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NICOLE VAN ASWEGEN - RACE REPORT ROUND ONE - PHAKISA FREEWAY - WELKOM - 17 MARCH 2014

Posted on March 20, 2014 at 3:10 AM

 

 

2014 Race season has finally got underway.  The new format of racing with GAS and the SUPERGP Series looks like it is going to be a fantastic series.  Lots of changes, not only to the motorbike but to the whole format of our race day.  Greatest part being that it is a bike only series and we don’t have to play second fiddle to the car categories anymore – It is just bikes, bikes and more bikes……. Only one disappointing part to the first race meeting was the poor entries for the SUPERM classes and having which should have been 3 categories put into 1 category – but HEY It’s only the start of the year – long ways to go!!




Let me start off my race report by thanking ALL my fantastic sponsors – Big and Small 


Triumph SA,  Women in Motorsport,  Teazers,  Dirt Nurse,  X-Lube, Motul, RK chains,  Alpine star, Shark Helmets, web key  and the fantastic support and assistance I got from my “pit crew” – Dad, mom, brother – Damion my boyfriend  -my new mechanic (technician) Heinrich.  My week-end was amazing – really went well.  Not absolutely according to plan but the end results were great and can only get better. WATCH THIS SPACE. 


                                                         

Saturday was practice day – New Format a bit confusing and don’t really like qualifying  the day before but something I will have to get my head around and get used to.  Tyre rule was totally confusing and by the end of Saturday there were about 5 versions to the rule floating around.  Turns out most of us misread the MSA circular that was sent out regarding the new tyre rule.  We were allowed 2 new sets of tires for RACE meaning – QUALIFYING – RACE 1 and RACE 2.  We could use any Pirelli tyre for the 2 Free Practices and the warm-up session on Race day (Sunday).  Well we totally missed that bus.  We only brought 1 old tyre to do the first session with so we had choices to make.  Do we battle through Free Practice 2 on the “old “ tires or do we take a chance and put new tires on – bearing in mind that we had not tested my beautiful new Triumph Daytona 675 at Phakisa and had no idea what the suspension felt like and set-up on an old tyre was pointless, but we prevailed and all went well.


Saturday Free practice sessions went well – stayed 6-7 position through Free Practice but when it came to qualifying,  I think my brain went into slight limp mode and I kept making mistakes and then got stuck behind a slower rider which totally threw my rhythm.  Finished qualifying session in 10th position.  With the change of format and a 3 place grid that meant I started on the 4th row – lot of pressure on my well known “trying” pull-offs.

 

Sunday – RACE DAY – RACE FACE WAS ON!!!!  READY TO GO>>>> on the New TRIUMPH in her new colour scheme.   

 

Race 1 started well (for a change) got a very good start and went into turn one between 2 Kawasaki riders (GREEN PEOPLE).  First 5 laps had a good race with the other Triumph on the grid and Malcolm Rudman on a Yamaha – managed to get away from the Yamaha and keep battling with Allan on the Triumph.  Race on was “red flagged” when Loumari crashed and had to re-start.  I started in 9th place for the 2nd part and once again, acceptable start and the dice was on again – the 2 Triumphs versus the Yamaha of Rudman – some bashing and bumping and by this stage the tires were starting to let go and slide about -  got ahead of  Rudman gain.  AJ had technical problems in the 2nd last lap, giving me an 8th position finish in race 1. Happy with that.  Lap times still needed a lot of work – 2 seconds off my time from last year on the 675R but that will come.

 

Race 2 – I once again started in 10th position.   This time on a new set of rubber and feeling a lot more confident.   Start not as good as Race 1 but not as bad as my usual starts. First 4 laps managed to stay ahead of Kawasaki and the other Triumph but made a huge mistake going into the hairpin – missed a gear and they all came tearing past me.  The chase was on!!!  Once again landed up in a almighty battle with my Yamaha mate – Malcom Rudman who pulled a very scary move off the back straight, overtaking me around the outside on the grass – Mad-Hatter Malcom – think that is what I will call him!!  Enjoyed my race with him and I changing places but this meant the other got away from me and once I was finally passed Malcom and free of the scrap – they were too far to catch.  Did better lap times – still off pace but at least faster!  Ended  Race 2 in 11th place – not happy with that.  Giving me an overall position for the day of 8th PLACE.  That is a very good start to the season – good points on the board and hopefully I can go forward and maybe even get a top 5 !


Next race RED STAR RACEWAY in DELMAS on the 26th APRIL  - SEE YOU ALL THERE!

 


Categories: FIM Africa News, FMN News South Africa

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