Miller Motorsports Park, Utah
We went into Miller with a new found confidence after our recent podium finish. Luckily the trip to Miller was less eventful than the trip from Phoenix to Road America. We arrived Wednesday to prep the bikes and set up the pit. I set up the pit and started the bike prep. Thursday Rodney showed up and we finished the prep on the bikes to get ready for Friday morning practice. Friday practice went fairly well and we were definitely looking forward to the rest of the race weekend.
Saturday morning practice we were 8th in the practice times with a 1:53.1. Superstock qualifying came around and we were expecting to put the bike inside of the second row. We went out in superstock qualifying and immediately the bike didn’t feel right, it had a serious vibration. I thought it was in the rear so we came in and put a different rear tire on but the vibration was still there. We barely managed a 1:53.9. After the session we found the front tire was WAY out of balance. Superstock we were sitting inside of row 3, in superbike we were on row 5. Saturday afternoon was superbike race 1. The race took off and I got a pretty good start and we were running with Scassa and Lynn on the factory MV’s. By the end of the race we finished 12th.
Sunday morning practice we found some different race tires and were immediately running a string on mid 1:53’s by ourselves. So at this point we were pretty optimistic about the race. The superstock race kicked off and we didn’t get quite the start we were hoping for, but it was red flagged after Jake Holden crashed right in front of me. So I got a second chance of the start, I got it off the line a bit better this time. We spent the entire race battling with Danny Eslick. Every lap we were swapping positions for 5th. Danny and I would be backing it in right next to each other in nearly every corner. Eventually we started to catch 4th, Pietri, but Danny and I were not willing to let the other lead. Coming up to the white flag I was leading, and I knew Danny was right on my rear tire. I figured I would park it in the corner leading onto the straight to box up Danny a bit and try to out dive him on the exit. Unfortunately I was a bit throttle happy and nearly high sided on the exit. After getting spat out of the seat I took a peak over my shoulder and saw Danny driving around me on the outside. After my mistake he put about 6 bike lengths on me down the straight. I tried my hardest to catch and re-pass Danny but was only able to catch up to his rear tire. At the start finish we were 4 tenths of a second behind Eslick. Putting in a hard fought ride to finish 6th.
Sunday afternoon was the second superbike race. The race went green and I managed a good start but the race was red flagged when Mladin crashed. The problem was with the red flag being so early in the race we didn’t have the proper tires ready for the bike. Normally our tires we have ready for red flags are significantly softer than our race tires because there are fewer laps left in the race after a red flag. This meant that our tires were not going to last the entire race. So we decided to go out and run as hard as we could for as long as we could and just try to bring it home after. The restart went green and at the end of the first lap I was towing along with Jason Disalvo and Roger Hayden. I ran along with them for about 4 or 5 laps and the tires started to fade a bit. Then I was caught by Scassa and Lynn I managed to hang on for a 13th place finish at the end.
All and all a very good weekend and we walked away 6th overall in superstock and 12th in superbike.
See you all at Laguna!!!