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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
ROUND 1 @ PACIFIC RACEWAYS
4/26/2015

This weekend really couldn't have gone much better! I wasn't sure if I would attempt to graduate out of Novice until Round 2, but my dominant win on Saturday made me convinced it was time to race as an expert.

Saturday morning was damp, cold and wet on track. It wasn't raining, but it had rained overnight, so there were quite a few wet spots that made riding on slicks a little sketchy. Novice practice was full of brand spanking new novices who had never raced or been to Pacific Raceways, so it was looking like I would have the race in the bag, assuming I didn't crash. Come race time, I did in fact take the win, which was awesome, but it wasn't the same feeling of awesomeness as it was last year. My best lap time was only a 1:36, still 3 seconds off what I did in last years race. On Sunday's Novice race I won again, and was able to get my lap time down to a 1:33, so I was back on pace for what I did back in July.

Sunday afternoon I entered my first Expert race...600 Superbike. I gridded at the very back out of 13 riders. I was nervous, but not too much. Light goes out, I get a decent start, not amazing though, I was gaining ground on the riders in front of me, but due to my own fear of being pinched off at turn 1 and the wall, I backed off the throttle a bit, and lost a bit of drive. Going into turn two, I cut to the inside and outbraked a handful of riders, got into 9th. Going down into turn 3 I made another pass for 8th. At this point, I'm locked onto another rider #84, I stayed on him all the way until lap two and decided to go for an inside pass in turn 2. It worked well, and it stuck. At this point, I'm in 7th place, but the field in front of me was checking out... so I was just trying my best to be fast, unknown to me Bike #101, was hot on my tail. On the fourth lap the rider made a pass on me to the inside of turn 9, my mistake for leaving the door wide open. Anyway, I was right on his tail into the bus stop and got a better drive, and ended up catching him by turn 2 and outbraking him and passing him back for 7th. I held that position until just after turn 9 again he gets me on the inside of the bus stop. Holy cow, that was ballsy! But he made it clean, so kudos. At this point, I was kinda drained, I tried keeping up with him, but by the end of the race he had pulled a small gap on me and I finished in 8th with a personal best lap time of a 1:32 and only 4 seconds a lap off the leaders. Overall, very happy I got a decent finish with points and no crashing! At Round 2 I'll be gridded 8th for 600 SBK which should give me a better shot at getting a tow from the leaders.

Gotta thank Elka suspension and the Dunlop guys.

Also, forgot to mention, this was my first time racing with GP shift pattern, so I was still getting used to it. By Sunday's expert race, I had it pretty much dialed. I recommend trying it if you're racing or doing trackdays. I wish I would have tried sooner.

Also got way better at actually slipping the clutch on downshifts. In the past I would just drop the clutch or blip, but I was never in control, because I would drop the hammer on the clutch lever. Learning to slip the clutch made a world of difference coming into the turns with a lot more speed and control, and not needing to stab the brakes to slow down. In any case, I'm not wondering what the back tire will be doing anymore, since I'm controlling it with my left hand, and that's a big improvement in my riding.

NOVICE 1ST PLACE
https://youtu.be/-D1cdDVtVvU

600 Superbike 8TH PLACE
https://youtu.be/RIDpudPl10c
 

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Hell yeah dude, great riding. You mopped up those dudes into turn 1 at the start of the 600 sb race. Having a good battle back and forth with someone, no matter what place it's for, is what's it's all about.
I think I've commented this before on your race reports, but that track is so freakin' cool. I would love to come up there and race it. These pussies down here in California would never, ever race on that track, with it's zero run off, trees right next to to the track and concrete walls everywhere. But I think it looks super awesome.

Other than being scared of "unsafe" tracks, here's the difference between WMRRA and The AFM.
You won a novice race, then gridded at the back of an expert field of 13 bikes and took 8th, 4 seconds off the winning pace.
Last year I took a novice a class championship and was the top overall novice on a 600. This year I gridded at the back an expert field of 29 bikes, went 7 seconds faster than my novice race winning pace from last year and that was only good enough for 16th, 6 seconds off the the winning pace.
 

