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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wrote this report for a different board where most of the names used are very familiar, so you'll have to excuse that. Figured I'd just copy&paste it here, in case anybody's bored enough to read the whole thing.


This day started out pretty bad. Once again, I only slept for 4-5 hours. This time because I’m nervous. I signed up for TPM’s GP Moto race, and I’m very worried about the start (getting asspacked) and T1 (getting T-boned). The other thing is, basically as soon as I’m on the road, I run into stopped traffic on I70. We’re hardly moving at all. Turns out an asphalt truck overturned and the police had blocked all lanes. They were redirecting traffic over Marriottsville Road onto Rt40 and back onto I70. The part that should have taken 1 minute to drive took 30 minutes to get through. GRRRR.

So I’m late getting in and setting up, but TPM has this new check-in service where you just bring your bike and helmet to tech and they’ll sign you in while you wait in line. I have got to say that that worked very well. I was in and out in 5 minutes. That’s less than the time it took to register last year. Well done TPM.

Morph shows up and my buddy Ron (the hairless) also pits in the same area. Morph lets me use Cannons warmers since we’re doing the race today. We slap ‘em on first thing in the morning to get the tires warm before the first session. It’s not cold, but let me tell you, there’s nothing like going on track with tires that are already warm. TPM has changed the group rotation so it’s now red, white and then blue, instead of the old blue, red white. I have no idea why they changed it and it doesn’t make any sense to me. This way, #1 the coaches has no way of warming up a little before they go ride in the red group, and #2 the least experienced riders are sent on track when it’s coldest and the track is greenest. It doesn’t make any sense to me. Dafan, feel free to chime in here if you know why TPM did this.

So anyway, we’re sitting around for a long time because of this. A very unusual feeling. I can’t remember if it was in the 1st or 2nd session somebody crashed in the white group and shut the place down for 20 minutes. And then they sent the white group back out. That didn’t make any sense to me either. Well, finally we line up and get on track. Even though my tires are warm, I take it a little easy the first few laps. It is, after all, the first session of the day. There are more things to warm up than just the tires. People are going veeeeery slowly, so even at our modest pace we’re passing people left and right and still getting held up everywhere. Not so much fun.

2nd session and everything goes haywire in the Blue group. First 2 guys crash in T3. I’m guessing they hit each other and went down together. Then a guy on a cobber SV puts his hand up in the carousel, but proceeds to stay on the race line the whole way to pit in, so he collects a HUGE tail of riders. Now there’s a lot of traffic to deal with. Then a guy pulls off in the carousel and just sits by the wall. THEN a guy fiddles with his bike between T2 and T3, pulls to the left side of the track, but doesn’t pull off the track, gets off and CONTINUES TO WORK ON HIS BIKE TRACKSIDE. Jesus. Then they redflag the session. It later turned out that the downed riders in T3 was actually just 1 rider down and his friend stopped to help him!!! Unbelievable. I gave up on the session. I think they let them out for another 3 laps or something, but it wasn’t worth the wait for me.

3rd session and we finally get some quality tracktime. Still using tire warmers and now being up to speed I go out of the gate like a raped monkey. Full speed into T1. This is fun. Anybody that went out ahead of me without warmers are fair game. We’re (Morph and I) passing 10+ people on the first lap. After a couple of laps it’s clear track and we put our heads down and put in some good laptimes. Good warmup for the race, which is at the end of the lunchbreak.

