Date: April 18-19
Classes raced and results
LW Superbike - 1st
GP Twins - 1st
Yes, and just like that I find myself, rather displaced, writing a race report again. I'm not quite sure how long it has been, but it does feel surreal to be in this moment right now. Where to begin..... Honestly, I don't know. So much has changed, shifted, and opened up for me recently that I might bore you (more than usual) with too many details in how this all came together. Hmmm. Let's start with gratitude as that certainly has been the most constant feeling leading up to, and through, the opening round of the 2015 season.
Dan & Dale Zlock - Zlock Racing - Thanks for the opportunity to ride for you and the team again. It feels like I'm back home with my second family again enjoying what racing brings. You guys amaze me.
Jeff Johnston, Corey Neuer and Phil Melnyk - Pirelli - Thanks so much for your continued support with your amazing product. Hard to believe that I've raced on Pirelli, or Metzler tires, almost exclusively, for my entire career. Jeff, thanks for always being in our corner.
Bruce Parker - Joe Rocket Canada & Speed and Strength - Bruce, no words really to thank you for your continued support over all these years. Thanks for keeping me safe.
Bill Berroth - Motonation - Bill, again, you help keep me safe with Sidi boots. - Thank you for your continued support.
Friends, Family, Pinkstaff's - thanks to everyone that supports me in living this life. I feel blessed. Thanks also to everyone that came by the pits to say hello. It felt amazing to be back in the arena.
I've learned a tremendous amount about myself in the past few years. I'm now crystal clear on what "makes me tick", and racing, quite frankly, envelopes so much of who I am. In this arena I get to utilize so many of my talents, strengths, and passions. This may surprise you, but, it's not even riding the motorcycle that I'm talking about. (Honestly, I don't feel like I do a phenomenal job on riding the bike itself) It's the connections, relationships, logistics, planning, travelling, training, nutrition and all out adventure that are my drug of choice. Rhetorical question aside... Why not do what brings you to life, why not do what utilizes who you are? Ponder that my friends.
So here I sit typing away, prepping a story possibly for the two people that read this, (Thanks mom and dad) ;o) hoping that my journey here engages you all in some way.
Dan said to me late on Thursday evening, "Racing is inevitably a fight/struggle. You don't know where this will come from, be it competition, logistics, injury, money, etc, it WILL be a struggle, it is NEVER easy." So true. In that moment, and the days leading up to it, we had been struggling to get the bike, and the new electronic package, to work seamlessly. As you might imagine, Dan used his many talents to figure out what wasn't working. The result, yet another edition of his incredible race craft.
Notes on Practice...
Once we sorted out that the bike was working 100% I began to focus on my job as a rider. The track was, unfortunately, in pretty bad shape. A long, wet, winter had left its mark leaving the surface covered in organic material that isn't, as you might imagine, conducive to the higher levels of grip that are required for racing. This, and the rather unfortunate consequence of two thousand Canadian geese using the area as a migratory path left the track, literally, shitty. I kid you not. It was so bad that I had to take different lines in some corners to avoid "goose mines". Hilarious!
Physically thought, riding the bike has never been better. I need to acknowledge my trainer, Cindy, for her amazing programs that she pushed me through over the winter. I've never been lighter, or stronger, in my entire life and this pays HUGE dividends when riding a motorcycle. It even shocked me when, after the weekend, I had no issues whatsoever with muscle, or cardio, fitness. Bodes well.
Race #1 GP Twins...
I told Dan and the team that I wanted to lead this race into turn one. It was going to be important given our competition and their respective equipment. I got really lucky with a decent launch and small draft off the line. The plan paid off and I managed to outbreak the lead rider for a clear shot at a flying lap. The first two flying laps were my fastest of the race finally dipping into the mid 1:15's. On the next lap, powering through turn eight, I almost crashed, losing the rear end in a rather unpredictable manner. It honestly felt as though I had hit oil. (I almost left a "Oli mine" in turn nine) :o) Naturally, my sense of self preservation kicked in and I backed off for two laps to ensure that I wasn't going to end up on my head. In the end, after some investigation, it just happened to be that my line through turn eight was so "dirty" from the winter that it wouldn't offer the grip I needed for the turn. - So I just changed lines a little. (for now)
Race #2 Middleweight Superbike...
Interesting race for me. Same plan as the previous day in that I needed to lead it into turn one to have any chance of a clean flying lap. I managed, luckily, to squeeze into turn one in first. From here I just focused on hitting my marks, which I didn't accomplish as consistently as I would have liked, but it seemed to be enough to garner a win. I still wasn't able to use my ideal line through turn eight, thought the track was starting to gain some resemblance of grip as the weekend wore on. Goose poop aside..
I'd like to thank the competitors that came by to say hello after the races. I love this part of racing in the Northwest. Almost everyone seems to manage the competition and not take it "off the track".
Anyway, I've rambled long enough that even my mom and dad probably stopped reading this after the second paragraph.
Thanks for reading - stay tuned for the season - check out the video and pictures from the weekend here: