> T E A M
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NZSBK 2011 round 3 Newsletter: Ruapuna, Christchurch, 12th and 13th February
> C O N T E N T S
Team Manager Maaty vanBooma’s update from round 3 at Ruapuna
HOTSHOT Josh McGrath, knee down and “gaahn frit” (as they say in the West Island)
SAM BAKER Rubbing’s racing, and Sam wasn’t afraid to get in amongst it at round 3
MAKING TRACKS The Team vb Racing calendar has more dates this summer than Paris Hilton!
TRACK PREVIEW: RUAPUNA Which way does the track go, and what’s the lap record…?
KEN JONES Sage advice helps Ken as he set new personal bests on the Greg Percival YZF 450
JOSH McGRATH Another round win for this rising star!
HOTSHOT Sam and Josh leave the grid as the New Zealand 125 Grand Prix restarts under heavy skies
> C A P T A I N ’ S
L O G
Team Manager Maarty vanBooma’s update from round 3 at Ruapuna.
Motorsport is a sometimes cruel mistress;
and was showing much better consistency,
Looking ahead, Hampton Downs is only
preplanning, double checking and re-
and Kenneth had both a new personal
six weeks away. We’re hopeful of securing
checking can all seem to be for nothing
best on the 450 and achieved his best
Josh’s services for the final two rounds, he
when the best laid plans come unstuck,
placing so far. Stu and I had the bikes
was originally slated to only do the first
but the measure of a good team is how
running fast and strong and the results
three rounds due to racing commitments
they collectively deal with the adversities
reflected that effort. It was a great
in Spain, but it is now a possibility that He
presented to them. For Team vB Racing,
weekend for the team, a whole team
may return to finish out the season.
the Thursday before round three of the
effort and a whole team result, it made
NZSBK series was our nightmare event; if
me extremely proud of each and every
Sam and Ken will definitely be back with
it could turn to custard it did. For me it
member there over those 3 days.
both working hard on their fitness and
was even worse, I was back in Napier on
conditioning over the break.
business and oblivious to events
While motorsport may burden one with
the lowest of lows, it will also give one the
We are in negotiation with another
highest of highs, the highs will outweigh
Australian rider should Josh not be
Arriving at the track on Friday morning I
the lows but it is the test of ones mettle
available, and are also looking at the
convened a team meeting for everyone
how we respond to these pressures. My
possibility of running a 3rd GP125
and suggested we put the previous day’s
30 years involvement with motorcycling
machine at the final two rounds. So while
dramas behind us and look forward to the
has shown me full the kaleidoscope of
it may be break time, it is certainly still
challenge of the weekend. A good team
emotion, energy, effort and attitude, this
very busy and not without its challenges
will overcome any problems and that is
past meeting has shown me that my team
but I’m comforted with the knowledge
exactly what the team did!
has every tool they need to achieve great
that, as a team, we can overcome any
success, and I can happily say that, after
adversity that may come our way!
By Sunday night we had achieved a great
Thursday, we can overcome anything and
deal. Young Josh had secured his second
It makes me very excited for the rest of
round win of the series so far, Sam had
the season to come!
gone faster than he ever had at Ruapuna
Talk to you all soon, Maarty
> H O T S H O T Team vB Racing 2011: Maarty vanBooma, Josh McGrath, Stu Holdaway, Sam Baker, Andrew Forward, and Ken Jones
> T R A C K
P R E V I E W : R U A P U N A
Which way does the track go, and what’s the lap record…?
Ten minutes west of Christchurch, Powerbuilt International Raceway at Ruapuna Park (to use the full name) is one of the more complex tracks the Championship visits, also making it one of the most satisfying to win at. Ken takes us for a lap on his Greg Percival built YZF 450 R. “As I go past the start finish line I see the 100m board approaching fast, so I sit to the outside of the track and straight line the first part of turn one. I brake, and change down three gears while shifting to the outside of the track for turn two.
turned it’s hard on the gas and down towards the hairpin. Approaching the hairpin, I’ll sit to the right of the track, watching for the 100m board, brake and change down three gears. Once at the hairpin I follow the inner edge of
the apex, I get hard on the gas and try and move as far back to the right as I can for the approach to the left hander at turn eleven. I turn late and wind the gas on hard so I drift wide for the entry to turn 12. This
the corner around until I can see a straight line out to the ripple strip. I gas it up as I exit and weight the outside peg to improve my drive.
leads to the right hander known as the Dipper (turn 13), where I hit a late apex and move back to the right hand side of the track for the fast left ahead.
