Yamaha FZ6 Cup report from Eastern Creek
FZ6 Cup riders enjoyed a spirited weekend of competition at Eastern Creek on the 14th & 15th March.
C&D Grade GYTR FZ6 Cup riders enjoyed a spirited weekend of competition at Eastern Creek on the 14th &15th March. Rick Olson was the pacesetter for the event, easily out qualifying the A-Graders for a deserved pole position start.
Chris Knox set a quick time for second, which allowed him to grab the final spot on the front row of the grid for the opener. South Australian Adam Dawes, with just a single previous round of FZ6 Cup experience under his belt, did a good job to record the third quickest time. Olson blasted from the line in the opening race and was never headed; taking the outright and C&D class honours.
Zack Thackeray showed the effects of a big crash in the NSW Road Race Series were not slowing him down by any measure, crossing the line in second place. Chris Knox was third for race 1. It was all Olson in race 2 on Sunday morning, with a clean holeshot propelling him to the race lead. He stepped up the pace even further, and became the first FZ6 Cup rider to break the 1 min 40 sec barrier, with another record lap time of 1 min 39.983 secs.
Knox climbed to second in race 2, swapping places with Thackeray who claimed third in the class after what he described as a poor start to the race. Race 3 was shaping up to be a carbon copy of the previous races, but on lap 2 Rick Olson came unstuck in spectacular fashion at the end of the Trading Post turn, crashing to the ground and sending his bike spinning up and onto the tyres at the base of the track. Knox inherited the class lead and the result saw him claim honours for the C&D class for the weekend, third overall in the outright standings.
“I just couldn’t keep Watson and Greentree behind,” said Chris. “My fitness isn’t as high as it could be due to my accident last year, hopefully as my fitness returns I will be able to maintain track position toward the end of each race.”
Thackeray finished third in the final race, and claimed second for the class. “The bike was great, it sure doesn’t have a hangover from the crash here a couple of weeks ago. I’m feeling better and better on it each time,” said Zack.
Girls go at it
The entry list also featured three female riders. An interesting three-way battle ensued throughout the weekend, making for some interesting viewing for spectators. With a steep learning curve ahead of them, Amy O’Mara, Nakeeta Quayle and Karen Webb took to the track for their first taste of FZ6 competition on Friday.
Competing on the ex-Ken Wootton bright pink FZ6, Amy showed a clean pair of heels and was quick for her first competitive outing on the bike. She also had pit lane talking off-track, with her 2008 campaign also designed to raise awareness of the work done by the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“This class is awesome!,” Amy said. “Hopefully a good result will bring much needed attention to the plight of the NBCF.” Quayle was second in qualifying, with her second session time almost three seconds quicker than the initial mark she set herself earlier on. Taking delivery of the bike just days before the round, the qualifying effort was a strong one and Nakeeta was sure to be even more competitive as the weekend wore on.
Karen Webb found her first FZ6 Cup qualifying session tough going, but was determined to make amends in the upcoming races. O’Mara led the ‘Women’s Cup’ field away and enjoyed a good run in the opening race before being passed by Quayle at around mid-race distance. Webb was third home after a hard-fought battle with Michael Marsh for much of the race. The field held steady in the second race, with identical finishes for all three riders.
Race three again saw the same finishing positions though it was far from processional. The girls showed they have what it takes to mix with FZ6 Cup regulars and are sure to improve on their performance at round two of the series at Mallala.
“It’s been so satisfying to have these results after such little time on the bike,” said Nakeeta. “James from Circuit Breakers supplied me the bike this year so its great to repay his confidence in me as well as satisfy my personal goals.”