Well this is my race report to say that I achieved my goal of become World Champion on Sunday.
I arrived in Sweden on Friday the 30th of June and had a walk around the track with Josh, Scott, Helge and Tom. The track was going backwards this year so it was better for the starts as the corner turned left and you could use your back brake. There were some new jumps and new sections in the track.
On Saturday we had practise and qualifying and I stalled the bike in the practise and I couldn`t get it going again because we had put in some aftermarket cams to make the bike go faster but it increased the compression a lot and I couldn`t start the bike, so after practise we decided to go back to the standard cams.
In qualifying I still didn`t get to put in a really good lap. The track was smooth and hard to turn without many ruts and berms. I was setting the fastest lap time for the first half of the track but the second half was what was loosing me time. I got 3rd position for qualifying and decided to go and watch the MX2 and MX1 qualifiers to get some lines and see where I could make up my speed.
Sunday morning was yet again another beautiful day and temperatures reached 32.2 degrees celsius. We were the first and last races of the Day.
I chose gate 2 and had Steffi Laier inside me on gate one and Jessica Patterson and Livia Lancelot on the other side of me. I got an ok jump out the gate and braked late in to the first turn and came out in 4th position. I was behind Laier, Lancelot and Elin Mann and I was being held up by Elin Mann. She was moving all over the track and when she tried to block the inside of a turn on the fourth lap she fell in a rut and I had to pull out of the rut to miss her. I had lost alot of time and the leaders had gained an advantage on me but still I kept on pushing. I was making up time but then hit neutral twice and lost the time. On the last lap Livia crashed over a big tabletop whilst Laier was chasing her. I ended up second and also posted the fastest lap time of the race on the second to last lap so I knew I had the speed to win the next race. Patterson finished third but was protested against after her mechanic entered the start area and so was disqualified.
I chose gate 2 once again and then returned to the waiting zone for the sight lap. Livia had picked gate 1 and I was in gate 2. After the sighting lap we returned to the waiting zone and then when we were directed on to the starting line Steffi Laier had decided to take my gate and I was left to quickly pack soil into gate three before the 15 second board was to come out. I had a terrible jump out of the gate because I couldn`t pack down the soil as well as I would have liked to and was about 8th around the first turn. I moved up to 5th by the third turn and then in the 4th turn I was going around the outside when Patterson tried to take me out by taking my front wheel but I braked and she missed me. I got really fired up inside and passed her back on the next uphill and then over took to take third place on the corner before the wave section. I was closing in on Laier quickly and over took her on the jump after the finish on the third lap. I continued to push hard and got right on to the back of Lancelot by mid way round the third lap. I saw a section where I could make a pass on her on the next lap if she took the same line and on the next lap I jumped at the opportunity to take the inside rut and we were neck and neck as we hit the 25m tabletop. We landed really close together and I had the inside line for the corner drop off so I launched passed her and she crashed before the next jump. I was already in front of her so I kept riding hard to extend my 4 second lead over Steffi Laier. I worked hard to keep the bike riding smooth as we were the last race of the day and the track was really really rough. I had good lines and flowed around the track and just kept on looking ahead to make my way through the lappers. By the last lap I had extended my lead to 10 secs over Laier and on the last lap I struggled to ride as the prospect of becoming World Champion was building up inside of me but I just kept strong on the bike. Then the chequered flag came out and I was World Champion.
I rode up to the podium and my mechanic ran up to me and hugged me. I could hardly contain my emotions, I was so happy!!!! The team all had printed shirts on with my name on them and 2006 World Champion. They looked awesome and were all cheering for me. On the podium I got my trophy and the Red number plate. Its an amazing feeling to be on the top step of the podium and listen to your national anthem playing and the champagne has never tasted as sweet as when you achieve your goal.
I`d like to take this opportunity to thank all of my family, friends and sponsors who have helped to make my dreams a reality. I have to say a huge thank you to my family who have stuck by me through thick and thin to help me get this far.
Also to The Molson Kawasaki team who have helped me this year and last year with awesome bikes and support. My mechanic Helge for all of his awesome work and support. Thanks to Josh Coppins for his hospitality and all his support on the weekend. I`d like to thank the New Zealand Motorcycle Trader and News and MNZ for all of their support this year and helping to get me overseas and fulfil my goals. Mike Wilkins and Mike Ramsey of Kawasaki New Zealand who have helped me so much over the past 8 years. My other sponsors MR Motorcycles, Alpinestars, One Industries Helmets, Scott Goggles, Ogio, RK Chains, Michelin, Silkolene, EVS, Go Fast, CLM Gyms, Tag Metals and Pro Circuit. Also to my coach Niki Irwin who has helped me out over the years to achieve this goal.
Also I have to say a Special thank you to Dr. Paul Reimann who did an awesome job of plating my hand back together and also Kevin McQuoid of Pukekohe physio because without their expertise and help I would not have even been attending the second round of the World Champs.