I’m half through the season and thought I’d update you with a crazy video from last round. This was recorded by two guys racing right alongside me, Marcel and Andy. Great slow-motion shots of Marcel bumping me off my bike and Andy shoving me back on at about 120MPH…
My new SpeedDealer Motors Yamaha R6 has been treating me really good this season with some decent top 10 finishes. My best results ever. The bike is so strong that our #1 plate holder, Eli Edwards, borrowed it as a backup bike for his AMA Infineon effort a couple weeks back. His primary bike had a set back, so he ran mine and finished 9th. Yes, a top 10 AMA race bike! Now I really know what a wus I am.;)
Still working out the video camera bugs for my bike and I’ll start posting up videos again soon. In the meantime, enjoy Marcel’s video.
Here are some cool shots from our local Photog, Darren Beatty. He takes killer pictures!
I know it has been a long long time since I shot out an email on my racing adventures. I’ll try to be better over this season. New job and new baby got me very busy… Yes, that’s right, I’m a Daddy! Poor little guy. Kaeden was born on January 22nd and is already starting his road racing physical training. We’ll see if he is allowed to play like Pops.
I have completely new equipment, 2008 Speed Dealer Yamaha R6 with all the nice racing modifications I could ever want. Well, almost. She throws down more than 120+ ponies! oh so nice!
Round one was a wet one. I didn’t have a camera running since my last one got destroyed in the final 2009 race from one of my racing buddies crashing into me. Video is here; http://www.vholdr.com/node/52694 I’ll try to get Round 2 recorded. I had the best finish of my “career” wiht a 7th in the 750 Supersport race. So I know the new bike is working great! HA!
Here are some shots from our resident track photog Darren Beatty:
If you would like to see a cool video of 2010 WMRRA Round 2, from a guy who has WAY too much free time:
Come out and watch the wild racing in Washington.
Friday testing at 12pm to 5pm.
Race 1 is at 130pm. SpeedDealer Motors, 750 Supersport, 10 Lap
Race 2 is at 230pm. KFG Racing, 600 Supersport, 10 Lap
Mother’s Day Sunday Program
Race 1 is at 11:40am. Halpin Custom Sportbikes, 600 Superbike, 10 Lap
Race 2 is at 240pm. R Tech Fuel/Ricci Motorsports, 750 Superbike, 10 Lap
OK, so in Round 4 at Pacific I had a big off coming out of turn 8 and I haven’t been able to get my bearing since, until this round…
I had been thinking of a few areas I wanted to really focus on in back at Round 4 and turn 8 was one of them. I also had made a significant change in my setup by shortening my chain to get the bike to tip in easier. This is a lesson in “don’t get too excited early in the morning”. Friday’s AF day was going to be great! I had a few “work calls” to make during the day that would keep me off the track mid morning, so I wanted to get a few good laps in early. Not a good idea when the track is cold, even if your tires are hot.
Well… four laps into the first session of the morning and I’m just feeling fantastic. I’m trying to stay on the throttle through T8 and I sure did this time. Exiting the apex, on my knee, and still on the throttle, the rear starts to spin up and out it goes. I tried to shove my knee down and keep it up, but it just washed out and spun around and dragged me a bit before ripping out of my hands. LUCKY for me, I had already completed the corner and just slid about 100′ past the end of the airfence following my 600. I watched it catch the edge of the track and go spinning through the air before I hit the dirt and rolled to a stop filling my leathers and helmet full of dirt… ugh
No broken bones, but that really messed with my head. I got back out that afternoon, but wow did my hands hurt. I pretty much sat out that round. I also missed the second Spokane round and still didn’t feel like myself for round 6.
Friday’s AF was dry and sunny and I got to work my lines, but couldn’t get my times down very far. Still a lot of fun and the AF crew are all great guys & gal. I felt like I was getting back to my old self, although slowly.
Saturday I woke up to rain. Bummer! It took me until about 945a to commit to try out the rain tires and I am glad I did. I forgot how much fun it is to ride in the rain! Yes, I prefer the dry, but it was great practice and the Bridgestone Rains were great. Managed to get my knee down in T3 & T4 in the second practice. It was drying out quite a bit, so back to DOTs for the race.
Now, I’ve got to say how GREAT WMRRA is here. They went out during the lunch and drove their vehicles around the track to dry it out. All lunch long they were driving. That’s dedication!!! Thank you WMRRA volunteers!!!!!!
