Date: April 3 - 4
Classes raced and results
600 Supersport - 3rd
LW Superbike - 1st
600 Superbike - 3rd
MW GP Twins - DNF (Mechanical)
This season is dedicated to
the memory of my friends Mike Battle, Keith Pinkstaff and
Duane Grand - gone, but never forgotten.
Welcome to a new season of racing! It
seems like it's been quite a while since I last wrote a race
report, and there is a lot to update you on. We've certainly
been productive in preparing for our 2009 season. In the sponsorship
department I'm thrilled to announce some new support coming
onboard. First up is that I'm now managed, and I'm not referring
to my darling bride Karla either. Rocket Moto Group (RMG),
based out of California, has taken on the daunting task of
managing my racing career and sponsorship commitments. Owners
Shaunn and Rob are exactly what we need to keep pushing our
racing to the highest level possible. To say I'm excited with
this new relationship and where it will take us is an understatement.
In other news, Clearly
Lasik, a company specializing in laser vision correction,
has also joined our lineup of sponsors. And wouldn't you know
it; they worked on my eyes as well giving me better than 20/20
vision. Amazing! So a huge thanks to Dr. King and the staff
based in Victoria for making such an amazing improvement in
my life. Also, as I mentioned in my off-season update, the
Victoria business Lifestyle
Markets has come on board assisting me with the nutritional
supplies needed to be in top form. This combined with my trainer
motivation and guidance has me in possibly the best shape
of my life.
I have so many people to thank that I'll save
it for the end of the report so you can get right into the
details of the race weekend.
Believe it or not getting a new model race ready, in this
case Kawasaki's rather potent ZX6R, is one of the most stressful
times for the race team. Sure, it's exciting for me because
it is the latest and greatest machinery, but behind the scenes
things get a little tense. The team has to deal with a new,
un-developed machine and we have to push our suppliers to
get basic racing parts. I'm referring to the great people
behind us like Hindle
Exhausts, who sent us one of the first systems they
made, and FlexiGlass bodywork that literally worked day and
night for a week to get us bodywork for the first round. It
goes way beyond just these two examples, but it certainly
is worth mentioning how much harder everyone works with a
new motorcycle, so a huge thanks from me is in order.
Notes on practice
Practice was a hurried affair as we only had two, fifteen
minute sessions to get our brand new ZX6R dialed in for the
600 races that day. Not too much time seeing as we hadn't
turned a wheel on this particular motorcycle. Nonetheless,
Dan, Dale and I used the time to get our 600 pretty close
in terms of how I felt we needed it for the race. As for the
SV, well, it felt as though I hadn't even been away from her
for a few months. Within three laps I went within a second
of my best time on the bike, and it felt really good to ride
a bike in anger and push some Pirelli tires. It really had
been too long.
Race 1 600 Supersport
I got a decent start but found myself ultimately in my finishing
position going into turn two. Eli Edwards and Mike Sullivan
were setting the pace and we had certainly missed the set-up
to stay with them to challenge for position. No excuses, though
I felt we did alright considering the lack of time on the
bike. Afterwards we met with Pirelli's
Kevin Graham and Tom Young to discuss some of the challenges
I experienced. With their input Dan and I came up with a host
of changes to test on the bike.
I really messed up the start and went into turn two in second
place. It got even more pathetic when I missed my downshift
going into turn three and found myself in fourth with a gaggle
of bikes right on my tail section. Determined to improve on
this I made a push to the front and managed to get there by
the end of the lap. Then I made another mistake (you'd think
I would learn by now) and missed my downshift going into turn
two. The resulting coast through the first part of the turn
saw me relegated, yet again, to second place. At this point
I was a bit fed up with my sloppy riding and got down to the
business of putting in some clean laps. Luckily I managed
to get away and win the race.
With the previous days 600 race still in my mind I was quite
determined to improve upon our third place. Alas, it was not
to be. The changes we made worked, and we were able to go
consistently quicker, but our competition in Eli and Sully
had also improved and they were too strong for us today. Trust
me, we'll keep chipping away until we can challenge for the
MW GP Twins
I actually managed to break the SVZR, not intentionally mind
you, but it seems the crank had had enough of my antics and
let go just past the half way mark of the race. So with that
I must apologize to Dan and the team as I've now given them
a considerable amount of work to do before the next round,
which is next weekend in Portland. Sorry lads.
Next up is Portland for round one of the OMRRA
series. Stay tuned. You know I'll keep you posted.
I don't know where to begin really, but here are some specific
thank yous to folks and companies that really went above and
beyond for us already this year.
- Tom and Kevin and the entire crew in Rome, GA. Thanks for
your continued support of us. Looking forward to this year
and representing you to the fullest.
Exhaust - Lee, I can't thank you enough for always
coming through for us. Your systems are phenomenal in the
power they make along with the fit and finish.
- Trev, you're a stud! Not much else to add other
that we appreciate all your efforts in making amazing bodywork.
Brakes - Garry Gallagher, I don't know what we would
do without you. You're the best in the business for getting
us the best brakes on the planet.
- Gary, thank you for always taking care of us with your awesome