With race day upon us things were a little tense in the garage. Not in a bad way, just that we were all a little bit nervous for Nic as all he had before his two races was a 5-minute practice session to acquaint himself with the freshly assembled bike from the evening before. You see, in the second qualifier, the other bike seemed to be suffering a little and then something failed on the final lap, yet Nic still managed to qualify 6th on the grid. Tony and I worked back on Saturday afternoon to put all of the suspension, brakes and necessary parts onto Nic’s wet bike which is the same model Yamaha R6, just an earlier 2009 model. Initially we swapped the back tyre and ran it up on Pro Bolt Australia‘s dyno to make sure it was making enough power. It wasn’t amazing, but it was enough for Nic to race with.
On Sunday morning Tony headed in first (before we had some cake for his birthday (happy Valentino Rossi years old mate) to give the bike one last check over and just after 9am Nic went out for practice. He only had time to do 3 laps and managed a 1:38.490, making him 9th fastest and roughly 2.7secs off the pace of the quickest rider Cru Halliday, but given the fact that it was mostly the spare bike, he did very well. Thankfully it didn’t need many changes, just an adjustment here and there. We topped up the fuel, checked the brakes and waited for Race 1.
Race 1 was a decent battle and Nic fought hard against 3 other riders for 4th place. In the end he had to settle for 7th, but the gap between 4th and 7th was less than a half a second! Never the less his riding was impeccable and as always everyone was super impressed with the way he casually backed it in to turn 4 each lap.
Race 2 was a whole different story. Due to another rider getting a Race 1 penalty, Nic was moved up to 5th on the grid and he made the most of it. Off the start line there was a coming together of two riders which thankfully worked itself out, but Nic had to take evasive action to miss hitting another rider. As the race progressed places were swapped and we all watched on breathlessly from pit wall, eyes glued to the Computime live timing.
Nic fought hard and stood his ground, keeping it fast, smooth and clean. Adjusting his riding style a little bit to suit the other bike and making the most of drafting riders down the straight he was able to get do a top speed of 268km/h on the R6 down the main straight. Nearing the end of the race another rider went for a move and ended up going on an excursion (2:57 in the video), but thankfully Nic didn’t get caught up in it and he managed to stay in 4th place until the finish line, holding off Callum Springs and Scott Nicholson. Not bad for a near on 10-year old bike that got put together the night before. All credit goes to Nic though, brilliant ride! Needless to say, we were pretty excited!
A huge thank you goes to Nic, his Dad Richard and Tony from Race Bike Services for having me as part of the team on the weekend.
Nic hasn’t announced what his plans are for 2019 yet, but given the way he’s been riding, he’ll definitely be one to watch out for!
For more info on Nic or to contact him regarding media or sponsorships, head to his Facebook page Nic Liminton #27