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first race weekend

  1. #1
    Lifer s a x m a n's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    What a weekend! I am officially hooked on racing.

    I left for the track Thursday morning to make it for Thursday afternoon practice. Got up there, and tried to figure out the entire procedure. In the first 10 minutes I knew I was in for a lot of walking without a pit bike. I figured out where to register for practice, headed back to my car to set up my “paddock” for the weekend. I tried to unload the bike myself, which resulted in my dropping it on the trailor …. Great start Jamie. I get the pit setup and just got ready for practice.

    Thursday practice went well. At first I felt like a sardine in a can after having been at VIR. Two totally different tracks, but after a couple laps I was able to settle in. The first two sessions I spent getting used to my reference points, figuring out shifting and such. The last couple sessions I started to pick up the pace. This was my first time to Loudon with the new suspension, and instantly I was carrying more cornerspeed, which led to more drive out of the corners. I got awful headshake over 5 and between 7 and 8. After the day was done, I headed over to Street and Comp and purchased a Scotts Damper. There was no way I was going to feel comfortable out there having head shake all weekend.

    Friday came, more people arrived. I installed my damper, and went to finish my safety wire. Broke a bit inside the rear axle … trying to remove it caused me to grind down the axle nut threads to nothing, and bung up the axle threads a tad. So, off to the local Honda dealer I went. They fixed the axle and gave me a new nut. Went back, got it safety wired and went to tech for Friday practice.

    3 sessions on Friday, which went well; I spent the first session learning about the damper and where to adjust it, which pretty much eliminated the head shake. I felt great about that! I worked on the back half of the track for the rest of the day, which is were I had the most problems. I finally got some great reference points and felt great about it by the end of the day.

    Saturday came, sent the bike through tech and got ready for practice. Went out to practice and just scrubbed in the new tires and got my body warmed up. 2nd practice I was able to push more and felt good on the bike.

    Lack of grid sheets at the start of my race (race #2) stressed me out. I nervous as it was and not know where I was supposed to be made me very frenzied. When I got to hot pit they had the grid sheets, which was good, but I had already worked myself up.

    Went out for the warm up lap and got grided. Here I was, first race, row 3. I got a good launch, but then there was all these bike funneling into turn one … I backed off and ended up near the back. What a sight. So there I was near the back, and now trying to find my groove. It took 3 laps for me to settle, then I was able to start picking off people, which I started to do easily and quickly. I was feeling good, then came around on lap 6 after passing a group of 3 and tried to catch up to the next group. I turned in for 3, got on the gas, and instantly saw my gas tank, then the seat, then the tail, then the entire bike as it headed up turn 4. Yup, I did it, I crashed in my first race. Way to go Rookie. They red flagged the race and that was it.

    Got the bike back in, and everyone that was near/in my pit came over, made sure I was ok, and went right to work on my bike. What a sight it was. I have never seen a group of people work so hard and so quickly to allow me to be ready for the next race in 15 minutes. I huge thanks to Steve, Neal, Mike, Mark, My Brother Chris, my father, and who ever else helped getting the bike back together! You got me out there for race 4 and I really appreciate it!

    Need to replace the right peg and straighten the rearset bracket. The right handlebar was bent slightly, but not cracked, so I went with it. Got through tech quickly and right out to the hot pit for race #4.

    I didn’t have the warmers on the bike before the race, so tires were cold and I felt it right away. I tried the best I could to get the warmed up with the warm up lap, but knew I was going to need at least the first lap to get them up to temp. I was in row 2 on the outside this time. Again, got a good start, but the whole traffic thing in the turn 1 is still sometime to get used to. I didn’t get pushed as far back, but still was in like 17th. The bike was sliding a little bit because of the colder tires, so I just made sure to get through the first lap. I got through and worked through a couple people on lap two. I was all alone for laps 3-5. On lap 6, Peter Kates girlfriend showed me her front wheel down the straight, but didn’t get by (or made the choice not too). She followed me through laps 6 and 7, and then on the last lap made her move and passed me going up 4 I think. I tried to make a move in 6, but couldn’t find a spot that I felt comfortable with, so I figured I would try again in 11, but we had similar speed through there and I missed my mark for 12 and got a bad drive out for the finish. Those last couple laps were a ton of fun though!

