South Australian Championship Tailem Bend Race Report

Posted on: 6 Sep, 2018

South Australian Championship Tailem Bend Race Report

A good weekend racing at The Bend Motorsport Park!

Last weekend we made the short trip to Tailem Bend for round 3 of the South Australian Championships. After missing round 1 at Mallala we knew we would have to get good consistent results to be able to win the championship. Round 2 of the SA championships was at Mac Park and I was able to clean sweep winning all four races so we knew that we could make up the points gap. The Bend is still a new circuit for us and a lot of others had never ridden there. This would also be good practise and testing for the ASBK as again it is still new and more practise the better.

Saturday was an all-day practise than followed by Sunday race day. We were able to get a really good setup after the second session I felt really comfortable on the bike. There was a lot of traffic in every group so I struggled to get a clear lap. In the fourth session I was able to get 1 good clear lap and the track was up to good temperature. Feeling really good on the bike I was able to push out a 1min57.223 lap time. Previously my PB was a 1min.59.788 so being able to take over two seconds off my lap time and feel so good on the bike was a massive confidence booster. I felt good going into Sunday for racing, but that was not the case.

Sunday was looking to be a little wet and race 2 caught us out! First up there a 30 minute qualifying and because we were first out the track was real cold and not providing as much grip as it did Saturday. I struggled to get front and rear grip and really get a good time. Doing a good bunch of laps to try and get a good lap time did not pay off. The track was colder so the tyre pressure was to low and the suspension setup to hard. I was still able to get a front row start finishing 2nd with a time of 2min01.429.


Race 1 went well for us getting the whole shot and leading for the first 6 corners. I made a mistake into the turn 6 hairpin running wide on the entry and losing one spot. I had a faster rider come around me at turn 10 and losing another spot. With the leader pulling away I was able to stick the rider in front of me. I was following and picking his weak spots to make a last lap move and with him making a mistake on the third to last lap I passed him but then he came back into turn 1. With two lap left I waited until I had a good opportunity. On the last lap coming out of turn 12 the rider infront had a big rear slide and I got a good run on him for the next corner. I was able to make a move up the inside but ran wide on the exit losing time to him and he was able to pass me back. Coming in the second to last corner I went up under brakes making the move stick until the finish line, finishing 2nd and dropped my lap time by half a second compared to qualifying.

During the lunch break there was a shower that was enough to really wet the track and with two races before I went out after lunch it didn’t look to dry out. The front main straight was wet and that is the only part of the track we can really see from the pits. The races got cut from 8 laps to 4 due to the wait at lunch because of the rain.

 We went out on the wet bike for the warm up lap but I noticed almost all the track was dry. So I came in to swap bikes and went out on the dry bike but had to start from pit lane. I was last into turn 1 because of the disadvantage the pit lane start gave me. I had already picked off a riders on the first lap but the next lot were a good few seconds ahead. It started raining out the back on one corner and a rider had already crashed so I knew it was slippery. So I just rode to finish the race as the grip was very unknown in these half wet conditions. On the last lap the rain had stopped and the track was drying very quick. I was able to push a little bit and got right on the back of the next rider but couldn’t pass him in time and finished 8th. With the conditions being how they were it was a good learning experience for us with the new track.

I finished 4th overall for the weekend and moved to 2nd in the SA championship which was the main thing. With two rounds left in the series hopefully we can make up the 8 points. A massive thanks to dad being the only other person there to help me out and make racing possible.


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