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With the purchase of the sidecar in January from Wayne Munck who has been involved in speedway for over 30 years and held numerous state and national titles, preparations quickly began to get out on the track at Northgate in Brisbane, Queensland.
With the purchase of a unique design of racing leathers in February to match the current design on the bike the first practice day was fast approaching.
With the complete success of the first practice day in February at Northgate and compliments from all other speedway riders on the day, preparations for the first racing day were beginning.
As I had missed the nominations for the earliest possible race day I was lucky enough to be put forward as one of the reserves for the day. Unfortunately due to a bit of bad luck, the team’s temporary passenger (Guy Mallet) in the above photograph managed to fall off the bike and badly damage his knee in the opening lap of the race, through no fault of either of us, we were unable to complete the rest of the meeting.
After getting his knee checked out by a doctor, it had appeared that he tore some ligaments in his knee, a bit of a rocky start to speedway sidecars for our team. After we had waited for Guy’s knee to heal, it was back into nominating for meetings and attending practice days.
After the completion of one more very successful practice day we successfully nominated for a meeting in Ayr at the famous Pioneer Park Speedway in Brandon near Ayr, North Queensland on the 14th of April. As Guy was unable to attend this meeting due to a previous engagement, a temporary passenger was found to fill in.
As with any new rider riding on a new track they are allowed to have a 4 lap practice before the commencement of the meeting. It was a great honor to be not only being the first rider on the track in 2 years since the closure of the track in 2008/2009 but also be in the first race since the closure of the track. It was also a privilege to be racing against some of the greats of speedway sidecar including Gary Moon and Wayne Munck. With the completion of this meeting, changes to the bike had slowly started to begin. This included replacing the entire fiberglass wings so that all the sponsors that were no longer sponsoring the bike’s stickers were removed therefore allowing room for future sponsors. Also the front end of the bike went under some rather drastic changes to reduce the amount of ‘twitchiness’ caused by the front end suspension system not being used to its full potential.
Also with Trent Thompson being brought onto the team on a permanent basis, the rear end of the bike needed to be adjusted with the weight change in the passenger. With Trent being a lighter passenger then the previous one, the rear wheel had to be brought forward to allow more drive to be accessed rider without the passenger needing to place his whole weight over the rear wheel.
With the new passenger being brought on board there was nothing left to do but to get into practicing.
Due to the time needed and the cost of applying these and other modifications the earliest practice day that was achieved was on the 12th November at Northgate in Brisbane, Queensland. With a 16 hour drive from Townsville to Brisbane now completed the team was more then excited to be riding the next day. Arriving at the track before the gates opened at 7am, just to be prepared for the whole day was something that the team was more the prepared to do. After a quick walk around the track, both the Adam and Trent were deciding the best way to set the bike up and whether anything needed to be changed from the night before when they had set the bike up also. After the first practice run, being Trent’s first time ever on a speedway sidecar, he was over the moon with excitement. “I can’t believe how much fun this is, if only it was on every weekend, I would be there” as he said while taking his helmet off. After as many rides as we could fit in, it was time to pack the bike up and head back to Townsville. After another 16 hours of driving and arriving back in Townsville the bike was unloaded, washed and cleaned and preparations were made to swap the engine out in the bike with another Kawasaki ZX-10R 2006 model.