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7/18/2011

2011 year in racing

A review of my racing this year
Well, I started out the year with the idea that I may just make it out for a couple races every month or two. But my racing itch got the better of me again. I started in January with the GSXR 750 running strong and feeling confident with the Big number 5 on my number plates. Got a couple top three finishes and a 4th in the Toyota cup Formula 1 event. That was a beautiful weekend btw...not very common weather for January.

The following month I had nearly the same results at The Streets of Willowsprings with another 4th in formula 1 but I was itching to get a new bike like some of the other guys I race against.
(The Monday following the race weekend I had taken the 750 out to a trackday at buttonwillow for some easy going track fun,However.... a failed Suzuka tire warmer caused me to have quite a highside on my 1st lap out...)

March proved to be frustraiting . My little Highside in February caused a failure in the traction control box that left the bike unable to reach high revs...We packed up and went home on Saturday and missed Sunday races. It was the first race day at willow I had missed in over a year easily... ouch!

In April I was still sorting out problems with the traction control on the 750 so we brought the GSXR600 out to get some well needed overall points. This weekend was a lot of fun! I had one of the closest finishes I've ever had in the 600 superstock race against rider #27 and the pass was made from a final turn, draft & pass to the line...He later asked for a review that confirmed my lead at the finished. YES!!!
The Toyota Cup event was a blast too ! I found myself in the company of Richard Saddler and J.C. Gibbs durring the whole race . It seemed the 600 was out-gunned for sure. I can't count how many scary moments we had in such close quarters on the track. The corner entries were the only portion of the track I had to make up for the HUGE power difference between the 600 and the 1000's I was surrounded by. In the final lap I had sucomb to the brute power of those two but not without a good fight... We later had a good laugh about the experiance and shared hugs and handshakes :-)

After seeing the massive power available to my competition in the Formula 1 race I decided to step it up and purchase a new rig. I had been talking with a good friend Shawn (Recon) White about the new ZX10r and how bad-ass it would be to have a Japanese twin to the BMW s1000rr . So we headed up to Clawson Motorsports in Fresno to Pick one up. (Great deal BTW , Gotta mention the sales staff was awesome!)
I got it home and went for a little ride...Whoa!!! This bike doesn't belong on a street. I was breaking every law in the book and didn't need to leave first gear to do so. After that ride I took my sweetheart out for a lil' cruise and then disassembled it to make way for the race fairings , Bazzaz Z-FI QS with the Z-afm and an exhaust Muffler from Curtis Sparks Racing ( with the welding and fabrication skills of Sean McDougle). Once I had set it all up with those upgrades I started considering setting the suspension but as it turns out, the "Static" feel of the bike( while not in motion) was so different than what I'm used to feeling on the bikes without the Big piston forks I decided to leave it be until I took it on the track and got a feel for what was needing change.

May 9th 2011......K-day.....
I got to Buttonwillow with the ominous feeling that I might throw down this beautiful machine I just agreed to pay a lot of money for, turns out I was right. After spending the first session tuning with the Bazzaz equipment and setting the ergonomics up I went out in the second session feeling comfortable and fast ! I didn't boast my best time ever in the reverse configuration we were running that day but I was certainly close and doing it with ease. The bike turned with more percision than I had ever felt out of a bike and although it took more effort than say a CBR1000rr to turn, it did it with feedback accuracy and confidence. The power delivery was amazing and boring at the same time with the traction control still on the lightest setting it felt as if the bike was being pulled by a rocket down the straits . It wouldn't get the big , out of the corner monster wheelies as it's predecesors . It just goes.... In the third session I went out in I found out how great the front brakes work when a rider weaved from the far right side of the track to the far left on a strait away. My brake lever made contact with his butt,elbow or something around there and sent me over the front of the bike at over 100mph. By far the worst accident I've had yet. My new machine took massive damage and I'm currently waiting to get the money to rebuild it. Best Bike Ever, hands down!
Update!
Allstate insurance covered all damages on the bike and I'll be recieving a check anytime now... Go Team Allstate!!!!!!!!!! YAY!



June Update....
June was a great month to get back out to Willow and get comfortable on the track again.I had to bring the GSXR600 out because I had got the parts to rebuild the ZX10 too late to get it ready in a safe manner... The focus was on having fun and making it home safe . After having the big crash at Buttonwillow I thought that I would be a bit reserved for my first time back out but I guess that once the adrenalin gets flowing you just do what you've done before. I began with the Solo series race on Saturday afternoon . It offered the most laps of any race held during the weekends events. I was strong against the others on the track and soon found myself in the lead ( leading all classes including the big bikes) J.C. Gibs was in second and falling of the pace. I felt absolutly wonderful being out there having fun! Being in the lead was just a bonus but on lap 20 of 20 laps heading into turn 8 I felt the bike surge. FUEL!!! I gambled with the last fill up because I was out and figured I would just hope for the best...whoopsy. I shook the bike and played with the throttle to get it in and out of turn nine but pulled off the track into the pit lane to stay safe. I crossed the line in 2nd overall just behind J.C. on his Graves backed R1... totally laughing inside my helmet ! Good fun .
Sundays events were a little frustrating. Having the GSXR600 out there against all the R6's kinda sucked frankly. The poor GSXR could really use a good boost in power or at least a little supersport build. Watching those guys pull on me on the straits was horrible but I still walked out of there with a smile and a couple trophies (2nd in 650 Superbike and 3rd in 600 Mod. Prod. )

July Update....

We set out Friday night to hopefully get a decent parking spot at the Streets of Willow corse. After getting there and getting set up we settled in early to prepare for the next few days of action. On Saturday we got out in every practice session available to ensure that we could dial in the suspension as much as possible. The problem we kept having was too much movement from the rear causing me to get a horrible drive on the straits also the front didn't want to move fast enough over some of the harsh sections of the track.
Saturday also gave us the chance to tune with the Bazzaz ZAFM , the more I work with this thing the more I love it ! We Tuned the bike to near perfection in three sessions on the track... ( we'll have to do it again next month because I plan to remove the secondary throttle blades but It's so easy I don't mind).
Sunday morning they have two practice rotations before we begin the races but since I brought two bikes and had pre-entered into 8 races I decided to just go out once on the 600 and use the other races as warmup for formula 1

Stay tuned for more reviews !
 
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