What a weekend for the team. It was truly a roller coaster
of emotions and feelings for me personally, but we pulled
the long awaited win out of the bag!
Again a huge thanks goes out to some specific people for their
superhuman efforts towards our race program and its success.
First and foremost I have to thank Dan and Joyce Zlock and
the whole Zlock Racing team for their continued belief and
support. Also, thank you to Jeff Johnston from Pirelli for
going out of his way to ensure we had the best tires available
this weekend - it made the difference. And last, but not least,
a thank-you to my wife Karla for supporting (read "tolerating")
my racing; without that I would not be writing this report
right now. Thank you.
After countless second-place finishes we finally pulled a
win in the premier class in WMRRA - Formula Ultra. Does it
ever feel like a long time coming! It had actually gotten
to the point that it was bothering me, although I never expressed
that to anyone. In my conversations with Dan he continually
commented that we were "in the hunt for the win"
and that was what truly mattered to him. As long as we were
a "threat" he would be happy and the wins would
take care of themselves. Unfortunately Dan wasn't personally
there this weekend. He had just come back from Suzuka working
with Gobert and Ferguson and I have never seen him so completely
wiped out. There was no way I was going to ask him to work
on the bikes during one of his rare and much-needed weekends
Saturday we were scheduled to run a "make-up" race
from a prior round. It was probably one of the worst races
I have had this season. I just wasn't functioning or working
with the bike at all and the lap times showed it. I finished
fifth. When I came in from the race the crew was asking what
was wrong with the bike. "It's not the bike; it's the
rider," I told them. Saturday's results actually motivated
me for Sunday's race as there was no way I was going to repeat
that performance for the team. I went out to Dan's house to
relax and have dinner with him and his wife.
Sunday morning - time to go to work
Race One Formula Ultra. Again, the weather was playing havoc
in regards to tire selection. Our ultimate decision was to
run the little 600 on full Pirelli wets against the big bikes
as the track was 75 per cent wet. This was going to be hard
work. I got a great start and was in the top five going into
turn two. I was pushing as hard as I ever had in the wet to
keep in touch with the lead riders. I managed to just squeak
by Tom Wertman and Eli Edwards and set my sights on the other
two riders. As I came out of turn eight I had a major moment
when the back tire got light over the rise. Here I was doing
the "Superman" in the top of fourth gear headed
straight for the air fence. Somehow I ended up back on the
bike and turned it into turn nine still holding my position.
I gathered it up and continued to push to the front. We were
riding really hard in the conditions and unfortunately one
of the riders in front, Mike Sullivan, got caught out and
went down in turn five. Thankfully he was just fine. The last
two laps were an all-out brawl, but I managed to get by and
take the win. Did it ever feel good!
Race Two 600 Superbike
Again I got a good start and by turn three I was in the lead.
I pushed hard in the first lap because I knew Mike Sullivan
was on a charge (he actually broke the track record this weekend).
I lead for the first five laps but I could hear Mike right
behind me. I did my best to put in clean precise times, but
he got by me going into turn two with a good pass. I tried
to retaliate into turn three but Mike had the position and
unfortunately I wasn't able to get by him for the finish.
It was a great race and another good battle between Mike and
Race Three 600 Supersport
I felt like "the little Kawi that could" in this
race. It was a field of Yamahas and one or two GSX-Rs. I got
a good start and went into turn two in fourth. By turn three
I was right in the mix and pushing hard. By turn five I was
way back in fifth. Not to make excuses, but we didn't have
the package for a race win in this one. When I came in I talked
with my crew chief, Chris Townsend, about the difficulties
I was having during the race. He is going to talk with Dan
to see if there might be some possible solutions to our dilemmas.
I feel quite confident they will think of something.
Again a huge thanks to everyone for their support. It really
means a lot.
Please click on image to enlarge
Action photos courtesy of Carlos Hatfield
Rain Dugan and their daughter.
Mike and Val
Alex and Val Sullivan