Thanks to BikeChallenge NL, I have recently been able to take my training to the next level with this super quality Cannondale cycle bike i’m excited to share with you guys. Isn’t she beautiful?! I’m really enjoying racking up the kilometers again road cycling, after a few year hiatus, while I have been only mountain biking. The cycle-ways here in the Netherlands are just outstanding meaning we can cycle free from cars and dangerous intersections.
Between cycling and training at Heelfit gym, my fitness is no doubt better than ever!
Big thank you to these Dutch companies for the wonderful support.
In an exciting announcement for New Zealand Motorsport fans, female speed sensation Avalon Biddle will return to the World Superbike paddock in 2017.
Taking a step up to race in the all-new World Supersport 300 championship is an exciting prospect for the well-experienced Kiwi. Biddle, who has won the FIM European Women’s Cup for the past two years running, will now be competing amongst some of the fastest males in the world as one of only two females entered in the whole World Superbike Championship which kicks off in April.
Riding for Sourzfoodz Benjan Motorsport, a very experienced Dutch team also contesting the European Stock1000 class, Avalon will compete in the 9 races throughout Europe aboard a Kawasaki Ninja 300. Backing from New Zealand owned and operated finance provider MTF, along with amazing support from others ‘Down Under’ has allowed the flying kiwi to take up this opportunity – a dream that started over 10 years ago.
“Since beginning in racing at a go-kart track here in Auckland, one of my biggest ambitions has been to race in a World Championship. To compare myself against the best in the world. The new Supersport 300 class is going to produce very close racing and I’m looking forward to getting my elbows out amongst the action – fighting for that World Championship title. It is the perfect place to showcase SoursFoodz who are making this possible and also all my personal sponsors, especially MTF.”
It has been 17 years since a New Zealander competed full time in the world championship. The changing face of the sport requires such commitment from competitors who not only have to have to talent to cut it out on-track, but able to come up with the goods off-track and with the media.
”I’m really grateful to everyone who has chipped in to make this possible. We will still be fundraising to help cover the huge costs of racing a World Championship over the coming weeks, as well as competing in the final rounds of the 2017 New Zealand Supersport Championship. Racing here at home over past couple of months means I have been able to stay race fit over the European winter. It’s exciting to be heading back in Europe to ride the Ninja 300 with this amazing team and I’m confident that together we will be competitive in 2017!”
“As Avalon’s major New Zealand sponsor, MTF are proud to be able to support Avalon in the 2017 300cc World Supersport Championship. Avalon is an extremely talented and dedicated racer, with a drive to succeed that is second to none. As a New Zealand owned company, continuing our partnering with Avalon as an ambassador for our brand was an easy choice. We are excited to see her perform on the world stage in the coming season.” – Ian Timperley – Marketing Manager MTF
Keep an eye on Avalon as she races around the world circuit at www.avalonbiddle.com
Below is an update sent out to Avalon’s supporters following the opening two rounds of the 2017 New Zealand Superbike Championship, where she is racing the MTF Vehicle Finance ZX6R in the Supersport 600 class.
Phew, what a start to the year!
The first weekend in January 2017 saw the opening round of the New Zealand Superbike championship at Ruapuna, Christchurch. We arrived in town Wednesday night ready for a busy weekend, kicking off with an extra practise day on Thursday as well as the usual full day riding on Friday.
To be honest, the weekend got off to a terrible start as over these two days we encountered many handling issues with the bike. These including a non-operating rear shock absorber and rusty steering head bearings which are fairly major issues!
Nevertheless, we managed to resolve most of the issues step by step as the weekend went on, and eventually made some progress in the right direction. By the time qualifying came around on Saturday we were more-or-less on top of things and I went out to secure 10th position on the grid. I wasn’t overly happy with this, but it certainly could be worse due to the particularly strong 24 rider line-up in my class (600cc Supersport).
In race 1 Saturday afternoon I got off to a flyer of a start, holding 4th position on the opening laps and then battling with a few riders for the race duration, finishing up in 7th place. We were pretty stoked with this result as it was a great salvage after how dreary things were looking the day prior!
Races 2 & 3 were held on Sunday over 15 & 20 laps respectively. With Ruapuna being a very physical circuit I knew it would be difficult to maintain pace for the whole race and tried to stay as focused yet relaxed as possible throughout the day. Race 1 was another cracker finishing in 7th position, and in the 20 lap Grand Prix in the afternoon I managed 8th.
