We arrived in Portland early on Thursday morning to attend
a Pacific Super Sport Riders (PSSR )track day. PSSR sponsors
our track time and we help them by instructing some of their
clients. Dan Zlock had been really busy in the shop producing
two "new" motorcycles for me to ride this weekend.
One was our ZX-9R chassis with a new all-out Superbike engine
thrown in. The other was his infamous "Old Paint,"
which is actually a 1993 ZX-7R that goes absolutely way too
fast. Also, I asked Jamie Dick to come down and spend a day
with us at the track, which worked out well. He was able to
take out our ZX-6RR and thrash on it for most of the day.
After two days of playing around on the track and breaking
in the bikes, we were ready to put in some time to get a race
set-up for Sunday. Unfortunately, when we pushed the ZX-9
at race pace the transmission simply gave out. This was a
downer for me because the bike was really fast and with a
few chassis tweaks I know we would have turned in some brilliant
times. Oh well - that's racing.
Race One - 600 Superbike
I launched the bike well and was riding in about ninth place
going into turn one. However, I wasn't aggressive enough in
the first few laps so the lead four riders got a little separation
on me and by the time I had worked up to fifth I wasn't able
to gain any more ground on them.
Race Two - 750 Superbike
This was an amusing race. Here I was on Dan's 1993 ZX-7R surrounded
by brand new GSX-R 750s. But, you know what? The ten-year-old
Superbike was more than a match for them. I can honestly say
that I was sluggish in the corners, but once I got that bike
pointed where I wanted it to go it was all over for the competition.
What a showcase of Dan's talent as a builder! Who else do
you know that could take a ten-year-old bike and make it dominate
a current, highly-competitive race class? Not many I assure
Race Three - Open Classic Superbike
Because the 750 was of the 1993 vintage, it was eligible for
this particular class. We simply entered the class for fun,
again to show people what an "old" Zlock-prepared
Superbike can do. I went out and cruised around doing low
1:12s (not the flat 1:09s we did earlier) taking it really
easy on the bike. But it simply wasn't in the cards for us
this weekend. As I came around turn four on the second-last
lap the engine cut down to two cylinders and I was forced
into the pits. Dan couldn't believe it when the source of
the problem was traced to a simple two-cent electrical connection
that failed and broke off one of the coils. Again, that's
Race Four - 600 Supersport
I wanted to do well in this race. I was a little peeved that
we were denied certain victory earlier in the day and wanted
to put our little Kawi on the box. I got the start I needed
and was with the lead group by the end of the first lap. I
was right in the mix until the third lap when drops of rain
splashed against my visor. It hadn't rained in Portland for
almost two months, so you can imagine what the track surface
turned into. It was the worst I've ever seen. Guys were going
down left and right with Alan Schimdt (another BC fast guy)
taking a nasty spill into turn seven (he seemed okay and I
heard he wasn't hurt). I got into the lead and prayed they
would red-flag the race to remove us from that situation.
Thankfully, they did stop the race a lap later and rescheduled
for further into the day. On the restart I got into the lead
and had a great battle with some rider I have never seen before.
Unfortunately, we didn't have any new rain tires and I had
to make do with some "well-used" rubber we had in
the truck. I was slipping and sliding everywhere but wasn't
backing down one bit because I wanted the win. It all went
to pieces as I came out of turn four on the second-last lap.
The rear end came around too far and I wasn't able to save
the ensuing highside. I flew over the bike and landed hard
on my right hand, winding myself at the same time. I thought
I had broken my hand as the pain from it was already taking
precedence over anything else. Luckily the bike crashed well
with only a broken steering dampener and the usual cosmetic
damage. The really good news was my hand wasn't broken. :o).
So, as you can see, it was a mixed bag to say the least.
Yet again, none of this would have been possible without Dan
Zlock and Zlock Racing, so thank-you. And a big thanks to
Steve and Chris Lilly for letting us use their motorhome for
the weekend. It made a huge difference and we really appreciate