Conditions at HD can be fickle, but on Sunday they had an extra level of difficulty, we started the morning with cold but dry conditions, which meant the team where excited for some fast laps later in the day. But then the heavens opened up after one race, which lead to “rain, no rain….repeat”, so “wheels out, wheels in… repeat” for the rest of the afternoon.
The first of the 3 races for the 300’s was dry (just), Cameron Leslie KTM RC390, got away well as he demonstrated his improving starts.. we had talked about his race plan ahead of the race and he executed it well, dicing with the other leaders for several laps to test the track grip levels (dry and 37’ surface temp at time of green light), then on the “go for it” signal he passed for the lead… and was never headed, but just as he gapped the lead group the rain started an he bought the bike and himself across the line for a convincing win.
Haydn Fordyce on the 2021 KTM RC390, ran a very solid race after being boxed in at the start, recovering well he finished just off the podium…. But more was to come!
Rain and more rain for the next two races for the KTM 300ss class, however, the surprise of the day was how fast our two KTM guys are in the wet! Cameron got away like a scolded cat, dicing with Hamish Simpson (the latter slipping off and hitting the rear tire of Cameron Leslie) for the lead, he was the winner by some margin, Haydn Fordyce continues to surprise us, chasing Tyler King the whole way to the line getting an incredible P2 place in very tricky conditions.
For the last of the 300ss races it was much the same, except that this time Haydn was able to battle through to an amazing P2 placing in the wettest race of the day! Leslie & Fordyce: overall finishing P1 and P3 for KTM in the 300 Supersport Class.
The day was long, the weather was awful then it was hot and sunny, then wet and windy.. they changed wheels endlessly, fueled bikes, cleaned and polished, repaired damage and smiled all the way along… cheering their boys on while standing in the rain, the crew really came together on Sunday, showing what they can do.
We have some old faces and some new ones, but they all acted like professionals, and I’m looking forward to seeing them in action in the coming months!
Overall the entire team, from the lad who does the fuel (Logan's little brother Cameron) to the guy on the top step, worked very well as a team and family, and the riders all learned that consistency pays, that being there at the end and letting the other riders feel the pressure first is the smart way to win a championship.
The team will now clean, repair, service and pack for the Suzuki Series/NZSBK championship starting in just under two weeks at the awesome Taupo circuit. So it's not the end, but just the beginning.
See you all trackside!
Credit: Jack Clay