This round proved to be great for all of our riders. Each and everyone of us was putting in work leading up to this round whether it be more track time, cycling or on dirt.
My personal goal was to drop time on my laps but more importantly right some of the things I was doing wrong in parts of the track from over the years. I trained with Woodcraft at their dirt track the week prior to this round and let me say it helped tremendously. Getting used to the bike slipping and sliding at the point of and eventually following through with crashing was critical. I will say I dumped more bikes in a couple of hours than I have had in the last seven years I have been riding! Unfortunately I jammed my thumb up pretty bad on the first moto of the day and it has been with me since.
Cue Saturday morning practice and I went out with a checklist of things to do and try before the first race started. Turn 1 was always a problem spot for me as I brake too early, way earlier than I should be, and never really trusted the front end to do its thing, stick. That changed the lap after my out lap as I proved to myself that the fear to carry more speed was only mental. I went in faster than I have had and feeling WAY more comfortable than I ever did in recent memory. Dirt riding, at even a couple of hours, surely aided me in my confidence of the tires and front end feel. I was able to feel more now and let the bike do its thing whenever it was upset. Practice times are never usually my strong suit, always doing a bit better during the races, but because of my effort in training off the track I saw my practice times on point with my race times from the last round to my shock. I will now be looking to buy a dirt bike needless to say!
After the lights went out for the first race where I saw the front row on the start slip away from me I settled into a rhythm and focused on my own pace. Devin Desrosier passed me about the halfway marker at which point I decided to latch myself on the back of him, following and learning more. We ended up having a good battle and I accomplished my goal of learning, but at the end he bested me across the line. Because of following instead of attacking I was able to drop my laptime to an all time best so far of 1:25.XX so I can chalk that up as a personal win. It’s always good to follow someone faster than you, or else you would never get faster yourself.
The entire team got on well too this round as everyone dropped their laptimes, especially Pedro, doing his PB so far this season of a 1:20.XX which sees him going into the classic as an AMATEUR! Congrats to my dude here but with this leap meant more training! Unfortunately a couple of days after the round he went to Thompson Motorsports Park to get more seat time and had an off that pretty much totaled his bike. He is perfectly fine which is the main point but the bike now has to be rebuilt from the ground up minus the engine, did I mention the classics is coming up in a few weeks?!
Luckily bikes can always be replaced – people cant.
Making bets with your buddies is a sure way to light a fire under their ass. In between round 1 & 2 I wagered dinner that Sacha could not dip into the 1:41s during the second round, his current time was 1:53, so you can see my skepticism. To my surprise he BEAT my set time early on in the day DURING PRACTICE! So even before racing started I had already lost. By the day’s end he was already into the 1:36s! It was truly bittersweet because on the one hand I am happy to see my teammate make immense progress but on the other hand I now owe the team dinner!
A teammate giving me a run for my money all weekend was Dat to my surprise. He spent the entire week leading up to the round training with various track day organizations getting in ample seat time. During morning practice we went out together as we often to do but instead of just pulling away from him he stuck with me the whole time even side by side as we went into T1. He finished in front of me in one of the races making it tough the whole way to close the gap. In the end he gain more confidence and his pace definitely showed it.
Chris took the advance course that Friday with Penguin Road Racing School because he has been lacking feel in his bike and his riding as of late. He told me the school taught him a lot and now he needs to put that knowledge to use. He’s a slow starter when it comes to racing I have notice but if last season was any indication he will come into his form once we get a round or two more under our belts, then I will have to worry about him putting it up the inside of me soon!
It’s memorial day weekend right now and I can honestly say for the first weekend since round 1 started my weekend is not consisted of motorcycles. Laying back and relaxing with some BBQ and beers will be the mission for this weekend but training never stops! We’re back at it again next weekend at Canaan Fair Raceway with Penguin during their event, heck we’re even racing there! Very interested to see how that goes, maybe a podium is in my future.