From the hairpin I go through a slight right-left hand kink flat out in third, and then onto the right hander at turn seven. Then it’s a flick left through turn eight, and on through turn nine (Carousel).
I sit a bit out from the apex so as to miss a nasty seal change that upsets the bike, and then brake while moving to the left and change down two gears.
As I hit the apex of turn two (Flexoplas), I start to gas it up and make my way to the kink, changing back one gear and keeping to the righthand side of the track until I can see the apex of the right hander at
At the beginning of the short straight I start to stand the bike up and wind on the gas on hard. At the 100m board I change down two gears, sit to outside of track
On the entrance to the final sweeper there is a bump on the outside of the circuit which is my marker to start turning in. I aim to hit the apex slightly late and start to roll on the gas and make my way down
turn three (Pothole). Once I have the bike
and bank it over into turn ten. Just before
the straight for another lap.”
125CC GRAND PRIX LAP RECORD:
600CC SUPERSPORT LAP RECORD:
PROD. SUPERBIKE LAP RECORD:
> H O T S H O T Josh McGrath, knee down and “gaahn-frit” (as they say in the West Island)
> K E N N E T H
J O N E S
Sage advice helps Ken as he set new personal bests on the Greg Percival YZF 450
We rolled out to the track at a leisurely
clutch in the bike as Stu was snowed
the track opened we were ready to go for
10am on a sunny Thursday morning and
under with other work.
a good sunny days testing.
offer. Ruapuna is a fairly complex track to
Friday was upon us before long, and
9 oâ€™clock arrived and it was time for me to
learn so we were all looking forward to
unlike Thursday it was to be an early
go out and start setting some times. In
were all keen to see what the day had to
plenty of laps.
the first session I managed to set a base lap time of
With the sun shining and all
1.48.5. In session two,
the bikes unloaded I
again, I was to go out and
managed to get out for my
do what I know how to do,
first session of the day
and that is to improve.
around 12.30. I went out with one intention, that was
During this session I
to start getting familiar with
managed to get my times
taking lines to suit a big
down to 1.45.5. I noticed
bike rather than the lines of
that Terry Fitzgerald (one of
a 125, and I can definately
the top riders from the
say that unlike the previous
Superlite class) had been
two tracks, the lines here are quite a bit different.
Knee slider glued to the inside kerb, Ken expertly pilots the YZF 450 around Ruapunaâ€™s sweeper
following me for the whole session. Back in the pits I spoke to him about my
Unfortunately I found that the clutch in
morning start. Sam, Andrew and I all
riding and see what suggestions he could
my bike had started to slip so I decided to
arrived at the track around 7am and
call it a day from riding and change the
started unloading everything so that when
With a new list of things to work on, I was
go out. Nevertheless, it was forward
out. I didn’t manage to set any blistering
more than happy when the third session
march on the first lap until about half way
laps due to the temperature change, and
of the day came around and could put few
around when I had a rather big moment
wasn’t able to get the suspension quite
of Terry’s suggestions into action. Sure
and realised that I had forgotten to check
right so struggled a little for feel. I
enough, by the end of the session I was
the pressures after putting new tyres on
managed to hold on to twelfth overall
having a ball and I managed to get my lap
(ooops!) The next lap was a feeler to see
(about eighth in the Superlite class).
times down to mid-1.43’s. I decided to call
how bad the pressures were, but I pushed
it a day so as I wouldn’t wear myself out
on and equalled my personal best time.
for the next two days ahead.
