Mother nature had plans of her own last night and rained out the short track races at IMI Motorsports Complex in Erie, CO last night. They have added a makeup/rain date of August 2nd to replace the lost evening of racing. If this gives you a chance you may otherwise not have had to race out there we suggest you take it. It is a fast little 1/4 mi. and from what we hear last night before the rain it was pool table smooth with an eight foot wide groove. More information can be found at banginbars.com.
Hey guys it felt good to run a Grand National twins race in my home state of Washington. Although we were still six hours from my house it was cool to have a twins National back in our state. The weekend started out a little behind schedule from a traffic jam leaving Spokane to having a rain out on Saturday. We ended up rescheduling the race for Sunday which meant I would miss the test day at castle rock.
During practice we tried a set up the bike a way we have never ran before and it seemed like it worked okay but was definitely a little too soft. After practice we changed gearing and that was about all we had time to do. The gearing helped a lot with slowing me down into the turns and getting me off of the turns. After qualifying we decided to change the spring to one a little stiffer. It seemed to help me but it still had a bad bounce or wobble out of the turn. We stiffened the back up more and did a lot more of other changes to the bike. We made so many more changes that it became questionable if it all would end up working.
My heat race ended up going pretty good. I got an okay start and I think I was running about eighth and the top six are direct transfer to the main. The line I ran in practice and in qualifying wasn't working in my heat so I came down to the bottom of the track where everyone else was running and I slowly found myself moving forward. I ended up passing into the last transfer spot with about five laps to go and made a move into fifth on my last lap but lost that position in turn three and four. I was happy to have a direct transfer to the main and to try and get a few more points going towards my battle for Rookie of the year.
Going into the main I tried to pay close attention to what the track was doing. We made a little change to the bike which I think started to work good towards the end of the race. I had a really bad start in the main and tried to run the high line and pass the guys that were stuck in traffic. I think it worked for a couple guys but I shortly figured out that I needed to move down into the racing line before I got freight trained and find myself going backwards in the main. As the race went on I started to find better racing lines and I found myself moving forward again.
I ended up coming home with an eleventh place finish in the main. I was happy with that. I wish I would have found those lines a little sooner in the race. The bike felt good and I have to say everything we did helped. I have to say thank you every one for your help and we are looking forward to the Sacramento Mile this weekend.
The busy race season is finally upon us and we had a short week to get ready for Hagerstown this past weekend. Hagerstown is kind of my home town race per say as it's the only national I get to sleep in my own bed the night before. Anyways typically the weather this time of year out my way in brutally hot and humid, but we lucked out this year and had pretty much a picture perfect day. Not quite sure what it is about this place, but I never seem to have too much luck at this track.
Things started off a little shaky on the night as I could only muster a 12th during timed
qualifying. The team made some changes to the bike and it seemed a lot better right off the bat in the heat and I finished a close 2nd place to
eventual main event winner Bryan Smith. That put us in the dash and on the front row for the main! We made a few more adjustments for the dash to see
if we could find something. I didn't get the best of start and got pushed wide going into turn three and finished 5th in the dash. I knew the biggest
thing I could do for the main was to get a good start, as track position is key at Hagerstown since there really isn't much passing going on.
Thankfully I was able to get a decent jump and drop in line fast. I was running 4th for the first portion of the main until Kenny Coolbeth broke and
for a moment I kind of thought I was going to have something for the leaders.
As the race went on the track was drying out and my line just slowly went
away from me. Eventually I fell back to 4th place where I ultimately finished. All in all I was happy with this effort as it was my best finish at this
track and it was another consistent finish that keeps us solidly in this championship hunt!
Next up is Elma, WA in two weeks.
Wyatt Maguire #16
Hagerstown Race Report
Well for those of you that don't know we ran at Hagerstown Maryland on Saturday night. As you all know this is my Rookie year in the expert class and I am really going through a big learning experience out there with these experts. I feel like I am doing fine for my first year just lots of little things to learn about being on a twin. We will get there eventually. The trip out to Hagerstown went pretty good. Between Lima and Hagerstown I stayed in Illinois to help keep the trip expense down as everyone knows how expensive it is to travel.
