Moto Media

from ... Mike Phillips

With the NZ MX Nationals only a few weeks away everyone was geared up for the New Zealand Grand Prix held every year on farmland near the Manuwatu town of Woodville. We only ride this track once a year so none of the locals have any more advantage than the out of towners.

The weather like in most places around the country was hot and dry and by the looks of the track on the Saturday Junior event, it had been like that for a while.

They poured the water on the track on the Saturday night so being first practice up we had a bog hole of a track. I pushed it hard in qualifying but only came out in 9th place.

Moto 1: I didn’t get the jump off the gates like I wanted and came around the first turn at the back of the top 10. By the first lap I was into 4th but had team mate Justin Mcdonald behind me. He made a pass and I stuck to his back wheel. I struggled a little with cramp in my throttle arm mid way through the moto and Justin pulled a small gap. We both came up behind Kawasaki's Nick Saunders and got by him a few laps later.
Towards the end of the moto Australian Todd Waters made a pass and I had to settle for 5th.

Moto 2: For some reason they made moto 2 a sprint race (6 laps) I got a much better start and settled into 3rd behind Honda’s Ben Townly and Suzuki’s Cody Cooper. I felt much better on the track in this moto and didn’t let them get away. I had a hard charging Waters behind me for the entire moto. I tried everything to hold him out but on the last lap I over jumped the step up and didn’t get the drive I needed to stay in front. Finished the moto in 4th

Feature Race: The top 40 riders are invited to the feature race no matter what size bike their on. I got another good start and pushed into 2nd on the first lap. I had a little battle with Townly but settled into 3rd. I held off a charge from English rider and World 250 number 4 Jake Nichols but again on the last lap another Australian Kirk Gibbs snuck on the inside and passed me. I tried to get him back but finished in 4th

Moto 3: I got an average start and settled into 4th. Australian Gibbs got by me half way through the moto but I had nothing left in the tank. I held a good pace on the hard dusty track and finished out the moto in 5th.

Overall: 3rd equal with team mate Justin Mcdonald but 4th on count-back.

I was happy with two of my starts but they still need work on if I want to run up the front. The track in Timaru were the first round is held could turn out just like the Woodville track, hard, fast, dusty and not that many places to pass.

I was a disappointed with the 4th place again after Whakatane Summercross was another 4th but I’m hoping to use that as motivation for the nationals and put out all the stops.

We have less than two weeks 'till Timaru so it’s back to the drawing board and some last minute practice.

Thanks again to all my sponsors and supporters.
Mike Phillips