Overall it was a really enjoyable weekend racing at Mike Pero Motorsport Park and I knew we were heading to the next round in Invercargill with a much better bike and better prepared rider.
Invercargill, well is Invercargill, and despite being my favourite circuits layout in the country, the summer weather gods certainly weren’t on our side this weekend. Extremely gusty winds and rain all week made it difficult to keep the MTF pit shade down, let alone actually ride in these conditions.
Teretonga’s fast, flowing nature is particularly hard on tires meaning a good bike/suspension set-up is critical to a good race result. Practise went much better than the previous weekend and all was looking great for a top 5 finish until Saturday morning when… clacker clacker crunch crunch went my engine!! Not the noise any racer (or mechanic) wants to hear.
Fortunately one of my fellow competitors had a spare engine he was able to lend, and my mechanic Ozzy and Kawasaki expert Seth Deveroux managed to do a full engine swap in 1.5 hours! As we got the 5 minute call up for qualifying I saw that they bike was going to be ready and suited up for the session, determined not to let this set-back hinder our progress. The engine was a lot slower than my original one but I still went out and set my fastest lap of the weekend immediately, before being black-flagged because one of the flag marshals claimed to see fluid coming out of my bike. I pitted and by the time they looked over it and saw nothing was wrong, my tires had cooled down and it was pointless to head back out (we have to use the same tires for qualifying and Race 1). I was happy with my lap time anyway and ended up 6th on the grid, closing out the 2nd row.
Race one held later in the afternoon was interesting with spots of rain for the first few laps. I was extremely proud of what we achieved finishing in 4th position – my best result on the 600 yet! A great result when just a few hours earlier our weekend could have been all over.
Sunday bought glorious sunshine in the morning, abruptly followed by a heavy downpour right before the racing started. This meant our first race was held in wet conditions (which I don’t particularly enjoy to be honest) and I finished in 9th place. We were happy just to finish however as my last few outings in wet weather conditions haven’t ended with me actually on the bike. By the afternoon, heavy winds had dried the circuit out and I went on to have my best race of the year in race three for the weekend. Being inside the top 3 on the opening lap was a huge confidence boost and I managed to maintain the fast pace for the whole 20 laps, battling, funnily enough, with my boyfriend Jake. I rode around the outside of him at turn 1 which would definitely get the vote for ‘fan favourite pass of the year’! haha. We had a good duel for two laps but he was much stronger on the brakes and passed me back once and for all with a few laps to go. I finished up with another 4th place and took home bragging rights as I set the third fastest lap of the race, just 0.3 off the new lap record set in the same race.
I traveled home from the South Island on such a high – even with the broken engine in the back of the van. It was a successful and productive couple of weekend’s racing, consistently moving forwards and getting so close to a podium in one of the premier classes of racing.
To finish a race (or two) inside the top three is now a very realistic goal for the upcoming North Island rounds of the championship. The engine is being repaired and will be back on track for round 3 of the championship to be staged at Taupo Motorsport Park on the 25th and 26th Feb.
Between now and then is of course the MTF sponsored Wellington Seven’s where I’m looking forward to being part of the MTF Vehicle Finance display. Hope to see some of you there!
8 November 2016
Avalon Biddle to race MTF Vehicle Finance ZX6r in NZSBK
After a successful season retaining her FIM European Womens Cup title, flying kiwi female Avalon Biddle has returned home and is preparing for another summer of motorcycle road racing. With support from MTF Vehicle Finance, Biddle will race a Kawasaki ZX6r prepared by Chris Osborne of Feilding in the 2017 NZSBK season.
The Supersport 600cc field is heating up with majority of the front runners from 2016 returning, and more riders stepping back from Superbike for a crack at the 600cc title including 2013 European Junior Cup winner Jake Lewis. Biddle knows she has her work cut out for her but feels this season’s racing in Europe has given her a little edge over the competition.
”I’m really excited to get back on the MTF Vehicle Finance Kawasaki ZX6r I rode at the final round of NZSBK this year back in March. The circuits at home are very different to the fast, flowing European style so I will have to tweak my riding and have my elbows out to race with these fast & experienced guys at home! The benefit of our smaller circuits however, is that they provide great viewing for spectators being able to see most the track – I look forward to seeing and meeting the crowds in Christchurch, Invercargill, Taupo and Waikato through January to March.”
A company all about getting people up and running in times of need, MTF backed Avalon to race in the WIL Sport European Junior Cup this year in a perfect match to get her on her wheels up in Europe.
