SuperMoto Junkie banner
1 - 3 of 3 Posts

· Registered
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wintercup 050115

I'll start off with a happy new year to everyone. I also hope none of you are personally touched by the terrible catastrophy in Asia that took so increadibly many lifes.

The first wintercup race of this year was a bit special to me for a few reasons. First after having run the wintercuprace 11'th of december I knew that the track was physically tough but that I had it in me to do good there even though the ratio tarmac/offroad was 30/70. I ended up 3'rd in the overall classement that time. Since then I have been starting to train more again though and are starting to get the hang of motocross quite well actually, the last year I've spent probably 100h supermotard motocrossing but the last weeks have done the biggest difference I think. I've gotten over some problems that I couldn't get rid of earlier. Brake and cornering technique mainly. It is not that easy to motocross on 17" slicks but now I've gotten it into my system I think. I really wanted to see if this was gonna make any measurable difference in a race. Another reason was that the new season is coming up and I want as much real race training as possible before the championships starts. After a string of bad luck and own mistaces during 2004 I really, really want 2005 to be good for me. I will let nothing get in the way for my chances to do well this year. Finally I was looking forward to this race because Isa was gonna try out her race wings for the first time if the track was in reasonable shape. If she was to start she would be the first Belgian girl ever to do so. There has been a few girls racing in Belgium but none of them belgian. A german girl did a few wintercup races last year and Lulu, a french girl, raced in the Belgian Prestiege championship 2001.

First, however, I needed to get rid of a few kilos of swedish xmas fat. Xmas in sweden means an orgie in eating fat food and as my familly is quite big there was a lot of places I needed to go. All of these places stuffed me like a turky and the staggering result of that was +4kg in one week. Not good, but the food was. :eek:)
On arrival back in Belgium I went on a crash diet. No food except fruit during weekdays. Two weeks later all was back to normal again but I will take it a bit further anyway, weight is time, much time.

That done I was ready. Bike was checked over but that was a formality more than anything else, it runs perfect and has so for a long time now. Power is damn good as well. Not that that matters the slightest on the wintercup track that I drove in december but still. My Husaberg were a wild bull to fight on the slippery Mickey Mouse track that we rode on for the wintercup in december. But, I try to see every minute spent in the saddle as good training and use it as such.
Isa was ready as well but got the shakes as the day got closer and the weather forecasts showed that it was gonna be dry. I put on tires that was gonna be good enough for riding the hard offroad on her bike and cut them for a bit better traction. If she rode it was gonna be for tryout and to find out how it is in a race so she knows what she needs to train on, she was not gonna push too hard. Nervous she was though, but I was as well before my first one and I think almost everyone is.

