National Motorcycle Racer -

Location: Sonoma CA

Events raced - Finish

Pro Honda Oils U.S. Supersport - 23rd

Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme - 26th


Perhaps it was Kawasaki Canada going above and beyond to get the parts to us before this weekend or maybe it was that Lee Hindle made a pipe just for our bike and shipped it that very day, it might even be that Airtech got bodywork to us in record time. All these sponsors and more made this past weekend possible. Thank you. All this before even mentioning the awesome crew I had the privilege of working with this past week helped to make it one of the most enjoyable to date.

Just two days before we were scheduled to leave for the AMA National at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California, I got the call; Kawasaki had specially shipped all the parts we needed for the 600RR and there was a possibility that we would be able to get the bike on the track if everything came together.

Since the crash at Daytona I have not been able to ride our ZX6RR, which leaves us behind in our development of the bike. After the 13-hour drive to Sonoma I found myself tired but eager to get working on our equipment. Adding to our difficulty was the fact that I had never been to Infineon Raceway (formerly known as Sears Point), but as past Nationals have provided ample track time I wasn't overly concerned. I should have been. A weather system came in shutting down all practice which left us with less than 10 total laps on the track. That's 10 laps to figure out what direction the track goes... possibly some gearing selections.... Not much to work with. But I still had qualifying to get some track time.... nope... another system came in on Saturday shutting everything down, once again leaving us with zero track time. To say I was concerned was an understatement. Here we were at a new track on new equipment at an AMA National; Not a good time to be in this predicament. Sunday came and the AMA decided to grid us in order of points and entry so we were in the show. But what was I going to do? I now only had a 20-minute morning practice session to get both bikes and myself dialled in to be competitive at an National. I had to make a game plan. I had to make every lap count and learn as much as possible. Also, the crew worked extremely hard and delivered 100%. What a team! They did their job, now it was time to do mine. I decided to target three different corners per lap and analyze where the bike should be and how fast I should be going, taking into account brake markers, lean angle and other pertinent information. In between these selected corners I would take it relatively easy so that I could think about the previous corner. This worked better than I could have ever imagined. When the time board read one minute remaining in practice, I went out for a fast lap and tied all the corners together putting in a very fast time (considering it was my fifteenth lap on the track.) I was pumped and so was the team as we were making serious progress in a very short amount of time.

The races

600 Supersport
I gridded amongst all the AMA regulars and began to get the butterflies. Was the bike set-up going to be OK? Was I going to be OK? What I would have done for an extra hour of practice. I decided to take the first lap a little on the conservative side to avoid tangling with anyone. I got into a good position and just focused on putting the bike where it needed to be. I found a rhythm and progressively worked my way through the pack eventually finishing in 23rd. Surprisingly, I am not unhappy with that result when I take into account the lack of set-up time and track time. In the team's eyes it was as though I won. They were thrilled and it was great to feel their enthusiasm.

Formula Xtreme
Unfortunately, I am disappointed with my performance in this race. I just couldn't get comfortable on the big bike and my lack of confidence in one particular area of the track was costing me big time. I could make up huge time in other sections but this section was my Achilles heel. I tried to push though it, but it got to the point where the bike was letting me know that I was going to crash if I pressed much harder. Simply put, we missed the set-up and I wasn't able to make what we had work well enough. Still, we finished and brought it home.

Thanks again to all the sponsors that make this possible.

Please click on image to enlarge

The 600 - together

The 600 - apart

Chris & Brian

The 900

On pit road

Dave Lanigan

Race Reports