Round 7 Infineon the Final Saga. Yes this is the final round, the last hoorah, time to put up or shut up. So I can’t go any further without first thanking all of my sponsors for their support this year. As a rider I spend much of my time trying to figure out how to go faster, the truth is my sponsors are a huge part of that. Spend some time with sponsors like mine and you feel like success is possible.
This round was slightly different from most. I chose to ride Friday, that isn’t unusual for me, the fact I was alone was. Due to a number of reasons many people weren’t able to attend Friday practice. Fellow racer Liko Miles was there, so he became my focus. Liko is a very experienced rider and has been at the front all season. He was a good benchmark for a front runners pace. Mostly the day was spent working on things learned at Ken Hill Coaching days. Having Liko around would keep my times honest. I would like to thank Blaise Camp, for allowing me a few of his sessions at Thunder Hill in the prior weeks. This gave me plenty to focus on while chasing Liko.
Friday was pretty much your standard track day, with one exception. Riding a bit off my pace, so I could practice some things turn 9 was approaching. While on the brakes, a corner I am pretty strong in, a rider went up the inside of me, and he was completely sideways. It was one of those moments when you think, where the hell is he going? Into the dirt that was where he would end up. I made my turn in and just then my peripheral vision caught a yellow bike. Quickly I stood the bike up to try and avoid any contact. Turns out it was Liko, he got sucked in by the other rider. This is one of those things every racer has done at one time. You use the rider in front of you as a pace setter. It works great as long as the rider in front of you makes the turn. Liko came by the pits later to say thanks for opening up a line for him. This doesn’t happen with him often so I wasn’t upset.
Saturday was more fun for me. My entire group had arrived and my practice on Friday would pay off for me. Sometimes you start to focus so hard on certain aspects of racing you neglect the basics. All day was spent with the basics, and my fastest practice times came while just focusing on the basics. A minor change in form caused me to make lever adjustments on Saturday. I used to hate lever adjustments, because you could never find that same spot again if you did not like the change. CRG levers were added to the bike early this year and you just look at the numbers and know they are perfect. I have issues with needing to know everything is just that, perfect. If you want to ride at a 100%, then you shouldn’t have any doubts about your bike.
Saturday night we did a lap around the track on pedal bikes. It was a fundraiser and really fun. Thanks to all who came out and rode. We have gotten a lot of help from Z2 Trackdays this year, so Greg and I bought a cake, Scotch, and some Cigars for the guys to enjoy Saturday. After that it was off to the new race ritual of slow bike races. The race is over a 25 yard stretch with 3 ft lanes painted on the ground. The object being the last to cross the line, wins. Soldier Racing has been putting this on for a few rounds now. They give all of the money to Eric Arnold, who was injured while racing. If you get knocked out of contention you can buy back into the race. Needless to say I am referred to as the buy back king. : ) Saturday was great fun.
Sunday was really busy, due to some crashes in Saturday racing. Barb, our racing director would pull off an AFM record of 15 races in one day. My race 1 became race 3. That allows the track to warm and get more grip into it, so I was ok with that. Race 3 was 750 Superbike. Due to an early season crash I didn’t spend as much attention on this class. I mean you always want to do well, but I would grab some used tires for that race. Pirelli makes a great tire and a used tire is still able to get the job done. By the last round I saw that I had a chance to get a top five in the class. So this would be my main focus for the day.
I spent the morning making sure the suspension was set, tires would be ready, and everything in my little bubble was good to go. Practice had to be shortened, to make room for the extra racing. I had planned on going fast all day, so this didn’t bother me. Sitting on the starting line I was ready to race. The board went up, then sideways, and finally green flag racing. Riding the race was much like any other race, except my teammate Greg decided to join in on the fun. He got pass me and we played around a for a bit. A small mistake cost me some ground and left me with a desperate pass into 7. Braking just a little too late, the decision to stand the bike up and not take both of us out was all I was left with. If you want to piss off your team, just take out your teammate. This was done memorably by Dani Pedrosa in Moto GP once. It almost cost Nick Hayden the championship.
I wasn’t able to come back and make the pass leaving me a little upset at myself. The rest of my racing went well and I had fun. I like the idea of having fun. You can race professionally, as an amateur, do some trackdays, or just ride for pleasure. That is what it should be pleasure, fun, pure joy. I will spend my off season training hard, because hey winning is fun too.
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.