Going into Hagerstown I was pretty excited. I think Hagerstown is one of the slickest tracks on the series. It kinda reminds me of riding daytona just in a smooth half mile form. I knew getting into the turn on the 450 last year was pretty jittery, so I was nervous for that part on the twin. I started the day off with pretty much the same set up as Knoxville. After practice I didn't feel the best on the bike. The track was a little rough and my gearing was off a little ways. Before my second time out on the track I decided to throw some teeth at the bike and play with my shock and move my forks a little. I felt pretty good in qualifying number one and was sitting eleventh after that session. Before the last round out on the track I decided I would try a couple more little things just to try. I figured I already have one decent time in I might as well give some other things a try just to see what it would do. After the second round I was twenty fifth or something. The changes I made didn't help me at all and caused me to go backwards. I ended up putting everything back to the way it was. I ended up qualifying thirteenth over all after the combined all the times.
I was in the first heat race on the front row. I was fifth off the bottom which I felt was not a bad place to start at all. They did a ton of track work between qualifying to heat races. They were just trying to make the track more smooth and open up more lines to make it all more race- able. I got an awesome start in my heat race but I ended up spinning it up really bad coming off all of the turns. I think I got too excited and couldn't calm down from that good start I had. I quickly got ate up and moved back really fast. As I started to fall back wards in my heat I found myself spinning up just as bad as at the beginning of the race. I tried moving up the race track to keep my momentum up to help with my drive off the turn but it really didn't seem to help me at all. I tried positioning myself differently on the bike to help with traction and that also did not help me. I finished seventh in my heat. I was pretty frustrated with how I did. I think my gearing was to short now and I couldn't get the bike to squat for a bite on the track. After my heat I just went to work on the bike. I noticed I had a little blow by on the filter dripping on my back tire so I changed out that filter and took a little oil away from the bike. Then due to the fact that the bike still has a heavy spring on it I back the shock spring way off trying to get it to squat and I took it all way soft to make it more set up for me. Due to the fact that the track was pretty smooth I kept the rebound slow hoping to get a better bite. I checked my swing arm angle and it was right where I wanted it to be. Then I took one tooth off but looking back I wish I would have taken two off instead of one. I just about missed the start to my semi.
In my semi I was on the second row far inside. I got an awesome start and I think I came off turn two in about third. Once again I spun up really bad a fell back very fast. There is almost nothing that frustrates me more then spinning up and falling backwards. Towards the end of the semi I really started to figure out what I was doing wrong and felt myself closing back into a transfer spot, but I was a couple laps too late. I really learned a couple things there at the end of the semi. I finished fifth in my semi and only top three went to the main. Two weekends in a row I just missed the main and I hoping I can use this as more motivation to put the bike in the main at the next national.
I really have learned a lot about riding a twin this year. My throttle control is going to be a big deal on the Kirkland racing Suzuki. I will have some help at the next couple races so that should hopefully help me focus in more on racing then working on the bike. It is defiantly tough working on the bike week in and week out at the track and trying to race at the same time. I have to thank everyone that has given me a hand at the track when they have a second away from there own bikes it helps a ton. I defiantly could not of won the championship last year without the help of my dad at the track last year yet alone all the support from sponsors. You all are the ones that make it all possible weekend and week out and I have to say thanks for all the help with my racing. If you would like live up dates on my racing during race day go like the Kirkland racing page on face book.
Leading into Lima I was feeling good, I got on my motocross bike three times the week before Lima. I was defiantly nervous to ride the Kirkland Racing Suzuki for the first time on the cushion track. I think I did all the right preparation on the bike and for myself to be ready for the half mile but found myself just a little short of the main.
When we got to the track I finished taping a little more of the Kirkland Suzuki and putting my hand guards on. I did a couple other little things and was feeling pretty good leading into practice. I was the second group out on the track during practice and to be honest with you all I felt horrible on the bike. During practice the bike and I did not get a long at all. I felt like it was bucking me every where no matter where I rode. I found my self not being smooth at all and not even being able to push myself. Going into my first qualifier I made a lot of changes to suspension and to gearing. I made a phone call home to Steve and he helped me make a decision on what to do to the bike. I made those couple changes and then went out for qualifier number one. The bike felt better and I went a little faster, but I still didn't feel comfortable on the bike. It was really bucking me around a lot and I was having trouble putting it where I wanted to go. Leading into the last qualifier I was told to move my forks up and add weight to the front to help steer with the back of the bike and so I could put the bike where ever I wanted to. The track group was out on the track doing maintenance and looked like the track was going to be a lot smoother for our last time out on the track so I just decided to try and move my forks and to see how that would be. Those changes ended up being worse I actually think I went backwards and felt completely lost on what to do to the bike next now.
