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Mustang: 2014 LRRS Round 7 - It's The Final Countdown

  1. #1
    I've been here before. Mustang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Mustang: 2014 LRRS Round 7 - It's The Final Countdown

    Cliffs: Poor choices Saturday, a bit off Sunday, but still highest ever EX finish

    Saturday - woke up to wet pavement, gloomy skies, and relentless drizzle. Just enough to keep the ground damp I skipped both practices, as I knew I'd just roll around and not really "try." My parents had come up for the weekend, as well as Outlaw and Crazy Irish to cheer us on, so I just hung out with everyone while debating whether to run rains or DOTs. I put my rains on somewhere around 1030. About 15 minutes before GTL, I decided to swap back to DOTs because the mist had lightened up and NHMS was running the jet drier around the track. I got shoved out of the way as 14 people began attacking my bike for the swap so I went to suit up. Upon exiting my trailer, I noted that wet stuff had begun falling at a more rapid and voluminous rate than at any previous time during the day Apparently I had made the wrong choice - oh well, I'll just roll around in GTL - I'm not in a points race.

    Saturday Race 2 GTL - Gridded in 3A (oh, joy) out of 10 bikes...all of whom besides me are on rains tires. I head into turn 1 somewhere near the back of the pack, apparently having forgotten how to launch a motorcycle. I basically should've had an arrow next to my "Pass Bitches" sticker pointing up at the guy in the seat of my SV. I manage a best lap of 01:40.208, a full 15 seconds off the leader, and finish in 9th place. Yet another "8th or 9th" place finish...I'm going to have to count how many of those I've had this season.

    Saturday Race 9 LWGP - I once again hemmed and hawed the entire time between GTL and this race about which tires to run. After conferring with several other racers who'd recently come off track, I decided to stick with the DOTs. Much to my dismay, when we lined up for pregrid, I was once again the sole rider on DOTs. However, the warm-up lap showed a fully dry race line, 3-4 bikes wide, around the entire track. Feck, I have aCHANCE at doing something good here! I probably won't catch Doucette, but if these guys try running hot laps, they're gonna start tearing up these rains really quickly on the dry line. Gridded in 3B (oh joy), I once again get a mediocre start. Exiting T2, I hear the roar of #65 Doug Fogg's "original cheatah" Buell 1200, and see him squirt around the outside of me. I took him back in T4 as he got held up a bit by traffic, but Fogg got me back somewhere between T6-T7. We quickly came upon #41 BJ Worsham in T9, and BJ is crawling relatively. Fogg gets him on the gas exiting T10, and I just KNOW I can take BJ quickly. He leaves me room on the outside as he parks it for the entry into T11, so I go around the outside, executing a beautiful pass, and just as I'm past his front wheel and starting to flip for T12, I remember that T11 is REALLY REALLY REALLY slick in the wet. I remember this, because I'm now on my arse sliding towards the outside of 11 and kicking my motorcycle ahead of me. Once we both stop sliding, I run and pick up the bike, promptly break the brake reservoir bracket by trying to straighten it, find out that this bitch does NOT want to fire up again, and then determine that it doesn't matter anyway since the shifter knob and left side peg have sheared off. DNF - actually displays in the system as a DNS, since I didn't even complete one lap.

    Thanks though, Woodcraft, for redesigning the SV rearsets such that the peg is no longer the fulcrum for the shifter, and to reposition the shift linkage out of the way of crash damage. The only reason I wasn't able to continue was hitting the curbing outside T11. Had this been a "normal" fall on the left side, any damage to the peg likely would not have led to inability to shift. Gold star for new engineering.

    All in all, I shrugged it off. Stupid mistake on my part; but I didn't really "lose" anything, and all my spiffy gear from Sportbike Track Gear kept me safe (and the helmet didn't even go down!).

    Saturday evening included hilarious pit bike races to benefit the NH Brain Injury Fund; legit rain; the appearance of the always-yummy Adam and Wendy Butler to cook for us; another kick-ass Center Garage BBQ; RSP Racing growing my two (so glad to have you, Noel and Sav!); and another fun LDR Halloween party. Only one drink too many was had Saturday night, so I consider that a win for me.

    Sunday Practice - The track tried a new schedule today, which meant only one practice session @ 15 minutes long. Long time to be out there...but since yesterday was a washout and I hadn't raced since mid August, I decided to go out for practice on fresh Pirelli-MTAG rear rubber. I'm glad I did...because doing whatever crappy times I was doing in practice felt SOFREAKINGFAST compared to yesterday's races. Had I not had the chance to level-set my brain a bit not in a race environment, I certainly would've wasted my race time.

    Sunday Race 7 LWSS - Gridded in 2C out of 8, I continue my trend of crappy starts, but I hold the gas a little longer entering T1 and am able to pass (someone) on the outside. I almost get #398 Bruce Marshall on the inside of T1A, but his line towards the apex is a bit swoopy, and I'm sure he doesn't see or expect me to be there - so I back off. Although it allowed both of us to get home safely, this would prove to be yet another poor decision for my race program, and Bruce is markedly slower than I am in the corners. It takes 3 laps to finally get around Bruce. Somewhere around the next lap, I decide to take a look behind me once on the front straight - something I've largely stopped doing - and found #122 Brady Ward ON my back tire...and I think he waved at me! Head down, time to race now. I keep Brady behind me for a while... On some subsequent lap, he gets me on the brakes entering T3 (poor line choice on my part) as we're coming upon lap traffic. The traffic rider is not really predictable at all...I see Brady trying to make a decision...it looks like he's gonna try to go left exiting T4, so I go right - FINALLY a "right" decision by me for the weekend. Brady doesn't get a good drive, so I take my lead back as we head to the bowl. Next lap I blow the entry to T6, and I see Brady in my peripheral as we're heading towards T7, but I don't give up my line. I'm able to hold 5th place to the finish, with Brady and Bruce only tenths behind me at the checkered. Only a best lap of 01:23.031, and most laps in the 23s, but good enough for what I believe is my highest expert finish ever. I had a good time in this race despite my performance being slightly off, so it was a good way to end the season for me.

    I come in around 4:58

    A season full of thanks, as always, to my awesome RSP Racing teammates and our supporters who give up their weekends (and often many days/nights other than one weekend a month) to cheer us on and help out in the pits, and to our killer sponsors listed below, who help us get through this crazy racing thing by providing reliable training, advice, parts and gear.

    I accomplished my goal for 2014 back in June - break into the teens - so the season was a win for me despite all the ups and downs. I ended the season 10th overall in GTL, 15th in LWGP, 26th in LWSB (I gave that up a while ago, lol), and 10th in LWSS. For being my first full expert season, and missing one round still, I'm happy with two top 10 class finishes! By virtue of only doing three races a weekend, I've no chance at any type of overall championship...but for ha-ha's, I am listed at 54 of 131 overall, which seems like a very low number of overall competitors.

    So when's 2015's Round 1??????

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Bill Cool --- NEMRR EX #47 --- 2020-21 LRRS LWSS Champion --- RSP Racing / TTD / MTAG-Pirelli / Woodcraft / Sportbike Track Gear / Seacoast Sport Cycle

  2. #2
    You dont know slow... PainfullySlow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Rocky Hill, CT

    Re: Mustang: 2014 LRRS Round 7 - It's The Final Countdown

    Kick ass and I agree...is it 2015 yet?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

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