Date: May 15-16
Classes raced and results
MW Superbike - 1st
Formula 4- 4th
Huge thanks to everyone involved, especially the Zlock Brothers, Dan & Dale and the racing family with Kevin, Aarin, Lisa, Brian Moe, Brent, Jeff & Francie, and even Cam.. You guys make racing so much fun!
Also, huge thanks to John Bickle with Bickle Racing for getting us some new Tire Warmers for the season… amazing stuff John, thank you!
This was a challenging weekend for everyone involved. The weather was so intermittent that it literally became a gamble to choose the right tires for the races on Saturday. Unfortunately, for us, the weather did a sudden change right before our race and I ended up on DOT’s (Dry weather tires) for what was now a wet track. I did a decent job off the start but knew by the entrance to turn one that I had no reasonable chance at winning the race. Honestly…. That’s a hard thing for me to accept. I pushed the bike as hard as I dared and had several near crashes but managed to keep the bike upright and settle for an eventual 4th place. Although, you could have measured my lap times with a sun dial… I was frustrated for sure, more so because I didn’t have the feel I needed to push the bike at all. Any time I did anything to increase the pace I almost crashed. In fact, this left me somewhat concerned going into the next day as my connection to what is “going on” with the bike and the traction is paramount in my confidence with the machine and the tires..
Sunday’s weather, albeit wet, was at least predictable and I was able to get out on Pirelli’s latest full rain tires. Those that know me well know that I love riding in the rain and the addition of these amazing tires made the job quite enjoyable. In a rather determined mood I got an excellent launch off the line and was lucky enough to hit my marks throughout the race to get the win. I can’t describe how great it felt with these tires in these conditions. The bike was completely “hooked up” and the feedback as I started to push only got better. Thanks again to Jeff and the guys @ Pirelli for their continued support!
What a lap looks like. Part two - Turn two and three at Portland.
So rather than boring the one person reading this to death.. twice.. - 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 continue a series dissecting what I focus on at different parts of the track. I hope you enjoy.
With a decent drive from turn one the bike will be sliding, ever so slightly, to the edge of the track for the entrance to turn two. With the bike at full lean I’ll completely focus on getting the front Pirelli to “bite” and turn the bike in getting it pointed exactly where it needs to be. It seems like an eternity to the apex of turn two, but if I’m patient enough, and I’ve got the entrance bang on, my right leg will be over the curb on the inside of turn two. From here I have two options. Go for the lap time and stay right with the bike pinned. Or, protect the line and drive the bike to the left. Entirely depends on the race, and who might be behind me. Typically, I’ll opt for the prior option as we’re trying to do a decent lap here. So, with that, I’ll be to the right of the track for the entrance for turn three. A tricky turn for several reasons: It’s moderately blind as it goes slightly uphill (You can’t see your exit point until you’re well into the corner.) Also, the camber changes depending on where you are in the corner so finding that “optimal” line that uses the camber to your advantage while considering bike position, and exit point can be challenging. (read fun) If that wasn’t enough it’s also the first time in that lap that you’re on the left side of the tire. A side of the tire that’s had quite a bit of time to cool down since turn seven… So I always leave a little on the table as I enter the turn. Anyway, with an extremely late apex I’ll start to drive the bike up the small incline. At full lean I’ll start to feed as much throttle as the rear tire can handle and then use a slight amount of rear spin to finish the turn with the bike exiting, literally on the left side of the track standing it straight up and down for a WFO blast to turn four! When I get it right, and slide it correctly, I’ll just nic the limiter at my brake marker for turn four (my favorite turn on the track) Which I’ll cover in my next report next month!
Images & Video from the weekend can be viewed here.