IT was the best result to date for Furner motorcycle racer Dallas Skeer in the Australian Supersport 600 Championship at The Bend Motorsport Park on the weekend.
Skeer battled the elements and other riders on his 600cc Suzuki to complete the weekend with an overall fifth place, which rocketed him up the season leaderboard, from 11th into seventh.
It was the perfect result after a solid performance at McNamara Park the weekend before, where Skeer cleaned up in round two of the South Australian 600cc championship and finished second in the Easter Cup, ahead of many 1000cc machines.
However, the national championship is the one Skeer is chasing and it all began in mixed conditions.
A wet track early in the round saw many riders choose to stay in the pits, but Skeer headed out to gain valuable experience should the heavens open during the races.
Three races were allotted for the weekend, which allowed Skeer to pull back valuable points after a tough opening round at Phillip Island.
Skeer bounced back in the second round at Wakefield Park, but still sat outside the top 10.
He gained much-needed information on the surface during the wet, but ultimately qualifying and racing was held in dry conditions.
Skeer eventually qualified in ninth place and took to the opening race with plenty of pace.
In that race he moved up to third place by the first corner, showing his hand early.
He eventually settled in to sixth place, before making the move for fifth.
He then moved up to the back of a factory Suzuki rider, but laps ran out and he could not make the pass for fourth.
However, fifth place was nothing to be sneezed at and set his weekend up.
It was his best race finish in the national series, which included a personal best lap time of 1-minute, 58.756 seconds.
Race two saw another good start, up into fifth place by turn one.
A shunt from behind dropped him back three places, but he regained his composure and pushed on.
By the end of the opening lap he was back up to seventh place and looked to challenge for sixth.
He made the pass and led three riders while chasing down fifth place, which he achieved on the final lap.
It was another ideal result for the team, with yet another personal best lap time of 1-minute, 58.607 seconds.
The final race of the weekend saw a dice for seventh place, with the front pack able to pull a gap and make it hard to close in.
However, the seventh place finish provided a fifth for the weekend, the best overall result in just his second year in the championship and something Skeer was rightly pleased about.
“It was good to show the potential for what we can do,” he said.
“It turned a few heads, especially being right behind the factory Suzuki rider.”
Skeer said the run the previous weekend at McNamara Park certainly helped with his confidence going into the round.
“It is always good to get on the bike and go fast before the race, which I do not usually get a chance to do the week before,” he said.
While the result clearly came down to rider skill, with Skeer dicing for position each race before breaking clear and chasing the next in the queue, it was also the result of team work and bike set up.
Skeer praised his Nitron suspension setup, which he said helped prolong his tyre life and provide some advantage as the races wore on.
The result showed in the times, with Skeer one of the more consistent riders across each race.
“We were the only bike that did not tear the rear tyre up,” he said.
“Because the track is so new and abrasive it takes a lot of rubber off the tyres.
“Our Nitron shocks and the way they were set up, from what dad had been doing and a couple of other people who helped us, was the main reason I could keep consistent lap times, when everyone else was falling back on the fourth or fifth lap because they had no rear grip.
“I was the only rider who was able to stay within 0.5 of a second in lap times over the whole race.”
Skeer was also surprised by his own pace, with his personal best time tumbling.
“I broke my PB in qualifying by 0.7 of a second, then in the first race I broke it by a second,” he said.
“That surprised me.
“I did not expect to be doing that pace, which was not even two seconds off the lap record.”
With round three done and dusted Skeer’s focus is on round four at Morgan Park, Queensland.
After such a solid effort at The Bend, he hopes to improve further and chase a podium race finish or even an overall round top three.
“I would like to go for fourth place or a podium,” he said.
“I know what I have to do to get that, so I have a goal and plan to get there.
“It is a different track so it could all be different and I have only been to Morgan Park once.
“But I know I am capable of it.”