Finally got to the 750SS race with an okay start and an okay run around the track. I am not happy with the result at all and way too many racers passed me that I’m not used to, but… I got out there and pulled my times down a bit closer to my previous time. Started in 19th and finished 21st with a 1:32.8
Looking forward in the 750SBK race:
Looking back in the 750SBK race:
Sunday was much better. I got a better start and managed to hang with the pack for a couple of laps. I did feel much more comfortable. I had a nice little battle going on for the first 5 laps before breaking away and circulating by myself. Started in 19th and finished 17th. I’ll have the video ready soon, so keep an eye out for that.
Thanks to Eric Featherstone for all the help! And Congrats on 2nd in the championship! Pretty much Eric and me left representing for our PNWRR drinking team. Hoping the rest of you guys can make it for Round 8. Thanks to Bridgestone Troy for sorting me out with those slicks for Sunday. They were awesome and confidence inspiring! Thanks to Barry for the suspension adjustment, helping me to keep my wheels on the track. Pacific Raceways = Cheese Grater Raceways…
Eric Featherstone #650 – WMRRA Round 6 – Pacific Raceway and Adrenaline Freaks Track Day – August 9-10
I skipped a Round 5 race blog because I ended up missing the round all together. My entire team bailed out on the trip to Spokane. I couldn’t wait to get back on the track and Round 6 was worth the wait for me. I achieved some milestones including a pair of second place finishes and a personal lap record of over 2.2 seconds faster!
650SS – 2nd. I have no doubt that I will get on the top step of the podium before year’s end.
600TFS – 2nd. Wow, it was a little boring without all the usual suspects there but I will take the 2nd place.
MWGPTwins – 7th. While I didn’t place well, I sure had fun racing for fourth.
As briefly mentioned in my opening, I was very excited to get back on the track. After a month of no racing, I was pretty much going through withdrawals. I was a little bummed going into the race weekend when I found out two of my teammates were not going to be racing due to the economy. I think everyone really missed not having Chris Fratini and Randy Bailey out there. It was nice to have Chris Sarbora and Kevin Klemmer there…thanks for the support. Bummer about Chris’ crash.
Before I get going on the exciting overview of the races I wanted to give a shout out to some of my sponsors. Without their help, I don’t believe I could have the results I did during Round 6. Thank you to Dave Lanigan of SpeedDealer Motors. The bike feels so strong, yet dependable too. Many thanks to Troy McCrae of Pennell Powersports and Bridgestone. We have the DOTs dialed in pretty well…but the slicks are absolutely AWESOME! Thank you for all your support.
Adrenaline Freaks Track Day – Friday
I had been monitoring the weather the week prior and was a little worried that the rain would come out at some time during the race weekend. The rain never showed! In fact the weather was perfect for racing and the motors. My bike felt so strong.
I control ride for Adrenaline Freaks which means I go out on certain sessions and monitor riders to ensure they don’t ride over their heads. I really enjoy watching others and feel so relaxed while doing so. I get the opportunity to watch my lines and even test out some breaking areas during this time. I really only had one free session to test out the bike and get back into race pace. Brian Jeffery (281) and I decided to follow each other. With Brian behind me I decided to put my head down and turn some decent lap-times…well I ended up turning a 1:37.1 which is over a second better than my personal record. This was also achieved on some worn out DOT tires. I felt great going into the race weekend.
I concentrate heavily on Saturday’s 650 SuperSport race because this is truly the only class that my bike (and I) are competitive in. So I was a little nervous leading up to the race…which I don’t usually have those nerves.
650SS – Well my grid position sucked again. It doesn’t help when I had a DNF (Did Not Finish) in Spokane and haven’t placed well till just recently. All grid positions are based off points. So my position was 1st row, 5th position which puts me up against the wall into turn 1 (T1). This means that I need to get a smoking start. Before my rebuilt motor, I would get some great starts, but since then I would end up wheeling off the line. I didn’t do that this race! I got a decent start and into T1 saw Brad DeLong come up from the second row to the left of me…well I wasn’t giving up into the corner so I stayed hard on the throttle. There was some great racing with Jeffery and Nick Finken. I was passed a few times on the back section but always came across the line in 1st. Jeffery crashed out on T3 in about lap 5…thankfully he is ok. I led till about lap 7 when Finken got me coming up to T5. This is about the time when my rear tire started to spin up on me. This was not the tire’s fault at all…I had the pressure a little high in the rear due to the weather and I just heated it up too much. I ended up notching it back a little and settled for second place and a little over 2 seconds behind. Our race was red-flagged on the last lap due to Shellie Matthews going down in T7. Shellie…I am so glad you came out ok. Hope your hand heals up quickly.
