble strip on the exit. No drama I thought, but since last time I was at Taupo, there has been some changes made, and there was some very large concrete rutty things at the end of the ripple strip! It was pretty harsh on the 250, and I got pretty excited holding it all together. After 4 laps, I still had no real idea of how to go fast on the track. I also had about 10kg too much fuel on board, and the bike was a little front heavy. As a result, my Qual time was 1:37.202. I was positioned 12th on the grid! This means outside 3rd row, so reasonable, but not fantastic. One thing I did note was Dale Albrecht was 2 1/1000th of a second faster on his CBR250. He can keep position 11 I though to myself, as there is a chance you can get boxed in there.


I went and did some thinking, and caught up with a few people. I stopped and asked Marcus Beegly how to go fast at Taupo. He said, "Don't ask me man; I haven't ridden a bike for nearly a year! We had a good chat though. I also caught up with Simon Vollmer who was challenging me for second in the championship, on a Hyosung GT250.



Race 1:

The Class got the call up, and we were out. I knew all I had to do was keep it upright all day, and 2nd place in the championship was all mine as Simon was 20 points behind, and in effect there is no way he could make that up. After the warm-up lap, I had sort of worked out some more reference points, and came to line up on the grid. The lights came on one by one, and I revved the little 250 to somewhere near the red line. As the lights went out, I dropped the clutch, and was off. I passed a few bikes on row 2, including Simon, and followed my team mate (Neil Chappell) through turn one. I then followed suit through turn 2, and saw Blair Mason (another Pro-Lite 250) take to the grass. Blair did manage to recover from that one.

I tried to follow Neil, but he was much faster…. It was almost like he knew the track. Well, after all, he did just step off the 600 and straight onto the 150. After a little while of me floundering around and entering corners in the wrong gear, I got passed by Blair, and Simon, and Sarah Rosacker, and Dale Albrecht, on their CBR250's, I found myself in a race by myself. So, I took the time to learn the track. After 6 laps were up, I felt I had got a bit more of an idea of where I was going.

I managed a 1:35.761, and all my laps were in 1.049 of a second of each other.


Race 2:

The heavens had opened, and the track was soaked! I went out and tried to gauge how much traction we had on a damp track during the warm-up. As I found out with cold tyres and suspension, it is like a skating rink, and at warm-up lap pace, I was sliding the bike!!

I found my grid spot, well almost; the chalk used to mark it out was washed away.

The lights come on, and then go out. I got another ripper of a start. I kept accelerating until I was well past the 50 metre to go board, and went around the outside of a lot of bikes. I then found myself up behind Neal again, and tried to keep with him. After a lap Simon thought he would have some of the action, and went around both of us at turn one. I though, hell, he is flying, it is amazing the grip he is finding…. Right then he crashed at turn 2! I guessed there wasn't so much grip after all. After a few laps, I came down the pit straight to see yellow flags. Sam Croft had managed to drop his Ninja at turn one. Many thoughts had gone through my mind, and I kicked myself again for short fuelling the bike at round 5. It was all on! Would there be 25 points coming my way? Just then the red flags came out while the marshals removed the Croft Racing Ninja from the track. By the time all the bikes came back into the pits, we were off again to form up for a restart. There was no chance I would run out of fuel, as I still had half a tank!

At the restart, I got another great start, and caught up to Neil. This time I was 4th on the road. Fantastic effort from 12th! As we came around to the first flag point, we could see the race was red flagged again! This time somebody had stalled on the grid, and dropped their bike trying to re-start it in the rain. We were all called in, and told we would be called up again for a re-run of race 2 in the future.

This would give the weather to sort itself out, and hopefully the track would be a little drier.


Race 2 take 2:

By now I knew my favourite part about Taupo was I knew I was getting great starts, and I was relatively fast in the wet… I guess this is because no body else had learnt the track in the wet, and were all guessing like I was in the morning.

So, form up and wait for the lights to go out. I got another ripper of a start, and got all the way up to 4th again. I followed the leaders, Sam Croft on the Ninja, Neil Chappell on the Rg150 , and La Selle Carr (No Relation) on another RG150 through turn one, and stuck with them for a bit. I then thought I would do some formation flying with Neil, and had delusions of grandeur. Neil had just stepped off the 600 after winning that race. So I was thinking that if the commentator notices that I am actually faster than Neil, I would get somebody looking at me and offer me a ride on a 600! Just then all hell broke loose and the bike was doing all sorts of mad stuff… It didn't help I was looking at all the white grid lines coming onto the pit straight, and the front sliding on each one!!! Yup, I know what you are thinking. What the hell was I doing looking at paint on the Track! Yes, I should have been looking up the track.

Anyhow after 4 laps of atrocious conditions, the race was red flagged. There is no real point of somebody getting hurt over this. The little bikes aren't allowed wet tyres, and we tend to run on sticky road tyres that don't have a lot of rain grooves. There is also no way the suspension keeps warm enough to be compliant, and combine this with the typically young age or little experience of the riders in the class; it is a lot of holes in the cheese.

I did finish the race second in class to Sam Croft, and 4th bike home! My best lap time was 1:48.818. That gave me 5th fastest in the field.


From there the rest of the racing was cancelled due to the conditions, but to keep the riders of the bigger bikes happy, a non-points under 600 race was run, and that was followed by an open class race to finish off the day.


So, that is the end of the Actrix VMCC winter Series.

I managed second in the championship, and for my efforts I was awarded a nice trophy to put in the trophy cabinet. The season has been very rewarding, and given me loads of racing experience. The Pre-race nerves I used to get are gone. Racing seems like a normal day to me now, so I can relax and get on with the job at hand.


Many thanks to:

Team Air Force Racing and the RNZAF for the support all season.


Celtic Leathers – The leathers are comfortable, and I trust they crash well, but never found out! Thanks for the chats all season Sam.


Dunlop Tyres – One set lasted all season, and provided the traction when expected to.


Racefairings – Billy is always there for the junior classes.


ProRider – Karel Pavich has let me loose on Manfeild a few times during the season, while I coach the Students. Her courses also help my riding.


A special that's goes to the whole team at the Vic club who work behind the scenes to make things happen.


The biggest thanks of all goes to my partner Coral, who has been there for me all season, and understands what racing means to me.




Team Air Force Racing #42

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