Motorcycles

Daniel Mettam - Race Report

Daniel Mettam - Race Report

Daniel went into the week-end 37.5 points behind Cameron Hudson In 2nd place following the 3 rnds from the Sth Island in January –
2nd place was a good place to be in but the 37.5 points behind was a little further back than he would have preferred with only (4) races remaining.

He had a good run / warm up in the Auckland club rnd at Hampton in February & also contested Paeroa with a fair showing there (he had only ever done one race at Paeroa before) with one eye on this final rnd of the Nationals at Hampton Downs coming up.
We had discussed it & knew that at this final round if he could go something like 1, 1, 1, 1…..it would put a lot of pressure on Cameron Hudson who was in 1st place in the Championship to finish on Podium each time.
However this was not as simple an outcome as said with the top 6-7 riders at Hampton all capable of winning a race – you could also not look too far ahead but just ride each lap by lap & have good pace & good race craft & try put yourself in front two bikes going into last 2-3 laps & push for the win each time.

Hampton Downs Rnd 4


Qualifying


Daniel ended up P2 which was a good start.

Race one


Daniel took the lead with 2-3 laps to go (10 lap race) & took the win (25.5 points behind)

Race two


Daniel took the lead on last lap (10 lap race) & took the win (10.5 points behind). Daniel also set a new lap record in this race at 1.04.9 (First 600 bike ever to get into the 1.04’s)

Race three


Daniel took the lead with 3 laps to go (15 lap race) & held onto the win – (1.5points behind) – This was also the NZ TT race & first TT title Daniel had won.

The thoughts were very much now on the final race – Race (4) of the programme – The Final race of the 2016 Championship – The TT win & lap record was a nice bonus but the season now all came down to this one race & getting the job done – 15 laps – Fuel in – Tyres changed – Need to stick to similar ride as the previous (3) races – have good strong pace without throwing it away & most important must finish ahead of Cameron Hudson to take out the title.

Race four


For first 9 laps or so Daniel ran in 2nd place – The top (4) riders (Daniel, Shane, Aaron & Cameron) had all pulled away from the rest of the field & ended up in a lead group by midway through the race. Daniel decided he needed to make a move. He took the lead around lap 10 for 2-3 laps and got a little buffer before coming across the back markers, then Shane came back past him on lap 14 & Daniel managed to stay in 2nd over the line to take the NZ Championship.

With Cameron finishing in 4th place just 1 second behind Daniel it meant Daniel had the NZ Title by 5.5 points

There was a lot of relief but the job was done. It was a lot of hard work and was Daniel's first NZ title at 20 yrs old. Supersport is a notoriously hard class to win.

Daniel is obviously elated and he had many thoughts. In particular to everyone that has played their part along the way for him and also all the riding he has done since he was four years old dreaming of something like this: a calculated win where the cards all fell into place.

Daniel's season included:


- Part of the winning Suzuki team (3 member team) in the reinstated 6 hr race at Hampton (all 3 rode Suzuki 600’s)
- Won the Suzuki International Series – Supersport class (after finishing runner up last year)
- First race win at Wanganui
- NZ TT winner – Supersport Class
- Runner up in the NZ GP race
- New Lap record Holder at Hampton Downs 1.04.9 (Supersport class)
- 5 (out of 12) National Supersport race wins
- Won the ‘NZ 600 Supersport Championship’



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