Leading into my heat race I was kind of lost on what to do to the bike. My gearing felt good but was still just lost on what to do for suspension. I made couple phone calls home and got some advice from Steve and my dad on what to do to the bike. I ended up doing what my dad said before my heat and it seemed like it helped. I still felt like I was struggling a lot in my heat. The bike was really bucking me all over the track. I really needed to do something with the back shock. I ended up finishing up seventh in my heat. I was a little bummed about the finish but was feeling a little better on the Kirkland bike.
Going into my semi we made some big changes to the bike. We put a whole other spring on the bike and played with more clickers on the front and back suspension. I moved my forks again and got my helmet ready for my semi.
In my semi I got an okay start and finally felt like I belonged out there in the expert class again. We had a three way battle going on for the last transfer spot to the main between Jake Johnson, Johnny Lewis, and me. I felt really good in my semi and it was the best I felt all day on the bike. I wish I could of started with this spring on the bike at the begging of the day. I ended up getting fourth in my semi, Jake got me right at the end of our semi. I felt really fast in the semi and felt smooth. I think we made a lot of the right changes on the bike through the day, just wish I had a little more time to get that bike all set up more for me and not for the previous rider. Kirkland Racing will have a spring on order for and we should be set for Hagerstown.
This next week I will be just getting the bike ready for the next national and getting myself ready. Try to go for a run every day this week and then some. I am really looking forward to Hagerstown and can't wait to be back on a car track. Thank you to everyone that has helped me thus far this year. Had some struggles yesterday but we learned a lot about that twin again and we moved forward all day.
Last weekend was the Ohio National in Lima, OH. Typically I tend to really struggle at this race and on most cushion surfaces, but I was looking forward to it as we were riding a new bike that we have been testing. The day started off pretty decent as I qualified 8th in free practice and in both qualifying sessions. I really liked how it was super deep and rough, but quite a few riders felt it was unsafe and AMA decided to take a grader out to take some of the cushion off. I was in the third heat race and was able to grab that all important holeshot! It was nice having a clear track, but I was struggling a little bit and slowly faded to eventually finish 3rd for a direct transfer to the main. My team and I kept thinking about what changes to make as I felt good, but not great. As we talked things over, my tuner James along with the support of Dan Thompson and Carl Patrick devised a game plan for the main. I wasn't really sure what to expect for the main event with all the changes we made, but I figured I'd give it my all and see what happens. I got a decent start and noticed right off the bat the bike was better and I was able to find some smooth lines. Besides my near crash on the first lap I was able to put together a really consistent race and at the conclusion I found myself in 2nd place! Honestly I was pretty shocked as I usually struggle on cushions, but to get out of Lima on the box was awesome. Talk about being stoked! As of now we are sitting 4th in the Grand National Championship heading into my home race this weekend in Hagerstown, MD. Can't wait to hop back on the bike and keep this momentum rolling. As always thanks everyone for your support!
Hey guys well just sitting here in Chicago Illinois waiting to catch a flight home the day after the Knoxville National. Knoxville went very good and I am happy to say I made my first ever AMA Expert Grand National Main event. I guess you could say I truly earned that National number now. When we first got the the track on Sunday the track looked very questionable due to the fact that the world of outlaws ran on it the night before. There were a couple bumps here and there plus lots of loose chunks of dirt that everyone started calling cow pies. As racing got closer they started brushing the track off and painted some white lines where they wanted the racing line.
The experts where the first on the track during practice and qualifying. I was at the end of the third group which was good I thought because let me find a person in front of me to set my eyes on and try to catch. During practice I was really tentative getting into the turn and really tentative getting off. The track just felt really slick and kind of inconsistent. There would be one spot with loads of traction and then a spot with like zero traction. After practice I was sitting twenty first. I made a gearing change and went out for qualifying number one and felt a lot better. The bike would slow down more getting in and felt like it was revving just enough getting off. I ended up qualifying thirteenth after qualifying one. I did a couple little changes to the bike and gave her a little more oil. The changes I made felt like it helped the bike stick more coming into the turns and coming out helping me drive it in a little deeper and push my mark for rolling onto the gas. I came off the track feeling really good after that qualifying and actually ended up qualifying eleventh over all. I was really happy about qualifying there.
