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Old 04-13-2009, 11:43 AM   #1
Racer997
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CMRA Weekend Synopsis

It must has been something in the air, what with a storm blowing in and all 'cause a lot of strange events occurred on pit road during Saturday's endurance. Fuel spills, bike tip-overs, riders leaving before leathers were zipped up, fire extinguishers inadvertently going off here and there, coupled with a little bit of conflicting information about new rules led to a bit of an odd day for the pit staff. All in all, it went off okay, though, and we didn’t have a single red flag in the race or a serious incident on pit road (although the potential was there). Saturday's race and practice session afterwards was dry and run under sometimes threatening, overcast skies, but the rains held off until the early morning hours of Sunday.

Sunday's races were a mix of wet and dry. Morning rains came and made it interesting if not frantic. Practice groups rolled out in pretty heavy downpours. One practice session went almost 10 minutes without a rider in it until a brave soul decided to give it a go. Most of those that had afternoon races gambled on it being dry later in the day (which was forecasted) and decided not to ride the track in the wet. This turned out to be a smart move. For those of us that had some of the first races to run, well, we less of a choice. Vision was non-existent and traction was very, very hard to find in the pouring rain. More than a few slid down the track to prove that point.

The first couple of races, especially race one were waterlogged and messy. The rain had largely stopped falling, but the track was inundated with water and slick everywhere, especially over paint stripes and sealer strips. Tire decisions wracked people's brains: Do I run full wets? Intermediates? DOTs? Cut slicks? For race one rains were easily the best choice, but each subsequent race showed the track to be improving just a little bit. By race four, rains were not quite the hot ticket anymore, and cut slicks or DOTs were perhaps the best choice. A red flag for a serious incident in 8A during race six caused us to go to the lunch break before we usually do, and this allowed the track to dry out even more and become almost normal. These races were run under clear, mostly sunny skies.

Unfortunately, the rain scared off quite a few entries in some classes. Lots of people told me on Saturday that they would not be back on Sunday because of Easter plans or the threat of rain, or both. The grids showed it in many cases, and for many of the classes, grids were quite small. Competition was still solid, though. Towards the end of the day I chatting with Ty Howard on the grid about his day. I was lamenting his Aprillia blowing up mid-way through his race schedule 'cause I like seeing and (and hearing) it, and he agreed, telling me he was planning on running all of his races on it until it expired. Then, in reference to the light fields and relative lack of competition, he looked at me and said, "I'm bored out there, man..." I busted out laughing.

As for my weekend on the bike, well it started out on a low note. Tyler McDonald and I went out and played in the first practice session and goofed around a bit. After the session he called me over and asked me about problem with his bike. It had oil all over the side of it. We traced the leak to the cylinder's base gasket. There was no way to repair it at the track, so his weekend was done. I headed back out for the second practice session. On my second lap, I clipped the apex of the curbing in T7 (aka The Gravity Bowl) and lost the front. This was not an "Oh !" moment because it was a slow-motion lowside; most lowsides to me are more like "Aw, !", however, this was a very fast lowside since T7 is the top of 5th gear for me on the - somewhere between 90 and 100 mph. I slid, feet first and mostly on my , most of the way up the hill and off the outside of the track, watching from my front row seat as the the bike tried to grind itself up. In typical fashion, the bike was barely damaged, with only a side number plate broken off and some relatively minor rash on protective parts. My injuries were limited to a few bumps and bruises, mostly on my , where each cheek now looks like I have a cluster of purple grapes tattooed on them. How's that for a visual? The bike didn't want to start, though, so outrider Ryan gave me push back to the pits, taking the long way around NASACR T3 and T4. That was scenic and pleasant. Once back in the pits the damage was easily fixed, and I snuck out with another practice group for a shake down before the day was over. All was mostly well.

