By now it is a well known fact that some of the races did not happen at AFM round 1. Well, improvise a bit, move some stuff around and we managed to get a few races done. So the key to the weekend, be flexible. Yes, we know everyone had a plan and a plan is good, but a flexible plan, now that is great. So all limbered up here we go with my single race report.
I went down to Buttonwillow on Friday with one goal; work on my weakest areas. For most people this means T1 or T8. My weakest area is me. I spent the day just trying to fix some issues that Ken Hill had identified in the past. I have not spent a day with Ken in almost a year, but his voice echoes through my head. “Basics, basics, basics.” I did what I was told and worked on the basics. One thing about working on something is that it tends to slow me up. I spent the day watching my competitors rail around me while I focused on my issues. You want mental fortitude, well, try letting a guy go by that you fully expect to beat on Sunday.
Friday night, the rest of the crew showed up to find that we had a rough day. Jenn had taken a spill while entering the sweeper. She has been working on a few things and finding speed all over the track and when she links it all up, I may be in trouble. We continued to discuss the day and make plans for Saturday. Oh how the plan would change.
Saturday started the same as any other and my lap times we not stellar. I had focused on what I was doing wrong Friday, but the speed was eluding me. Knowing I had a few sessions to shake out the demons, my plan stayed the same. A bent front wheel was giving me problems in the first session, but once diagnosed Mikey got me a straight wheel mounted up. As we sat around for a slight rain delay a meeting was called and we were told plans had changed. Due to a large storm that was only hours away, seven highly attended Sunday races would be run instead of today’s normally programmed schedule. I was in 600 SB and that was now race 4.
R6, R6, R6... must be the bike to be on.
After practice, my clutch gave me some worries and with last years problems I was quick to take a look at it. My inspection yielded little answers and I decided to bolt it back up and try to make it out for the race 3 warm up lap. With my clutch consuming a good deal of time and no back up wheel, I realized I was going to race on the same front tire I spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning on. My warm up lap showed me the bike would survive the race and I was ready for competition.
A solid finish last year put me second on the grid next to Lenny Hale and Berto Wooldridge. The board went up and the flag flew. My jump was as good as Lenny, but his grid position left him leading into T1. My eyes had a wide open track and in the very tough 600 class I was happy to only be looking at one bike. I held Lenny close for a lap, but then he started to gap me out a bit. Within a moment I realized my mind needed to be on me not him. A lap later doing my own thing he was coming back to me. On lap 3, at least this is the way I remember it, a white bike came up the inside of T3. Imagine my surprise to see it was my Greg McCullough coming all the way up from P8 on the grid. He passed me and I wanted to pass back, but he clearly got up to me so I wanted to see how he did it. The next thing I know, he passes Lenny up into Lost Hills. They quickly pulled a small gap.
Do what you do and let the rest work its self out. Lap 4 and 5 were just that and on lap 6 I was right there ready to try for a pass on Lenny. I had a plan and as we headed to lost hills my plan was over, black flag, it was not pointed at any of us so we kept going. We came down to the sweeper and another black flag was out, finally we all sat up and realized our race was over. We pulled into the pits and awaited the official results. Greg had won, Lenny second, and me in third. Not a bad way to start the year. I wanted to win, but it just goes to show you every lap counts even lap 4 or 5. A HUGE CONGRATS TO GREG! We wanted to have a good race and a 1-3 is pretty darn good. Oh yeah, 3rd on an old tire, you have to love those CT Racing-Pirelli tires!
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600 Superbike - finished 3rd
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.