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RSP #816 - Round 8 Finale

  1. #1
    Is this thing on? Mr. Kurtz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Hiram, ME

    Post RSP #816 - Round 8 Finale

    The week leading up to the final LRRS round was a flurry of activity, with me heading straight from Dima's wedding to NJMP(arrived at 5am), riding all day Sunday, traveling home Monday, leaving for NHMS Tuesday, and staying there through the race weekend and for the 3 Tony's TrackDays afterwards. Basically at the racetrack(s) for 10 days, with an 18 hour stopover at home in between the two.


    Supertwins: Pang and I were supposed to do this race, since the 650's are generally outclassed in this race(unlimited displacement 2 cyl). Pang, however, crashed out in his prior race, so I was gridded up with an 848, a 748, and another racer on an SV who is historically 1-2 seconds faster than me on my best day. I didn't get a great start, the other guy on the SV did, and he held 2nd place for the first lap, up there with the two Ducati's. They basically all rode into the sunset without me, and I finished a lonely 4th place. Basically, Pang made me blow $60 for an 8 lap practice.

    Lightweight Superbike: I got a decent start in this race, and went into T1 in 3rd, Eric Johanson(106) slipped in front of me in 1A, and then Brian Cooner(501) passed me in 10. I lost 2 more positions over the next couple laps, and then in the 6th lap, I got caught up behind an expert at the tail end of the wave that had started in front of us, and while I hesitated behind him, 4 of my competitors made the pass on both him and I. By the time I got by, I didn't have enough time to try and catch back up, and finished the race 3 seconds behind the rider in front of me.


    Pirelli Diablo Challenge: This was it, all season I said I was going to race my R6 at least once this season, and this was the day that was gonna happen. I went out to practice on the bike in the MW practice group once, and in the Diablo Challenge qualifying session. I only got a handful of laps and practiced one start, which was a problem. I was racing with Pete(187) and Dave(535), along with one expert and one amateur middleweight guy, both of who run faster laps times than me. Keith (769) was also in this race, but on his SV(30hp down from me and we run similar laptimes on our SVs), so I was pretty confident I could hold him off unless I made any major mistakes. Since I had never launched the R6 "in anger" before the one practice start I got, my launch was awful. I had the RPMs too low, and even holding the clutch at the engagement point, it felt like it kept slipping and catching. I almost stalled initially, got it rolling, and went into T1 in 5th. Dave, Pete, and the AM guy ran off from the get go, but I held on to Kasperuk(EX 53) for the first lap. After that, he gradually became a speck in the distance too, and I just tried to stay steady and keep ahead of Keith. I finished in a pretty solitary 5th.

    Lightweight Supersport: I had a feeling this was gonna be the hardest race all year, because it was back-to-back with the Diablo Challenge, which was something I hadn't done before. Dave, Keith and I were all doing both races, and since Dave and I both needed to swap from the 600s to the SVs in between, we worked out a plan that relied on the guys in the garage to bring out those bikes so we could just roll to hot pit, switch bikes, and head out for the sighting lap for race 7. That all worked perfectly, except I didn't feel as if I had time to get my helmet off to take a drink and couldn't get the water bottle inside my helmet, so I was definitely suffering from some drymouth. I got an awful start, which I'm attributing to the back to back with the R6, as they are very diffferent bikes to launch and I'm just now starting to get decent launches on the SV. From there, I ran around struggling to ride the SV after coming off the R6, suffering from the same thing that plagued me all last year; the 600 and the SV handle completely different, and I do not do well with the change. I finished in 10th, not a particularly exciting race.

    Lightweight Gran Prix: In between this and the last race, Keith went looking and saw that my rear shock height was as much as 10mm shorter than many other SVs in the paddock, so he made some adjustments to it to bring the height up and make the bike turn in a bit quicker. I hoped this would make the bike turn in a bit quicker, and maybe bring the handling more in line with what I liked. It definitely worked(I would go on to adjust it even further during the TTDs, and I'm not done), but it took a couple laps to really get used to it. Again, not a good start, and I settled in to run some mediocre laps for most of the race. My quickest two laps were the last two, which is a credit to the suspension change, because once I got used the the handling, the bike was much easier to ride. I was surprised to see my last two laps after 5 practice sessions and 5 races during the weekend be my quickest, but it was good to end the season looking confidently towards big steps forward for next year.

    I'd like to thank all my teammates, all the friends I've made up at the track this year, and all of you who've taken the time to come up and support us. Special thanks this weekend to Kevin and Jim for coming up just to support the team, Keith for making those suspension changes for me, and Tony for all his racing advice this weekend and all season. A lot of things clicked this last weekend, and I'm really looking forward to the 2011 season.

    Videos coming.

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  2. #2
    Just Registered rolker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Rochester, NH

    Re: RSP #816 - Round 8 Finale

    Nice report Mike!

    Man, switching bike between back to back races is crazy! It took me a session and a half at a trackday to get the feel for the EX250 when I switched from the RS125.

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    Roland Arsenault
    LRRS and USCRA #763
    2012, 2013 and 2015 Big Fish Small Pond Champion
    "The 4 board is an upshift marker, not a brake marker"

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