ABOARD his Honda NSF250R – in preparation for Round 1 of the Australian Superbike Series in Darwin – Furner’s Dallas Skeer travelled to Phillip Island for the fourth Hartwell Club Championship and experience mixed results.
Dealing with the unfortunate results like a professional, young Skeer said he while he was disappointed, he looked forward to proving himself on the track in the next race.
“We were not where we wanted to be all weekend, but we now move on and look towards Round 1 of ASBK at Darwin, which is the first round for 125/Moto3,” he said.
Friday’s practise started well in cool weather conditions and Skeer said he was feeling comfortable on the bike in the opening few runs.
However, coming into the fourth session rain had wet the first half of the track and turn two became slipper.
“On the exit as I got on the power, I was high sided and thrown off the bike,” he said.
“Luckily the bike had very minimal damage and we got it running for racing.”
Saturday allowed riders to get straight into racing, with weather conditions picking up slightly.
Skeer took to the track for a six-minute warm up to ensure the bike was well prepped after the crash.
“The footpeg had worn away and I could feel that when I was riding so we replaced that and it was all good from there,” he said.
“In qualifying I was by myself and had no one to get slip stream from and no one to chase.
“I ended up fourth on the grid with a best lap time of 1.47.908.”
With just one five-lap race on Saturday, Skeer knew he needed to put in.
He managed a solid start and was right beside the other Moto3’s, but a pass soon pushed him back in placings.
“I tried to go around a TZ 250 at turn two on the first lap and another rider had just passed him and he sat up and pushed me off the track into the gravel trap,” Skeer said.
“Luckily I stayed on the bike but I fell back to dead last in 20th position.
“I was able to re-join the race but there was dirt on my tires so I had to take it easy until I had full grip again.
“I had moved up three places on the next lap and was catching everyone quickly.”
Skeer had to settle for 13th after the race was red-flagged due to another rider crashing.
Riders took to the track for racing on Sunday where Skeer started well.
“I was right up with the other Moto3’s, but then the TZ 250 held me up and the others pulled a gap on me,” he said.
“I soon caught a 125 and passed him down the straight using the slip stream advantage.”
With the pass, Skeer moved into fourth overall.
However, the 125 soon returned the favour.
“He passed me back around turn three into turn four,” he said.
“He came in really hot and ran wide onto the cold track when he got onto the power the rear slide around and high sided him off the bike.
“On the second to last lap the TZ 250 tried to pass me into turn 1 but he could not make a pass.
“I knew he would be there on the last lap and down the straight his top speed was 30km/h faster than mine so he just got me on the line pushing me back to fifth.”
In the final race of the weekend Skeer had lost feeling when riding the bike and had a bad start, forcing him to dig deep to find the leaders.
He carried his speed and caught the leaders around turn four.
Heading through the fast back section of the track the top riders with faster bikes pulled away from Skeer and he dropped off the pack.
“I rode a lonely race in fourth and had a good eight-second gap over the TZ 250,” he said.
“I finished the race in fourth and it was the last of the weekend.”
With a 13th, fifth and fourth in his three races, Skeer said it was a tough weekend on the bike.
“It was hard and difficult,” he said.
“I never really had any good feeling on the bike after the Friday crash and I was battling a head cold.
“The track was very cold and that caused the bike to move around a lot.
“My dad never gave up in supporting me even though things were not going right.
“He always said I rode well and that we will just move on from this weekend.”