The comeback always sounds so good when you hear people talk about it. Like when Mick Doohan had a terrible crash and doctors said he may never walk again. He not only walked again, but won world championships after his injury. Most people know about that, but could not recall the time from the wreck to his first win, my self included. I am hoping that I am on my comeback. It may not be covered by national television, just the same, is this race the start to my comeback?
Well my race weekend started off ok, because I was able to ride all three days. Friday was a good testing day, until I heard there was a red flag. One of the team owners made a comment about several riders blowing the red flag. Riders need to stop at designated spots on the track, so a down rider may get medical assistance. The next thing I heard was my other team owner pulling in on his Yamaha FZ1 and saying that the rider was Jenn.
If you have never had the displeasure of hearing that your wife has been hurt, imagine hearing she is laying on the back straight and you know riders blew a red flag. It took about a millisecond to hijack a bicycle so I could get to her. All said and done she was reasonably ok, that is if you count a dislocated shoulder ok. For the record I do. My team owner took Jenn to the hospital so I could continue to ride. Test time is at a premium and to have a wife who knows this is, well more than any racer could ask for. So this is when you realize you have a team. People said my pit vacated like they were giving away free R6’s on the back straight. Everyone was asking how they could help, oh yeah one of your team owners sits at the hospital for 5 ½ hours, so you can ride.
Despite Jenn being injured, I was still able to make use out of Friday. Most of the day was spent with Jason from Aftershocks, just making adjustments and trying them out. The bike was better by the end of the day. Saturday was more of the same, but my lap times were just not fast enough. In steps the rest of the team. Tire changes and pressure adjustments were made so I could go fast more comfortably. Still I was not fast enough. Then Greg McCullough, my teammate stepped up and took me out for some laps and got me going. He had no problem finding pace after he installed a set of forks I had in the trailer. Big thanks to the whole team.
Sunday came and I felt good. I only entered two races so I could focus my attention. 600 production was race seven of the day and my first. I took my grid spot #10 and was ready for a race. Starts are usually good for me, but as of late I have struggled. I decent start got me up in the mix, but the second corner was a little crazy. I lost a few spots and saw a line of 10 riders or so in front of me. My focus was only on lines and making a good rhythm, rather than the finish. I rode a solid race, made some passes, and got passed. I was trying some new lines that Dave Stanton, fellow Mach 1 rider had discussed Saturday night with me. My lack of experience with the lines, meant I could not go as fast as the line would allow. It is not often I feel like my line leaves me with room, so thank you Dave.
Race ten 750 superbike was my second race of the day. Grid spot #8 didn’t hurt and a good start was under my control. After the second corner I was in 6th and on my way to fifth. That did not last long as the race was red flagged at the end of lap 2. A full restart was ordered and off we went again. This time I got a 5th place start and managed to stay there a while. Eventually the pace of faster riders and exhaustion landed me a 10th place finish. Being tired meant I was not relaxing when I rode, so there is one more thing to work on.
All said and done it was a weekend on two wheels. That is important to me! I took more from the weekend than that though. Apparently I don’t know everything, despite what I thought before this weekend. After trying some new lines and seeing the potential for improvement, I have requested some help this weekend. Shawn Reilly and Rob Cambell have both committed to helping me with some things. So I look forward to this next weekend with Z2 Trackdays. Put on some old tires and get ready to learn.
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.