In a crusade to support outstanding individuals in Motorsport, MTF have also paired up with Albany girl racer Chelsea Herbert who will be debuting in the New Zealand Touring Car Championship. These two females wont be missed in/on their bright yellow vehicles tearing up the New Zealand race tracks.
”MTF is extremely proud to have supported Avalon in retaining the FIM Women’s Cup this year. Being able to watch Avalon, on the MTF Kawasaki ZX6r, as she goes head to head with some of New Zealand’s best after her success in Europe, is a great way to continue our partnership. ” Ian Timperley, Marketing Manager – MTF
”I look forward to engaging with the fans of Motorsport in NZ & together with MTF we have some big activities planned for the public. It’s going to be another busy, fast-paced summer that we are all really looking forward to! ” Says Biddle from her home in Orewa, north of Auckland.
Biddle is also supported by Spectrum Motorcycles, Kawasaki NZ, RaceSupplies NZ, Pirelli, Formula Fit High Performance Centre, Rynopower, RST racewear, Motul, Sidi boots, Carl Cox Motorsport Hyosung Cup, Auckland Motorcycle Club, WIL Sport, Deepweb Web Design & NGK Spark Plugs Australia.
Testing will begin late this year in the opening two rounds of the Suzuki Series and Avalon will also be on track on her Spectrum Motorcycles/MTF Hyosung X4R in the Carl Cox Motorsport Hyosung Cup throughout the NZ summer season.
See more at www.mtf.co.nz, www.avalonbiddle.com & www.mnz.co.nz for series results.
Avalon wins the FIM European Women’s Championship a round early!
After a great year racing in the 2016 European Junior Cup, run alongside World Superbike, 24 year old Avalon Biddle has secured the FIM European Women’s Cup title for the second year running. Dominating the Women’s Cup part of the championship by winning every race of the eight-round season, the kiwi girl cemented herself as one of the fastest lady racers in the world.
A unique format is used for the European Junior Cup with 30 boys and up to 10 girls all racing in the same event, with points given for the overall top 15, and additional points given to the girls for a separate Women’s Championship run inside the Junior Cup. Unfortunately it was earlier announced that this will be the last ever year of the ‘EJC’ making miss Biddle the only ever female champion in this category run for the past two years.
The class will be replaced by a 300 Supersport category in 2017 and beyond.
The support from New Zealand and even throughout Europe was phenomenal and much appreciated by Biddle and her sponsors – aided by LIVE coverage of all races on Sky Sport NZ.
‘I want to say a massive thank you to all my supporters for everything this year! The racing has received a lot of publicity and it’s nice to see the sport being recognised by the general public.
After five years racing in Europe now, I’m really happy with my progress over the last two seasons in the European Junior Cup. This year I had a best finish of 8th overall against some of the fastest males in Europe which is definitely respectable! The level of competition from the other girls was much higher this year also so congratulations to them for a fantastic season.’
This season was made possible by: MTF Vehicle Finance, WIL Sport, NGK Spark Plugs Australia, Formula Fit, RynoPower, MNZ, Auckland Motorcycle Club, Spectrum Motorcycles, Carl Cox Motorsport Hyosung Cup, Pirelli, Sidi boots, Arai Helmet Europe, Ozzy Performance, Race Supplies NZ.
After the last round of WorldSBK in Assen, the 2016 European Junior Cup & European Women’s Cup has had a long break of five weeks but finally the time has come round three of the championship this coming weekend. On Thursday we will head to the UK for an action packed three days racing at the beautiful Donington Park circuit.
I’m definitely ready to tackle the challenge of another race weekend after good results to start the season and a fair bit of track time since then. This past month has been reasonably full on – achieving my goal of riding as much as possible, getting saddle time on a similar bike to that we are racing in the Junior Cup.
It started with a trip to Croatia, to ride at an old Grand Prix circuit called Rijeka. We had a wonderful four days riding here getting in a ton of laps despite the wind, rain and cold. I tore through Pirelli Supercorsas like no tomorrow due to the grippy surface on the track. Even with a bit of rain these tyres worked well as the track and tyres were suc a good combination! Everything about the circuit was straight out of the 80’s – right down to the stained bottle glass windows in the shabby pit buildings. It provided everything you could ask for however, including two restaurants, tyre service, photo service, fuel pump and cheap garages to shelter from the horrendous winds. Its not long since the war has finished there so it was great to experience a bit of Yugoslavian culture as well as the snow storms driving through Austria to get there. It was certainly worth the culture shock, cold weather and 12 hour drive as I gained a lot of confidence and speed after so much riding.