    I ended up getting 13th with a 1:25.8 as my fastest lap. I was just glad to have finished the race.

    Race #13 was next, and I was gridded Row 2 again, and got a good launch and stayed in it longer than normal. I think I was like in 9th going into one, but got passed a couple more times. Everything got spread out in the first 2 laps. I had a nice little battle with a couple bikes mid race that allowed me to start figuring out where to pass them. I was able to get by and held that position for the rest of the race. I also finished 13th with my fastest lap of 1:25.2.

    I really learned this weekend what fast was, and I am not it. I went into this weekend thinking I would do better, but after the first race I came to quickly realize that track day fast is not race day fast. Once I figured that out, it was time to get back to my basics and learn to become smoother and very consistent.

    The support from everyone at the track is amazing, and battling out there on the track with someone you know is just that much more fun. I still can’t explain what it is like to race, but I do know I am hooked and I can’t wait until the next weekend in 2 weeks!

    I am VERY pleased with the progress I made on the back half of the track. It was my worst section and now I feel like it is becoming one of my strongest. I have a lot to work on including cornerspeed through 6, and my drive up turn 4, the starts, passing and a whole list of other things.

    I talked with “speedy pete”, who was working with Street and Comp this weekend, but also works with my uncle here in town. He really gave me some encouraging advice at the end of Saturday and said that he wanted to make it up one weekend to be my pit guy and help me out. He is a great guy and is a great rider (does track days now … has been at some of TTD).

    I have some work to do to the bike in the next two weeks, including a sprocket change (one down in the back), and replace the right handle bar. I cannot wait for the next race weekend!

    Thanks again to everyone!

    To the Tony’s Track Day Crew … thank you, but you suck for getting me hooked on the track, please send me money … (=

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  2. #2
    Lifer Karaya One's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    nice!

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    Putting his hands in the air, like he just doesn't care.
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  3. #3
    Lifer a13x's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    Word. Keep it smooth sailing maaaan.

    Your insight Trackday vs Race Day was enlightening.

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    Boston --> San Diego

  4. #4
    Lifer bentbryan's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    Way to go!

    I was cornerworking both sat and sun practice sessions... so of course I paid particular attention to the NESR folks. Looking good Sax, keep it up!

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    2003 Yamaha R6
    1999 Yamaha YZ400



  5. #5
    Lifer s a x m a n's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    thanks man, i appriciate it

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  6. #6

  7. #7
    GRONSEL'D!!! gixxer6's Avatar
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    pretty good ride

    Jamie,

    You had a couple pretty good rides bro. Good job man.

    Welcome to the addiction. It gets much worse....trailers, trucks, pitbikes, racebikes...before you know it your in for 30K and you need more...

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    Heath Smith
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  8. #8
    First name on the shit list.... SVRACER01's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    NEVER back off for T1.... or youll end up at the back. hold your line and ride like there is noone around

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    When I start my KTM in the morning, rules are broken. Its inevitable...
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  9. #9
    ....... Nazo's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    Nice job bro.....1.25 for your first weekend is good!

    Thanks for causing the red flag in race 2, That clenched me 2nd place.....I was getting exhausted out there.

    Next race weekend meet up for a practice session again, I'll try to help ya drop a couple seconds.

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    Chris
    LRRS Expert #160


  10. #10
    Lifer s a x m a n's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    that would be great man!

    everyone rocks!

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  11. #11
    Lifer s a x m a n's Avatar
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    first race weekend

    Originally posted by SVRACER01
    NEVER back off for T1.... or youll end up at the back. hold your line and ride like there is noone around
    i think i could have finished alot better if I wasn't such a pussy

    i heard people talk about turn 1, but shit ... its fucking crazy!

    i want to be grided in D so I can get to the outside

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