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2001 Race Season
RKA Racing Team Page
Sears Point Raceway 04-15-01

Click on any photo for a bigger image
I sure hope millions of you have been waiting for my 2001 debut ;-)
Well .... here I am.
I missed the first race at Buttonwillow since we were in the other side of the
United States .... at Daytona. ;-)
But now I am all ready to go with my new leathers (Finally)

and my bike has been overhauled for the New Year.
New belly pan that will catch 4 quarts of oil if I grenade the motor (new rule this year and a good one). New clutch, brakes, RaceTech springs and emulators. There was an air leak in the carbs making me lose at least 50hp ;-).
FYI the little Ninjette has a total of about 26hp and top speed of about 105mph.
The Dunlop 591's are being discontinued and replaced with 501's. You are allowed to enlarge the wheels so the 16 inchers will accept the 17 inch 207 Dunlop GP tires. I was going to do it but was not exactly sure of the rules allowing it and there was a question about the availability of THOSE tires. So I opted to stay with the 16 inch 591's then switch to the 501's for the last part of the season. The wheelwork would cost almost 900.00 on a motorcycle worth 2,000.00!! So I'll wait a little while until I prove my self worthy of the investment ;-).
We took the bike to Buttonwillow on the 7th and 8th to get the spider webs out of it and of course it rained Saturday!!

So I rode the TL1000S most of the day. Sunday was great and I had some good practice. Bike ran great and it looks like I am at least as fast has last year.
WE'LL SEE SUNDAY ;-) .........
Friday we took the trailer and 6 motorcycles out to  Sears Point at 6:30 AM so we could get a good spot. The place is a mess as they are upgrading everything, and there's construction going on everywhere ;-(
Race Day 04-15-01
Once again not a lot of photos so this is a race report you'll have to read mostly. If you are keeping track, this is the second race of the season but my first race. SInce Kathy and I were in Daytona I missed the opener at Buttonwillow. But we did take the bike down to Buttonwillow for a shake down on the 7th and 8th for a
Club Desmo Trackdays, If you have not followed the story in order go here for that tidbit.
ButtonWillow Shake Down
My goals for this year are as follows:

1: Top 15 finish in 250P
2: Beat Jack Walshe
3: Beat Jeraldeen Stewart
4: Beat Jim Race
5: Be able to dice with Terry Cheney and David Worthington

David, Terry, Kelly and I towed the trailer out Friday morning so we could get a good spot. This is a normal procedure since Sears Point is our home track. Today was a little special because Sears is renovating the whole place and there is construction going on all over making for a BIG mess and confined quarters.

Saturday we got some good practice in and I sure needed it. The transponders where not working in the first session catching only two laps a 2:37 and a 2:26 warming up the tires on a very slick and cold track. Terrible times at best ;-(

The second practice got me back on track the surface was warmer, I had my race legs on and started with a warm up lap of 2:27 getting better every lap and cracking off a 2:16 on the last lap! My best time ever at Sears!

Let me take the time introduce you to a few friends,

This is Jack Walshe and Kelly Winklbauer on the left, and Terry Cheney on the right.

This is Dale Humphrey left, and these are Matt's kids enjoying the boring day by playing cards. ;-)

250P was first I was girded on the 6th row 26th position, I got a great start, passing riders up into one, then let every Tom Dick and Harry pass me back into turn two!!! :-( My goal to dice with Terry soon vanished as he disappeared over the raise into four, never to be seen again :-( , He clicked of a best lap of 2:12.928 and finished 17th . I then saw Jim Race ahead and decide to try and grab another goal and see if I can run him down. He had crashed in turn four during practice and I knew he would be a little tentative, and he was. I chased him down and got him! I also got by my dicing mate from last year "Racer Girl Jer", and Jack Walshe. They don't count at this time because just when I got by Jim the red flag came out. And the race was called complete at four laps. Jack takes a few laps to get up to speed and he may have caught me in the end had the race continued. So we will have to wait until Thunderhill to decide if I am truly worthy of saying "I BEAT JACK" ;-). I finished 25th with a best time of 2:17.073. Jack was 29th and Jer was 32nd Matt Sheffield our friend and riding partner finished 35th with a great time of 2:25, riding better than he was on the EX500!!!

Note: This is what makes racing with this group so much fun.

Jim Race pulled up next to me while stopped for the red flag and congratulated me on getting around him. That was nice ;-) I had a little mission to complete because he beat me at Buttonwillow by 17/100 of a second ;-)

Racer Girl, Jer came over to our pit and hunted me down at the fence watching the races and congratulated me for my improved riding ;-)

This was WAY COOL! Completely made my day!! Thanks both of you!!

250SB was wild! I was girded almost on the back row of the first wave 13th row 56th position. I raced my butt off and the little Ninja started to spray a fine mist of water on my left boot on the white flag lap, I decided it was small enough spray that I could finish the lap and the race. So I came across the line in 43rd out of 67 riders, and turning the fastest time ever at Sears!! A 2:15.640!!!. Terry was JUST ahead of me, 42nd and I actually was able to dice with him a little! Almost completing another goal. Jim Race had a DNS, I do not know what happened. Jack Walshe was 46th but I am still not ready to say I can beat Jack ;-) Jer was 47th and I do remember passing her into four and never looking back. She is such a smooth and fast rider it's not easy to get around her. Matt finished 59th ,with a good 2:23 best time.

I had my problems, earlier during practice I came into the pits, got off the Ninja and someone tapped the left pipe, It was BROKEN from the frame and hanging!!! Got that fixed with a little help from David.

Then during the 250P red flag the catch tank started over flowing and I thought for sure I would get a DNF, when I proceeded to the pits. Thank God they called the race.

Then on the final lap of the 250SB race I sprung a small water leak, watching it closely I slowed from my 2:15 to a 2:21 to get across the line. I am pretty sure the little Ninjette is ok, but it was completely out of water when I arrived back in the pits :-(

If you're wondering where Dave Worthington is, both he and Terry crashed at Buttonwillow in separate incidents. We have Terry giving it all up for you on video:

Click on the photo to view the video. This video was not done with our equipment. Cyclevision.com did this. and is shown with permission.

Dave broke his collarbone and has relegated himself has head mechanic for a while. Terry slide on his butt about a 100 feet or so falling in turn seven the middle of the bus stop, and cut his right butt cheek pretty darn good, Went right through his leathers, and padded bicycle pants and to the skin!! ;-(

This is the start of Terry's race, I do not know the name of the offending party and it's best we don't say anyway. Since he is embarrassed enough already ;-) We call this one the dance:

Click on the photo to view the video. This video was not done with our equipment. Cyclevision.com did this. and is shown with permission.

Well I achieved most of my goals Sunday. But the bottom line here is if I want a top 15 finish I need to get down into the 2:10 range before I can even think about it. Everyone seems to have gotten faster this year ;-) I picked up about 3 seconds from last years times, and after racing Sunday I really feel good controlling the bike in turns 2, 4 and 7 and 11 all right handers that have had me tentative up to now. I think I can go faster now. We'll see ;-)

Other braking news ;-)

Kelly Winkelbauer finished 6th in open twins 30th in Formula Pacific (only Aliens need apply for this class), and turned a 1:52!!

We are not worthy, We are not worthy, Mr Winkelbauer.

Dale Humphrey finished 10th in 650 twins on his 750 Ducati turning a VERY nice 2:07 in the process. Pretty darn good for a newbee ;-)

Can you get a ticket for Having "TO MUCH FUN"? ;-)

Well onto Thunderhill. May 12th & 13th .

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