Race Report - Canadian(regional) RACE Superseries Round # 2: Shannonville Pro Track
-Friday morning I headed out on my ZX-10R for the first time on the track. My very first lap it tried to spit me off on my way down the back straight by way of a huge tankslapper. For the next few laps I kept a fairly slow pace around the corners and kept adding more and more clicks to my steering damper as the bike tried to shake me off every trip down the back straight. With the headshake finally under control (somewhat) our session was over. Second session out I followed my my friend Vicky Schouten (Am#78) for the warmup lap and passed her on the back straight for our second lap. Not wanting to hold her up in the corners I upped my pace slightly, and made a big error in judgement. Coming into the chicane I applied the throttle as I would have on my 600 to flip the bike over to the left. I spun the rear for a moment and the bike tried desperately for a couple seconds to buck me off, just as I thought for a moment I might have saved things I found myself on the pavement. I was on my stomach with my hands out in front of me. I started to feel my hands burning and tried to change my position slightly, putting some weight where I knew I had some padding. Unfortunately my leathers just dug in and I started to go for quite a violent tumble. Fortunately for me Vicky was able to avoid my tumbling body and the red flag came out, as I had ended up right in the racing line between the chicane and allen's corner, with the bike directly in the line just at the beginning of allen's, near the marshall station. With the clutch perch and lever snapped off and all the gear shifting mechanism broken we were unable to move the bike and so had to wait for what seemed like forever for the trailer of shame to take my bike off to the pits and myself off to the medical station. Fortunately I came out of my first ever crash in fairly good shape. My gear did it's job really well and with a new pair of gloves and a re-glued boot sole I was able to resume practicing on my 600 that afternoon.
-Saturday I put on some new tires and ran some fairly quick lap times in the morning practices. The bike setup was really good and everything was working well, with the exception of some noticeable brake fade towards the end of my sessions. I managed to qualify on P1 for the 600 race and P2 for the Open. I tried to bleed my brakes after our qualifiers to try and solve the fading problem. Saturday afternoon we ran a reprise of the 600 race from last round. I got a sweet holeshot off the line and led for the first half of the race, setting my fastest lap, a 1:10.8 in lap 2. Coming out of Nelson's corner onto the front straight at the end of lap 3 I was trying to get a really good drive since I knew Adam Jabouri was close behind me. I stepped the back end of the bike out pretty severely and barely kept it upright after doing the rodeo a couple times with my feet off the pegs. Having lost my drive, Adam went around me handily across the line. I kept pace with him and tried to mount a comeback late in the race but with my brakes starting to go off I felt it would be better to settle for second place. His pace was very fast and even if I would have had perfect brakes I doubt I would have been able to come around him without trying something extreme. Much to my surprise I later found out that Adam has jumped the start and I moved into 1st place!! My very first race win, although somewhat ill-gotten, was still a sweet moment for me.
-Sunday morning I went out and my brake problems were getting worse. During the lunch break Brad suggested I should try a thourough cleaning of my calipers to make sure that the pistons were all extending freely, as well as de-glazing the pads somewhat. To my great releif, it turns out that was exactly what the bike needed and my brake feel was much better and more consistent during the warmup lap for the 600 race. So much so in fact I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the race that I might tuck the front end of the bike while trail braking, since I wasn't accustomed to the feel of the lever. Fortunately towards the end of the warmup lap the pads had bedded in again and I was confident in my equipment for the race.
-Accelerated Technologies Novice 600 Race:
From the pole I once again got a huge drive off the line, pulling the front tire up about a foot off the ground at the end of first gear before dropping the front end down and grabbing 2 gears to tip it into T1. I set a couple fast laps early on, and was able to open up a gap of a couple seconds over the second place rider. With Adam having been bumped up to Amateur after his performance from last round, my next competitor to beat was #120 Aaron Kennedy. I think he must have gotten stuck in some traffic early on because I opened up a significant gap and was able to back off 5% from my pace knowing I had some breathing room, thanks to the signals Brad Clarke was giving me over the pit wall. From there it was just a matter of counting the laps and I took my first real race win!!!
-MotoGP Canada Novice Open Race:
For the Open race I was on P2 with Aaron Kennedy on pole and Jeff Morrison (#357) to my left. Jeff and I both got a good drive off the line but he pulled a bike length on me into T1. Not wanting to try anything too extreme in the first lap I paced Jeff for a lap and started to form a plan of attack. However after coming across the line after lap 1, Jeff went way too hot into T2 and ended up very wide, almost off the track. I saw this as my opening and stuck myself cleanly past in T1 and held a good line through T2. I tore off a fast lap to put some distance between myself and Jeff, and once again was able to relax somewhat and count some laps. In the final couple of laps Aaron got past Jeff and started to gain some ground on me, to which I responded by turning a faster final lap to finish a second and a half ahead of Aaron for my second win of the day and third of the weekend!!!