Getting ready for my heat race I played with my tire pressure a little more and put my battery on the charger to keep it full of life. I was going to put some new tires all around but as I walked through the pit I noticed that almost no one had new tires on. This kept me from putting new tires on and I asked around and lots of people told me that the older worn out ones would be best for this track. I kept them tires on and started to just focus on getting a good start. I had a front row start and was fourth off the bottom. I knew the start was going to be a very important part of this race due the fact that the racing line was so small. I ended up getting off the line really good and drove it into turn one sitting in third place right behind Sammy Halbert and Henry Wiles. I came around the first lap in third and going through turn two Sammy started sticking a wheel in making a move on Henry. Sammy got by Henry leaving just enough room for me to squeeze by Henry too. I came out of turn two sitting second. I think I ran second for about a lap until Kenny got by me and put me in third. I was able to put up a little fight and got back by him for about a second until we entered into turn three. As the race went on I ran third and the bike started to run a little on the hot side and felt like it was starting to work really hard and almost felt like it had a little pop to it. I ended up finishing third which was good enough for a direct transfer to my first ever AMA Grand National Main Event. I was really pumped about that and knew there was just a couple things to look over on the twin before my main event.
In the main I believe I was second off the bottom on the second row for the main. I ended up getting off the line pretty good until I got into turn one and I spun it up a little and was probably a little too calm for the start. More than anything I think it was the nerves of the first expert main that played the biggest part to the start of the race. Once I got calmed down and got into a groove I started to feel good and I found myself running eleventh right behind Rob Pearson. I made a big bobble letting Mikey Martin by me and shortly after that I found myself slowly falling off the pace. I think my front tire started to become a little glazed over and found myself fighting it a little as the race went on. I ended up finishing my first expert main with a fourteenth. I was happy with that being my first main, but I now know that I can run with those guys and need to make some higher goals for the rest of this season.
I learned a lot at Knoxville and I feel like every time I ride the twin I learn something new. There are a couple things I would like to try and see if it helps just not too sure if I want to try at a national. I need to just keep getting seat time on these bikes and keep learning. I still have lots to learn and have a lot more room to grow and improve. Needless to say I am excited to get this bike on the track at Lima and see how it does on a cushion track.
Thank you to everyone that has helped me in 2014
AMA Grand National Flat track
Welcome to the Zanotti Racing Springfield Mile report. Running a two man race team has proven to be very logistically trying and labor intensive. Many a 15 hour day was spent 7 days a week preparing for the inaugural mile of 2014. With help from Moroney's Harley Davidson in New York and Classic Harley Davidson in Reading, PA the team was up to the task and the team arrived in Springfield on Friday before the race.
Sunday morning we rolled into the pits at the historic Illinois State Fairgrounds bright and early at 8am. The AMA Pro Racing had all the parking spots laid out prior to our arrival which made parking and unloading extremely easy and efficient. Tech inspection and pre-race preparations went smoothly and we were set for practice. Both Kenny and Stevie were in the first group to go out for practice. This proved to be the fastest session on the track all day. The track was ultra-fast. 33.5 seconds a lap was turned which is an average of 107 mph around the circuit! Minor adjustments were done to the bikes and we headed out for the first session of qualifying practice. Kenny Coolbeth was extremely smooth and fast ending the session as 4th fastest. Stevie Bonsey ran solid, 3 tenths of a second behind Kenny. Both riders in the mid 34 second a lap bracket as the track was slowing slightly each time out. With a few more minor adjustments we went out for the final 4 laps of qualifying. Both riders were fast only separated by 1/1000th of a second and only 1/10th of a second off the leaders pace. As the track was drying out it was tightening the pack. Kenny and Stevie sat in 5th and 6th respectively in that session with the top 10 separated by only 3/10ths of a second.
