The 5th and final round of the AMCC club series is done and I didn't throw the newly coloured bike down the tarmac. Success! Last month at NZSBK R3 I chewed off 2 seconds from my PB at Hampton Downs and left a happy man. Afterwards I rode R4 at Taupo and otherwise haven't ridden much. I returned to Hampton Downs with my own tyre warmers, a freshly rebuilt clutch and a huge amount of enthusiasm. Clearly it was working because in the first practice/qualifying session I took 0.1s from my previous PB without even thinking about it! The first race I took out another 0.6s to set my PB at 1:14.825.
The despite qualifying on the second row, I had a massive battle on my hands. Firstly just getting the 125 off the line when I'm surrounded by grunty 4 strokes and secondly, fighting with Grant Dalton, Kevin Kinghan and Nathan Jane. I haven't ever been pushed so hard at Hampton Downs and I loved it. It was a total slog fest with 3 of us swapping places almost every corner. I passed around the outside, up the inside and under braking whenever I could. They monstered me out of the corners and up the straights. We both held each other up and tried to make a break as best we could.
I'm definitely feeling better than I ever have on the bike with loads of confidence in the corners and under braking. The fresh clutch made a huge difference getting out of the slower corners and doesn't rattle around like it did previously. Next up on the list of improvements to this well used machine is the front brake. Some new pads and a caliper service will no doubt do it wonders.
The HMCC winter series and the VMCC winter series are coming up fast! I'm really looking forward to it!