Whaddup fellas? Well, it's that time of the month again... I'm recovering from a long, tiring race weekend. Here's how it all went down...
The weather forecast looked incredible and Trackdaz had an event available for Friday practice so we headed out real early on Thursday afternoon. I brought out Red Bull Rookie Cup competitor and good friend of mine Bryce Prince for some practice too. We got all set up Thursday evening BBQ'd up some grub and hung out with some folks in the pits.
Friday went smooth enough, it was hard to get any real good practice in with all the traffic but I did get a chance to work with the Catalyst Reaction boys on my suspension and we got my tire wear problem cleared up nicely.
Saturday practice went pretty good... I didn't get my times to where I wanted them but was consistently in the 1:25's on crap tires in the wind so I felt ok going into Sunday's races.
Sunday! Let's go racing!! Seeing as next weekend is the AMA round at Ca Speedway we had a few AMA guys show up to make things interesting so the grids were a little more full of seriously fast guys than usual. Conditions were cool and very windy. Not at all what we were expecting.
Race One; Open Superbike. I got a miserable start and got through turn one probably about mid pack... I wasn't happy at all. I went to work picking guys off and made my way up to 6th and had to settle for it. I probably should have made a move for 5th but my poor start meant I had to abuse my rear tire just to get to 6th. Not a great start to the weekend but it'll work. Best lap was 1:24.6. Not bad.
Race Two; Open Modified Production. Another poor start but I passed a lot of guys in turn 2 and was near the front quickly! I battled with the 2nd place rider but wasn't feeling like I had the speed or the rear tire to beat him so I settled for a safe 3rd place finish. Went 1:24.2 which is .1 off my personal best and that was in A LOT better conditions so I was pleased with my pace.
Race Three; Formula One. The field was exceptionally deep this month with guys like Aaron Gobert, Shawn Higbee and David Anthony not to mention our 'typical' super-fast guys. I got ANOTHER terrible start and got into turn one near the back of the pack (this shit is getting old...). In F1 you've got to fight back hard immediately and I did... On lap two I turned in my first 1:23 at Willow with a 1:23.9. I battled back through the field and ended up in a fierce battle for 8th place with 3 other riders I have a lot of respect for. I didn't end up holding on to 8th but I managed to keep 2 of the guys behind me for 9th. Considering the top 7 riders were all AMA guys(excluding Lowry as he doesn't race AMA currently but has in the past) I guess I can't complain!
Race Four; Open Superstock. This was my last chance to pocket some Kawi contigency $$ for the month and I knew it. I went out on new rubber and feeling pretty confident. I was starting from the front and knew I needed to get a good start and put down a couple fast laps. I finally got a good start and was a close 2nd place behind Karl Lowry going through T2. I decided to try to latch onto him and see what happens. 3 laps later I was shocked (ok, farking dumbfounded) to still have Karl in my sights!! I knew I was riding well and in the $$!! A lap or two from the end David Anthony came by and I tried to battle back but couldn't get past. I ended up a close 3rd place and put down my fastest lap ever at Willow at 1:23.6. What a great way to end the weekend.
I had a great time out there and want to thank everyone that helps me out including R. Tillery Powersports, Let's Ride Trackdays, Repsol, NJK Leathers, Driven Sprockets, LP Team Privateer, Ferodo Braketech and Dunlop. I also want to thank Dave Moss and Tige Danne of Catalyst Reaction Tuning and Cyclemall.net for the suspension help and general encouragement.
Here's to going racing again next month!
And on a much, much sadder note... we lost one hell of a great competitor out at Willow this weekend. Poncho Spain lost the front end going into T8 in the Formula 50 Heavyweight race and unfortunately his injuries took him from us. Poncho was as enthusiastic and friendly a face as I EVER remember seeing at the racetrack. The guy was truly one of those people everyone liked and looked forward to both seeing at the racetrack and also racing against. I know he'll be dearly missed and I send my deepest condolences out to his friends and family. Godspeed and R.I.P. Poncho, we're all a little better people from knowing you.