Being the first mile of the season the pits were packed with fans. Kenny and Stevie spent a hectic hour and a half signing autograph sheets and taking photos with the fans. After the fans were cleared from the pits both bikes were checked and double checked for the upcoming heat races and team owner David Zanotti deemed us race ready.
Kenny Coolbeth drew the first heat with his overall combined qualifying position of 4th. As previously stated the track was slowing ever so slightly and the first session was the fastest. The first heat was stacked with fast qualifier Brian Smith, championship point's leader Sammy Halbert, and current National Number 1 Brad Baker. Kenny fought to the front and proceeded to duel with Bryan Smith the entire 8 laps of the race, testing the power and limits of the XR 750, trying to see if a draft pass for the lead was possible. At the end of the race Kenny finished second a mere 5/100ths behind Bryan. They had, lap after lap built a comfortable margin over the rest of the field and earned a spot in the ever so important dash for cash.
Stevie's heat race was next, also with some stiff competition. Stevie shot off the line in the lead closely followed by Jake Johnson. Jake got by and Stevie latched onto his rear wheel, reeling him in thru the turns and latching onto his draft down the straights. Mid race Stevie made a mistake and was passed by Robinson and lost touch with Jake's draft. Stevie finished in 3rd place, 8/10ths of a second behind Jake but turning a faster lap time in the process which boded well for the main event.
In no time they blow the horn to line up for the dash for cash. With the current point's leader missing the cut for the dash, along with last year's champion, this was an excellent opportunity for Kenny to make up ground on one, and create a gap to the other. This race truly is a dash. In the 4 short laps Kenny once again fought his way to the front in spectacular fashion. He finished a mere 1/10th of a second out of the lead but a healthy 8/10ths over the rest of the field, collecting 4 valuable points for the title chase. Curiously the track had been getting slightly slower as the day went on, but in this event the lap times actually dropped into the 34 second range again.
Ever so slight adjustments were made, strategy was discussed with both riders, and then the riders were left alone to their thoughts to prepare for the main event. Kenny lined up on the front row and Stevie on the second. After the introductions were done, the green flagged dropped and 18 riders roared to the first turn. Staying in the lead pack is imperative; maneuvering yourself to the front at the end is an art. Kenny had himself at the front of the race early on; leading some of the time, never lower than 3rd. Stevie had fought to the lead pack from his second row start and was content to stay in the leaders draft and see how this played out. On the 11th lap the lead group decided to push the pace a bit. Lap times went from the low 35s and high 34s to 34.5s and 34.3s. The lead pack of 7 riders dwindled to 5 with Stevie getting caught unaware as his next 2 laps were his fastest at 34.8 each but he had ever so slightly lost the lead draft. Kenny on the other hand had no trouble staying in the top three, tenaciously latched onto to the leader's rear tire. At the completion of the 12th lap Brad Baker was drafting Stevie down the front straightaway and took his handlebar out going into turn one. Stevie went down in a heap, getting himself firmly planted in the air fence at over 120 mph. Stevie's crash brought out the red flag. Miraculously the bike was ok and he was able to remount and line up for the restart. Before the staggered restart, Chris Carr pointed out to Stevie that though he was at the rear of the grid, he was on the outside near the groove. He instructed him to put the tires on that rubber immediately and fight like hell in the first corner to get back in the lead pack. With 2 riders dropping out early Kenny was lined up 2nd and Stevie 16th. The light went green and the pack roared towards the first turn with Kenny in 2nd and Stevie racing past 8 riders. At this point as he was going around a rider for his 9th position improvement in a quarter of a lap a rider got out of shape and sadly Stevie hit him and went down again. He fell trying to pull off a very aggressive move, but in the end, a move that ended his day. Another restart followed after they loaded Stevie and his mount and brought them back to the pits. Kenny once again was fighting for the lead on the restart. Lap after lap he rode with what can only be described as surgical precision. He was never more than 3 feet off the leaders rear wheel. It looked like a may come down to a 2 man race for the win. On the 20th lap of the scheduled 25 lap race another rider went down bringing out the red flag yet again. This was not a welcome event for our team. With 5 laps remaining, this turned the race into another short dash, albeit with a staggered restart, but now bunching the pack once again. This is exciting for the fans but nerve wracking for the team. Kenny being the consummate professional and cool as ice proceeded to once again get a terrific start and plant himself firmly on the leader's rear wheel. Coming out of turn four towards the checkered it looked as though he could draft by Smith for the win but he came up 4/100ths of a second short. Kenny ended the day on the second step of the podium.