We arrived back at home base in Germany a few weeks ago and after two weeks hitting the local gym on a daily basis, it was definitely time to head to another race track..
This time it was in the form of an endurance race at Nurburgring; a really famous & historic circuit here in Europe. The opportunity to race here came up at last minute and being just 1.5 hours drive away we took the plunge to give the race against supersport and superbikes on my 80 horsepower 650cc. The whole Nurburgring complex is another amazing place – complete with a roller coaster going through the hotel and alongside the circuit, and spectacular views of rural Germany. Unfortunately, the owners ran out of money and it’s not all finished, but you can still drive / ride on the 20.7 km long Nordschliefe (the original circuit) as well as the newer world class circuit.
I entered a sprint race in the morning which I qualified in Pole Position for, despite the 15 minute session being the first time I had seen the track. As well as the rain on and off all day, the cold really was something else! Never before (even racing at Teretonga in Invercargill) have my fingers been so cold that it could be that painful. Incredible. It absolutely poured down for the 10 lap ‘Breakfast Cup’ race leaving the rack very slippery. I made a small mistake on the 6th lap and crashed out but myself and the bike were fine & learnt from the mistake. We did the endurance race that afternoon with two Germans that we didn’t know, making it interesting trying to coordinate team strategy with our limited German and their limited English. Anyway, despite two crashes from one of the team members, we managed to finish the race and I got a lot of valuable track time in.
Next we headed to Belgium for one day of riding at a smaller circuit Zolder. They had a billboard of the lap record since the track opened and I was cool to see a kiwi’s name up there from the 1960’s! Any guesses who it could be?
We only wanted to test a few things on the bike so achieved what we needed to in a few sessions on track and had a good day finally riding in some warmer conditions.
I’m not sure it will be that way in the UK this weekend, but I do know that I’m now prepared for anything!! It will be another fantastic weekend and I just can’t wait for the lights to go out on Sunday.
Please don’t forget to follow along by watching the race on Sky Sport NZ (2am NZ time so possibly hit record) and follow the updates on my facebook page throughout the weekend here: https://www.facebook.com/avalonbiddleracing/
Thanks again for the support which is allowing me to give my absolute best this year.
All the best,
I’m writing to you having just arrived back in Germany after round two of the European Junior Cup held this past weekend at the infamous Assen TT Circuit, Holland.
I was really excited to get back to Assen as the extremely high speed track was my favorite on the calendar last year. It’s a relieving feeling going into the race weekend already knowing the circuit layout, and being able to concentrate on going fast right from the first session rather than worrying about which direction the next corner goes.
In this case however, the first session wasn’t all about going quick straight away as the rain was pouring down and the track was completely wet all day Friday. We fitted wet weather (Pirelli Rain) tyres for the first time in two years and I took it easy to get a feeling for the conditions. I probably rode a little too cautious, ending up 17th fastest of the 31 riders, but at least much better off than the 14 bikes that crashed during the session.
The fans packed in for Saturday which saw World Superbikes race one, and qualifying for us at 3pm in the afternoon. We couldn’t believe the support from the fans throughout the weekend. Once again when I was up on the paddock show stage there were lots of people listening in and also crowded around our EJC tents admiring the bikes & riders all weekend. For some reason (good looks possibly? Ha ha) the two kiwis Connor and I were a big hit with the school kids who were lucky to spend the day at the track. Qualifying was our first completely dry session of the weekend and I managed to ride in a group of extremely fast riders, picking up speed quickly and even proving myself stronger in some parts of the track. I ended qualifying in 12th position giving me a fourth row start for the race on Sunday. My mechanic James and I were really happy with this effort!
Leading up to the race I have never seen conditions change so often and so quickly. It had organisers, officials and teams running around mental! The race prior to ours was red flagged three times; due to rain, oil spills and crashes. So I headed out on the warm up lap of ourrace not sure what to expect from the track conditions, but soon discovered they were pretty ideal. All of the corners were completely dry and the wind was a lot less gusty than previous days.
When the lights went out it was as if my bike was launched out of a canon as I got off to a fantastic start, but was squeezed in turn one a little and lots a few positions. I still managed to round out the first lap in tenth position however. I then made mistake and two riders passed me on the second lap and gapped me quickly, but I was able to find more speed mid race and have a good tussle with a French rider on the closing laps. I crossed the finish line just 0.5 seconds behind him, in 11th position. Another great step forwards!! I was once again first female extending my championship lead in the Women’s Cup.
