EPIC! Is the word that best describes it. Pole. 3 from 3, fastest lap and a personal best.
Without anything new going into Friday practice I decided to try the same gearing I had used to great success at the Burt Munro. Three sessions in and after heaps of mistakes I finally found a rhythm that worked and put down my first ever lap under 1:40. A 1:39.88 Epic!
Not wanting to burn up my tyres, I parked it for the rest of the day.
Saturday qualifying went well and I put the M900 evo on pole for Superstock Open with a 1:40.4. Only two tenths ahead of Glenn Corson on his Monster 1100 so I figure this might get interesting.
Race one: Glenn got the hole-shot but I dragged him off into turn one and got my skates on. Even though I led the whole race I could hear the 1100 booming behind me on more than one occasion. I knew he was close but no matter how hard I pushed I couldn’t shake him. We were lapping in the 1:40s so not hanging around. A 0.3 second gap over the line was hardly a comfortable win.
Race two: I got into turn one first but not soon after the 1100 exhaust was in my face. Glenn had found some pace and the battle begun. We were faster in different areas and swapped the lead many times. I blocked passed him through pot hole a couple of times but that threw my rhythm and I was making mistakes. Everyone cost me and Glenn would come back past. We sandwiched a back-marker around the hairpin, Glenn underneath, me around the outside costing me a few metres. I had caught back by the straight and had enough top end to make the pass. This was the last lap so I couldn’t afford any mistakes. Concentration was immense and I had the hunger for the win. Another back marker on the last sweeper luckily didn’t slow my progress and I crossed the line with a 1:38.89. Can't confirm but probably a lap record for BEARS Superstock Open. Epic!
Race three: With well-worn tyres I had my doubts I could hold Glenn off this time so decided I needed to think tactics. My worst start of the day had me third coming out of turn one forcing a bold pass to keep Glenn in sight. I stayed on his back wheel for the lap and made a pass down the straight but it was short lived. Tried a couple of other places but he always found a way back through. Then I decided to play the waiting game. Last lap existing turn one I was right there and made a much earlier pass heading into pot hole. There was no looking back as I knew Glenn would be as persistent as a shadow. I held the led right through the infield but then driving down into the dipper, boom, there was I bright yellow Ducati in front of me. This time I had no idea he was that close. It completely destroyed my exist speed but it is never over until it is over. I got the bike wound back up and closed the gap a little through the sweeper. There was still a lot to make up coming onto the straight but luckily the finish line was far enough away to have a go. Glenn tried the weave to break any slip stream but I had the acceleration and got the win by just 0.08. Epic!
A very enjoyable weekend racing made even more special by all the Crew and supporters.