Taking stock of our results this year, the team is guardedly optimistic, yet knows there is more work to do to improve. Dave Atherton brought two extremely fast XR 750's for Kenny and he used every ounce of power they had. Steve Polk also prepared two very capable bikes for Stevie to ride. Going forward, equipment and or power will not be an issue it seems. The lap times turned at Springfield were some of the fastest ever and the bikes were up to the task. Kenny leaves Springfield after 3 rounds in the books with the overall points lead in the title chase. He now has 2 podium finishes out of 3 attempts. Moving forward, 2 of the next 3 races are on ultra-fast half mile car tracks. Both riders on our team thrive on those type venues and we look forward to continued success in the near future.
Zanotti Racing would like to thank the sponsors without whom the 2014 title chase would not be possible: Moroney's Harley Davidson presenting sponsor of our eastern XR 750 portion of the team. Classic Harley Davidson of Reading, PA presenting sponsor of our west coast portion of the team. Top 1 Oils and Lubricants, Galfer Brakes, Drew Massa Trucking, Mikuni USA, K&N Filters, Motion Pro, The Motor Cafe in Sunnyvale CA, Bazzaz, Works Connection, Ride Engineering, Wiseco Pistons and Rings, Vortex, Millennium Technologies, Pinit Motorsports of Seaside CA, Billbuilt Pipes, G2 Ergonomics, Weiss Racing, CC4, Chickenhawk Racing, Ron Guzman of RGR Racing, Pro Plates, Boughner Suspension and Cometic Gaskets.
Kenny Coolbeth would also like to thank his personal sponsors, all of which are very important to making this a successful year: Arai Helmets, D's Leathers, Burt Ives Honda, Jones Honda of Missouri, Specialty Fabrication, West Coast Hot Shoes, Strictly Dirt, Dragon Goggles, Acerbis, Saddleman, Ride Academy, RLJ Racing, Trantolo & Trantolo, HBD Moto Graphix, STRIKT, Barnett, Wrex, Prewitt Automotive
Stevie Bonsey also has personal sponsors to thank: Arai Helmets, Alpine Stars Apparel, EKS Goggles, Santa Cruz Bicycle, OB1 Trucking, Coolbreeze, Camilla Payne, Team Intents, Bill Graham and Richard Matusek
Jake Johnson leaves Springfield, IL Memorial day race with a solid fourth place and second in the points. After qualifying 2nd (below the track record set in 1992) Johnson went on to win his heat race, take 3rd in the all important points paying dash for cash and brought home a solid 4th place finish in the main event after leading four times at the start/finish line. "We had a really fast bike today" said Johnson. "The team works really well together and we have identified a few small chassis changes that we will make before we come back here in the fall to hopefully get on top of the box."
On to round 4, June 15th in Knoxville, IA!
Springfield TT - It's been a while since I've been around an AMA Flat track race and it was really nice to see all my American friends that I haven't seen in over a year. I showed up at the TT with pretty low expectations as I'm not a very skilled TT rider and I would be lining up against some of the riders I grew up idolizing. My main goal was just to get a little bit of seat time before jumping on the twin for the mile.
In practice I felt pretty comfortable, and decided to leave the bike as is for the heat races. Heck, I didn't even change tire pressure! I had a pretty stacked heat and I knew the first corner was either going to be really cool or hurt really bad. The good news is we all got through clean but when the checkered flag flew I ended up finishing out of a transfer spot to the main. In the semi however, I got a decent start and ended up second coming over the jump. I felt great and rode right with the leader for the entire race. Even though I was confident I could have taken the semi win, I decided to settle for second because I already had a transfer position to the main.
In the main it took a couple of restarts but finally the pack got over the jump clean. My chances of a top ten however were cut short when I lost my brakes on lap six or seven. I stalled the bike going into a sharp left, but I was able to fire it again after a few kicks. Although I didn't get the top ten I was hoping for, I was able to cross the line in 12th. I had a blast, and considered it a success that I was able to qualify for and finish the main.
