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What a great weekend for racing. Slightly overcast with a breeze and in the mid-70's. It is definately good to be back at the track racing after taking a year off.

Quick report: great weekend, almost back on pace, decent finishes and had an absolute blast.

Long report:
Both sets of wheels had tires on them that were completely shot, not to mention old. Dunlop was not doing trackside support this year so the choices were Michelin and Pirelli. Since the Pirelli guy showed up really late, I went with Michelin. I tried their new Power Race stuff and holy shit. Compared to the 208GPs I was running, these things might as well be covered in glue. The rear is an impressive tire. I don't like the front nearly as much, but I'm giving it some time since this is the first time I've been on Michelins. Also, I stuck in an Ohlins rear shock that I bought 2 years ago. So basically new setup on new tires.

Practice went great but the PRs (PR5 on the rear, PR1 on the front) don't seem to last nearly as long as the 208GPs. Put about 70 laps on them and was down to the wear bar (our track is notorious for chewing up tires, typical cycle is race with new set on sunday, use them for practice the next saturday).

First race was HW SB. Gridded 6th, get a good start, go into turn 1 in 4th. First 3 take off like bats out of hell, and I'm slightly nursing my way around on the first lap due to brand new tires and no tire warmers (ordering some as I type this). 10 lap sprint race, so I don't have much time to putz around. Tires come in after the first lap and I take off trying to track down 3rd. Tilt into a corner and oh crap, there's a wheel being shown to me, I stand it up a bit and let him in, he runs it wide and I cut back up the inside and regain the position. Put my head down and gained a few seconds on 4th. Meantime, 3rd was backing off a bit since he couldn't stick with the front 2 guys. I could see him keep looking back and every time I knew I was just out of his sight. Good...keep slowing down. I caught up to him with 2 laps left. Tried to put an inside pass on him in the hairpin and he stuck a shoulder into my body work. Heh, first time I've made contact like that. Then he was taking an extremely defensive line and I couldn't find a way around. I finished in 4th by about .1 seconds.

Second race was MW SB. Gridded 6th again, not a very good start and finished 5th (don't remember much of this race).

Third race was Unlimited GP, the money race. Gridded 5th, finished 7th. I went into turn 1 in last place and the guy in front of me held me up big time (I ended up lapping him in the 15 lap race). Took me a lap and a half to get by and by then the rest of the pack had 6 seconds on me. I managed to catch up to 6th place in the last turn of the last lap, but he was on a 750 and motored me to the finish line. All in all an outstanding weekend. First time back on a race bike in over a year as well as my first expert weekend. Even made $50 from the GP race.

Quick time of the weekend was a 56.1, my quickest time as a novice was 55.4 at the end of the year. So, with new tires and new rear shock, I'm only about half a second off of my ending pace as a novice. Not too shabby.
 

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Way to go.

It always amazes me how slow I get over the winter, .5 seconds off ain't too bad.
 
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