Let me start off by apologizing about not keeping my website updated, this season has been ridiculously busy. I will from here on out do a better job of allotting time to my website. Thanks for continuing to follow my results and checking the website.
For those who do not know I have been racing for another team in addition to my own Moto Garage program, Black Hole Racing (which later changed its name to R&R Racing) on an Aprilia RSV1000. Going into Atlanta the plan was to just race the Aprilia in the Moto Gt series. While the Brett (the team owner) was driving to the race track he decided we should compete in both Moto GT and Daytona Sportbike, on the same motorcycle. Needless to say this was the makings for a very busy weekend for me, Superbike, Moto Gt, and Daytona Sportbike means 5 final events with all the associated practice and qualifying sessions!!! The first two days I didn’t take off my leathers once I put them on in the morning. However I will only be reporting on the Superbike program in this report.
My teammate, Josh Graham, and I arrived at the track Thursday morning for parking and setup. After we had the pit and everything all setup and ready to go we did the final prep on all of our racebikes. By Friday morning practice we were ready to go.
Friday morning warm up went pretty well, and I was feeling pretty strong by the end of it. By the end of qualifying Friday we were outside row five.
Saturday morning warm up was cut short as both Josh and I started the session about 10 minutes late due to us running long with the Aprilia team. This by itself wasn’t a big deal but unfortunately on our first lap Josh Hayes drafted past me on the straight and immediately proceeded to blow an engine. Coating me, by bike, the track and my front tire with oil. This made the kink in the back straight interesting to say the least!!!
They red flagged the session, and did not restart it due to the required clean up so this meant that Josh and I only managed one lap of practice for the warm up.
Saturday afternoon was Superbike race one and on the warm up lap my steering dampner completely quit working, and I noticed the chain felt a bit loose. I didn’t think the chain was going to be too big of a deal I would just wave to be cautious with the throttle over curbs. However the steering dampner had me concerned, anyone who wants a thrill ride and a test of you skills should take a 190 hp superbike for a ride around Road Atlanta without a steering dampner. By the end of the race I could hardly keep the handlebars in my hands anymore. With about 5 laps to go the loose chain started creating problems, it was starting to strip the rear sprocket. It was jumping teeth on hard acceleration, due to this I was forced to drive out of pretty much every corner a gear too tall just to ensure I would be able to finish the race. Even with all the problems I was able to finish in 15th place. After the race finished I noticed a small oil leak on the right side of the motorcycle, upon later investigation the engine case had actually cracked and was leaking oil. Luckily it did start to leak enough oil to get on the tires, or race track!!!
Sunday warm up meant I was bringing out the B bike for the first time this season. I basically spent the entire warm up session working out bugs in the B bike and never had the chance to put my head down and actually work on set up. The bike had a problem with the engine not wanting to decelerate when you would roll out of the gas. It would just keep pushing you into the corner. By the end of the session I had worked out the bugs and the bike was rideable, however I still hadn’t had any hard laps on it. Sunday afternoon was race two, as the lights went out and the race went green I realized I never had the opportunity to practice a launch with this bike. The bike lurched straight up and tried to jump out from under me. This unfortunately doesn’t equate to a good start so I was pretty much last off the line going for turn one. I put my head down as hard as I could on the opening lap and was in 14th after the first lap. After a few laps I slowly began to realize how poorly the bike was handling, as it bucked and jumped around under me. After a race long fight with the bike I managed to come home with another 15th place finish.
I would like to give Chris Cooke from RPM/ BG oils a HUGE thanks for coming out to the races over the weekend and being such a huge help to my race program. The weekend would not have gone off without your help.
Now I prepare for Barber.
Two side notes, I was invited to race the Isle of Man TT this year for a privateer Suzuki team, on a 2009 GSXR 600. I am very excited to do this event as it is one of the races I have always wanted to do but actually figured I would never get the opportunity. I will be in the Isle of Man for a total of three weeks, which unfortunately means I will miss the Miller Motorsports Park round of World Superbike and Larry H Miller superbike challenge as well as the Elkhart Lake round of the AMA.
Also starting at Barber I will be racing for D&D cycles Triumph in the Moto Gt series, on a 2009 Triumph 675. Look for us to be running at the front.
See you at the races!!!