The MILE! - I showed up to the Mile bright and early because my dad and I had some small stuff to do to the LaBelle Racing/Woody Kyle Racing Kawasaki 650 Ninja before running it through tech. After tech practice arrived before we knew it so I headed out onto the track. Now I didn't expect to light the world on fire but I was EXTREMELY disappointed with my times in free practice. We made some small changes including gearing and went back out to try again. After all was said and done, I dropped a second and a half off my original lap times and I had qualified 28th. I wanted more but wanted to stay positive.
In the heat race I just couldn't get anything going as far as finding drafting partners. When I finally found a partner, I made what I refer to as "Rookie mile mistakes" and lost them. At the checkers I settled for 10th and a trip to the Semi's.
In the Semi, the AMA crew was having difficulty with the starting light system. The starter grabbed a green flag and did a standing flag start where you go on the abrupt lift of the flag. Before the flag even went up, over half the field had already taken off and I was VERY late. This was rookie mistake number one. Then down the back straight a rider blew a motor and I lifted to get around them. This was mistake number two. For the remainder of the Semi, I was stuck behind what I called a slower rider with a faster bike until very late in the race. This was the outcome of my first two mistakes. Long story short, I didn't make the main.
I can't be upset about the outcome of the Springfield Mile because I definitely learned a ton. I knew going in that it was going to be way different than riding a 450 around the mile but the speed isn't the only difference. Your thought process has to be faster and you have to learn to strategize on the fly. The speed difference wasn't as noticeable as I thought because while you are racing you really don't think about how fast you are actually going. It wasn't until after our semi that I found out we were clocked at 135 mph on the front straight! I will take everything I have learned here and take it to the next race with me.
Well we raced the Springfield Mile round 1 at Springfield on May 25th, 2014. This was my first ever twins expert race. I was very nervous leading up to that Sunday, but at the same time I was very excited to throw a leg over the Kirkland racing Suzuki.
In practice I was geared to run the bike in fourth gear but found myself on the rev limiter half way down the strait away so I found myself shifting into fifth to keep the bike off the rev limiter but made my get off the corner a little weak. After practice was done we added a tooth and gave that a try making the bike rev a little harder in fifth and gave me an awesome 17th qualifying position. After the first qualifier and going into the last qualifier we decided to add one more tooth to give me more coming off the turn and to get me closer to the rev limiter at the end of the strait. I ended having the first qualifier being my best and gave me a 17th over all in qualifying.
Going into my heat race we decided to move the forks a little to give me more traction and then we also added one more tooth to the bike knowing the track times were slowing down. I had an awesome start in my heat race running in third going into turn one but I think I up shifted to fifth too early loosing my drive off the turn letting people get around me on the exit. I ended up running at the tail end of the lead pack until about two laps to go when I slipped off the groove and lost traction on my entry to turn three making loose about half a strait away by the time I gathered it up. I finished seventh over all in my heat race.
After my heat race and getting ready for my semi I decided I would try and add a tooth so they wouldn't pull me as hard coming out of the turn and would be a little closer to the rev limiter but we ended up running out of gearing. I then looked at my gear ratio chart to gear the bike for fourth but we actually didn't have enough gearing to fourth either. Well we added gearing to our list of things to get needless to say. I decided to move the forks a little and just give that a try to finish off my day and put the bike into the main. In my semi I actually had the hole shot and led the pack coming off turn two. This time I waited to up shift into fifth hoping to keep a good drive off the turn. I had a killer drive coming off turn two, but this time I could not get the bike to up shift into fifth. I kept trying to get it to go but the shifter would not budge. At first I thought it was the transmission but the shifter wouldn't move at all. I looked down really quick and noticed it was caught up on a little motor cover for the transmission. After I took a lap and half in the race I slowed down and was able to free it up with my hand and it shifted right into fifth. It was too lat to get a transfer spot now that I was a lap and half down because I slowed down. I then pulled off the track.
In the end Springfield mile was a good weekend. I was able to learn a lot about racing the mile on a big bike and learned a lot about the Suzuki. I look forward to riding this bike more this year. Thank you everyone for your support!
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 12, 2014) - Officials from Cal Expo and AMA Pro Racing announced today that the Sacramento Mile will return to the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule. The historic event, which was previously removed from this year's calendar, is back on track to take place at Cal Expo in Sacramento, Calif. on July 26, 2014 with event promotion from SMI.
