Date: April 13th
Classes raced and results
600 Supersport - 5th
650 GP Twins - 1st
600 Superbike - 6th
MW Superbike - 1st
Its 6:30 on Monday morning. Im
on a BC Ferries sailing headed home from a busy race
weekend that had some success and some frustration for me.
It was the opening round of the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing
Associations 2008 series in Portland where the track
has been completely repaved and also slightly revised. Fortunately
I can say I have had the opportunity to ride and race on racetracks
all over the world and the surface at Portland is now WORLD
CLASS. Its billiard-table smooth with a grip level so
high it is almost indescribable.
Also, there are some pretty special people in OMRRA, such
as Janice Logan, Tom Young and others, who are the foundation
of the club and why it runs. So, it was good to see these
folks for the first time this year.
Before I go over all that occurred during
the weekend I have to thank some specific sponsors for their
extended efforts. Thanks to everyone at Joe
Rocket for all you do to keep me safe. Thanks to EBC
Brakes, specifically, Garry Gallagher for the amazing
stuff they provide. I tested some new brake pads for EBC this
weekend and they were the best Ive ever used.
Also, I have to thank PAZZO
Racing for its continued support with levers and other
tidy bits for the bikes. As a treat they made
some Oliver branded levers for me this year. (See
photo on the left).
Also, in my first report this year, I failed
to mention some key sponsors who are such a crucial part of
what we do. So, thanks must go out to Hindle
Exhaust, specifically Lee Hindle, for always coming though
with the best exhaust systems possible. Our 600 sounds amazing
at 15,000 rpm through Hindles megaphone exhaust.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank
our team painter Rob Burns. (Paint by Burns Motorsports) Burnsey
works his tail off to keep our bikes looking bright.
Thanks Rob, youre the best.
To these people and to everyone else involved
in our race programthank you, we wouldnt be able
to do this without your support.
Also, I want to congratulate our friend Brian
Moe for getting his first race wins this weekend. Riding Zlock-built
SVs Brian whooped his competition like a rented mule.
GREAT stuff Bri, were proud of you.
Anyway, on to the racing at hand.
Notes on practice:
Practice went quite well as I focused on setting
up the bikes to be able to put them where I wanted on the
track. Im really enjoying riding the bikes right now
as I have a clear picture of the things I need to work on
as a rider and with Dans help we adjust the bikes to
make things happen the way I need them to. And this folks
is just another reason why Dans talent is so huge. He
does what few in this business dohe keeps it simple.
He focuses on the foundations of how to get a motorcycle around
a racetrack efficiently, while eliminating almost all the
background noise that usually comes into the picture.
Hes taught me what to look for, and more importantly,
how to convey my experiences clearly and effectively. His
best advise to me when I started riding for the team was:
Unless you can tell me what the bike is doing to slow
YOU down, were not changing a thing. That might
sound harsh but its the best way to summarize
how we work on developing a bike. Basically it starts with
me and, as a rider, I need to ride well enough to get things
to this point. Ninety-five per cent of the time, the only
nut that needs to be adjusted on the bike is me. We made some
minor changes to the 600 and even chased down a slight misfire
ultimately caused by the quick shifter failing.
In the end we took the unit off to solve the issue.
Weather conditions warm & dry
Tires front / rear Dot, soft front & rear
Total laps - 12
To say that I had my work cut out for me in this race was
an understatement: unfortunately for me, the OMMRA grids everyone
in order of last years point standings. As I had virtually
none, I was gridded well back in a large field of ridersthe
back of the fifth row to be specific. Now, I can occasionally
pull a rabbit out of my ahem hat and make up one,
maybe two, rows on a start. Assuming things go very well that
is. But four is a big task in a class full of guys that took
my lunch money in high school. I launched the 600 very hard
off the line, probably cutting the clutch life in half.
Somehow I managed to get in the top five on
the first lap, right behind Mike Sullivan. Sounds familiar
doesnt it? Sure enough, Mike and I had another phenomenal
battle for the entire race, and he was blowing me away going
into turn one.
I couldnt believe how late he was braking
going into turn one and he also had speed on me through turns
two and three, where Im clearly missing a few tenths.
However, I was slightly stronger on the back section and with
this we were able to scrap back and forth for the entire race.
I knew it was going to come down to a last lap pass. I worked
my way right up to Mike through the back and got the best
drive ever out of the last turn in an effort to draft by him
at the line. It ended in the closest finish I have ever had
in my career, with Mike taking the win by less than a foot.
650 GP Twins
Weather conditions warm & dry
Tires front / rear soft - soft
Total laps - 12
Result - 1st
I didnt get the best start in this one but the power
of Dans SV enabled me to lead the group to turn one.
From there I just focused on hitting the exact marks on the
track, lap after lap, and managed to get a small gap to second
which we luckily held to the finish. Honestly, I cant
seem to make Dans SV protest in any way. It doesnt
do a thing to slow me down so its just up to me to pin
the thing everywhere I can.
Weather conditions - warm & dry
Tires front / rear - soft DOT front - med DOT rear
Total laps 12
Yet again I had my work cut out for me on the start with
another fifth row grid position. Somehow I got lucky and managed
to improve on the earlier start getting to within striking
distance of the lead four riders. I ran them down in the first
four laps of the race and I thought I would have something
for them, but in the end I just didnt make it happen.
I was losing crucial ground through a key section of the track
and was becoming a bit frustrated. When I pushed harder it
just led to a few mistakes. No excuses though, it was down
to me as I had the equipment to do the job. Dan and I talked
after the race and really dug into why we are losing time
there. If we get that section squared away, well be
more of a threat. Next time.
Middle Weight Superbike
Weather conditions - cool & dry
Tires front / rear - soft dot front - soft dot rear
Total laps - 12
Result - 1st
This race came up right after the 600, so I was already all
spooled up. I got a decent start form the second row and once
again just focused on hitting my marks and putting the bike
where it needed to be. Riding the SV is actually helping me
in other areas of my riding as the bike tends to be much more
susceptible to things like headwinds and elevation changes
on the track. Im noticing how the details of my riding
on this bike affect it in such big ways. Again each time I
go out I look to glean a little more insight into how to go
just that much faster. Its a game you never master.
Again, HUGE thanks to everyone involved in
our race program!
Next race in Seattle - May 3 - 4.