National Motorcycle Racer -

Series WMRRA

Round 3

Classes Races - Results

600 SuperBike - 4th


My entire motivation for attending this round of the WMRRA series was to get our ZX6RR working more efficiently through faster corners and to just get some seat time at a fast track. As you will read below, it turned out to be a lot of work but well worth it as I had a total blast with several friends and competitors from the US.

I loaded up the Van somehow managing to squeeze in everything I would need for the weekend and set out for the thirteen hour trip to Spokane, Washington. It has been a few years since I have sprint raced in Spokane, so not only was I going to have get re-acclimated to the very fast twelve turn track, but I had also decided to go alone and do the total privateer thing for the weekend. It's good for me to do this at least once a year so that I don't become complacent with all the support I usually have. Not surprisingly, I realized just how much work those guys do and was reminded to thank them profusely. :o) Also, I need to thank Barry Wressell, Don Beck, Mike Sullivan, The Gua's and the HDFFC crew for their hospitality, friendship and help over the weekend. Thanks guys.

Notes on practise

Day one - Practise
Practise Session 1
Weather conditions - Dry and hot
Tires front / rear - soft front - medium rear
Total laps - 6
Best time - 1:34.417
Concerns/problems -
Gearing too tall - shift & braking points needed.
Notes: As this was my first time here with the 600 I had to make an educated guess as to the gearing that would be required for the long straight. Unfortunately, I was a little too optimistic that our 600 could pull taller gearing and found that I was only getting into sixth gear just before turn one. Also, I was just feeling my way around getting familiar with the layout once again so at no time did I really run the bike hard into any of the turns.

Practise Session 2
Weather conditions - Dry and hot
Tires front / rear - soft front - medium rear
Total laps - 5
Best time - 1:34.10
Concerns/problems -
Gearing too short - bike isn't finishing turns
Notes: I changed the gearing, however now I was tagging the rev limiter in sixth as I went down the straight limiting my top speed into turn one. Also, the bike wasn't turning as effectively as I would have liked causing me to run wide at the apex.

Practise Session 3
Weather conditions - Dry and hot
Tires front / rear - soft front - medium rear
Total laps - 6
Best time - 1:33.21
Concerns/problems -
Gearing is good, bike still won't finish the turn.
Notes: Despite making a small change to the rear shock in the efforts of improving the bikes turning ability, I still wasn't satisfied with how it was working. I talked with my suspension sponsor, Dave Hodges (GP Suspension), over dinner and we decided to change the rear spring to a slightly heavier unit to cope more successfully with the cornering loads from the high speed turns.

Day 2 notes:
Practise Session - Morning warm up
Weather conditions - Dry and hot - strong headwind
Tires front / rear - soft front - soft rear
Total laps - 4
Best time - 1:32.4

Concerns/problems - Bike is turning more effectively, but still not as I would like. Also, the headwind is so strong that I am not able to pull sixth gear down the straight. I decide to drop the gearing by a fraction and also make a rather radical geometry change in the last few minutes before the race. It's a gamble but if it works we should be competitive.

Race 1 - 600 Superbike
Weather conditions - Dry and hot - strong headwind
Tires front / rear - soft front - medium rear
Total laps - 10
Best time - 1:31.7
Result - 4th

Concerns/problems - Blew the transmission up in the third lap.
Notes: As WMRRA grids by points, and I have none, I was at the back of a twenty six rider field looking way up to the front row. I was going to have to get an awesome start. I didn't. When I let the clutch out the bike seemed to "pop" into a neutral and I just sat there as the field roared away down the straight. This was not how I wanted to start my day. I eventually got the bike into gear and took off in pursuit of the pack. By lap two I had worked my way up to seventh and was making up considerable ground. The geometry change I had made was paying off in spades as the bike was turning and going where I wanted it to quite comfortably. I was now getting better drives from the corners, but the gearing was now slightly too short. By lap three I had secured fourth position, however, on the exit of turn six the bike jarred violently under acceleration which repeated on the exit of turn seven. The transmission, it seemed, was giving up. This effectively ended my charge forward as I had to use taller gears through the tight turns destroying any drives out of those corners. I managed to keep the position to the checkered flag but the rest of my day was essentially done.

To be honest, I'm not upset that the transmission failed. Not only is it the first one I have had go south on me in my career, but as far as timing goes, it really couldn't have been much better. (Gotta see the good in it right?) The bike is already at the Zlock shop where we planned on going into the engine at this time anyway to find some horsepower. The only thing that lingers is a slight time crunch as the next WMRRA round is only two weeks away.

Stay tuned.


Please click on image to enlarge

The ferry ride

View from the ferry

Our pit

Barry Wressell
Barry's website

The pits

The pits

Ross DeLong and Todd Horn
Their website

Horsepower in a can

Don Beck
Don's website

Sullivan's bikes

Mike Sullivan

Dave & Byan from GP Suspension

Dave & I

Sully & I


Race Reports