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Mike Phillips down under report

11:15 11th March 2010 by Ray Chuss - Editor Online @chussy
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Auckland Champs 2010, Mike #1 John #210 017

It’s already two months into the new year and it’s almost time to get down to business.
I had a few weeks off the bike after the NZ GP at Woodville with a bruised leg. I didn’t think it would bother me much but it kept me off the bike longer than I had anticipated.
Once that came right I jumped on a plane and headed to Australia to start testing and to meet my new team Cougar Bourbon Honda Racing. I haven’t raced in Australia for a few years now so to pick up a factory ride with Cougar Bourbon was a real blessing and I look forward to the season. It’s a motocross only contract at this stage but if there is a chance to do SuperX I will take it.
It was my first ride on the 2010 CRF 250 and it was quite a bit different to the 09 bike I had raced back in nz.
After two weeks of testing everything from the front tyre to the rear sprocket I was more than happy with the package the team had put together.
I flew back to NZ a week and a half ago to get back into my training program that new trainer Niki Urwin has put together. So far the program is going well and I look forward to working with Niki throughout my Australian campaign.

Last weekend we had our final big race of the season here in NZ, the Auckland Champs.

It had been a few years sense I had ridden this track and the 4 laps of practice didn’t help me getting to know the track any better.
They had ripped and watered the clay track so practice was a little sloppy and in the 4 laps I could only manage 5th place in qualifying.

Moto 1: I got a good start and pushed hard into the 2nd and 3rd turns and came out in 2nd. By the end of the first lap I was in 1st but it didn’t last long. I tried a triple section that looked quite easy but it was a little muddy and I came up short. Darryll King passed me so I tried it a second time and did the same. Darryll got further away so I decided to double it for the rest of the race. I caught up to the back of Darryl a few laps later but wasn’t able to make a pass stick so I settled for 2nd.

Auckland Champs 2010, Mike #1 John #210 009

Moto 2: I again got a good start but pushed it a little to hard and over shot the first turn and came around in 3rd. By the 3rd corner I had the lead and started to pull a little gap on the field until a small mistake left me lying on the ground. I picked myself up in third and started pushing Darryll King that was in 2nd. It took a few laps the get passed and by the time I did and caught up to Luke Burkhart it was the end of the race so I settled for 2nd again.

Moto 3: There was only 1 point between Luke, Darryll and myself so it was winner takes all.
I got the start I was looking for the whole day and got the holeshot and didn’t look back. I won the race and the overall.

Overall for the day: 1st

Overall it was a good day. I felt like I was riding well but the track was one of those tracks that you couldn’t make loads of time on people and everyone is fast around.
It was the last race of the season with Team Honda. A big thanks guys for the help and support over the last 5 months. I look forward to next season and winning more races with you guys behind me.
I have a week and a half in NZ before I head back over to Australia to do the final prep and test on the bikes. The first round of the series is on the 28th of March.
Can’t wait

Mike

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