Plan was to go early on saturday morning but I got tickets for the car/motorcycle exhibition in Brussels for friday evening so we decided to go already friday as the exhibition is perfectly on our way to Francorchamps. I was not that interested this year but I wanted to see the SuperDuke and talk to some people that was gonna be there displaying. So we went, I checked the KTM out and photoed it, spoke with some people and glanced at some other news. Then the nervousness of having a truck parked outside with racebikes in it and stickers all over the truck telling everyone just that got to me and we went. I knew it was gonna be cold during night and my truck has no heating without electricity and there is no electricity where we were going. 2st sub zero sleeping bags was gonna try to solve that problem. On location we walked the track and that was a pleasant surprise. Serge the wintercup General had listened to the drivers and made some very good changes to the track. More tarmac and a bit less offroad, result a balance of about 50/50 and a few extra really good "slide in, powerslide out" hairpins. A fast tarmac straigh was added as well. Good for me, and more correct sport wise as well.
Sleeping was cold, waking up and get dressed was really cold. We had ice on the walls and on the roof of the truck, on the inside that is. After that the downsides of this weekend was over though. Inscription was a bit funny as the ladies inscribing really reacted when seeing a girls name on Isas paper, they flinched again when they saw it was not for quad but for solo, hehe. Serge came and said hello as well and said that he had read the story from the last wintercup I rode, always nice to know there is an audience.
Bikes were good as I said and even the tire choice seemed to b ok. I went for a good and freshly cut slick rear and a raintire front. Track was solid frozen but dry, a few ice spots on the offroad, tarmac clean and perfectly dry.
Starting the bikes was not that easy, both starts perfectly easy under normal circumstances but having beeing froozen during 15 hours it was quite a workout. Started they did though and after having been run warm it was no problems for the rest of the day.
1'st training was coming up and we both got dressed and went to the track. I had shown Isa the good lines to use during our walkthrough the night before but I ran a lap with her anyway just to let her get he feel of it a bit better. Then it was Daniel time and every man, or chick, for him/herself. As I picked up speed I found out that, yes, this track was gonna be good for me. It was faster in average and I had better control on the tricky offroad parts than I ever had before. Peter a friend from Holland was there as well and this guy I can't beat lap by lap, yet. Except him there was a few guys that was riding really well but noone I didn't think I could handle in the long run. I qualified 4th.
Coming up to the race the only possible problems I could see was that the sun was getting to the track melting the ice in the top soil making it a bit wet instead of freeze dry. The last part of the offroad was however in shadow so the reasonable presumption was that the tarmac would stay quite dry so I kept my slick rear. A slick cut well gives better grip on the offroad than a raintire anyway, the problem is if the tarmac gets dirty, wet or worse both though. Raintire you only choose on the base of the tarmac condition in other words.
Just before going to the track I got a phonecall from Sara, she was gonna come to watch the race and wanted to know exactly were the track was. That was good news. She's always good to have around a racetrack and she knows most of the people etc. Of cource our new situation is a little bit weird now but we are very good friends so it's nice to get to spend some time together and we both love races and what comes with it. Also this was maybe gonna solve one of my problems for the day. Pitboard information and the gas stop. I was playing with the idea of running the 90 minutes without the stop as some other did last year but I didn't know for sure if my gastank would carry me all the way to the finnish line. I brought gas to the mechanical zone, the pitboard as well. If I had to I'd just get in and fill some gas myself.
As the start came closer Isa got a bit nervous again but not that bad this time. I went over the start routines with her as we were gonna stand quite far away from each other. I can fully understand how intimidating it must have felt to go out on a track together with 40 other adrenaline pumped guys of wich a lot are quite fast.
We lined up for the start. Sara wasn't there yet, a pity as I know she likes the wroooaaaar of the starts but now it was all ahead. Warmup lap is drivven slowly to keep the group together for the flying start that is used in the wintercup. As we came back to the start/finnish I choose my line and kept an eye on Serge with the flag.
Green flag!
Full ahead. I did an ok start. The first minutes we kept together in the top. One or two guys went down but largely we stayed together. Then on my 3rd lap or so I roared down the start/finnish, hit the offroad and went on the gas a little bit too hard. Rear wheel started a competition with my front wheel and I am sorry to say it won. The resulting highsider threw me off the saddle and the bike to the ground. However I never let go of the steer so I ended up on the ground dragging the bike after me, got up and away with my left barkbuster straight up. Nothing broken and the bike felt ok but I had lost some 10 places. The unfortunate stalling out of a hairpin that came a lap later just made stuff worse. A few places lost there as well. However, I had 80 minutes to fight back and now it was speed on my schedule. Actually it didn't take so long to get back up to 6th wich was the first number I got on the pitboard from Isa. She ran 45 minutes, went off to drink and was back on the track 7 minutes later and ran to the finnish line! That is not bad. I guess running 5km 4 times a week is good after all. When she went back out the pitboard went to Sara that had arrived a bit into the race so there was no more information problems for the rest of the first race.

