Spending time understanding my GPS data and watching my GoPro video facing my RPM gauge have been the 2 most effective ways I’ve improved as a rider. I think my time racing this year in Europe would have been much much harder for me if I didn’t have these tools too. Simply put, it cut the amount of mistakes in setup and riding I was making in half which allowed me to get on the pace with only a short amount of practice.
I care a lot about the New Zealand racing community because it’s given so much to me when I’ve needed it the most. So I like to give back as much as I can. Below I’ve given you a link to all my personal best (PB) race data. With this you can compare against your own data to find areas of improvement. Below I’ve also included some screen shots of the PB laps with commentary on where I needed to improve as well as where to focus when learning the circuits.
I have my strengths which I’m good at taking advantage of but for sure I’m not the fastest racer out there. I hope that you use this data as a general benchmark and that in a few instances it shows you some glaringly obvious areas you can improve. But mostly I hope that you absolutely demolish my times and that you use your GPS well enough to show me exactly where and how you’ve done it. Enjoy and feel free to email me any questions you have: email@example.com
Some general words on improving your times
- Focus on the fastest or bravest corners on each circuit as that’s usually where the biggest gains are made. E.g turn 1 and 6 on Hampton Downs national circuit, Pothole at Mike Pero Motorsport Park, turn 1 at Teretonga.
- Video your races and actually set aside time to watch them, scrutinize them and set yourself a plan for the next session on where you’re going to improve
- The next best tool I’ve used to improve has been visualization. If you can’t close your eyes and run through a full lap of the circuit while making mental notes of where you are on the track then you need to understand the track better. Take a bicycle ride around the circuit until you can do this.
- Taken with my QStarz BT-Q1000eX lap timer - I believe this has been discontinued and superseded now. The data still carries forward however.
- All laps done on my 1998 Honda RS125 NX4. Completely stock engine apart from reed block stuffer, and super finished gearbox. Measured at 40.2hp on a dynojet in Auckland
- All but the Hampton Downs national circuit PBs were set during the 2018 125GP national championship where I chased some very fast riders.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD all of my New Zealand 125GP PB laps
How to use this data
You can download the Qstarz software off there website by clicking this link. Then you need to import these files by clicking File > Import Tracks. The data should then import the files and you can view them like that. Let me know if they don’t work. Note that even if you don’t have your own GPS lap timer, it might be worth downloading the software so that you can properly review the finer details of each lap and compare against your own lap timer.
For the lazy ones
For those who just want to take a quick gander at some basic data, here are some screen shots of the speed traces from each of the PB laps with some commentary.
Mike Pero Motorsport Park, Christchurch - 1:40.680s
I’m a little bit disappointed I’m yet to break a 1:39s 125GP lap at this circuit if I’m honest. With double the number of corners as Hampton Downs, it’s a tricky bastard of a circuit to really get good at. I also think it’s the most difficult circuit in New Zealand to learn. Area’s I know can be improved on in this lap are:
1) turn 2 (or 3 for some people) called pothole because I’m not as brave as say Zayne Agate or Ashley Weller through here. In this lap the slowest I get is 125km/hr and I think that could be 128-130km/hr with a bit more bravery/recklessness.
2) my braking into the hairpin could be slightly later and harder. Chris Wallinger always use to out brake me here
3) the right hand corner turn 6 called nanas or the carousel because my corner exit here is rubbish
4) the final left hand sweeper because I’ve never been keen to brake my ankles against the pit lane wall like Steve Ward once did. I think Dan Jenkins is keen to roll that dice so maybe follow him if you’re on a 125GP bike or follow any Hoogenboezem son on any bike.
Timaru International Motor Raceway (Levels) - 1:10.659s
This is arguably the best 125GP circuit in New Zealand, although I think Taupo gives it a good run for it’s money. Again, a little disappointed I never ran into the 1:09s laps here but being originally from the north island, I’m not particularly surprised. I suggest chasing Dan Jenkins around here in 125GP practice, because as a southerner he’s done his fair share of laps around here. The very fast turn 4 is where you’ll make up most of your time as corner exit drive here sets you up for all those lefts. For those lefts, I suggest videoing yourself through and making sure you aren’t correcting your line or making to many adjustments to your throttle. You’re leaning the thing way over here and you need to make use of all grip you have. Being messy here is throwing away time. The bus stop (the right>left chicane before the start/finish line) is also a very important set of corners to get right. Finally, make sure you’re running through turn one on the brakes, getting to your slowest point just as you tip it left through turn 2. Don’t get to the start of turn 1 already at your slowest point.
Taupo Motorsport Park - 1:38.544
Taupo is my favourite large circuit in the country. Despite Regan Phibbs being faster around here on the IM250 that weekend, I’m most proud of my time here. As you can see my top speed is way down on the other PB laps I’ve posted here. I think I was way rich on the main jet and the cylinder I was using wasn’t so good so there’s a tonne of time down the straights by itself. Taupo is also an amazing circuit for a 125GP bike as so many of the corners flow into each other so corner speed is critical.
- My biggest weakness on this circuit is the downhill chicane at the end of the main straight as this is were Regan Phibbs took bike lengths out of me. You should be braking all the way up until the point where you flop the bike into the right hand turn instead of releasing the brake at the apex of the first left of the chicane.
- There’s a slight right kink which some people call turn 6. Make sure you’re entering that kink late to set you up as far right as you can be before you turn left into turn 7 otherwise the curve you make turning left becomes very sharp and very slow. Sweet through there.
- The crested and kind of blind right hand turn 4 catches a lot of people off and you can rider through here faster than you think. Ensure you’re in the power on exit and make sure you open the throttle hard between turn 5 instead of just drifting through there.
- Turn 9 is a fast, bumpy right hand turn. Before it is a long fast sweeper and after it is a long straight so corner speed here is super super critical. Focus on improving your confidence and line through here to make the most of it.
- Turn 10, the sweeping left hander is also a critical corner on the circuit as it sets you up for the straight. You can brake very late here so pay attention to the colour changes in the tarmac and keep pushing your braking markers until you over run the corner. Go deeper and get on the throttle earlier to get maximum corner exit.
Hampton Downs International Circuit - 1:48.241. National circuit - 1:13.485
HD is not my circuit. I learnt a lot of bad habits learning to ride my 125 here and I haven’t been able to overcome them. This was the first year we rode the international circuit and both turn 2 and turn 4 was covered in sidecar oil/spill dust too so I don’t expect this time to be very good in a few years. Still, it might be useful reference. As always, focus on the fast corners to find the most time. Turn 1 and the final turn are super duper key here and I’ve never been amazing at them so use my data as a ‘minimum speed’ you should be going through these corners. The only other advice I can give you here is make sure you use every little bit of the circuit to maximize your corner speeds while being as smooth as you can because it’s mostly very grippy and super wide compared to the older circuits of NZ.
So I hope this information and my data helps you improve your times and you get some joy out of showing your mates how you smashed the times of some old guy on a red 2 stroke. Message me if you have any questions.