Moto Media

from ... Brandon Tipene

Hi all been a while since my last race report. I had taken off a good portion of the 2011 race season off because I had lost a bit of interest in MX. I decided to get back into it around Feb and to start off with doing the MX2 class for senior nationals. This was really only to get some riding in for the upcoming Junior Nationals. Boy did I find out after time off getting back into the groove was hard work. Especially lining up against New Zealand's best MX2 riders. It was a learning curve for sure but I did enjoy it. Fighting for a top 20 position was an accomplishment in itself and I'm sure if I was a lot fitter than I could have placed top 15. All in all it was a good lead up to the Junior Nationals and get back into the groove.

Junior Nationals Timaru:  Thanks to Craig Brown from MR MotorcyclesI had use of their demo KXF250 2012. My own bike is a 2011 and although I have had no issues with my bike it was good to get on something a bit newer. And I can see why they rate the 2012 Kawasaki the best 250 worldwide. It's a huge improvement on the 2011. Going into the Nats with the limited riding I had, we set a goal of top 5 would be good to come away with especially after hearing what lead up some of the riders had, I thought this would be a fair placing.

Qualifying:  Got off to a good first lap. Actually got a best time of 3rd place behind Micah McGoldrick and Josh Bartosh. Mine and Josh’s time was split by 100th second so real close. He was actually quicker than me through the whoops by at least 1 second so I had good time on the rest of the track but not real confident to hit those whoops hard not knowing the track well. Unfortunately he took a dive on the 2nd lap of qualifying so had to sit out the first race of the champs. He certainly had some speed. Micah set the fastest at 1.58.

Race 1:  Got an okay jump off the gate. Unfortunately went down in the second corner. Got going in last place and got all the way back to 6th which was good for the points considering my bad start.

Race 2:  Due to experience the 2nd day is the race day. As long as you get a solid first day in then the secnd day is where it's at and the 3rd day just maintaining your position. I figure it's worked for me all other years so why not now? Got a solid start in about 5th. Made a pass to go to 4th behind Cameron Vaughan. Basically still suffering a bit from arm pump being the 1st moto of the day. Came home comfortably in 4th.

Race 3:  Got a real good jump off the gate and into the corner about 4th. I didn’t know but Josh May and Cameron Vaughan came together which unfortunately for them would definitely help me to claw back some lost points. Unlucky for Cam he ended up not racing again. I got into 3rd pretty quickly behind Josh Bartosh who was riding really well and couldn’t gain on him. Micah was out front and just too strong so really my effort was to gain 2nd place in the championship which was starting to look achievable. I was suffering from arm pump late in the moto and Josh May was catching real quick at the end. By the time we got to the whoops before the finish line he was on my tail. Lucky for me he made a mistake and went down because he probably would have got by me through those. Even luckier (sorry Josh) he had issues starting his bike and came around in 11th I think. This put me into 2nd overall.

Race 4: This was my best race. I knew I had to finish in front of Josh May to have a real chance of holding 2nd overall for the Championship. Got a great start in 3rd behind Josh Bartosh and Micah. Rode a good portion of the race with them before Josh B went down. Into 2nd with Josh M on my tail. I put my head down and pushed right to the end. Even gaining time on Josh which was great. I went back to the pit telling Mum and Dad that was the best race I have had for well over a year. Actually enjoying it.

Race 5:  Final day's racing. I discussed the points with my dad overnight. We decided all we needed to do was get 2 x 4th place finishes in both motos to gain 2nd as long as Micah won both which we both agreed that's probably going to happen after seeing how well he was going. Got an okay jump behind Micah and Josh B. I knew Josh M was behind me. Decided to put a quick lap in but couldn’t shake him as I wasn’t feeling that fit. Decided to let him pass me and just followed him around to take a 4th.

Race 6:  Again a solid start. Got in behind Josh M again and no real reason to push hard. Had an eye on Micah in case something stupid happened to him like going down or something. If he did then was going to push Josh M. Lucky for me he didn’t and came home 4th for 2nd overall in championship.

Got to say I'm real happy with 2nd in the Junior Nationals considering the amount of riding I have been doing. Not sure what the rest of the year brings in terms of racing but see how we go. I'm still eligible for the Australian Junior Nationals and if I put in a good amount of training I know I can push for a top 3 over there.

Well done to Micah - the boy was just too good for any of us.

I'd like to thank my sponsors for the help this week. Again Craig from MR Motorcycles for the bike, Duncan from Fliway Transport for getting my bike down there and back. Digby and Wilkie for their help over the weekend. Its great to know even though we compete against each other we can still help each other out. Hay family for a good weekend together again. Nigel from 454 for the awesome Thor kits for the weekend and all my other sponsors. ELF Oils, Demon Energy, Sidi, Scott goggles, Pro Circuit, Apex Group, Kawasaki NZ, Jet Pilot, Pirelli, Supersprox, Tsubaki Chains, Motomuck and Hygiene Systems.

Guy Maxwell - MadMax Photography images.