Moto Media
James Stewart

When the Emma Davis show goes global

Well it has been a full on couple of months for me. It all started mid-January when I spoke with Rex Michau who is the man behind the new NZ Dirtbike Gym race team which is competing in the three main motocross series in Britain.

In less than 6 weeks I had given up my steady job and lifestyle, packed my life up and found myself on the otherside of the world!

My deal is that I train and ride with the team while still fitting in 3 days work doing engineering duties for Armech International
which sponsors the team as well as helping out wherever I can with the running of the team. In the 3 weeks I have been here so far I have found myself being camp mum, a chauffeur, trailer builder, sign writer, race mechanic, tea lady, athlete, bike washer and have even managed to fit in some racing. Every day has been different and I have been loving every minute of it!

Where we live

The three kiwi riders – Bjarne Frederickson, Kieran Scheele, Johnny Phillips and also a kiwi mechanic Henry Kells and myself (Emma Davis) are all living together at Rex's house. We have had a heap of other people coming and going as well so dinner time is always interesting. It feels like you are cooking at a prison soup kitchen sometimes!

  Feeding time at the zoo. L to R John, Kieran Bjarne.

The boys are racing 3 Championship series so in about 7 months I think they only get 4 weekends off. They have all definitely picked up the pace since leaving NZ and now that they are getting into racing I think they will just keep stepping it up more and more.

At the moment I am just racing the 3 round British Ladies Championships however once I get some more fitness under my belt I will enter into some of the British Masters Rounds in the MX2 class. I am kept busy at the races otherwise doing everything from pit boarding to making sandwiches to arm pump massages. I’m a 'Jack of all trades" these days and people back home didn’t even think I could look after myself on race day !

When I arrived in the UK we found that the first round of the British Ladies Champs was in two week’s time. This put a bit of pressure on everything especially because the team was trying to sort the boys out, build race trailers and get set up for the first rounds of the guys Championships at the same time. I spent all my training time riding a 450 as we were having problems with the 250 I was supposed to be riding. I felt like I had shoulders like the hulk some days after trying to muscle that thing round in the mud for 30 minutes.

Travelling a couple of hours to go training is pretty normal. Sometimes it takes it out of the boys.

I finally hopped back on the 250 the Wednesday before I was to race on the Saturday. I managed to tweak my knee pretty good but I had to try and ride to get a setting for the weekend. Luckily Bjarne’s dad was staying in camp and stayed on my case to make sure I did everything right to look after it. The only bonus is that ice-packs and pain killers are super cheap over here in the UK!

Riding at Churchill farm. Running Johnny P’s plastics so not my favoured number 200 !

The Thursday we rode at Churchill Farm which is not far from our house. Matiss Karro and Mel Pocock were there riding and gave us an education on how to rail ruts. They were both dragging the bars on the ground while having one hand off the bars. It was sick to watch !

Mattis Karro showing us how its done above. He came and raced in Taupo a couple of years ago and managed to break his wrist.

Mel Pocock lovin it !

I am stoked that I am running my favourite number 200 on my bike here which was the number that Jake Boyd used to wear when I raced him all through juniors. My bike looked so much better as soon as they put the two zero zero on the side plates.

The first round of the British Ladies Champs was on March 12th in Brampton which is nearly on the border of Scotland. This made it an epic 7 hour road trip from our base so we were in for quite the adventure as Henry, Rex and I set off in the VW van loaded to the roof. Lucky for me Henry did all the driving and we were cruising happily in the fast lane watching the ETA on the GPS getting earlier and earlier until we got a flat tyre, found we had no spare wheel or jack and that it was after 5 o’clock on a Friday night.

Somehow Rex managed to find someone to fix the wheel while Henry and I went and enjoyed a sweet steak meal. It was the first steak we had had since arriving in the UK so maybe the flat tyre happened for a reason because it was definitely worth it. 2 hours later we were back on the road and after a double shot espresso for Henry we made it to the town of Brampton to check into our hotel which I am sure was off the set of Faulty Towers.

For some reason Henry looks stoked about our flat tyre ? My hotel room. She was a biggie !

It had been snowing at the track a few days before the race but thankfully it had stopped by the time we arrived although the temperature felt like it still was snowing. We were greeted at the track entrance by an ACU official who said the race possibly might be cancelled as it was so wet and the track conditions were so bad. Instead they delayed the start of racing and cut half of the track out.

The track looked like it would have been awesome if it had been dry with a sandy soil and some awesome jumps and hills. By NZ standards this was deep sand! With all the mud, track conditions were definitely tough and it wasn’t what I needed for my first race in a while, first race in another country and on a bike I wasn’t yet comfortable on !

I set out to Qualifying and had arm pump after about 5 minutes but managed to get 3rd fastest qualifying time while feeling like a complete goon. The first moto I got what only can be described as a crap start and came out of the holeshot corner pretty much last. After two laps I had passed up into 4th before I went down in a corner. I picked myself up and started passing through again until I had another two crashes and finished the race in 6th place. I had such bad arm pump I stalled my bike when I tried to ride into the pits because I couldn’t pull my clutch in. I was pretty disappointed as I had the second fastest lap time but just couldn’t hold onto it.

Henry and Rex were full on between my motos and made some big adjustments to my bike. The second moto I got a much better start and was running in 4th after the first lap. I managed to get into 2nd but the dreaded armpump struck again and I dropped into 4th place at the chequered flag. The track was pretty rough by now, I probably had never ridden a track quite like it but I was super gutted that I didn’t get the results I know I am capable of.

It is another 3 months until the next round of the series so I will be working my butt off until then, will make sure I have a bike set-up for me and hopefully show the Brits what I am made of. I have to say a big thanks to Rex and Henry for all the effort they put in for me at this event.

Henry swinging off the spanners.                    "Think I have a bit of arm pump boss"

After finishing racing on Saturday we were back in the VW and headed four hours South East to meet up with the rest of the team who were camped up at Mallory Park ready to race the British Masters first round on the Sunday. Henry once again was at the wheel but I was at least nice enough to shout him some lollies and BK for his efforts. We had extra insulation in the camper trailer this week so sleeping at the track wasn’t quite so hypothermic as the weekend before at the Maxxis Series first round !

Now the first races are under the belt for both myself and the boys the team is getting things sorted, systems are in place and training is about to get intense. I never knew that work could be so much fun! I have to say a big thank you to Rex Michau for giving me this opportunity to live the dream.

Thanks to Jason Morris the hardman team manager/coach/vet rider extraordinaire who runs around tirelessly after us all and to Nigel and Henry the mechanics who have been working pretty much 12 hour days 7 days a week the whole time I have been here.

Jason Morris & his daughter Evie.               Nigel & Rex looking like they have their game faces on.

Until next time keep it on two wheels.

Emma Davis #200

P.S:  It is as cold here as they say it is.

We had a small glitch of not being able to get the rigs out of our driveway when we went to roll out for the first round.

Emma on Chauffeur duty.