Sunday morning practice was, as described above and in numerous other folks' threads, wet and nasty. I talked John Hutchinson into cutting my slicks, and he kindly obliged me , but it wasn't enough. I did one practice session, and while it was fun, it wasn't the normal road racing type of fun. Race one was worse, as the pace was upped and the rain had mostly stopped making the track more slippery than it was when it was pouring rain. My mildly cut slicks were no match for rain tires and I literally and figuratively slipped backwards after the start. (Ask Tony Ta.) Making the traction problem worse was the fact that my bike was now ingesting some water causing it to run poorly and miss. People were dropping like flies on the slick track, and a red flag mercifully ended the carnage. I ended up 4th but it could have been worse.

I thought race four was going to be more of the same, but the sighting lap showed me that the track was in much better shape than in race one. Best described as very damp in many spots and still ponding in several places, there was a tiny bit of a dry line showing up. Sure, it was only about 8 or 10 inches wide, but it was there. After falling waaaaay back on the start, I discovered that the miss was gone and my bike was running well again. I also discovered that my cut slicks that weren't working in race one, were now working reasonably well. I found my groove and started picking off riders one at a time, reeling most of them in T1 and T2 and T7. After giving up a lead of about a half a straightaway to Brandon Warren after the first lap, I pulled even with him in T2 on the last lap. He wasn't expecting company. I probably would have gotten by him into T3 on the brakes if it wasn't for my missing a shift coming out of T2. Because he was running intermediates, he was looking for water while I was looking for dryer pavement, and this made for some interesting line choices in the corners. He was holding me up a bit in the last few corners, but to get around him meant that I'd have to take a wet line, and that might not have been good for me. Coming out of T12, he headed for the water puddle, forcing me to the high dry line and that was all he needed. Brandon did his job well, though, killing my drive; I crossed the stripe behind him by a couple of hairs in 2nd spot. Now that was a fun race and really made up for crappy race one. I was amazed how many people actually watched it and came up to offer kudos on an exciting race after it was over. Sometimes you feel like you're the only one watching only to have 30 random people come and tell you, "Dude! I was biting my nails watching that!"

So, 4th and 2nd for me.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:48 AM   #2
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Great read. TY.

Congrats on the good finishes.
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Old 04-13-2009, 11:59 AM   #3
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Pretty nice write up Linz, from it:

*Ty: Why is he still running CMRA? I thought he was now in AMA.

*Low side: Does it look like this?
http://www.toplessrobot.com/Baboon00...LionSafari.jpg

*Congrats on the results.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irak View Post
*Ty: Why is he still running CMRA? I thought he was now in AMA.
.
Ty is a part-time AMA / Moto-ST guy these days, and full time CMRA bounty hunter when his schedule permits, which is pretty much always.

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Old 04-13-2009, 12:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for the write up Linz (and for not mentioning our team by name)!

We had the bike tip over during a pitstop. The rider getting off swears he felt the back go up from being on the stand...so he jumped off...no stand, nobody holding the bike.

We also had our fire extinguisher go off for 'no' reason. I had just got on when it went off and talk about a distraction! I looked to make sure he wasn't AIMING at the bike and had visions of Colin Edwards flaming Aprilia running through my head.

I wussed out of the Sunday sprints. Figured I best 'listen' to all the signs the good Lord was giving me.

Was a weird weekend indeed.
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:57 PM   #6
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Good job lad and thanks for letting me borrow you wheels for the wet race
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Old 04-13-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Good read!!!
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Old 04-13-2009, 02:11 PM   #8
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I used to think you were an .

You are actually a pretty nice fella.


Great read!
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdill35 View Post
I used to think you were an .

You are actually a pretty nice fella.
Sshhh! You're blowing my cover!
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Old 04-13-2009, 03:33 PM   #10
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Sshhh! You're blowing my cover!
lol

Secret's safe here, man.
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Old 04-13-2009, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdill35 View Post
I used to think you were an .

You are actually a pretty nice fella.


Great read!
...Linz is good people!

Nice write up Linz and congrats!
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