Matt Kuhne 3rd in Australian 125 GP Championship Matthew Kuhne the Queensland 16 year old has just returned from the final round of the Australian Superbike Championship which was held at Phillip Island in Victoria. With a full program of...
Matt Kuhne 3rd in Australian 125 GP Championship
Matthew Kuhne the Queensland 16 year old has just returned from the final round of the Australian Superbike Championship which was held at Phillip Island in Victoria. With a full program of classes being run the 125 gp class only had 1 20 minute practice on Friday to enable the riders and teams to set up their bikes.
Qualifying started also on Friday with Matt qualifying 3rd just 0.7 of a second of pole sitter Mick Kelly. The weather was over cast and quite cool. On Saturday the heavens opened and the rain and wind was enough to keep the penguins in hiding. Matt again showing that the wet weather was not going to effect his performance qualifying 2nd behind Brian Starring.
Race 1 Matt starting from the front row had problems when after his sighting / warm up lap saw the bike temperature rise but he elected to start hoping that the temp would come back down when the bike was mobile again. Matt had a good start but after the first lap saw the temperature of the bike still rising. Matt had no option but to nurse the bike home for forth place with the bike temp sitting on 96 deg and finished the race with his fingers ready on the clutch. When the bike was pulled down we found the problem was a hose clamp had snapped and the bike had no water in the radiator. We can thank that the rain and a air temp of just 6 deg had saved the bike engine.
Race 2 on Sunday was again going to try all teams and riders with tyre choice as the rain and hail had the teams swapping wheels and setup every couple of minutes.
Matt again got away OK with Matt and Bryan getting into a dice for 3rd place for the race. Matt eventually got the better of Brian and finished in 3rd for race 2.
Race 3 The weather was again playing games with on and off again showers. The rain managed to stop long enough to give race 3 a dry start. Kazu (K1 Racing) had made some changes to the settings of the bike which was on the improve each race. Matt got a great start leading away with Andrew Willy on Matt's tail. Both Andrew and Matt pushing in the opening lap giving them a good buffer from Mick Kelly in 3rd place. Willy passed Matt in Honda and made started to make a break but Matt replied and was soon back on the back of Willy's bike. Matt tried to pass a few times but Willy had covered his line each time. Matt tried again into MG on the final lap but again couldn't make the pass stick. Matt lost some ground but pushed hard in turn 12 to get back into Willy's slip stream half way down the straight. Matt pulled out and fell short over the line by just 0.08 of a second to take 2nd place. Bryan Starring 9 seconds behind for 3rd
The final result for the weekend: 1st Andrew Willy ( Fairburn Cranes) 2nd Mick Kelly (Fairburn Cranes) 3rd Matt Kuhne (Alumalite)
The Overall 125 GP Australian Championship: 1st Bryan Starring, 2nd Mick Kelly and 3rd Matt Kuhne.
A special thanks to the Alumalite team, Dereck & Rhonda Williams for having faith in Matt and making him feel so welcome to the team. Kazu from K1 Racing for looking after the bike for the season. Also all the sponsors that have provided Matt with the support to keep him racing.
Matt's next event will be back at Phillip Island when he races as a Wild Card at Australian round of the World Grand Prix Championship next month. Matt is still looking for support to get him and the team back to the Island for the World GP to give him the best chance to prove himself on the world stage against the world's best.