Winton FZ6 Cup Report 2008
Yamaha reports on the third round in 2008 of the one make series FZ6 Cup from Winton
The Winton Motor Raceway round of the GYTR FZ6 Cup has seen a shake-up in the points standings, with young gun Beau McKenzie (L&B Race Products) breaking through to record maiden race and round victories in the 2008 season. A technically challenging track, Winton is renowned for producing close racing and presenting a number of overtaking opportunities for brave braking riders.
The one-make series and control components ensure close racing at each round of the championship. Friday’s practice sessions saw a massive variation in lap times as riders were forced to deal with chilly track conditions in the opener. Ambient temperatures at the track fluctuated wildy, with the mercury rising from 7.9°C in practice 1 to 16.3°C in practice 2.
Keith Greentree (T.C.R/Biketek/Motul Oils/Anderson Bike Stands) set the pace in practice, finishing over a second faster than Danny Moulton (Vern Graham Yamaha/SW Racing), with points leader Rick Olson in third. Greentree continued the trend in qualifying, finding an extra six-tenths to shave off his previous best time, easily earning pole. The veteran’s flying lap of 1.30.849s easily eclipsed the previous qualifying benchmark, set by 2007 champion Josh Houwen.
Positions 2-4 on the front row were occupied by Olson, McKenzie and Zack Thackeray (Cycle Torque/Active Cleaning) respectively, with the three riders locked together by less than three-tenths of a second. Delays in the Saturday schedule prevented riders from taking to the track for the opening race, with their opening stoush set for Sunday morning.
McKenzie set the scene for a competitive Winton weekend, winning the 7-lap race comprehensively. The margin to Thackeray in second place was 3.289 seconds, with Chris Knox (Northside Motorcycles) close behind in third. Greentree traded lap times in the 1.30s with Houwen but could not find a way past the frontrunners, finishing fourth.
Another first time race winner broke through at Winton, with Thackeray sealing a maiden victory in race 3 ahead of Greentree, McKenzie and round 1 winner Brendan Watson (Team Nobel Racing / Aerocycle). Riders had completed just a single lap before the red-flag was displayed after Chris Knox crashed out of the running. A re-start followed, with officials reducing the race to 5 laps. Greentree was again setting the pace, his 1.30.554 flyer on the final lap good for a new race record alongside his impressive qualifying mark.
The final race for the weekend, officially classified as race 1, saw McKenzie back up his previous best with another win. The Dunlop-shod FZ6 was not lacking pace at the end of a long weekend either, with the round victor shaving another two-tenths of a second off Greentree’s previous race lap record. Olson greeted the chequered flag in second, with Thackeray backing up a consistent weekend in third. The podium placings went to McKenzie (68 points), Thackeray (63 points) and Greentree (54 points) – first, second and third respectively.
McKenzie said he had entered the round quietly confident and was pleased to come away with the round win and championship lead.
“We went out on Friday in the opening practice and felt there was more to be found in the bike. A few adjustments were made which gave us some really good gains, in the end it made up around 2.5 seconds a lap which was very positive,” said McKenzie. “I got off to a good start in race 1, and started putting some pressure on Rick (Olson). It was hard to find a way around at first, I made a couple of mistakes trying to pass but he actually ended up crashing out of the lead, which left me with a massive gap back to second. A red flag in the second race changed things up. Myself and Keith (Greentree) were running very quickly in the 1 minute 30 sec mark but were stuck trying to find a way through the battle between Rick and Zack (Thackeray).”
“I had fun in the third race, I pulled off some good passing manoeuvres and got through to the lead which I held through to the flag. We head to Queensland Raceway for the next round, a home event for me. It’s just like any other race, but it is always good to have the support of family and friends.”
McKenzie now leads the series on 172 points. Watson is second on 165, followed by Olson on 155, Greentree on 150 and Adam Dawes on 141 rounding out the top 5.
GYTR FZ6 Cup Championship Results, Winton, Round 3.
1. Beau McKENZIE, 68
2. Zach THACKERAY, 63
3. Keith GREENTREE, 54
4. Brendan WATSON, 48
5. Duncan MIDDLETON, 47
6. Adam DAWES, 38
7. Greg VAN BEEK, 36
8. Rennie SCAYSBROOK, 36
9. Rick OLSON, 35
10. Amy O’MARA, 30
Championship Standings (after round 3 of 7)
1. Beau McKENZIE (QLD), 172
2. Brendan WATSON (NSW), 165
3. Rick OLSON (NSW), 155
4. Keith GREENTREE (NSW), 150
5. Adam DAWES (SA), 141
6. Chris KNOX (NSW), 114
7. Duncan MIDDLETON (NSW), 112
8. Zach THACKERAY (NSW), 111
9. Gavin HAINSWORTH (NSW), 99
10. Rennie SCAYSBROOK (NSW), 89