Round two at Infineon was my best weekend so far, finishing 2nd in F40 and back-to-back wins in both 450SB and 500T.
We signed up for Friday practice with PTT, which turned out to be a waste of time. The groups were crowded with street riders, and with AFM riders out there trying to get their scorch on, the carnage was massive. Every session was either red-flagged or cut short due to pile-ups. I don’t understand why track day providers don’t warn their customers when dates are preceding and AFM event.
I spent the morning mucking around with Oprah trying some new geometry and carb settings, and the bike seemed to be running pretty good. Good enough for me anyway. So, i switched over to Trixie and started playing with different fuels and stuff. Things were looking quite rosy for a change -like a magical ride through the Enchanted forrest on a flying unicorn.
Except for my lap times… They pretty much sucked. :( This is where Ingrid comes in. She told me that i ALWAYS do this – get worked up over lap times and start to beat myself up, and need to just stay calm and and everything will come together. She’s usually right, so i took her advice to heart.
Front row grid at #3. Sidewaaaaaays GREEN!!!!!
I had the makings of a holeshot, but missed an upshift and immediately moved back into 4th place. Kevin was out front with Babbs in 2nd, and Brad in 3rd. They both passed Kevin on the first lap and I got by Kevin between 3a and 3b and set out after Brad, eventually passing him on the brakes into T9. I spent the remainder of the race trying to reel in Babbs, but got frustrated with lappers and eventually just put it into auto pilot and finished 2nd with a best of 1:49. Not bad. Not great either. That’s racing.
Last round at BW i REALLY sucked in 450SB, but through the miracle of AFM grid technology, ended up with a front row start for 450SB on Sunday. I don’t think i’ve ever explained how a race start works, so here’s how it is for me.
You do a warm-up lap which is supposed to give you some time to get your mind and machine in the racing state. Some people go hauling around, others (like me), sort of amble around and take a zen moment. We all have our own routines that work for us. For instance, by buddy Dave Raff likes to take the warm up lap as an opportunity to buzz me. I swear he does it every time and it always makes me chuckle.
Anyway, then you take your grid assignment, which you should have previously written on your tank or something. Everyone lines up and the starter holds a 2 board, which means things are about to get crackin’. I usually snap my face shield closed and run the clutch out to make sure i’m in gear because if your bike is in neutral when the green flag goes, lots of bad things can happen.
Next comes the 1 board and everyone’s motors start to rev. The sound is deafening and bikes are lurching around in your peripheral vision. Race gas fumes start to fill your helmet and sweat begins dripping down your brow. You can feel the heat of the motor baking through your leathers, and the bike vibrating against the power of the drivetrain and brakes. You must stay focused on the 1 board because it’s moving sideways now. As soon as the green moves you GO! And i mean GOOO because the next thing that happens is you have to find a way through the first turn without hitting every other guy out there that’s trying to do the EXACT SAME THING.
I’ve always known that you don’t have to be the best at something to succeed. You just have to be better than the guys next to you.
I got lucky with a great start, and combined with my closest competitors not getting their best starts, i managed to get the holeshot in 450SB. Trixie jumped out front and ran like a spanked Chihuahua! I beat on that little 500 without mercy and apologized to it for the over-revs and mis-shifts, but it hung in there, and i won with a flag-to-flag finish, never seeing another rider.
Afterwards, i was talking to Zoran about being out front and how it messes with your mind not knowing where your competitors are and what’s happening behind you. It’s kind of lonely out there. He gave me a dose of his unique Yugoslavian philosophy, that is purely Zoran.
I had spot #1 in 500T on account of winning last round.
ANOTHER holeshot and by the 2nd lap Zoran’s words of wisdom were echoing in my head (in halting Slavic cadence) “Don’t worry about other riders. That’s their facking problem, not yours. You only race track, you don’t race riders.” And i won again. Flag to flag.
I could learn to like this.
Congrats to my fellow racers who had a great weekend also; Alex Florea for getting back into 2nd place in 650P. David Raff for continuing his domination in 650P, and two 3rd place finishes in 650T and FIV.