The beginning of the week wasn’t looking too promising for the weekend race at Washougal. To start off the week, I caught a stomach bug which had me practically bed ridden until Wednesday night. I had my flight booked for Thursday afternoon stopping over at Houston, Texas. We were delayed in air by bad storms around Houston. As a result I had missed my connecting flight to Portland. I was then put on standby for a flight later that night which I was hoping to get on. However, I didn’t. I ended up sleeping at Houston Airport on the floor having to wait until 5pm Friday to catch the next flight up to Portland arriving at 9pm. I knew I had to get up early Saturday and get to the track as I had yet to even see the track. Luckily, Chris from Wonder Warthog took care of my bike on the Friday also putting on an FMF pipe and had everything ready for race day.
Practice/Qualifier 1: I went out in first practice with a whole lot of determination after everything that had gone pear-shaped throughout the week. The track was very enjoyable and I felt fairly fast and smooth with finding some good lines. I was ashtonished to find out I had the 3rd fastest time in my group with a 2.21.
Practice/Qualifier 2: With a massive confidence boost and feeling really relaxed; I knew I could drop off a few more seconds from my time. Each lap I pushed harder and ended up knocking 4 seconds off my best time in my first prac. This landed me the fastest time in my Group B with a 2.17.302. This result qualified me in 26th position overall ready for the main. It is hard to find words that can explain how I felt not only qualifying for the main for the first time, but having the number one time in my entire group.
Moto 1: I had a fairly decent start off the gates and narrowly missed the commotion that occurred through the first few corners. I found myself close behind Nick Wey through the first four laps. After lap four I was starting to wear off and was passed by a few riders. I was trying to keep up to the pace however it dramtically increased my heartrate resulting in me ‘hitting the wall’ by lap 8. I continued to put in my best efforts nonetheless I was suffering as my hands and fingers were sore. I ended up finishing 29th.
Moto 2: I had an inside gate with a substantial start. I sneaked right to the inside on the first corner as there was a good size crash towards the middle. I fought my way through on the first lap with a 16th position just behind New Zealander’s Luke Burkhart. I stayed behind Burkhart for five laps until I passed him going through the whoops. I held him off for ¾ of a lap until he passed me again on a down hill braking section. I made a small mistake giving him the opportunity to pull about 2 seconds on me. At that point I was the meat inside the New Zealander sandwich with Justin McDonald not far behind. Half a lap later Burkhart made a mistake and crashed putting him out of the rest of the race. I continued to fight as McDonald was approaching fast. I kept a good distance infront of him for approx 2 ½ laps, however he found the chance to make a pass steaming up Horsepower Hill. I stayed with McDonald for another 2 laps but maxed out my heart rate by lap 12. I tried to stay smooth for the rest of the moto and use my legs a bit more to save some energy. I was pleased with my finishing result in this moto in 24th position.
The bike was extemely responsive with my Roll-on Throttle and FMF pipe. I must give Chris and Jeff my mechanic from Wonder Warthog a massive thanks for all of the hard work and encouragement they put in.
I would also like to give a big thanks to all of my other sponsors who have helped me out tremendously; BDR, Wonder Warthog, Fly Racing, Kwala MX Components, Kali Protectives, Stomp Grip, Hammerhead, Roll-on Throttle, No Toil, Go Pro, Scott, The Burgess Family and my Mum and Dad; without their support I would not be here.
I will be returning to Australia to compete in the 2009 Australian SuperX series. I am looking for sponsorship, so any team, company or anyone willing to sponsor me please feel free to contact me with any information or help that you can provide.