Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dual Downhil Race, Saraburi Thailand 25-26th July 2009

racing in sara buriTeam Fakawi Banshee received an invitation to race at this year's Maxrider Dual Downhill Race in Sara Buri Thailand from our team partners In Bangkok about 2 months back.
The idea of racing downhill against another competitor captured our imagination and the whole team signed up for the race.

Due to some unfortunate chain of events, Rizal, Stanley and Allen had to pull out last minute, leaving only Robby and me available to go racing. Their loss!
A few fellow downhillers from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia tagged along to join in the dual downhill fray.

We arrived at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok on the 24th July and we were whisked away to the foothills of Jedkot National park by our hosts Na Der and gang to our cosy little mountain chalets. As soon as we settled in, we quickly assembled the bikes and headed up to the Maxrider/Kona Bike Park at the top of the mountains for some practise runs.

Now in its second year, the Dual Downhill race offers a unique way of racing downhill in this region. The race track was designed almost parallel to each other, all built from scratch, carved out into the mountainous terrains of the Jedkod National Park.

Race LineThe race lines are divided into lines A and B, each with a distance of 1.61km and 1.53km respectively. Both run fairly close to each other so you can actually see and hear your competitor racing right next to you. Both lines are pretty fast with many jumps, gap jumps and rocky sections thrown in.

Lines A and B were originally designed to cross each other somewhere in the middle of the trail but it was rerouted to criss-cross after riders who were equally fast started crashing into each other during practice runs.. (No one is gonna give way during racing conditions!)

Both lines end at the finish line with a dramatic 9 foot gap jump right into the finishing line. This is pretty exciting to watch for the spectators especially when the two riders approach the finishing lines together.

The racers in the Junior, Elite, Men's Masters A and B are matched to their competitor randomly. Each racer has to race each race line. The racer who wins both races will move on to the next round. If there was a tie, the riders will race again, sudden death style, with the race line picked at a toss of a coin. finish line

The race is actually a test of both speed and stamina because the winners will keep racing all the way to the finals in many rounds.Mann finishing in style

I was matched to race with a superfit Thai police sargeant and I had my ass kicked in both races. I was out in round one itself. Racing with after a nasty crash during practise run the day before didn't help much either. My whole body was screaming in pain but the adrenaline rush of racing downhill against another rider did numb the pain a little.

It was quite an exhilarating experience racing in the Maxrider Cup Dual Downhill..everyone had a real blast.

Me on my trusty Wildcard (pic by Rudy)

Robby on the Scythe. (pic by Rudy)

The Fakawi Banshee team along with our fellow racers, Uncle Bully, Mann, Yamm, Finn, Lano, Nas, Azman, ManJB, Fahmi, Tat Siong and Wendy would like to thank our most gracious Thai hosts and Na Der from Maxrider for treating us like VIP racers!

We'll definitely be back for more double race action next year for sure!

some photos here on

This one's for you, Jay!