Moto Media

from ... Campbell Bailey

Heading into the weekend I wasn’t feeling the most confident and was certainly nervous as this is an event some of internationals in our sport choose to ride and this time last year was the start of a downward spiral that ended up seeing me crashing out of this race, Whakatane’s Summercross, Woodville GP and out of the nationals.

We turned up around 7:30 AM and prepared our pit area. My race bike looked the part also thanks to all my sponsors. Riders briefing came and went and before I knew it I was in my gear on the line for practice/qualifying. I have been riding and training with a former international rider and all around good guy Niki Urwin, so I knew he and I had put in work before the event to make sure I was as ready as I could be. Off we went and I was feeling good on the bike. The track was ripped deep and the Taupo club had done a good job in prepping it. After qualifying I checked my time and had seeded 11th.

Race 1 was up next and I was ready to go. We took off from the start and I didn’t get a great one. But I was able to go around the outside of a few guys and I ended up at the deep end of the top 10. A few laps in and was holding good in 10th. Deeper into the moto and I was feeling the pain of the 20 minutes + 1 lap but lucky not as much as one of the other guys as I began to run him down. In the final 2 laps I passed him and secured myself 9th place. A result I was very happy with and I felt I had ridden the best I have in a long time.

Race 2 and it got off to another shaky start but the same as last time I came around the outside of a crash in the first corner and after we sorted ourselves out I found myself in 9th position again. But dew to the first corner crash with the front runners they were all back in action and coming fast. I tried to hold my ground but I over ate between the 2 motos and wasn’t feeling too flash. I held on for an 11th place.

The Nikki Smith Memorial was the last race of the day and with the fastest 36 guys + 4 more of whoever wanted to race. It was going to be tough. I had a bad gate for an unknown reason as guys that I was faster than had a pick before me. So it was already off to an average start. Another first corner crash I was able to go around the outside of and put myself in a solid top 15 position. But all the carnage was not over as I rounded the 3rd corner I pushed the front through a rut and just fell over. It was hard to get up with 25 other guys coming at you through a semi 1 lined section. I got up and was spent. I tried to push to catch the tail of the pack and I was gaining ground fast but I was far too tired and guys were falling off and getting hurt all over the show. I wasn’t going to give up but I also wasn’t going to push too hard and get hurt. So I just rode my own race at the back of the pack and ended up going from 40th to 29th.

Overall I was extremely happy with my results and I felt I rode my best and deserved my results. A 10th overall was just inside the goal I set myself of a top 10 so that’s a bonus to also achieve my own goal.

Thanks to everyone that got me there, my family and all my sponsors Triple B Racing, Waikato Yamaha, Sportspro, Nationwide Accessories, Drainage Systems, Wilton Contracting, Fox, Shift, Scott, Pirelli, EBC Brakes, Supersprox, Tsubaki Chains and anyone else who helped out.

Campbell Bailey

Chris (aka Bails) clears the loose dirt from Campbell's start.

Yep, it's the DAM jump (aka Darryl August Motorcycles)