· Registered
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I went to 4th and stayed there for quite some time. Number 147 on a XR650 of all bikes caused me hell of a problem. I cought him quite fast when I got my eyes on him but damn this guy was hard to pass. I took him one time into the hairpin after the tarmac straight just to be passed by him again running wide in the following hairpin. He was on raintires front and rear and now that the tarmac was getting a little bit wet and dirty I lost to him on acceleration out of the hairpins but was a bit faster everywhere else, not enough to pass him though. However noone get followed this closely for a long time without getting stressed a bit so sooner or later the mistace had to come and it did. He tried to keep the inside around a corner on the offroad to shut it for passings but that caused him to almost come to a complete stop before he could start accelerating again. It did make for a good block though. After a while I started to get stressed as Rob Schol in front of him was getting away a bit. Rob was running together with Peter and if I could get him it would be really good. I needed to get 147 out of the way! The corner were he blocked me was gonna b the ticket if I could just ge around him. I could. I just had to get the long way around him but could keep some speed when he almost went to a stand still. I just got to the following hairpin before him and then the worst was over. I did 3 full speed laps and then I was in the ass of Rob and had left the XR 50 meters behind me. Rob I outpowered down a straight and then kept him on the outside in a hairpin. I don't think he knew how close I was because normally he's not that easy to pass either and he is getting faster every time I meet him on a track wich is a bit discomforting as I need to race him in the Dutch championchip this season. I punched it again for a few laps and was after a while 100m free from him as well. He and the XR got mixed up in a fight that I followed when I could as you meet each other after hairpins on a few places on this track. Suddenly however he was gone. Sara was signalling position 2 on the pitboard but I had no idea who the hell was in front of me and were that person was. Suddenly I saw Peter chasing me though. He was still behind 147 but he would get passed him faster than I did.
For you people wondering what happened to my gas stop I didn't do one. After crashing once and stalling once I just felt like making a run for it and as I got into a really good position I decided to go for it. If I ran out of gas so be it. If it worked I would know it was possible for the future. I started to get tired, not really badly so and not to the extent that it cost me very much time but my arms and shoulders started to ache a bit. Every lap I got to start/finnish all I wanted to see was Serge getting ready to show "2 laps to go" and finally he did so. I passed a guy passing the line and just then he put up the number 2.
Did I just pass the leader or was I leading already? Or did I just misunderstand the situation.
Sara had been showing position 2 all the time and I hadn't passed anyone that I knew was fast the last laps. Someone in front of me must have gone down or gone off the track because the guy I just passed on the line was not a leading guy, I outran him with 100m just on the offroad. Peter had gotten free from 147 and was getting close alarmingly fast. Next lap I was sure. The 2 laps to go sign changed to 1 lap to go as I passed.
I was leading!
Peter was threatening that. Must keep enemy away!
I hit it but he is faster than me. However I had a lap to go and 50 meters to play with, that is not much. I kept him off my back the best I could and realised that this was gonna be a fight to the finnish line. Quite tense for beeing a 90 minute endurance to have a fight all the way to the end. The offroad ate away a lot of my lead but following that was a straight that Mr Husaberg used to flex his musceles and I got a few meters back. Peter is a top notch rider however and are starting to fight with the best, me he beats still. The following two hairpins got him almost up on my ass. I thought I was safe enough still to keep it until the line though. If I could just get through the next hairpin and keep him beind me during the acceleration out from that one he would run out of passing opportunities until after the finnish line. That hairpin I got a glimpse of him, he got into it just as I started to go out of it, he was 3 meters behind me! I heard a scrape. Did he go down? I wanted that chequered flag badly so I kept it as fast as I could. Going into the last corner I got a fast glimpse of the track behind me and saw Peter 50 meters behind me, I was safe. The flag was mine.
Damn that was nice.
Peter did go down in that hairpin but I think I could've held him behind me even if he didn't because the ending stretch is not that easy to pass me on. If we were to go one more lap he would've passed me on the offroad for sure though so I was a bit saved by the bell.

But, not much time to congratulate myself. A bit more than one hour later the next 90 minute race was scheduled to start!?!
I was quite beat up but still in reasonable shape. Isa was quite tired as well natrually. Impressively she had run almost the whole race and finnished 32nd ou of 38.
The mystery with the disappearing leader was that Godfroid was there training and he didn't want to mess up the leaderboard so he went off the track a few laps before the end. The mystery with me winning was due to pure endurance and the fact that Rob went down a few laps after I passed him. Peter had taken them to a one lap lead so when I passed him I was still almost a lap behind them. His crash cost them that lap but Peter was on the virge of taking that back in the end. Part of the game I guess but I make no excuses for winning a race. :eek:)

Isa decided to not ride the second and Sara went home before that one started, thanks a bunch for the help in the first though Sara.

