Date: April 9-10
Classes raced and results
MW Superbike - 1st
Formula 4- 1st
Welcome to another year of racing!
Huge thanks to everyone involved in getting us to the opening round of the year!
I need to specifically thank some key people.
Dan & Dale @ Zlock Racing
Jeff Johnston @ Pirelli Tires
The crew @ MotoNation
The Pinkstaff Family
My kids, Kodi, Carter & Connor.
The countless other friends, family & sponsors that make racing the fun game that it is!
Thank you all for your contribution!
Gawd I love racing! I love the preparation, the logistics, the planning, the networking, the relationships, the training, the physical element, the mental element, the early mornings, the challenge, the grind, the physics, the understanding, the sights, the smells, the exhilaration and tremendous satisfaction of riding a motorcycle at the limit with precision and control. My kind of drug! - And, those aren't even the best elements..... I have, honestly, the most amazing family and friends in this arena. I can't articulate this... It's just home!
Where to begin. My preparation for the season started in earnest in January of this year. I started an improved fitness program that implemented Cross-fit (thx to the team @ Crossfit Stasis) into my repertoire along with a strict nutritional program. The results saw me coming in light but exceptionally strong for the opening round of the OMRRA season. Despite all this preparation it wasn't without any drama. Just two weeks before I had somehow injured my hip in a snowboarding crash that even just three days before leaving for the race left me unable to walk effectively. With some focused work with my chiropractor and my trainer we made it work... Wheph.
Luckily, for me, Dan had also gone over the bike in the winter months and had made several improvements to the latest generation of the engine. Additionally, Pirelli has worked with us to to incorporate their latest (read amazing) 180/60 series rear tire to work with the bike.
Notes on practice:
It took all of two laps of to understand that we had definitely made progress with the bike and tire combination in the off season. In practice alone (on a cold and "green" track) we were able to get within half of a second of my best time last year. Bodes well!
I did a decent job off the starts slotting the bike into the lead for turn one. From here I just focused on hitting my marks and letting the new engine and big rear tire do their thing. With those advantages we were able to take the wins.
What a lap looks like. Part one - Turn one at Portland.
So rather than boring the one person reading this to death.... - It was requested of me to write about what I'm doing to put a decent lap together on the bike. - So, with that, I'll start a series dissecting what I focus on at different parts of the track. I hope you enjoy.
Approaching turn one down Portland's long straight. - The bike will be turning 9200 rpm (depending on a draft) in sixth gear. Engine temp will be around 74 to 78 degrees Celsius. I'll be as small as humanly possible behind the screen with my shoulders as low as they can go for aerodynamics. As I cross a particular seam in the pavement I'll ever so gently take two fingers and touch the brake lever effectively applying a small amount of force into the front forks and chassis. Once I hit my brake marker (another immovable mark on the track) I sit up and apply the brakes and grab three fast downshifts to third gear. All of this is done as "smoothly" as possible to keep the bike stable. With the front Pirelli tire loaded sufficiently I can brake (with amazing feel and feedback) as I turn the bike into turn one, releasing the brakes as the bike's lean angle increases. Body position is off to the right, right knee down, over the curbs, and my head lowering as I start to apply throttle. My focus is now centered on pointing the bike to my apex point for turn one "B" while carrying as much roll speed as possible. To accomplish this I'll weight the inside peg with my leg as I transfer weight to the rear tire enabling the bike to still turn as the front tire becomes unloaded. When I'm able to connect these first few "dots" and I have the rear tire loaded sufficiently I go to full throttle for a split second on the short drive to turn two...
Next report (April) I'll explain turns two & three..
Images & Video from the weekend can be viewed here.