09 Mar 2017
The first race on the new Honda NSR250cc Moto3 was on the 4th and 5th of March at the Mallala just out of Adelaide. This was the first round of the South Australian Championships and I was competing in the Limited up to 700cc and junior classes.
We arrived at the track on Saturday ready for practise and first run at Mallala on the Moto3. It hit 34 degrees on Saturday and 29 on Sunday. Having never ridden the Moto3 at this track before I had to take it easy in the first session and get use to the bike. The first session I felt a little bit uncomfortable but by the second session I was starting to get a feel for the bike and how it handled on the track. By the lunch break I was feeling really good and comfortable on the bike, it was starting to warm up after lunch so we only did one more session and sat the least two sessions out. The last session I got timed and I was doing 1.18s every lap and a best of 1.18.009 in that last session, only two seconds off of my PB.
Sunday was the only day that we raced and because we had entered the Juniors and Limited classes I got double the racing. There was two qualifying’s for both classes and first up was Juniors. I was the only 250 in the juniors and without having to push very hard I qualified on pole ahead of the rest of the 150cc riders by 35 seconds. Next was the first of the limited qualifying this was where I had the most competition. It was still a quite good temperature and I was able to get a clear track and get a new PB of 1.16.482 and was currently second on the grid. There was another junior qualifying but I did not need to go out in that as I was already 35 seconds in front of them. The second Limited qualifying everyone was pushing harder and so was I. I was able to catch another rider and get a slip stream down the back straight which was a big reason why I did a 1.15.814 betting my original PB by over half a second. I qualified second on the gird behind a Ducati 695.
The first race was the junior race. We mainly were doing this race to get more track time and practise my starts for the limited race. I was unable to get a good start off the line and the 150’s came pass me but I soon passed them straight back and gaped them straight away. I was able to lap the whole field on the fourth lap out of the six lap race.
Next up was the limited race. I unfortunately got another bad start dropped back to fifth. I soon moved up to fourth passing a rider into turn 2. The Ducati 695’s and Kawasaki 650 had a little bit more top speed them me down the straights. Mallala being a very hard braking track I had an advantage with a lighter bike then my competitors. I was able to get pass one of the Ducati 695’s and starting chasing down the 650 on lap four. I made a lot of ground on lap five and was able to go around the outside of him around turn 2. I pulled a little gap over the rest of the field but down the straight they caught back up but did not pass. I finished second overall behind the other Ducati 695.
The second race for me was the junior race this race was an eight lap race and my goal was to lap all three riders twice. I got a good start and lead from the start. I wasn’t pushing too hard because I had to save my energy for the limited race. I was able to lap two of the riders twice but the leading 150 was too far ahead to lap twice.
The second limited race also an eight lap race and I got a better start only falling back to fourth off the line. I was stuck behind the Kawasaki 650 for the first two laps but on lap 3 I passed him under brakes into turn 2 and was right behind one of the Ducati 695’s. I out braked him into turn seven and them moved into second position. By this time the leader had pulled a too bigger gap and I was unable to catch him. I came second overall and got into 1.15’s again with a 1.15.987.
The last race for the weekend was the Limited race and it was six laps. I had got a bad start falling back to fifth off the line. I got held up around turn 2 and the leading group got away. I soon passed the bike in front of me and focused on catching the leading riders. It was the third lap and half way through the race so I needed to catch them and pass them as soon as I could. On lap 4 I closed the two second gap and passed the rider in third in front of me into turn 3 and going down the back straight and around the kink he came back under me but I held my line and blocked him so he couldn’t pass me. The Ducati 695 was in front of me and on lap five I passed him around the outside of turn 2. I pushed hard on the last lap to create a bit of a gap so they could not pass me down the straight. I was able to hold them off and finished second again.
I finished second in every race and finished second overall in the limited. I did not compete in the last junior race because I was the only 250 and I had already won. This weekend was an awesome weekend and the best race I have had in while. I was able to drop my PB by 0.8 of a second and have a good start to the first round of the South Australian Championhips. A huge thanks to Auldana Foundations for being a major sponsor for this weekend.