This round I am trying something new, a bit of a jump on the old race report. Every report is usually based off of a an experience encountered over the weekend. A certain portion of my life revolves around motorcycles and the rest seems to revolve around my family and friends. Somewhere in the middle, like the great racers I hope to emulate, a workout must take place. The theory is to work on physical attributes, reaction time, concentration, and balance. Let me tell you I have tried some crazy things, to get in shape. I currently have a unicycle in my shed, a wobble balance board, and some inflatable thing called a bean. The unicycle was a misguided intention, theory being that if you can ride one, you become a better racer. Well despite being the worlds worst one wheeled wonder, I can tell it doesn’t seem to have affected my speed. How does a champion train?
Ben Spies is amazing to watch on a bike and just as amazing when it comes to other efforts like mountain biking, road riding, and so on. Clearly he is a great role model, but look at Colin Edwards. Colin is a self professed “hater” of the workout. He instead has chosen the path of less workout and more family and fun. So both are world champions and currently in Moto GP. So here it is, decision time about which path to follow! Let me assure you I made this decision long ago, although it is under constant evaluation. For me it has to be a balance of both fun and discipline. A regular workout is a must for me, but I mix it up with fun stuff too. Who said you can’t workout and have fun at the same time. Rock climbing, kayaking, and road riding all seem to work for me. When we are out riding it gives me a chance to push the limits of my body as well as hang out with some friends. So do I have the magic recipe? Well I am doing better this year and having fun, so yeah it is working for me.
My race weekend will start Friday at Thunder Hill Raceway and practice is loaded with things to try and perfect. So for now I will keep working out, having fun, and get my mind ready for this next event. My plan is to come back with 4 trophies and at least one win. 5-30-10
Something new this round was a trip to the local barber shop. After watching some pro races, my wife saw Nicky Hayden rocking the foe hawk. With very little coaxing, I agreed to the new hair style. It is less about the funky hair style, but more about a symbolic gesture. I wanted to have a little reminder in my mind that change can bring about good things. More than I knew this would take effect in a major way this weekend. So with out delay me and my new hair bring you round 4.
Tom, Mikey, Chris V, Kyle, Greg, and David all looking at the hair!
So Friday was insanely windy. We couldn’t set up any canopies and stuff was blowing all over the place. We were all trying to get what we could out of the day, but a series of complications really made the day almost a total loss. I had decided not to change anything on the bike because of the conditions and after looking back that was a poor choice. With one session to go, Jen blew up her R6. The engine has not been torn down yet so were not sure what it was. Lucky for us we just acquired a 2008 R6 from Pete Leist, a Z2 instructor. Thanks to Greg, Jen, and Sam we were able to get a stock bike torn down, an engine race prepped, and installed back in her bike before sunset. Changing an engine on Friday night is not my idea of a good time and I was less than fun to be around, but the job got done just the same.
Saturday was still windy, so my opinion of a weather person is less than it was before. We did set up early in the morning and with a bit until practice I was able to bounce around the pits and say hi to the other riders that had shown up. Practice was really fun. I was able to chase some faster riders around and learn some stuff, as well as ride with other top 600 guys. After one of the sessions I spoke to Dave Stanton, and he made a few suggestions about my setup after seeing me in practice. With nothing to lose, I made a big change and went out and rode with an open mind. So now I owe Dave a huge thanks for breaking me out of a, “my bike is good enough rut“. A bike can always be better and I shouldn’t be afraid to try something new. With new confidence in my setup, we were ready for the team race. Greg McCullough would start the first 30 minutes and I would finish the race. He is a better at running, and with a Lemans style start he was the obvious choice. Greg put in a solid 30 minute stint and then it was my turn. It was great to be out for a 30 minute session, because it forces me to ride smarter and evaluate ways to conserve energy. Some how I always learn something new and this was no exception. With just 15 minutes under my belt it became very obvious that I was using too much handle bar input entering a corner. The last 15 minutes was spent trying to correct my bad behavior. At the end of the day we came home with a 1st in class and 2nd overall.
Saturday night was much easier and we were able to relax a bit. Of course, Sunday morning came and the pressure to do well was very much in the air. My own expectations are the main cause of pressure to succeed and I am ok with that. My first race was just before lunch and also the lunchtime podium. No champagne shower for me though, as Berto #115 was able to best me at the line. I am sure he feels a bit justified after last round the race ended the other way. Congrats to Berto and the other guys who raced out there.
Second race was a bit weird. A good start and then into T1 with riders in front of me, I chose the wrong path. Several riders darted around me and were now between me and the leaders. Greg #103 was off to a flyer and I was sure that was the last I would see of him. Slowly we picked our way through only to come up on Greg and Lenny. Not sure what was going on I made time quickly on both riders. As I joined the fight Lenny decided to pick up the pace and go win the race. I battled all the way to the end with Greg, and as he drafter me up the straight I was just trying not to get passed. At the line we were separated by only .004 of a second, with me just edging out Greg. It was a close battle, but I never should have caught back up with him in the first place, and that is where I will leave that.
My 3rd race was on its way and with the wind dying down the heat was really picking up. I did my best to stay hydrated, but I may have to look at some supplements to help me absorb more of the fluids I drink. It seems as though the water and juice just doesn’t stay in my body. A very rigorous training program was letting me proceed with my races, but not at 100%. This is something to work on for me. The start was great as only Lenny and Tyler were in front of me. I stayed with them for the first few laps until just losing touch after a small mistake in T6. Late in the race Ohge passed me and we had a great dice to the line. With a much better drive I thought for sure 3rd was mine, but with his light stature he bested me on the straights.
The last race of the day was complex to say the least. To avoid any drama, I will say just one thing about that race. I did not put myself in a position to win the race, and will work harder at track days, workouts, and bike prep, so that I may better my position in the next race.
All in all the weekend did not go as I had hoped, but there were some positives to take away. I rode better than ever before, Greg and I won the tag team race, I got a podium in one race, and three 4th place finishes. I did not meet all of my goals, but hey there is another race in less than a month!
Z2 Trackdays Staff, Z2 Race Team, Yamaha, David at Fastbikes Ind., Pirelli /CT Racing, Yamalube Products, Motion Pro, Race Image Graphics, Leo Vince, Helimot, Suomy, Factory Body Works , Igartua, 4 The Riders, Sidi, Tech Spec, Ink Monkey, GP Frame & Wheel, CRG Levers, Graves Motorsports, Mach 1, and Ken Hill Coaching.
600 Production started 4th finished 4 th
750 Superbike started 6th finished 3rd
600 Superbike started 4th finished 4th
750 Production started 2nd finished 4th
Tag Team Race started 7th finished 1st in class and 2nd overall
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.