I have been to the lost and found before, most people have. Usually you go where you lost something and ask if they found it. I have had to look for sunglasses, keys, my wallet, and just about everything else people leave behind. I have never had to look for my confidence, but that is what I have been searching for since round one this year. Can’t say I have ever lost it before, but after Buttonwillow it was surely gone. While professional status eludes me, confidence shouldn’t.
Where do you go when you lose something like that? Trackdays, races, under your couch cushions next to the spare change, yeah I tried all those places and a few more. I have been working with Phil at Aftershocks to see if he could help me and my lack of trust in my self and my bike. Friday before the races, Phil came up to T-Hill to try and help out. He has thrown everything including the kitchen sink at my bike. It felt great on Friday so that was a huge plus. I was still missing one thing, a rider who felt like he could ride.
The round one crash sucked my wallet dry and maxed out my Visa. It is hard to ride when you can’t afford even a small crash. So due to a lack of cash and the recent loss of my job, I sat out Saturday practice. Knowing your competition is out there finding the fast way around while you sit is the worst. So to keep myself busy, I spoke to some riders about the races they had later that day. I would spend the afternoon announcing the Saturday races.
During my interviews and just getting to know some of my fellow racers, I spoke to a fellow Pirelli rider. He explained to me, that you have to know you can do what the guy in front of you is doing and do it better than him. Will you crash? Yes there is always that possibility, but that is how he gets faster. While I don’t want to crash, understanding the basic idea of “anything you can do I can do better” does help me. So there is the dilemma, if I crash financially my season may be over and if I continue to ride like this, I will wish it was over.
Saturday night was not easy for me. I spent a lot of time weighing my options. I ride motocross and crashing is part of the game, and in road racing it is not. So how do you find a balance of going fast and not crashing yourself into financial bankruptcy? I don’t know the answer to that yet.
Sunday was like any of other races this year. I had crappy grid positions and mediocre pace, until my 3rd race. I was in 11th on the grid and ended up 12th off the start. Then I found something, in turn 2 of all places. Now I am fairly sure I lost it at Buttonwillow, but there it was in turn 2 at T-Hill, my confidence. I can only say that if you lose it and then find it, you will know what I am talking about. It is that kind of relief you feel when you lose something important with the thought of never seeing it again, only to find it unexpectedly. I may have been in 12th on the track, but I was back mentally.
The bike was moving around a lot and I was not riding the best ever, but I felt good for the first time in a long time. I rode well and was having fun for the next 4 laps. I tracked down and passed several riders. Out front all by my self it happened, an early apex, max lean angle, and a bump left me on the ground in one of the fastest corners on the track. All by myself, just me, and no one to blame but me.
Oddly enough, I got up and was ok. Yes physically I was fine, but mentally I was ok with the crash. I know what went wrong and how to fix it. Getting back out on the track was not an option and due to the damage. It may be a trackday in July or the next race before I will be on the bike again. Either way it happens, I feel ok about my riding. So for now I will relax my mind and have some fun with other things in life. Racing is fun, seems as though I forgot that.
Last year I remember this same race on my R6. I was screaming and laughing in my helmet, because I was enjoying the race so much. Right before I crashed this time, it was that same feeling. I was going down the straight and motioned to another rider, because he and I had been struggling since round one in this class. I enjoyed the battle with him, and for a much better position on the track than earlier in the year.
Riding for a team and having people help you leads to expectations. It does in my mind at least. I place a lot of pressure on my self to do well and I feel bad for the team when I crash. They have worked hard to help get you out there. That said, I have to ride for me, first and foremost. I need to make sure I enjoy riding. I work way to hard leading up to a race not to have fun during the race. I know everyone wants to win, but riding is supposed to be about enjoyment. My entire team rides or races so they know this better than anyone. I guess I just needed to remember that too. So minus a crash, I actually enjoyed my race. Thanks to my entire team for helping me out and giving me enough time to find my confidence.
One of the three well-known California road racing clubs; AFM offers a place where you can participate in races, watch as a spectator, or even take part as a turn-worker on the course. There are competition classes for almost all motorcycles; you can race what you own, build a bike specifically for racing, or maybe even pick up a pre-set-up bike through member want ads. Competing in expert club racing can be used to qualify for a pro racing license. Explore the website for further information.
Women race with the men?
Yes, races are structured by bike size. Women race in the same classes as men that have the same sized bike. However, there is a growing interest among women in racing , so many racing clubs have added a women’s class to encourage the ladies to give it a try.
Formed in 2001, SMUSA is now the premier Pro/Am supermoto series in the country. Many of the well known American road racers such as Bobby Fong, Joey Pascarella, Cameron Beaubier, Elena Myers, Tyler O'Hara, Garrett Willis and others all competed in Supermoto USA's Nor Cal Championship where they developed their skills.
PC Dirt Track in Sacramento, Ca holds a series of the oldest and most traditional type of motorcycle racing, flat track - sometimes referred to as “dirt track” racing. A uniquely American type of motorcycle racing. Riders finesse their machines sideways through the turns, just inches apart from each other.
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. The AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. No one who has ever seen an AMA Pro motorcycle race ever forgets it.