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Sears Point Raceway 08-19-01

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Sears Point Race Report 08-19-01
I DID IT!!! A top 20 finish!!!! 19th place in 250 Production!!, and a 30th in 250 SuperBike. Both my best ever finishes!!

I missed ThunderHill in July because of the BMW National in Oregon, business is business. The up side to that is I had time to have my engine completely gone through. I had a scored piston, gaskets that looked like pretzels and a value that was visibly longer than the others! I had one of my best friends and great mechanic do the work for me Norman "Wink" Winckler.

We took the bike to a Club Desmo track day and sorted it out. There was little to do as it worked flawlessly! Dave Worthington went down with us and we did some laps at race speeds trying to make the bike overheat or die. The little Ninjette just kept on trucking, and seemed to be very strong as David was unable to get away from me on his fast VTR250.

Sears Points new
temporary layout

Sears Point is redoing everything and the drag strip area was next on their "to-do-list", so the track was changed. So turn nine, rather than a high speed left-hander into the fastest part of the track, turn nine became a sharp, slower, down hill, off camber, narrow, right hander! Back onto the entrance to turn one and up the hill. I believe the track is now 1.8 miles long, So all our previous times are out the window.
Dave, Matt, Jon, Mark and I were in practice one making us the guinea pigs.

The Funmover was set up in such a way we were able to hold about eight racebikes

Terry eating his secert power bar :-)

Pit talk..... That new turn is a killer guys!!

Dale gets taken out and is done for the weekend :-(

Dave Mose our new English friend that goes REALLY fast. He races in a different class on bigger bikes. I'll introduce you next time.

Jon, the new gonna be fast guy in the group, more on him later also.

Matty with his spotless machine!

Matties wife Tina and Kathy relaxing.
Saturday practice was a learning experience for everyone. Many riders crashed or at least got off the course in the new turn. Our group all stayed on course.

On practice session two, #20 Bob Carol, 65 years old and FASTER than FAST went out with us on Kelly's TL1000R. I did not realize what was going on until he showed me a wheel on the entrance to turn three! I put my head down and after about five laps I blew turn two a little about the same time Bob was becoming comfortable with the motorcycle and he BLEW by me and clicked off two 1:35:00 laps leaving me in the dust, on a motorcycle he had NEVER thrown a leg over! The best part was when we came in he walked over to me before he even removed his helmet and gloves and complemented me on my riding!! What a great feeling that gave me coming from one of the best senior riders in the country!

Terry was in practice two and did well but not running with him I could not get a grip on what he was doing. I think I will move to practice two next race weekend since learning to pass faster riders and just hanging with some of the faster riders is now what I would like to do.

Dave trying the new line.

Me, doing a little different line than the other bike :-)
Then Kelly and Dale went out, Dale got split by two riders right in the middle of the new turn and somehow managed to flip the bike and slide into the dirt, finishing his weekend! Then later in the day Jon decided to try a short cut through turn three and spent the rest of the day repairing his damaged motorcycle!

Sunday practice was a real giggle fest. I told everyone I was going out and be cool, study the lines and new corner, and just get a grip on things. Well after the first lap a XL650 with number 49 on it went by at a high rate of speed. Of course, all my plans went out the window and I took off after him! We had one of the BEST most FUN practices I have ever had! Dicing with him to the point of both of us blowing turns and the other getting by, then to cap things off I blew the new turn and got off in the dirt!! I rode it out and back onto turn one without the XL getting by me! On the last lap of practice, he got by me into the carrousel and I dug down and re-passed him through the carrousel and onto the straight to turn seven, which is now the temporary finish line. I beat him a wheel to the finish and we both had ear-to-ear grins!!
250 Production
The start finish line is at the exit of the carousel. I was girded on the 7th row position 29. Terry was on the third row!! Jer (Racer Girl) was up in row 5 I believe, anyway I had my sights on her.

The start was as usual, a big mess into turn one (turn 7 actually) I got a great start off the line, AS USUAL letting the whole field by through seven. Things strung out quicker than I thought and the new turn nine was not so bad the first time through. Everyone seemed to keep his or her cool for a change.