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Last year I took a novice a class championship and was the top overall novice on a 600. This year I gridded at the back an expert field of 29 bikes, went 7 seconds faster than my novice race winning pace from last year and that was only good enough for 16th, 6 seconds off the the winning pace.

Though to be fair, the winning times in Novice THIS YEAR were 52 in 600 SB and 54 in 600 Prod (where the difference is mostly just traffic from back markers due to the combined start). That's a full 5 to 8 seconds faster than last year's novice class (some of that is the repave).

The point still stands that the front runners in AFM are fast as fcuk though, and there are a LOT of them! Breaking into the top 10 expert in AFM is no small accomplishment.
 

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Though to be fair, the winning times in Novice THIS YEAR were 52 in 600 SB and 54 in 600 Prod (where the difference is mostly just traffic from back markers due to the combined start). That's a full 5 to 8 seconds faster than last year's novice class (some of that is the repave).
True, but you should really throw out Jai from the novice races. He should have been running as an expert, and did at rd 2 last weekend. And the repave was definitely worth a couple seconds.

The point still stands that the front runners in AFM are fast as fcuk though, and there are a LOT of them! Breaking into the top 10 expert in AFM is no small accomplishment.
Right. Top 10 is my goal this year, and it's a stretch goal.

Also, I didn't mean to belittle Ryan's results. Just comparing our shared experiences.
 

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True, but you should really throw out Jai from the novice races. He should have been running as an expert, and did at rd 2 last weekend. And the repave was definitely worth a couple seconds.
Throwing out Jai drops it from a 52 to a 53 :*tongue My (poorly articulated) point was just that the speed of novices varies not only club to club but even just year to year (and also doesn't always reflect on the speed of the experts in that club). I know at our local club, last year's top 3 600 novices at Rd 1 were doing 1:58-2:00 (at Chuckwalla). By the end of the year they had dropped to 54-56 range. But then then this year, top 3 novices STARTED in the 54-55 range at Rd 1 and dropped into the 50-53 later in the season :eek:

Right. Top 10 is my goal this year, and it's a stretch goal.

Also, I didn't mean to belittle Ryan's results. Just comparing our shared experiences.
:cheers good luck! That's my eventual goal, as I doubt I have the talent to hope for anything more. Definitely won't be happening anytime soon for me though! I may bump midseason after I get a round in at Thunderhill (since I won't be able to make all the rounds anyway :( ). Last weekend was my first time at Sonoma and I've never been to Thunderhill, trying to learn the tracks at least a bit so I don't make a giant fool of myself :D


And to the OP -- thanks for another fun-to-read race report and congrats on the success. And the balls to rip it on a track with some sketchy runoff :YEA
 

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I may bump midseason after I get a round in at Thunderhill (since I won't be able to make all the rounds anyway :( ). Last weekend was my first time at Sonoma and I've never been to Thunderhill, trying to learn the tracks at least a bit so I don't make a giant fool of myself
Did you drive all the way up from LA to race at Sonoma?
 

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Did you drive all the way up from LA to race at Sonoma?
Yup! Drove up on Friday and back Sunday night. And that was with hauling a trailer. Luckily traffic wasn't bad either direction, so it wasn't TERRIBLE... but still a long haul. Though it won't be as long as if I drive to Thunderhill in a couple weeks. :scared

But I'd never been to Sonoma and, at the very least, it was one of those bucket list tracks that is famous enough that I'd have to ride it at least once. And since I can't make the September Sonoma round, I really wanted to make this one. It was actually a rush since I popped my motor two weeks prior -- got it rebuilt and back in the bike only 2 days before I had to leave! Totally worth it though. Sonoma is an amazing facility and it was a fun track. Plus AFM has some awesome grids this year, so made for fun racing.
 
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