Archive for August, 2009

8/22 & 8/23 #319 Weekend Writeup (Long, as usual)

August 24, 2009

I had another awesome weekend. Here it is, read it if you care, skip it if you don’t.

Saturday:
My dad came up to see what this whole deal was about Saturday, which was very cool but resulted in a slightly later start than I’d have liked. Thanks to a fairly quick registration and my bike breezing through tech, that turned out to be less of an issue than it could have been.

Spent some time during open practice Sat AM trying to decide if I was going to switch to rains or not. Having never done it, I didn’t want to be too rushed to switch back and forth. (Note for the future: Some night when I’m not doing anything go back and forth a couple times, get it down.) Smokin Joe was going out for 2 laps on rains to see how it felt, but was only doing a couple due to wanting to save the rains for his race, if needed. Unfortunately by the time he came back they were switching to numbered practices from open. So, I missed first practice. That’s not like me, but oh well, no big deal. 2nd Practice I was good to go. Track was wet with dry lines, too dry for rains but not dry enough for optimal DOT traction. I worked on T1 approach quite a bit in practice, and decided I like the tight line advised to me by many. Went in hot once and didn’t like the feedback I was getting from the front DOT on the wet spot, so I backed off a bit when I should have slammed it over and ran the turn wide. I probably could have stuck the turn but I didn’t want to tuck the front in practice pushing DOTs in the wet with my dad there. Oh well. Ran a bunch of 1:41’s with a partially wet track on DOTs not pushing too hard. I’ll take it.

Race 8, my first race, I got a HORRIBLE start. Started off front row closest to the pit wall and was in dead last in seconds. I REALLY need to work on my launches. Worked my way back into the pack bit by bit. I also changed my entry for 3 based on the advice of a teammate, Brendan I believe? I think that helped me carry corner speed out – when it worked. I’ll need to get used to turning in so early, it almost makes it so I’m pre-turning for 1 instead of just throwing the bike over as hard as I can. Alex crash out, glad to hear he was OK. Got Harrison in my sights and chased him for a while… he’s a hard man to pass! Was with him (well, a few bikes to a bike depending where) looking for a way around until we caught an SV we were lapping. Harrison passed him fast and smooth just past the tree house, and I didn’t have time to follow. I ended up following the slower SV through 9 at his pace, slowing up a touch more to slingshot through 10 and around him. By then Harrison was already going into 11, and this was final lap. No way I was catching him. Took my 3rd place with a smile.

Was very pleased to see that I clicked off a 1:29.961 for my fastest lap. My previous personal best was a 1:31.4 & my best last weekend was a 1:32.2. I’ve been saying for at least half the season I wanted a 1:29, even if it was 1:29.999, just to get rid of that damn three in front of the number. Unfortunately our individual lap times were not in the tech garage due to some malfunction. Got them off the LRRS website after. Turns out they were:

1: 38.011 (HORRIBLE start)
2: 33.659
3: 31.977
4: 32.362
5: 32.741
6: 31.498
7: 30.740
8: 29.961

Sunday:
Sunday had a messy start. Late getting started, showed up after 2nd practice was already over. After getting my 1:29 I wanted to work on consistency, and I find that hard to do in NV GTL bumping and grinding with 600’s and getting yellow and red flags thrown like the system needs testing, so I entered LWSM. All dirt bikes, so I’m expecting DFL, but at least I should be able to get some consecutive laps in without constant flags and dodging downed bikes. Got onto the grid with no practice for the day, but feeling good due to my performance Saturday. Got yet another horrible start. There were 2 different races out here, so I thought we’d have 2 waves. When nobody came out to tell us we were wave 2, I held the revs and waited to see what happened. Flag went, all the guys in the race in front of ours went, all the other guys in my race went, so I went too. Not the best start, but I didn’t want to be that guy to launch with the wrong wave either. Just put my head down and ran consistently for a fairly uneventful 7 laps. Then, on the last lap, as I came into the chicanes at 12, we had a waving yellow. Bike down in the apron, looked like a lowside from T12. Then I saw a dirt bike come around me using a different line for 12… straight through the dirt, damn the chicanes! On a waving yellow at that! No way in hell I’m losing my position on that move. Not happening. So I come out of 12 onto the oval hard on the gas and keeping tight to stay well away from the incident and workers. Once past it I was helmet on the tank, throttle on the stops as I reeled him back in just before the checkers! Turns out I got him by 4/10ths of a second, good for a 3rd place trophy. I was pretty happy with that, especially considering I didn’t think I had a chance of placing against a group of dirt bikes. Also, the dude who passed me off-track talked to me after the race, it was an honest mistake and we’re all cool now (although I was a tad miffed when it happened, whatever, it was an honest mistake and a racing deal. It’s all good now).

Made some progress on my consistency in that race too. Overall I’m happy, I feel like it’s coming together nicely.

1: 36.781 (poor starts are not helping these out laps!)
2: 31.929 (not sure what I messed up here)
3: 30.857
4: 30.650
5: 30.066
6: 29.577 (another personal best!)
7: 30.821
8: 31.960 (this was the yellow flag/dirt pass/downed bike in track lap)

Goals for next weekend:
1) Body position, especially in 6, needs improvement. I caught a peg coming out of 6 so hard it threw the rear of my bike (and maybe the front, but I don’t think so) to the right a few inches. I think I’m not off the bike enough, so the bike is leaning more than it has to. I need to not repeat that move.
2) T1. I’m getting better, but still need to go in hotter and throw it in harder. There is more time to be had there by going into it faster. I’m not at or near my lean or traction limits @ the 1 apex, and I should be at least close.
3) Improve my turn in for T3. I know what I need to do and started doing it Sunday, but I need some more practice with it.

Special thanks:

  • Smokin Joe, for the back protector that allowed me to race and the help w/ the rains call.
  • Brendan, for the loan on the warmers when mine got left @ home.
  • BJ, for the usual garage/advice/show running/etc.
  • Seth, for saving me when all my drinks were 100 degrees, I was out of ice, the machine was sold out and the café was closed.
  • Kitt, for the trailer/truck offer. It was just too early man, I got an offer for later that allowed me to race. Doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it.
  • Everyone else that helped me out with advice, congrats, etc.
  • The corner workers, for being there even though I didn’t make any unscheduled visits.
  • Duck aka Sheppo for my new “Dangerous Dan K” hand painted helmet, which apparently brought me some luck.
  • And now, for a few pics. More to come as they come out, not much available the day after the race.

    Coming ouf of 1A, starting to flick it from the right that is 1a to the left that is T2:
    DSC_0238

    Coming out of T2, back on the gas starting to pick it up for the straight:
    DSC_0272

    Here’s flicking it to the right for 1a after the fast left that is T1:
    DSC_0283

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