The Sunday races are just fun races for me. Of course I am always trying to get on the podium but know that I am going to have to really work for it. I want to thank Jeff Wieand for a few things…one, thank you for moving the 600TFS up to the first race of Sunday and two, thank you for keeping on schedule and letting me get through tech at the end of my race. I had to get back to Marysville in the afternoon for an event and had a very small window of time. I made it on time!
600TFS – I had a great grid position (1st row, 3rd position) but that is only because some of the usual suspects were not on the grid…Shawn Becker, Phil Cook, Randy Bailey and of course, Chris Fratini. I got a great start and led through to T3. That is when Josh Ellingson decided I was holding him up and he proceeded to take off. Anyways, I just put my head down and tried to tick off consistent laps. I kept it in the 1:37s – :38s the entire race and was really expecting to have someone come up on me but no one did! So I crossed the line in 2nd place!
MWGPTwins – In all honesty, this was my favorite race of the weekend. Even though I didn’t finish well, I know I can beat all the guys I was racing against. I had the same grid position as I did in 650SS. I knew that I had to get a good start so I wasn’t pinched in. Well I did! I went into T1 three abreast with me in the middle. Thanks to Darren Beatty for capturing some of the excitement.
Ellingson and Oliver Jervis decided to have a battle for first while Jeffery, Finken, Brandon Knowles and I fought for fourth place. Our battle for fourth was so exciting…not one of us too dominant. Knowles came out fighting and around lap five I found myself passing Finken then Jeffery on the straight with my sights on taking Knowles into T2…this is when my pucker factor hit 100! I was going to brake very late while downshifting and ended up hitting a false neutral. Last time I hit a false neutral I ended up dropping too many gears and got thrown off the bike. Well I didn’t panic, I pulled in the clutch and broke very hard…going extremely wide while everyone passed me. I tried to up-shift and let out the clutch but it wouldn’t go into gear. My first thought was, “Oh well, I am done for the race” but finally got it back into gear loosing at least 4-5 seconds on the third place pack. I neglected to mention that I was running slicks for the first time ever. Well they truly rock! So I put my head down and tried to catch up to the pack. After the mistake, I immediately dropped into the low :37s and was catching back up to the group. On the last few laps I was pushing hard, leaning the bike more than I ever had and I still have a chicken strip on the rear (that gives me more confidence). I dropped into the low :36s on the last few laps and almost caught Jeffery, only missing him by @ two-tenths of a second at the finish line. I was so happy with all my results even though I didn’t finish well.
All-in-all I had an incredible weekend. Again, my two second place finishes and my personal lap-record of 1:36.1 really helped my confidence. I will be seeking the top step of the podium next race weekend.
As always a big thanks to my sponsors:
Bridgestone Tires – Troy McCrae of Pennell Powersports
SpeedDealer Motors – Dave Lanigan
Adrenaline Freaks Track Days
Have you ever been woken up from a deep sleep late for work or an appointment or something really important that made you run out of the house in a fog and get fighting??? Well that was my experience with the first race of the weekend at WMRRA Round 3 in Spokane, WA – 600SS. The race was scheduled for 2:20pm and after lunch I felt a little sleepy , so I decided to relax a bit I my truck to some tunes and air conditioned luxury. Yep, I crashed hard! Now, I thought I might so I set my phone alarm to 2:00pm to give me 20 minutes of prep time before the race. Plenty right??? HELL NO!
My deep slumber was disturbed by Chris Fratini banging on my window saying the race was starting NOW! My first comment was “BULLSH!T!!!” as I guessed he was messing with me. But he sure wasn’t. The race was 20 minutes ahead of schedule!!! Holy crap!!! Talk about a scramble. I ran to the trailer and started barking out what I needed to get going and my team was right there to make it happen, laughing all the way. Eric Featherstone and Chris Fratini were harassing me, “How could you fall asleep Kev?” , “Dude! You’re going to miss your race! Ha ha haa!”, “Get the tire warmers off!”, “Start the engine!”, “Go GO GOOOOO!!!!!”
