Moto Media

from ... Mike Phillips

It was our first big race of the season and all our bikes and gear were looking good and feeling fresh. Someone hadn’t told the weather about this and the forecast was for heavy rain.

The Whakatane track has been a favourite of mine and after having won at this track a number of times I was looking forward to a good day and starting the season on a positive no matter what the weather did.

Qualifying was short like usual but I managed to put a few clean fast laps in and qualify 4th.

Moto 1: They were running the old 6 lap race back to back with a five minute break in between so there was no time to mess around on the track. I got an okay start in the first moto and settled into 5th behind team mate Justin Mcdonald. He was making a few mistakes but at the same time I was too. I couldn’t get close enough to make a pass and had to settle for 5th.

Moto 2:  I got a better start and was in behind Suzuki’s Cody Cooper for the first two laps. Cooper tried to make a pass on English rider Alex Snow and they both went down. It gave me 2nd place where I stayed for the rest of the moto.

Moto 3: The rain had started to come down at this point and things weren’t looking that good for the sandy soft track or me after I hit a rider on the first corner and went down. It wasn’t a back to back race so I had time to catch up. By the end of the race I had pulled all the way up into 3rd.

Moto 4: For some reason they still wanted us to go out and race even though the track was half under water and you couldn’t see the ruts or bumps let alone get around the track.

I had an okay start but snuck on the inside and got bogged. Got out of that one and then got bogged on the second corner as well. After getting stuck a few more times on the first lap and having a little intermittent moment with a fence I was a lap down and not having that much fun.

I finished the moto in a disappointing 12th

Overall day:

  • 1st Ben Townley
  • 2nd Justin Mcdonald
  • 3rd Alex Snow
  • 4th Mike Phillips

I was disappointed with the club making us go out in the last moto. We had to cut the track in a number of places just to get around. It wasn’t racing and I feel for the guys that have to pay for their bikes and parts. Monday was a big clean up and the bikes are never the same after a mud race like that.

The first 3 races I was happy with. It was a good test to see where everything is before the next race at the end of the month in Woodville near Palmerston North.

Thanks again

Mike Phillips