Pat's Race Report from Firebird East
03/06/05 Chandler, AZ
At the end of last year I decided to trade my 996 to Jason at
Section 8 Superbike for a
749r. I sent all my old Superbike parts along with the 996 to Jason and
he immediately put everything on Ebay. I don’t think I would have been
able to do that myself. I spent almost two years building that bike.
At the end of last year, I decided to seek some riding instruction.
Instruction is like safety equipment, nothing but the best. So, Mike,
Tom and I signed up for a three day
Freddie Spencer Pro School in early February. At the track there are
plenty of people offering instruction. Most of them don’t have a clue
what they’re doing. After the first day of Freddie School, I felt like a
total piece of shit! I was lost. I tried correcting all my bad habits in
one day! At the end of the day, we were video taped and critiqued.
Everybody in the class was bad! (20 in all) I left the first day with my
head pounding from “Information Overload”. The next day was much better.
I was getting used to the new riding techniques. We were taped again and
everybody did much better. One thing I noticed, at the end of the day,
we had a 20 minute free lapping session and most of the fast guys
reverted back to their old riding styles to go fast. I didn’t pay close
to $3,000 to ride the way I had before. The last day started with dirt
tracking on a XR 100. That was pretty tiring. We got to rub elbows with
factory Yamaha rider, Jason Disalvo on the little dirt bikes. Jason has
moved to Las Vegas to train at the school and with his personal riding
coach, Jeff Haney. Jason has the talent and size to move to MotoGP in
the future. The Freddie school was very well done and I recommend it to
everyone. I wish it had another day, to listen to all of Freddie’s
stories. All the instructors (Freddie, Nick, Dale, Jeff) were great to
The following week we were off to a Jimmy Moore clinic at
Arroyo Seco Raceway in New
Mexico. We rented the track out on Friday. It rained all day. Tom went
out and rode in the rain. My 749r had four miles on it. I tried to fire
the bike up and it only ran on one cylinder. If the battery is not fully
charged, it will only fire one cylinder and foul the plug. I had a
battery charger and spare plugs. On Saturday, I put 29 miles on the
749r, never revving past 7000. It sucks to break in a bike at the track.
Most of the clinic was spent on lines at the track. We tried some drills
and four riders crashed doing a trail braking drill. Sunday was better
and we were able to put about 130 miles on the track. Jimmy was riding
everybody’s bike on the track. I had to offer him my bike a couple of
times before he rode it. He said my 749r and Mike’s Vesrah GSX-R 750
were the best ones there.
We had a lot of work to do in the off season. The biggest change for me
was the bump to expert status. I want to improve my riding and riding
with the fast experts will get me there sooner. I always enjoy prepping
bikes for the track. Speedymoto
came on as a sponsor and sent some water pump and clutch covers for the
Ducatis. Their products are top quality works of art. You can check out
their products at www.speedymoto.com.
We got the bikes painted with the white number plates and were looking
forward to the first race.
This winter, it has rained about every other day. We already have more
rain than all of last year. I caught Bronchitis two weeks before our
first race. I had a very bad cough and couldn’t do much of anything
without coughing up a lung. Of course, I wouldn’t go to the doctor. Race
time came and I was still sick. We also had a weather forecast for rain
all weekend. It always seems to rain during our first race of the year.
When it rained last year, I crashed. I had no interest in riding in the
rain this year. I preregistered for five races, but only planned on
racing two or three if the track was dry. Ducati posted contingency for
all CCS regional events in SuperTwins. $500 for first, $300 for second
and $200 for third. SuperTwins is not heavily contested and I was pretty
sure I could bring home some money. Well, only two experts were on the
grid, well short of the five required to pay contingency. The SuperTwins
race was race five right after a 45 minute lunch break. CCS decided to
do lunch later in the day and move up race five. At second call I was in
street clothes watching the end of race 4. My tire warmers were not on.
It was worse for Brian, his wheels were at the Michelin tent getting new
tires. We all made it to the grid. It was me and Aaron Grigsby on a
Aprilla Mille Factory. Aaron plans to contest the whole CCS SuperTwins
championship. Aprilla and Ducati are putting up $10,000 for the winner
at the ROC in Daytona at the end of the year. Grid position for that
race is based on class points. I’m glad Aaron will be racing SuperTwins.
Right now, he is faster than me and it should be fun trying to catch
him. Usually it’s a bunch of SV650s in SuperTwins. I ended up second
behind Aaron and was never able to contest for the lead.
The next race I did was Heavyweight Superbike. All day I was running 3-4
seconds off the pace I usually run. At the halfway distance I pulled in.
I didn’t feel well enough to race this weekend. The Monday after the
race, I went to the doctor. He gave me some big horse pills
(antibiotics) to take and I started feeling better in two days.
At this race we had some dedicated pit guys (Art, Rian, Ben and Tim)
working on the bikes. It was nice not having to worry about the bikes.
Thanks guys. I hope to see you at future races.
Thanks to my sponsors: Ducati, Michelin, Section 8 Superbike,
Speedymoto, Motorex, Motowheels, Desert Truss, Suomy, Sidi, Duc Shop,
Lockhart Phillips, Vesrah, Vortex, All Out Graphics, Racer’s Edge,
Savoca Construction, Vapor Blue.
Thanks to my teammates: Brian, Mike and Tom.