I finally returned to the track officially this weekend, and it was great to get back out there, looking for the line and trying to make the lil GS go around as quickly as possible.
In a weird way, the bike problems that plagued me this weekend were to my advantage. Rather than getting all anxious and nervous on the track after crashing and being away for three months, I was able to focus on being pissed at my ride. First practice, the bike died on my third lap coming into 1, same problem I had been chasing from my first race weekend and thought I had licked. 2nd practice I'm fighting a bad carburation problem between 5k and 7k RPM, it refuses to pull in this range, requiring a downshift or a long wait for it to stumble past the flat spot. My best recorded time, 1:43... blech, 3 seconds slower than April.
During lunch I pulled the carb tops off to raise the needles, only to discover a busted slide spring. Suzuki opted for Mikuni carbs rather than Keihns like the EX500s run, so no one had a spare I could borrow. With Gino's assistance, I took Rick's advice and just twisted the ends of the remaining spring bits together and shoved it back in. I'm still not sure if the busted spring managed to poke any holes in the diaphragm, but I'm pretty sure it's a big part of the flat spot I'm experiencing.
So anyways, I went out for race 9 on Sat, NV LW Sportsman, and proceed to put in a horrid performance, 10th out of 11 starters, the only guy I beat was turning over two minute lap times, and all I could manage was a 1:43 again.
Sunday I went out in practice with a plan, ride the bike like a two stroke, more shifting, keep the motor spun up and avoid the flat spot like the plague. It worked, somewhat. When I got things right I could maintain decent corner speed and actually come out of turns pulling. Other times I shot myself in the foot with badly timed shifts.
In race 1, NV GTL I got stuck behind an excruitatingly slow EX, but couldn't pull a pass off as he'd just motor by me once upright. I finally got around when he blew 12 badly and put my head down to try and catch up to the rest of the field. Turns out he was the only guy I was in front of, but hey, I'll take it. Turned my best lap ever in that race, 1:36.072.
Race 7, got a decent launch, and after making it through 1 I got behind an EX who was slightly slower in a couple turns, and tried come up with a strategy to get around him. My best opportunity seemed to be 2 where I thought I was carrying enough speed to do the deed, but every time I tried he'd muscle past as I found myself stuck in my bike's dead zone. I finally was able to carry enough momentum to come through 2 at 7k RPM on his outside, and finish the pass by late braking into 3. My first real, legitimate pass without resorting to HP, and it felt great. Again I finished 2nd to last, but I still came off the track with a shit eating grin so who cares. Best lap was a 1:37.654, slightly slower but not far off my GT pace, so it looks like I can be somewhat consistent.
My battle plan now is to try and get the carbs sorted, along with a couple other little issues that cropped up this weekend, and hopefully I can finally put up a straight up fight against the EX's without trying to ride around problems. If I'm real lucky, I might be able to run with the Schmidt brothers and Rick... yeah right!
Between T1a and the Zip Tie crew, I had a blast this weekend, can't wait for the next one.
But yah dude, those times really arent bad, coming from that long of a layoff. With major bike problems those are pretty damn good. You looked good out there, I could see an inprovement in confidence over the span of the weekend. So get that bike sorted out, and be 100% ready for the next weekend, and youll be fine
Ya I'm just messing with ya Kurlon!!
Good job on getting thru the weekend after a long layoff. I know exactly how fustrating bike-running issues can be (2006..ugh..) so props for pushing thru it.
See ya at the next one.
Woohoo... advancement index has been updated... With 4 races under my belt (3 from this last weekend) I've got a whopping 0.196. I can already see the other novice's trembling in fear, and amateurs wondering when I'll bump and ruin their chances.
Don't mind me, I'll go back to my corner now. Still waiting for parts from Suzuki...