Race two was up and we had made a couple of changes to the suspension which allowed me to
A sunny day greeted us on Saturday and I was feeling confident on improving.
improve on my times from
“I had huge fun and managed to beat the gremlins this
the morning and managed
year, finally keeping it sunny side up at the national
to finish in eleventh overall.
Before long it was time for qualifying. I was determined
round at Christchurch.. yay!!”
Overall the weekend was a
to make improvements and
huge success as it is all
within a few laps I had set a
When I came in I thought for a laugh I
new personal best of 1.42.3, leaving me in
would check how bad the pressures were
experience comes speed. I had huge fun
11th on the grid.
and I had 40psi rear and 38psi front
and managed to beat the gremlins this
(normally 26 psi front and 27 psi rear!).
year, finally keeping it sunny side up at
Before I knew it I was lined up on the grid
the national round at Christchurch.. yay!!
and ready to go. The lights were on, still
Sunday arrived and I was as keen as ever.
on, still on, still on (12 seconds!) and I
The first race was up and this time the
was wondering if they were ever going to
lights only took a quarter of the time to go
experience, and with
ROLL ON ROUND FOUR! Ken
> S A M
B A K E R
Rubbing’s racing, and Sam wasn’t afraid to get in amongst it at round 3
The Ruapuna circuit in Christchurch is one
After bashing round on the little 150’s, it
found something that would work for us
of the most challenging tracks I have
was time to take to the track on the 125’s.
come Saturday morning.
raced on. There are both the tight and
Both Josh and I had good early speed in
technical sections testing the rider and
some sections, but struggling with both
Qualifying on Saturday was cooler than
bike in first and second gear, and also
lines and gearing in others. Both being
Friday and my bike was running spot on.
faster sections testing bravery and who will hold
After a quick morning warm
the throttle on the longest.
up we went into our
With 15 turns, there is alot
qualifying session. I like to
do my qualifying in two bites where I go out, do a
We turned up at the track
quick five laps, come in and
on Thursday to get an extra
talk about the laps then go
day of testing before the
again and aim to go faster.
third round of the New
In the short 15 minute
sessions this can be hard and I didn’t use my time
Things started out with
the best, only managing
some easy laps on the 150cc four strokes, with Josh, Ken and I getting a
seventh fastest. This was Sam left Ruapuna fourth overall in the 125GP class; an excellent effort!
feel for the circuit. I had previously had a race meeting here at the end of last year and loved the tricky style of the track and liked the warmer temperatures than all our previous riding.
bigger, heavier riders than the average 125 pilot, what works for others doesn’t always work for us, but with some good setup tips from Maarty and Stu, we both
on the second row so good starts would be crucial.
My starts were the worst I have ever had. I was going from seventh place to last before the first turn in each of my three
races, and it left me playing catch up in
We headed out on slick tyres and those
team, and I want to see the little fella
morning rain clouds opened and the track
back for the North Island rounds after the
was like ice. I saw about four bikes go
Saturday afternoon’s race was a good one
down before the red flag came out and we
where I got back some positions early and
all pitted for wet tyres. But in the 15
Sunday night was a laugh seeing young
had a good battle with three other riders.
minute gap to fit tyres ,the rain stopped,
Kenneth Jones with a few strong
We were all putting on tough moves and
and we all restarted on slicks, still on a
lemonades in him. He goes all flustered
in the end I had gapped the group and
and red in the face, and dances like a girl
ended up in fifth position.
but I said I wouldn’t tell anyone so I won’t. It was a funny way to
After the race we all had a
top off a good weekend.
laugh as some of the passes
“ After the race we all had a laugh as some of the
were so close, but that is the style of racing that is the
passes were so close, but that is the style of racing
most fun, and the crowd
that is the most fun, and the crowd loved it.”
After the Ruapuna round I now sit fourth in the Championship and am keener than ever to get back on the bike. I will be heading
Sunday morning was looking like it could rain, but by the first race the track was dry enough for slicks. This race was a good result for me as I did my fastest lap of the weekend and ended up fourth. This made me super keen to get out in race three, the 15 lap New Zealand Grand Prix, and I wanted to go faster again and try to land one on the podium.
