Results and times from Round 4
CTAS Live recording: Race 1
CTAS Live recording: Race 2
CTAS Live recording: Race 3
2018 125GP national champion!
And second behind Blayes Heaven who demolished us on his NSF250 Moto3. CHUFFED! STOKED! HYPED! And all the adjectives and hyperbole I can think of! Yewww! It's taken me 3 years and numerous injuries, set backs and a long 125GP apprenticeship to achieve this and I couldn't be happier. Thank you all for the masses of supportive messages, help in the pits when I really needed it, spare parts, high fives and phone calls with spotting tips. Tackling a national championship as a rider when you also prepare, maintain, pit crew and setup a bike by yourself is an enduring undertaking on a technical Grand Prix motorcycle. I've learnt so much and had a silly amount of fun riding with the best group of racers I could hope for. 125GP rules!
Carrying massive momentum into the final round show down
The final round at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo went as perfectly as I could have hoped for. I even won the round overall! Going into it only 4 points split Zayne Agate, Regan Phibbs and I for the #2 spot and #1 125GP bike. FOUR POINTS. And I was at the back of both of them. Talk about pressure! Most of round 3 at Hampton Downs went well for me and it reminded me of the fun I have racing a 125GP bike at the nationals. It underlined why I do this and really gave me the mental momentum I needed to deliver a result.
Do your homework
But it was clear I needed to do more homework and that I couldn't just turn up and expect a result. The week leading up to it I spent many hours studying my GPS data, on board video and making a plan for how I was to attack the Taupo circuit. I turned up knowing exactly what sprockets to run, I could name every gear change and braking marker on the circuit and I knew at least 3 places I needed to refine my line. In free practice on Friday it only took me 7 laps and I had already run under my personal best time. My tyres were done for though and were sliding all over the cold circuit.
Under 0.1 seconds split Blayes Heaven and I for pole position. That was the most closely contested pole position of the season and I took 1.2 seconds out of my PB to do it. With fresh, sticky Dunlop tyres and a clear mind I charged out into qualifying with open space in front of me to put my race plan into motion and it payed off massively. Getting a 125GP bike off the line isn't easy at the best of times but when you're mid pack around 250 4 strokes going into the tight turn 1 on the Taupo Circuit, it can be a death blow to your race result. Getting a good qualifying position was a crucial part of getting a good result this round so I came in grinning with what I had achieved.
Blayes Heaven, Regan Phibbs, Zayne Agate and I had some really tight battles through out the round and I have to thank them for really pushing me. I don't think I could have achieved the times we did riding by myself and I really learnt a lot from it all. I took 2 seconds and a 3rd place over the 3 races. All 4 of us ran down into the 1:38s bracket with Regan and Blayes knocking on the door of the lap record. No one can say this season was a slow one!
In race 2 Zayne caught up to Regan and I and took a few solid stabs at me. I fought straight back with an on the limit pass into turn 5 I wouldn't normally think about. Regan and I also had some solid scraps through the sweeper and into the last chicane on the brakes. It was the tight racing I had come for that's for sure! Ultimately 2 out of the 3 races we had a solid lead on Zayne and I maintained the gap to take the points over him. Regan had taken a DNF and was out of the chase so I just needed to retain a gap to Zayne and stay on to take the championship and that's exactly what I did.
A good place to be for Europe
So in 2 weeks I'm off to Europe to race 50 Grand Prix bikes on historic European circuits. I'm riding fit and eager for some more battles. I'm in a great head space to start a new championship and really looking forward to a new challenge. Stay tuned for more GPMACHINE racing adventures!