Nick Burke completes a challenging weekend at Hamptons
RACE UPDATE FROM NICK BURKE #42
RD 3 2020 NZSBK 7-8th March 2020 Hampton Downs Circuit
Round three of the 2020 NZSBK Championship was held over the weekend at Hampton Downs, proving to be a challenging weekend for myself and the Bayride Motorcycles #Yamalube Yamaha Motor New Zealand YZF-R6.
Friday got off to an early start with securing a prime position to set up the pit and sign on etc. We capitalised on the four 20 minute sessions made available though out the day as I had to get feel for the improvements made to the bike after fitting a #Nitron rear shock.
Saturday dawned with clear skies and surprisingly very little wind, we headed out on track and straight down to business pumping out lap times that I had been achieving at the end of Friday’s testing of 1,42.5, back into pits and time for some brand new #Bridgstone R11 tyres ready for qualifying. Feeling very comfortable and relaxed I pushed as hard as I dared, exploiting the amazing grip offered from new rubber rewarding me with a qualifying time of 1,40.6, two seconds faster than my previous PB and 12th on the grid.
Race one was very late in the afternoon and would only be scheduled as a 6 lap sprint race, I made a terrible start with a wheelie off the line costing me a few positions however I would gain them back at the first corner with a couple of riders going down, however I knew I would need to push hard if I was to try tagging on the lead pack for the race, after few unsuccessful passing attempts in the first half of the lap I lined up another one into turn 10 this resulted in me out braking myself and unfortunately a crash with a fellow competitor causing us to go down and into the gravel.
We had to wait for the conclusion of the racing for the day before being collected and taken back into the pits, at a quick look it looked like an easy repair job however that turned out to not be the case after finding the bottom triple clamp had been twisted resulting in the front wheel alignment to be way out, so after some advice from around the pits we managed to straighten it out enough so the bike would be ready for battle on Sunday.
Sunday was another stunner, again very little wind. It was fantastic to see the amount of spectators coming through the gates taking in the sights and sounds, with a huge number of our Bayride customers popping in to say hi and have a yarn, something I really appreciate and very cool.
Race two was a lot better, as I made it through the first lap for a start and then was able to keep the other riders somewhat in sight for the entire race, the bike whilst not one hundred percent after the crash was still performing very well, the race concluded after 8 laps with myself finishing in 11th.
Race three was the longest race of the weekend at 12 laps, getting underway not long after the lunch break. It was still summer time at Hampton Downs with the temperatures on the rise for a high of around 28 degrees, adding another challenge to the mix. I got a good start and held my position through turn one down the long fast straight into turn two things are now starting to come together, I found myself on the back of a few faster riders allowing me to focus on them and do my best to keep up and learn a few tricks. I was also feeling very comfortable with the bike and my own new found pace, I was consistently lapping at around the 1,40.7 mark and did set a new PB of 1,40.4 at the conclusion of the race I had managed to secure 8th place which is my best so far.
So all in all we had a good weekend with continued improvements and a massive boost of confidence.
I have to thank my parents for the awesome support, as I think of Mum cleaning my dirty dusty fairings as Dad was busy patching up the damaged ones while we worked late into the night on Saturday, thanks again I couldn’t do it without you.
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