I’m watching everyone fly by on their way to the track entry, thinking I’m not going to make it. I get my still sleepy ass on the bike and get a good kick in my butt from the gang and off I go to track entry with the entire group leaving right then. So it was perfect timing! I was still just completely frazzled and trying to rub the sleep from my eyes through the visor, like a freakin idiot. Yep, that’s me…
Sighting lap down, “whew”, I tried to remember my grid position, row 3, 4th from left. Wound up on row 4, 3rd from left, so I have to apologize to whoever I messed up there… Oops. (It was a worse position…) Up goes the red lights, rev up to 10Krmp… red light out, GO GO GOOOOOOOO!!!!! I had a great start and kept a good position through the first couple of turns and only lost a little ground to the faster guys on the first lap, after that it was a seek and destroy mission and I managed to pick up a couple of spots and finish in 14th position. A great result for me. No chance to start the cameras, so it will not be posted, damnit…
I also contested the 750SS ,600SBK & 750SBK races with good results. My new Contour HD video camera caught a couple of the races, but we had some technical issues and I have only one to post for now. I’m hopeful that I can get the others up and posted soon. Here is the 750SS race:
The rest of the races were also great fun but not quite so hurried. I managed to catch Mike Tobin on video as he endo’d into turn 6 on the start of the 750SS race. He did wind up crashing with minor damage and got right back out the next day. Glad you were okay Mike!
I had some serious suspension issues with the 750 this round, but Barry “Voodoo Priest” Wessel sorted me out Saturday evening and Sundays’ race was much much better! What a difference a couple of turns and clicks make. Thanks B & GP Suspension!
Another WMRRA weekend in the history books. I’m really looking forward to Round 4 at Pacific June 13 & 14. Bring your family and friends to our pits and say hi. We have plenty of room for all, I hope…
Here is a video looking back at Spokane:
Many thanks to my teammates Eric Featherstone and Chris Fratini for getting me going and Troy McCrae, our Bridgestone sponsor and Pennell Powersports dealer too! Couldn’t have gotten out there without you guys! Bailey and Sarbora didn’t make it this round, but with good excuses. Sarbora’s excuse was best as he was racing WERA at Miller! Way to go Chris!
Thanks to our other sponsors as well! PNWRiders, Bridgestone, Adrenaline Freaks Track Days, VholdR Video Cameras, Vortex Racing, More Power Racing, Motorex Fluids, and Power Stands.
Races went great and please allow me a recommendation:
If you have not been back to Spokane yet are have not been back since it reopened make sure you put it on your calendar. In my opinion it is the best track between here and Thunderhill, excellent grip, good improvements to the facilities and great folks running the place. There are still some berms on T2, T9 and T11 but these are scheduled to be removed so it will become as safe a track as PIR and others. The new management is stepping it up and making it a great place to play.
Kevin, Eric and I of the PNWRidersRacing team raced this past weekend. Eric and I participated in the 650 Supersport, Middleweight GP Twins and 600TFS. I managed to scored two 4th and a 7th place. Very happy with it.
Here is a synthesis of the MWGP race from my VHoldr cam,enjoy!
This HD video was the first motorcycle track day at Oregon Raceway Park in Grass Valley, OR:
First track day at ORP! WHOO FREAKIN HOO!!!
Welcome to the DUST BOWL!!!
The day started out very cold, felt like 30. It warmed up a bit and the 11am session was great. The wind started to really blow after lunch and there were a few times when I couldn’t see anything within 20′. No BS! Ask around. Dust was blowing across the track so much during the 2pm session that they RED FLAGGED it…
It is a wicked technical track and I couldn’t really get the bike out of 3rd gear. Mostly running around in 2nd. Can wait to get back.
I did get to test out the new VholdR – Countour HD camera and the video is fantastic!!! I mean it is night and day difference in quality. You’ll have to wait to see that, but I have some of the VholdR regular video here from the 11am session.
WMRRA Round 2 – Pacific Raceways and Adrenaline Freaks Track Day – May 8-10
650SS – 3rd!!!! OMG I placed for the first time in my life! And there was more than 3 in my class.
MWGPTwins – 6th. Still wondering why us stock SVs are in the class as we are no competition.
600TFS – DNF. Boy this one is embarrassing.