Getting closer to the second I started to feel how much the first had taken out of me. But, I've ridden double endurances alone before so I know that normally the worst part is the first 20 minutes and if you beat through that it gets a bit easier. My slick from the first race was almost gone so I had changed that to a 180 rain instead as the track was getting a bit wetter from the melting ice. The back part of the track was in shade though and there it was still ice. This time Rob started and Peter waited on the side so front line was me, Rob and 147 (XR guy). Not bad to drag that 140kg bike to a 3rd position I must say.
The start went very good this time. I knew I had to make hell of a run for it to get people off my back and particualry Rob as he would sooner or later change to Peter who would start to hunt me down. 3 laps and I was 100m free. 2nd tarmac hairpin had melting water running over it by now though and I lost my front in the middle of that. I got up, started and was away quite fast but the damage was done. 3 guys passed and I was down to 4th. The other thing that did was tiring me even more. I had 3 fast guys in front of me and a bunch of fast ones behind me. And by now I was tired, arms hurted, shoulders hurted but at least they worked properly. The track was completely different in this race as the 2'nd race of the quads had changed it substantially. For the better on some parts building walls to lean against in especially one very tricky corner but also making the track much more bumpy on all of the offroad. The Husaberg fought me furiously now and every lap took more and more out of me. I went to 3'rd. 1st and 2nd was out of my reach. 1st was Peter and second a new guy I still don't know who he is. Vincent Delhez also on a Husaberg. I cemented my third place and saw no threat from behind but I was starting to loose the battle against my body by now. I showed Isa to give me raced time on the board by tapping my wrist. The next lap I got a 45 min and almost puked at the sight of it.

· Registered
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's still half to go for crying out loud!!! I can't do that.
But, still I knew I had to. I would never forget myself for stopping because of something as trivial as beeing tired. I tried to conserve energy the best I could but the track forced me to use even more than before as it was so damn bumpy by now. As it progressed I lost the fine touch needed to use the rear brake in offroad sliding and later even on the in-corner slides on tarmac and I needed to rest for a few laps. Not go off the track but change riding style for awhile. I looked back. Noone there for at least 100 meters. I ran 2-3 laps without sliding and without using the rear brake. As soon as I had power enough I went back to my more agressive riding style again but I knew that I could never get to top 2 in this race without any of them going down so I went for making my 3'rd a reality and made a pact with myself not to let anyone take it from me however tired I was gonna get.
1h10m. I needed to concentrate not to throw up by now. 20 minutes to go. Doesn't sound much but that is the total time of a championship race.
Lap by lap. Just do it lap by lap. Then, just do it passing by passing. The minutes ticked away. 1h20m I noticed a guy 100m behind with number 9. He kept his distance or even gained some. I started to think more about my driving and noticed that I was not driving as fast as I could anymore. My goal in life was to keep him behind me as there was no reason to try to catch the guy in front of me as that would be impossible. I reasoned with myself and came to the conclusion that 3rd was what I was gonna get. 100m in 10 minutes. I'll give him 10m/lap until he gets within 30 meters and then I'll hold him off. Said and done, I just couldn't go on full anymore. I went back to concerving energy again and he got a little bit closer. What I didn't know was that he was a full lap + some behind me so there was no reason for concern at all. My place was very safe. The closest guy in the standings was half a lap behind me. But when he came to 30m distance of me I gave it full again and got him back to 100m as I crossed the finnish line.
I didn't run the lap to get off the track on the right place but just stopped and went through the plastic tape into the mechanical zone, got rid of the bike and fell flat to the ground. There I stayed lying as a dead man for 20 minutes or so and still when I stood up I was close to fainting.
Now, I have done this a lot of times before but even during the best of times it is a strain above the normal to ride two 90 minutes supermotard endurances in just a few hours. Yesterday it was inhuman. The track was stonehard as it was frozen solid on most parts. A lot of the stretch was icy wich made for even worse fights with the bike and on top of that these bumps all around the highspeed parts of the offroad.
I was very happy with my win in the first and the 3'rd position in the second race. 2'nd over all with just Peter/Rob in front of me.

As I came a bit back to life we packed up and Isa got a lesson in how to drive the truck. I just couldn't drive all the way home this time. I slept an hour or so on the way home and then showered, went for a few beers at a friends birthday party and then went home to sleep as a man in a coma.
The day after (today) we went back out for a few hours of motocross training. Best to keep it up and my arms needed a bit of loosing up anyway.

Now I am gonna sleep, it's been a hard but a really good weekend...

1 - 3 of 3 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.