So it’s lunchtime, and we have 40 minutes to swallow our food and get to the racers meeting. I can only get one sandwich down. At the meeting we’re assigned our grid positions. I signed up early for this day and the race at the same time, so I’m gridded in 1D. 2nd racer on the grid. I’m more than a little nervous about getting asspacked at the start, since I’ve never launched a bike really hard and am worried I’ll wheelie the damn thing. So after getting grid positions and being informed that it’s a 7 lap race Dafan says good day. I ask if he could please go over the start procedure since several of us has never raced. It’s pretty simple and some of the experience racers give advice about when to get into gear and rev the bike and such. I can’t say I’m any less nervous, but it’s back to the pit for 10 minutes before going out for the warm up lap and gridding. I spent the time sitting back with my eyes closed and going over my start. 1st gear, forward in the seat, low body, revs, feather the clutch. Over and over again. 2nd call, gear up, pull off the warmers and go out on the warmup lap. I hit it pretty hard to keep warmth in the tires. Then we grid up. Despite having been drinking a lot of water at lunch I have a really bad case of cottonmouth and my left leg starts cramping. Nice. It takes a while to get everybody gridded up. I want to say 5 minutes, but I have no concept of time at this point. 1 board goes up and I’m in 1st, forward in the seat and body low. Board goes sideways and my revs are up. I wanted to launch at 7k, but it sounded too loud (LOL) so I set them at 5k. Flag goes up and I feather the clutch out. No problem. I roll some throttle on. No problem. Click into second and full throttle. The guy next to me is already ahead. Half way down the straight 2 more guys pass me. I roll into T1 in 4th place. Not bad for a rookie
I was passed some more but I can’t remember at what point, except Morph came by me on the front straight after lap 1. That mofo was on fire. I don’t remember passing anyone but it’s possible I did. One guy on an RC51 came by me on the front straight and proceeded to go into T1 a little hot. He panicked and kept braking instead of trying to make the turn, which he easily could have. As soon as he hit the kitty litter he went down. I had another guy on an RC51 in front of me almost the whole race. I had passed this guy in the earlier sessions, and he had proven to be totally unpredictable then. Lucas from the Czech mob on a GSXR600 gets between us going into T1. Then between T2 and T3 Lucas goes up along side the RC51 guy. He doesn’t like that one bit, so he starts to lean on Lucas. Lucas gives him an elbow back and Mr. RC51 elbows him back. Then Lucas backs off for T3, but passes him going into T5. In the middle of T6 Lucas gets on the gas real hard and the rear steps out and then somehow his front tucks and his down and out. I think this was on lap 5, but I’ve lost track of time and laps. I don’t really feel like screwing around with a guy that uses his elbow and what-not in a race for nothing, so I don’t try anything, but I don’t have too much for him either. We run 25’s the whole race. He’s not in my class anyway so it made no difference for my finishing position. When I see the checkered flag I’m surprised the race is already over. I had just set Mr. RC51 up nicely in T10 and was out driving him and figured I’d attempt a pass into T1, but with the flag that idea was obviously out. When I pull in morph is all fired up and says he saw nobody ahead of him and when the checkered flag flew he looked back and there was nobody there either. Of course it turned out that he had run an extra lap LOL, but still ended up 3rd in his class (liter bikes) and ran 2 23’s in the process, so congratulations to him on that. As I said, I ran all 25’s in the race and ended up 5th in my class out of 18. I’m very happy with that result. It was definitely a different experience than “just” a trackday and I’d like to do it again at some point. Tire warmers are a must for racing. I could not imagine going into T1 on cold tires. Scary. Even for my trackdays I’m now considering tirewarmers. They’re nicer to have than I thought.

So after the race it’s back to the normal sessions. On the 2nd to last session of the day we’re sitting at pit out ready to go. We're all the way on the right. At the far left (not even a lane) is a control rider (Tony I think) and a guy with a "Red" sticker on a blue R6 #37(?), clearly going out for an eval. I figured it would be fun blowing by this guy on the first lap. Then one of them says something about 24's in the last session...... So the marshall lets Tony and #37 go out first and then waves us out right after. Here we go. With the warmers it's on from the word "go", but this guy must've had warmers too cause they're going good right out of the gate! I would have thought I would have been by them by T3, but nope. The guy seems to be riding over his head and goes wide in T3 and T5, but carries really good speed. I'm behind them for a couple of laps running 25's and he keeps blowing T5. I make my way past him somewhere and Tony waves me by. Tony's a lot faster than me, so he comes by me a couple of times but I keep #37 behind me. I've worked on keeping my cornerspeed high into T1, so on one lap I fly into T1 at a really good clip and the other thing I've worked on is getting on the gas sooner and harder, so I hammer it and the rear spins and slides, then grips again. That made me a little nervous. #37 comes by me and we keep playing cat and mouse the whole session. He was definitely too fast for the Red group, but he blew his line several times at the speed we were going. I hope he doesn't crash from getting bumped to the faster group. It was definitely fun playing with them.
Other than that, I don’t remember anything out of the ordinary, but we had a good time. I ran with Morph and Ron most of the time and that was a blast. In the last session I go out with my friend Greg who turns laptimes a few seconds slower than me, but I’m tired and just want to give him some advice and goof off in general. I stay with him for half the session, then pass him and stay with a different group of riders who were clearly friends, but goofing off dangerously by looking back all the time, making unsafe passes on each other and in general not using proper track etiquette. I stayed behind them so as not to get involved in all this.

All in all, a great day. No crashes in the Blue group after the first 2 sessions, so plenty of tracktime (I put 150 miles on the bike that day), 80* and sunny with no humidity and friends abound. Nobody I knew went down and a good time was had by all.

One more thing. There’s been a lot of talk about fading brakes on the gixxers and I’m now falling victim to this phenomenon also. I’ll try bleeding my calipers and MC before next weekend, but I don’t have too high hopes that’ll fix it. I might try to put my stock pads back in, since they didn’t seem to fade, but my new Vesrah RJL17’s definitely do. If nothing helps, I’ll have to go look for a Brembo MC.

Some pics :

Me (#604) leading Morph (#36) through T6 on lap 1



Morph leading me (and others) through T6 on lap 2




Me leading my buddy Mike through T6, I think on lap 4



Lucas losing the front in the caroussel, you can see me in the background of the 2nd pic.





 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nah he ate it. He was fine, but the bike was a little messed up. Didn't ride the rest of the day.
 
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