I am still on cloud 9 from this weekend after achieving a few milestones. I was surprised with a visit by my family from California…here to celebrate my first milestone of the weekend. My 40th birthday. He doesn’t know it but Mike Sullivan is my new hero. I set all sorts of personal bests on lap times. And I finally got a podium finish!
Adrenaline Freaks – Friday
Weather was clearing and the outlook for the weekend looked incredible. I had made some small changes to the bike between the last race weekend. Because I was having a hard time turning into corners (I think it really is because I am weak) I decided to lower the front a few millimeters. Oh my, that worked wonders! I had some great practices and control ride sessions. And I finally broke the 1:40 barrier so I went home stoked for the race weekend. I also went home with what would later turn out to be tendonitis on my right wrist. I now realize the throttle will only turn so far to make the bike go faster. Just ask Chris Fratini (65)!
The first few practice sessions went well and I was already within a half second of my fastest lap time so I was ready for the first race.
650SS – Wow, I felt so comfortable gridding up for this race. Although, I was focused on the race and forgot to turn on my VHolder cam. Anyways, I seem to have good starts so I was ready for another repeat. I again led the train until T3 where Mr. Finken got me in the same place as last 650SS race. That’s ok, I don’t have the motor to keep up with him on the straights anyways. I was expecting a repeat of from last race weekend but wasn’t caught till the 3rd lap where Brian Jeffries got me. The fire was lit under me. I said to myself “let him show you the way my young grasshopper”. Actually I was thinking no freaking way I was going to get blown away again. So I stuck with Brian. Lap after lap I would stay with him and pass him on the straights. So I was thinking that I could do well if I kept everyone else at bay. As I would come into T4 I could just see the next person coming down to T3. So on the last lap I just thought keep Brian close and I got it! But Eric decided to make a rookie move and come into T9 WAY TOO HOT and almost kiss the cones on the outside of the turn. Oh well, I still finished 3rd about 1.5 seconds behind. Watch out Brian.
It was so nice to have family and friends around for this great weekend.
MWGPTwins – Same as reported in Round 1, I had another amazing start. I was gridded second row but got into T-2 in fourth. It would have been 5th but Shawn Becker didn’t grid after some mechanical issues. Brian got ahead of me again so I decided to stick with him for the second chapter of our saga. We stuck together for awhile until we were both passed by 117. We both stuck with him but I eventually dropped back a few seconds. I think 40 was starting to catch up to me as I was starting to cry when I finally saw the white flag. Does Geritol work for racers?
600TFS – This was again the last race of the day. I was feeling better and ready to go. We were wave started so we were in the second wave. I got another smoking start and entered T2 in 3rd or 4th. Us SVs have to compete against some very fast inline fours. Around the 3rd lap I caught up to a slower rider from the Formula Thunder group. I trailed him in through T9 and thought I would pass him on the straights. That was wishful thinking…as I came into the bus stop I was swarmed by Randy Bailey (282) and Fratini…who both decided to make me the ball in a punting contest and I decided to bunny hop the curbing. I was so pissed…not so much at my inconsiderate teammates (they forgot it was my birthday weekend) but at the rider who held us up. Anyways, that’s racing! I kept Randy behind me but I had to play catch up to Chris. It took me 3-4 laps to finally catch him but I did. I admit it, I came into T2 and decided to hold him up some. He was so frustrated that he came into T3 too hot trying to pass me and went off the runoff road. My thought was that I pushed him to make a mistake. Stupid thought because it would come back to bite me. I was gradually catching up to some of those fours that were kicking our ass until the last lap where Randy had been trailing me for awhile. He poked his nose around at T2 and I decided I would have none of that. I put my head down to finish strong. As I came up to T5 I downshifted…or so I thought. I went into a false neutral and I think I had a senior moment of slight panic. I decided to straighten up realizing I would go off the track and ride it out. That wasn’t to be…I stupidly down shifted again instead of up shifting, dumped the clutch and proceeded to get bucked off into the dirt on T6. Well, there is another learning experience!
All in all, the best weekend I have had racing yet! I finally got a podium and now am down into the 1:38s.
I want to again thank my teammates for helping out…Kevin Klemmer, Chris Fratini, Randy Bailey and our team manager Katie Perry. Again we missed having Chris Sarbora in the pits who was saving himself for the WERA weekend.