We were even surprised with another amazing person to present the trophies on the podium – this time 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden.
My physical condition was optimal throughout the race, there is just a few places I can make time up on corner entry. We’d like to try some different foot rest set-ups also as I am really struggling with my short legs that can’t reach the foot-pegs when hanging off the bike around corners! We will be working hard on these areas before the next race in Donington Park, UK in five weeks’ time. Donington was an awesome event last year and if you are considering coming along please check out www.polepositiontravel.com for a VIP package.
Anyway so far all is on track and the dream lives on! I’m more determined than ever to keep working hard and seeing if we can challenge at the very front in the upcoming races. Thank you for being part of this journey and I look forward to keeping you updated over the coming weeks of preparation.
All the best until then,
After such a hectic time the past few weeks I am happy to finally be writing to you with the first round of the 2016 season done and dusted, complete with one precious championship point in the bag! I ?am ?also leading the European Women’s Cup part of the championship once again after winning that while finishing in 15th position in the overall standings in the race here at Motorland Aragon yesterday. Lots of work still to come but the season has certainly ?started off on the right foot!
The weekend at Aragon was a long one.. After flying in to Barcelona late last week we soon headed to the beachside town Calafat for the official WIL Sport European Junior Cup pre-season test. Here we got our bike for the season and had some time to set the suspension settings to our liking. The two days testing at this tight and twisty circuit were successful and we then headed to a completely different style circuit – Motorland Aragon – for the first race of the European calendar. Aragon is a spectacular facility, with the world class Grand Prix circuit, as well as motocross, karting, supercross, enduro and flat track circuits all in one complex funded by the government. Motorcycle racing is second in popularity only to football here in Spain so you can imagine the amount of crazy fans that pile into this place. ?
On Thursday we completed a track walk of th?e? circuit? and had the World Superbike official briefing and photos. It was certainly nice to be back amongst the professionalism of this paddock, and see all the familiar friendly faces.
Friday bought a frosty and blustery wind which caused havoc in many sessions, including many riders going down as even the superbike front wheels were being caught by the gusts. Luckily my class wasn’t out until 5pm and the wind had died down a little by then. I eased into things and ended the session up in 15th position which was an OK starting point. Overnight we made a few big changes to the bike set up in search for something that would work better on these fast, flowing corners.
The change seemed to work well in second practise on Saturday morning as I felt good on the bike, only slowed down by the fact I couldn’t feel the tips of my fingers or toes! It was absolutely freezing! Just 1.5 degrees’ air temperature when we drove to the track that morning, but has risen to about 7 degrees for our session. These conditions caused every one of the bikes in our class to tear rear tyres like crazy. Fortunately for our qualifying on Saturday afternoon, we had a set of new Pirelli’s and the conditions has warmed up, enabling us to get some valuable track time in. The track time was great, but annoyingly my fastest lap was actually my first flying lap of the session! I was extremely disappointed to end up in 20th position overall, not because of the position but because I wasn’t riding to my full potential.
Overnight I sorted myself out and came on Sunday with a more relaxed attitude. After a good start I got up to 14th position on the first lap, then had a magnificent tussle with a few riders for most the race. Over the last two laps there were four of us battling for 13th position! I crossed the line for the last lap board in 16th position, and after setting the goal of top 15 I couldn’t settle for anything less. After going into the final corner three wide I came out in 15th position, even nearly managing to pip 14th place on the line. I missed out by less than one tenth of a second, but achieved my goal of getting in the points at the first round. It was awesome to be back on the podium for winning the Women’s Cup of the race (4 seconds a lap faster than the next girl) and being presented the trophy by Phil and Cheryl of WIL Sport was even better! These two first gave me the opportunity to race in Europe four years ago, and things have come a long way since then. I’m so happy to still be a part of the WIL sport project which has steadily grown over the years.
?During the race I learnt where I really need to work on in order to improve these results for the rest of the season. It’s going to be tough but needs to be done if I want to run top 10! Thanks to my mechanic James and everyone including my amazing sponsors for your support!
The next race is at Assen in two weeks time. The weather in Holland is always questionable at this time of year but we will take it as it comes and keep striving for the front!
Before then I will head to what will be my home base for the next few months – Germany – where I will be training hard.