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Old 06-18-2018, 10:14 PM   #2
Karate Kid
PeaPod's Avatar
Call Me: Rob
Location: CT valley
Odometer: 24000
Bike: '07 Ninja 650R
Posts: 675


So I was planning to have some upgrades with fueling coming into this round with my bikes. Unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances, I was not able to have the bikes tuned up for this weekend. Also was not able to make practice and it was apparently a good thing as practice time was cut very short for everyone.

Was drizzly/rainy Friday morning and nearly canceled my race that day, glad I didn't as it turned out to be to my advantage. Friday night was cold, dropping to 50 degrees for sleeping. Decided to pick up a race on Saturday morning after looking at the grid and seeing only two other bikes in the race the night before. Well come grid time, there were twelve total entries, lol, everyone else had the same idea of an easy podium as I did. Saturday warmed up considerably and with the festivities, left me a little low on juice for Sunday. So I was was draggin ass on Sunday and the sun beating down was no help. Don't get me wrong, I am glad that it was a beautiful day, but the sun can drain you just sitting around. Had the second to last race that day, so it was interesting to watch the parking lot drain as I'm waiting around to run. Capped off the weekend with a good run, so it was all worth it. Just glad I took Monday off!!

Friday day Race 2 - Amateur GTL - So I did not bring rain tires as the initial forecast was for bright sunshine all weekend long. This turned Wednesday night, but I just did not feel like throwing them in the truck and decided I would take my chances and not race if it was raining. Well screw me, it rained Friday morning and would not let up until half an hour before my race. I had decided early in the morning I was not going to run in the damp conditions. My friend convinced me that if I want to make points, I have to grid up regardless of the conditions and my tire choice. I rushed to finish some safety wiring as I had put new tires on for the weekend and set up to grid.

I did not know what to expect this race and there was a variety of tire choices between the competitors. It seemed half had rains and half had drys. Was going to be interesting.

The track was fairly wet looking on the warm up lap, so I was a bit nervous about my tires. Had an OK start, but came out of turn 2 in fourth place. By the end of lap 1, I was passed by two more riders and was in sixth. After this the track started showing some drying and I had a bit more confidence in the tires and conditions. I started to pick my speed up a little bit at a time. I caught one rider going over the hill in turn five as he pushed a little wide, and with my knee dangling out, I felt his front tire rubbing my slider, eerie. Around the third or fourth lap, I saw the points leader in this class had spilled in turn 1a and was picking his bike up, but which meant I gained a position. Then again, around the 7th lap another rider down in the bowl gained me another position. I passed position for position 3 and 2 at some point and was on the leaders tail around lap 10 or so. I was not really sure of this though as the field had got very mixed up with experts and amateurs and lappers.

Had a pretty cool pass going into turn 6, slicing in between the leader in my class and an expert that was falling back. A lap or so later, I was daydreaming and missed the flop for turn 12 pretty badly and this cost me the lead position with him easily outdragging me down the straight. I continued on and was able to get back by him, sliding under through turn 3 as he got stood up by another rider coming through. From there I managed to stay out ahead and finish the race.

Coming off the track, I really did not know where I finished this race. I had hopes of a top three and was fairly confident of that. When my buddies told me I was first, I could barely believe it. I just won the mfing AM GTL at the Classic weekend! I was pumped as this is a class that means a lot to me. There was some attrition to help me along the way, but there was also some drive to go that got me there. I am so glad my friend talked into riding this race as it gained me good points and netted my first AM GTL win. I still have work to do to be able to win a straight up dry race, but this is still a confidence booster like no other.

Saturday day Race 2 - Amateur Thunderbike - So I had a fairly decent launch, but had to hold it deeper than the next guy going into turn 1 to get past for third place. Going into turn 3 I was able to out brake the second place rider and slot myself into second place. Keeping pace with the leader, around lap three, third place came out of nowhere and dive bombed both myself and first place, luckily not creaming first place as he drove straight through the corner. First place managed to duck back under and I almost did as well, but had to breathe the throttle as I was not 100% sure the racer was going to chop me off at the apex of four.

We proceeded to run as pack for the next few laps until I tried a pass under second coming out of turn 2. I felt as if I was almost going to lowside as I was getting into the gas while still holding it down, feeling a little slide and bobble. Luckily the Pirellis stuck and I was able to sigh in relief I did not take myself, or worse, another rider out. I think this must also have given him motivation to make a pass on first, because as we went into turn 11 he pushed hard and would have made a nice pass, but had to jump the curbing. I was right behind, so able to pounce on his miscue and take him going into turn 12. I was not quite able to get back on first place's tail to make a proper pass, so ended the race in second place.

It was really a cool race as the top three were nose to tail the whole time and no one ran away with it. The competition in the Amatuer rank is pretty close right now, albeit I feel a tad slower than we should be. Seems like we're running consistent 24's-22's with some 21's thrown in there. Still have four rounds to go, so I'm sure the times will pick up and with some new faces coming out of the woodwork this weekend the competition is just going to get more fierce.

Sunday Race 7 - Amateur Lightweight Grand Prix - report coming soon

Sunday Race 11 - Amateur Ultralight Superbike - report coming soon

Last edited by PeaPod; 06-19-2018 at 09:58 PM..
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