"We're thrilled to be able to get the Sacramento Mile back on the 2014 AMA Pro Flat Track schedule," said Michael Gentry, Chief Operating Officer of AMA Pro Racing. "The race is always one of the most prominent events on the schedule and I'm really looking forward to watching our riders take to the track at the Cal Expo in late July."
The Sacramento Mile returned to the AMA Pro Flat Track schedule in 2011 after a nine year absence and has once again stamped itself as one of the most exciting events on the Grand National Championship tour. Over the last month, negotiations have been ongoing with the intent of creating a long-term agreement for the event that will honor the history of the Sacramento Mile.
"We are excited to be able to continue the rich tradition of the Sacramento Mile for our region and for AMA Pro fans," said Rick Pickering, CEO of Cal Expo. "We appreciate the leadership and commitment of SMI in stepping forward to take the Sac Mile to the next level of success,"
"The Sacramento Mile has been one of the highlights of the Cal Expo season and we are looking forward to seeing it here for its 100th event," said Nick Nicora, VP of Ovations Food Service. SMI, a company owned and operated by AMA Hall of Famer Steve McLaughlin, will be the event promoter and AMA Pro Racing sanction holder, with event sponsorship, marketing, promotion and advertising handled by Don Henry of Henry Advertising. Lynne H. Saunders will be director of Operations and Dennis Pearson, Dirt Productions will build and maintain the track.
"The Sacramento Mile was a must attend when I was a young AMA Pro racer," said Steve McLaughlin, event promoter. "Cal Rayborn tried to get me on the Mile but as a Road Racer I couldn't understand racing with no brake lever on the right side of the handlebar. We are very close to the event and will be doing our best to get the word out and improve the fan experience as well as value. As a new promoter, my first act will be offering free standing room only tickets to children 12 years old and under, and all other ticket prices for children 12 years old and under will be 50% off. Also, Sacramento Mile attendees that arrive by motorcycle will park for free."
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
For additional information contact:
AMA Pro Racing Communications, (386) 492-1014, firstname.lastname@example.org
Excellent news is coming from America's premier steel shoe fabricator, Light Shoe, as they announce a partnership with Racing19 to distribute their industry leading products throughout Europe for the 2014 season and beyond. The official steel shoe of the 2013 AMA Pro Flattrack Grand National Champion Brad Baker as well as worn by 2013 MotoGP Champion Marc Marquez, now riders all over Europe can receive the same quality that the best riders in the world use to dominate the competition.
Using state of the art technology never seen in the "hot shoe" industry before, the Light Shoe greatly differs from the competition. Each Light Shoe is built using technology developed hand-in-hand with one of the nation's leading universities to provide riders with an uncompromising fit to their racing boot as well as a hard surface coating that will stand up to many seasons of abuse. Light Shoe founder Gary Kinzler is excited to be a part of this new partnership, stating, "Brad Baker came back from the Super Prestigio race in Spain and commented on the shoes that racers were using in Europe. Soon after that, we built a shoe for Marc (Marquez) and it was well received. The relationship that I have with Angel Salvado of Racing19 is looking very bright and I look forward to continuing our relationship and flooding Europe with the steel shoes that I have worked so hard to develop."
About Light Shoe: Founded by Gary Kinzler in 1998 after he saw the weight of most commercially available steel shoes at that time. Each Light Shoe has a distinct shape to the sole that the riders foot is pointed in the correct direction while navigating corners. All shoes are surfaced using the latest hard surfacing technology and can be found on the left feet of most of the top racers in the AMA Pro Racing Flattrack Grand National series. Trust your "SOLE" to Light Shoe!
About Racing19: After more than a decade helping to rise Flattrack racing in Europe, Angel Salvado, co-founder of Celtibero Racing Components, teamed up with his brother Samuel at Racing19, based in Spain. Together they focus on equipping racers in Europe with the best equipment for dirt track racing. From the best steel shoes to the proper wheels to the right chassis setup, Racing19 has the answer. "Flattrack, as the purest form of motorcycle racing, is experiencing a sort of revival over here. Though still a small scene and an overall lack of resources, the riders and club base in Spain is huge, skilled, and extremely motivated, so I feel obliged to help with as much support as we can get from the industry."