Jer in front and me right there, I am sure she can feel my breath :-)

Me in front, trying to get some distance between us. After one lap 1.8 miles this is all I could pull on her. :-( She's on the PINK bike if you don't already know :-)
I caught Jer after a couple of laps and out broke her into turn four. I am starting to feel better in the right-handers again and feel like I am rocking through 4, 7 and the new 9, actually trying to figure out how to go even FASTER through these!

About half way through the race I start to look way ahead and I see TERRY!! He is not within my reach but I can feel his presents up there! There is only about four bikes between us but everyone is rockin! I try to hang onto the tail of a rider I had diced with in practice but could not keep his pace through the turns. He moved ahead and actually passed Terry for fourteenth position, as I watched from a little farther back each lap.

I finished 19th!! My best ever finish and I felt great.

I feel I have risen to the next level! I finished in the top 20 thanks to some misfortune of a few of the fast guys going TO FAST. But the part that's really got me going is I was able to SEE the top fifteen riders!! I was there in almost the same space as them! I can smell, taste, and see the front group now. This is SOOO hard to explain but is SOOO exhilarating!!

With practice, better girding positions, a little more work on the bike, new wheels and Dunlop 208's, maybe loose some weight and a little luck, I can SEE a top fifteen or higher finish next year!

Here is the order of finish for the folks that I care about.

Best lap of 1:35.922
Best lap of 1:35.779
Best lap of 1:37.809
Best lap of 1:37.436
# 88
Best lap of 1:40.065
Best lap of 1:38.168
Best lap of 1:44.225
Best lap of 1:44.653

250 SuperBike
I am girded in row 11 and position 49, WAY in the back.

Before the race Terry says to me, .. I'll wait for you and we'll dice a little, I say sure Terry in my dreams. No no he says I'll wait for you.

This Terry in front, with me on his ass, as we pass a bike getting off course. To the riders credit he came back and finished ahead of us.

This is me in front of Terry!! A raw shot indeed :-)

So we gird up and I can not find Jer anywhere and the two positions in front of me and one in the next row are empty!! No shows!! There are two strokes on both sides of me and I know I can out jump them on the first few feet (Having to slip their clutches in first gear). I get a great start and get through turn one (turn 7 actually) pretty darn good. As I come through 8a I can see Terry entering the new turn 9, He has no idea I am so close, after one lap I am on his ass! We come out of two and Terry does a quick double take and waves at me with is left hand. (On 250P bikes you have a lot of time to think about stuff like this J ). After a couple of laps I actually get by him and start to pull him (this is what the peanut gallery said) He picks up the pace and about that time I go into two a little to hot for my liking. The tires were great, everything felt great but I just felt too hot into two and I carried it wide, Well Terry was waiting for a mistake and he showed me a wheel into three. Anyone else and I would have went for it but HEY .. He DID wait for me in the first place so I backed off and let him go. As we came through the carousel for the 7th time Graham Yates passes us on the outside to win the race JUST lapping us by a few milliseconds! Cheating us out of another lap to have fun.
The other guys
Dale the 750 Ducati fast guy stuffed his bike in the new turn and damaged it to much to continue, finishing his weekend

Kelly our TL1000R fast guy did great
in Formula I
in Formual Pacific
in Open Twins
He just gets faster and faster huh?

Knut "MaxMoto" the 250 SuperBike novice
Formula II
250 SuperBike

What a GREAT weekend.

I have risen to a new level thanks to a fresh motor and a really good attitude this weekend. It's SO important to stay within yourself

Once again Dave and Terry are THE GUYS! Dave came to Buttonwillow to help sort out the motorcycle and Terry continues to share every bit of information he has, and even let me dice with him during a race!! I have learned SO SO much from them.

Kelly is listening more, and to me he is like Yoda I hang on every word he says trying to sift through the bull pucky and grasp the important stuff ;-)

Matty is ready to make a break through, I can tell he his riding great and just needs to be pulled along a little. He's ready to jump up a couple of notches.

Jon, .. I have not said anything about Jon yet. He is a street riding friend that Dave and Terry talked into racing (THANKS GUYS) This weekend may be the last time I beat him. He is a natural! He did have to crash in turn three to learn the way of the jetti but he came back and kicked butt.

Well thanks for getting this far, this is my longest race report my far but I had a lot to say.

See ya next time at Sears.
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