2011 Mitch Van Vliet
The Gippsland Regions, which offers prize money to the Quad riders, put on a great but very muddy event on for their 6th round up in cold and wet Bairnsdale.
The Track was wicked with heaps of boggy parts and huge ruts so it was head down and full bore as I tried to get the quad around the track.
It was great to race against Ben Wade who has just stepped up to the Senior ranks and then to also race against my dad.
I got bogged big time giving Wade the lead only to turn around and see my dad right behind me helping to get me out of the huge hole. Coming up to lap dad I found him too bogged in hole only he was so deep I just couldn't help him and he had to be towed out.
The racing was great and having the fastest time including the 2 wheelers was something I have been aiming for for a while so to finally accomplish that Im absolutely rapt.
Im in the lead with only 3 rounds to go so hopefully I can continue to stay on top.
Racing the gippies is a huge help with my preparations for the Aussie Titles which I cant wait for in October.
Heading up to the Sunshine Coast for the Rockstar MX Nationals was a huge trip with lots of organization to be had by my family.
Thanks to my parents and younger two brothers the quads arrived safely while my other brother Jake , Adam Siemnesma and myself got the opportunity to fly up arriving fresh and ready to race.
The atmosphere at Coolum was awesome with some spectacular rigs and race teams there.
WEM put on an amazing event and it was just fantastic that they decided to include a Pro race for the Quads. With over 5000 spectators it was a great opportunity to show all race teams, manufacturers and onlookers just what the quads were made of.
We had 3 motos on the Saturday followed by 1 on the Sunday all 6 laps.
In all 4 motos I pushed the quad to the limit, as the leaders seemed to have an edge down the straight however with a bit of maneuvering and some huge jumping I managed to hold onto the leaders and not let them out of my site.
Its great to race with all other Pro riders from other states especially the WA riders who put in some fast and furious racing. Ryan Lancaster took out 1st place with Luke Gaisford in 2nd and they certainly put on some fantastic racing. I had some amazing battles with WA rider Jordan Dummett which pushed me to the edge which was just awesome. I was thrilled with coming overall 3rd and got the chance to give a few interviews as well as having the quads on Foxtel.
I cant wait to race with all these riders again at the Australian Titles in October and hopefully be back up on the podium again.
A special thanks goes out to Kevin Williams from WEM for making this all possible and fingers crossed we may be back on board for 2012 showing these 2 wheelers that we can hold just as fast and if not faster times than their Pro riders.
Finke didn't go exactly to plan for Mitch Van Vliet having bike problems before the event even started, a big crash on the first day and an electrical problem the whole race as Mitch explains.
"I trained really hard for Finke to make sure that fitness wouldn't be an issue. Arriving at Alice on the Thursday I had my mind set on winning it my first time doing it, but it didn't quite go that way. The Can-am X-Team went as a team to pre run the bikes to work out gearing etc. but my bike started to play up straight away. We eventually got to the bottom of those problems though.
Scrutineering was really fun with the team set up; I got to do a few interviews which was really cool. I went ok at prologue but I was looking forward to the race.
First day of the race I felt prepared and ready to go. I got off to a great start but from about 5kms in the bike hit limp mode on and off for the whole race. At about the 80kms mark I crashed and it knocked me a little bit silly, then by the end of the raced I had a popped tyre as well.
Day 2 I wasn't feeling too sore and we tried to fix my bike but by a kilometre in it hadn't worked and it was going into limp mode more and more. It frustrated me at the time but now that I look back it doesn't bother me too much. It was a great opportunity and now I know what's ahead of me for next year. I still finished a strong 8th
Huge thanks to my sponsors and family for the support
Mitch Van Vliet
At the start of 2010 Mitch severely broke his leg forcing him out of the rest of the 2010 MX
season. After undergoing 2 operations and intense physio Mitch is still struggling to ride
"I am trying my best to train and get back to the speed I had in 2009 I'm listening to my
The Shell Advance Gippsland Regions was Mitchs first test back after Thumb pump and
Mitch Van Vliet #92