The race was shortened, and after seeing other riders go down on the slippery surface I nursed the bike home to finish sixth, happy to bring it back in one piece. Josh went on to get third in that race which gave him the round win. That is another awesome result for him and the
home to race the first round of the Australian Superbike Championship at Symmons Plains in Tasmania, and probably get out for a spin on the dirt bike too. Big thanks to Maarty, Stu, and Andrew for the massive efforts over the first three rounds. Sam
> J O S H
M c G R A T H
Another round win for this rising star!
On Monday after Teretonga we rushed to
Friday morning I was ready to get out and
2 seconds straight away. 1.42.1 was my
Timaru to get to Ruapuna early on the
get some solid laps in. it was a cooler day
time for that session and I was over the
Tuesday. When we got there Stu, Sam and
and the temp was running perfect. I got
moon with it. I had a good hard think
I found out the track had been hired out
down to a 1.44.2 which I was happy with
about qualifying and how important it is to
so Stu, Sam and I went and
get on the front row. When I went out for
worked on the bikes. On
qualifying I pushed and
Thursday we finally got to
pushed and I saw the white
ride on the track and I was
flag come out for last lap
out on the 150. I did three
and I went for it, I pushed
sessions on that and I
as hard as I could and I did
thought it was time to get
a 1.41.3 which put me in
out on the 125.
third position for the weekend’s racing.
Since it was so hot, the bike was running hot and I
I got a good start in race
didn’t really get a lap in.
one and was on the back of
That was it for Thursday,
Avalon and got into the 1.
very frustrating as the others had had laps here and I really wanted some extra track time!
Don’t call it a comeback: Josh fends off Dominic Jones, who made a surprise appearance in the 125GP class.
for a first time at Ruapuna which is a fairly technical track. During Saturday warm-up I tagged on to a faster rider and dropped
40’s, but didn’t drink any water and couldn’t concentrate properly, so I
was lapping 1.5 seconds slower than what I should have been, and the rider in fourth
was catching up quite quickly. He passed
the three lap scrub-in session to figure out
was stoked and the media were coming
me on the last lap and so I had to pass
some faster lines and get the jetting right.
from everywhere to talk to me!
For the race I was completely focused on
As we lined up on the grid for the Grand
Going into the hairpin I knew I had to
the start. The lights went out and I was
Prix, it started to rain. They stopped the
outbrake Dominic Jones which was going
into second place through the first corner.
race so we could put wets on but by then
to be extremely difficult because he is
Avalon Biddle was in front and the chase
the track dried up enough to stay on
probably the latest braker out there.
began. She had a two second gap, and I
slicks. I got a good start and got into third
him back as soon as I could.
but I stayed there because I didn’t back off until he
the bike got hot and when I
backed off and it was late. I
“We had an epic battle the whole race but I put a
went to pull the tape off the
went up the inside and ran
gap on him in the last lap and took the win.
radiator the tag on the tape
wide which also made him
I was stoked and the media were coming
snapped. I couldn’t get it off
run wide too but I got the
from everywhere to talk to me!”
so we were down on power
drive out and took third. I
but I got third position in the
was happy with the result
would catch her through the corners but
but also learnt that I need to keep up my
then she would get away down the
straights. On the second lap she crashed
Grand Prix and a round win (second in a row) and I’m really happy.
out and I was leading the race with
Big thanks to Stu and Maarty for helping
On Sunday morning I drank as much
Dominic Jones hot on my tail. We had an
me out and getting me a few wins, and I
water as possible before I got out. I used
epic battle the whole race but I put a gap
hope to be back for the N.I. rounds.
on him in the last lap and took the win. I Josh
> M A K I N G
T R A C K S
The Team vB Racing calendar has more dates this summer than Paris Hilton! Catch us in action soon!
> H O T S H O T Sam and Josh leave the grid as the New Zealand 125 Grand Prix restarts under heavy skies
T E A M
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