After doing one round you figure that you would get the hang of loading your gear, leave at a reasonable hour, set up, sit back and relax but of course it doesn’t always go as planned. We got the track at around 10PM, eventually, after waiting on teammates, loading and getting last minute things. Don’t unload at night cause someone will get hurt! My teammate fell face first onto the tail gate of our truck and busted his upper nose open. Not such a great start but on the other hand the tent he brought went up in about 1 minute – salvaged am I right?
After tech Saturday morning the two practice sessions went pretty smoothly, just get back into the rhythm of Loudon after a TD at Thompson. Kind of threw me off going from sweeper corners to stop and go again. Soon after the session ended the rain came and the decision of ‘do I run rains or no rains?!’ luckily though it stopped right before any real racing was taking place. The Legends car really helped dry the track up. I also got a chance to watch the rookie race, knowing now why anyone but a rookie race rider would watch it!
I came into this race with a best lap time of 1:31s from the last race of the last round and my only goal the weekend was to put a dent into the lap times. Started on the second row, botched my start with a wheelie in first gear all the while just trying to put weight over the front tire to keep it down as people zoomed left and right and surrounded me. Panic? No, just hold the line! The faster guys took off and I got stuck in a race mainly with myself, kind of not fun but hey what can you do. At one point I came extremely close to the wall after 2 at which point I thought to myself ‘yeppppppp you’re definitely going to this thing!’ too close for comfort I would say. I took the checker in 7th with a lap time of 1:29.xx which pretty much was my goal the whole weekend really, drop 2 seconds from previous so I came away pretty thrilled.
Started on 1D IIRC so really couldn’t botch the start with a front row, but guess what happened, botched the start. I kept thinking of what could be going on as I tipped it into T1 with again people on both arms around me, as much as it sounds like bitching all going into 1 like that I rather quite like it, given you need to find a line, hold position and see what happens at 1A. It was another race of ‘yea I am by myself again’ but I spent this one just being much smoother on the throttle and hold lines from corner to corner. A few passers here and there and a slower guy or two but nothing too intense or battles worth mentioning but it was good to use that atmosphere to learn. I again finish the race in 7th position but with my lap times in the 1:27.8xx mark so again I went back into the paddock with smiles.
The weather was much MUCH better than the previous day with temps in the 80s and sun all day long, actually it was pretty hot in the infield, but the tires gripped quite well. Speaking of tires I destroyed my rear left of my R10 from being anything BUT smooth with 6 races and a TD on them they were pretty much shot. Funny story is I brought my spare wheels up for rain swap if needed so that meant I took my old R10 off to toss at the track but after further inspection they were indeed much better than the one mounted to my bike. So I ended up remounting the take off HA! For this race I started mid pack and got off the line pretty easy, my problem here is I let off way earlier than I need too after reviewing my videos, something I must work on for next rounds. It was a pack battle right from the start with everyone scrambling in 1A/2 making their passes but I held off until 3, which happens to be now my favorite late braking overtake, whenever I manage to get the bike stopped before tip in ha. I spent the majority of the race battling with an Absolute Cycle R6 as we trade positions a few times during the remainder of the race. One thing that messed me up was the flick from 7 to 8 as I flicked the bike so hard I nearly hit the cone under the tree house and eating shit. I was thrown wide for that corner and had to cut back tight for 9. Another mishap was seeing the marshals LATE after 3 with a bike down and having to go so wide that I actually ran off the track up the hill and giving position back to that Absolute Cycle bike (from what graphics I can see). I spent the remainder two laps chasing him back down with a late pass into 3 and holding that until the checkered, again in 7th. Best lap time of 1:27.511 and being consistent in the 1:28s.
This was my first time racing this as I didn’t at round 1. With no points I started in the back of the pack which I actually enjoyed – given you now have something to work for. My teammates also started in the back with me and with the drop of the flag I thought I had gotten rid of them but lo behold 537 was right up on my ass eventually passing me and joining the pack for the fight at the front. I worked on picking off one by one before going into 3. I ended up behind a Kawasaki and another rider of which I haven’t seen before and 616 all together. It wasn’t until 9 that the three in front of me came up to a slower guy and with 616 taking pretty much all three of them on the outside before 10 I knew I couldn’t let him get away. The remainder of us made a pass on this rider in 11, still chasing down 616 on the straights. I left the Kawasaki in the straights and chased down this other rider. This other rider and I went into 3 together on the 2nd or 3rd lap braking the same, tipping in the same, eventually riding SIDE BY SIDE all the way up the hill. Me being on the inside line up the hill I had to hold it as tight as possible as I saw him inch closer and closer to my left side. At one point I really thought we were going to touch! It was pretty insane, well to me at least ha.
The 616 bike of 802Racing, Kevin Wimble, as I saw he was pretty much ahead I didn’t think I could catch him at all. I spent two more laps chasing him down and was finally on his tail at the bowl and planning a move around the latter part of the track. I came into 9 tighter than he as he went wide. At this point I thought ‘shit I could take him on the outside of 10, but last moment I saw him pull really tight and it kind of freaked me thinking we would T-bone if I didn’t let off. And I did. I ended up running wideeeeeeee after 10 and both he and the Kawasaki rider pulled in front of me. I followed the Kawi onto the straights and used all the grunt in my R6 to pass him and began working on Wimble again. I closed the gap in T3 but I wasn’t able to pass until the straight. Now ahead I spent the remainder of the race just trying to keep pace as I didn’t hear any bikes behind me. White flag was out and it was time to just put the head down and go! Or so I thought! In between 10-12 I could hear a bike coming, maybe it was the Kawi, maybe Wimble but as I flicked it right after 11 I wanted to block the inside line, as I did this I saw the wheel of Wimble poke in and it was like T10 all over again. I let off, ran into the grass, went back onto the straight and did the gentlemanly thing of giving up a position as I had messed up. I crossed the line in 5th after a well fought battle, which was insanely fun I will admit.
Other mentionable from my teammates is that one walked away with 2 3rds and a 2nd place! Another dropped his lap times into the 29s so overall Team MSGRacing had a pretty decent 2nd round. Now lets bring on the Classic!
*videos of each race to be posted once I finish uploading*