Tom's Race Report from Arroyo Seco Raceway

03/13/05 Deming, New Mexico


Well, it was out of town so naturally we got there late, late Friday night.

Saturday was a practice day and Matt Hartlieb came down with us to race Pat's bike and help us put all this stuff together. Matt's input came at just the right time for me. He knows his shit, can explain it well and leads by example.

First thing Saturday morning, took the s2-192e off the rear to save for the races and put on a used m2. It was cold, not the right temp for a m2 but I was using Saturday to learn from Matt, wasn't going to push. The wind blew hard all day and Sunday. At certain times the track was barely visible through the sand and dust. I approached this weekend as another learning step to getting faster. Body position, body position, body position!! Have to get it right. Getting faster will not happen or it will with many crashes! Lap times did not matter to me in an effort to get this shit Matt was telling me right. I think after all the schools, track time and many talks with Matt Saturday I finally got it. Still it has to be imbedded in my riding, made a habit and that will take hard work and time.

Sunday, 5 races. Unlimited SuperSport, Unlimited Superbike, F-40, Formula Arroyo (Unlimited GP) and the team race.

Rian mounted the s2-192e first thing and I did 1 practice session on it. Saving this tire would be the goal for the day. I had 2 races on it at Firebird and pushed it pretty hard. Four races would be asking too much of this tire, so I decided to save it for the F-40 race where I thought I had a chance. Kane and the rest of the Arroyo regulars were definitely above my pace, especially this week where all my lessons had me going a little backwards.

Both the Unlimited SuperSport and Superbike races I worked on body position and what Matt had taught me, finishing last in both.

The Formula Arroyo race I pushed the start cause it was the largest grid and wanted the experience of a bunch of bikes banging into Turn 1. After the first lap I went back to my lessons.

The F-40 race was to be my only real race. I got off to a great start and led for 6 laps. The last lap, one of those guys from Colorado who was following me the whole race (we both checked out) passed me going into the bus stop. I tried to pass him on the exit and about high sided the thing. I collected myself up and tried to get back close enough to get him at the line but came up a bike or two short. Fun race!

The team race would be my 3rd race in a row so Pat rode first. I did the warm-up lap to get use to his bike after just racing mine for 2 races in a row. Pat blew the start by putting it in second, he was close to last going into Turn 1 but made up all the spots to a solid 3rd with the Rob McCallan and Hunter team checking out. We had a good transfer and off I went. The first lap coming down the front straight I didn't have the gearing figured out yet and went down 1 too many into Turn 1 and was glad the 999r had a slipper as it looked like I knew what I was doing backing it in and just messed up! The 999r turns in so much quicker than my CBR it took me a little to get used to it. After that and knowing we had good tires I went after Hunter and with 1 more lap I think I would have gotten him. It felt good to get into a rhythm and make up so much time on second, it was a good ending.

All in all it was a great weekend. I have to thank Matt Hartlieb for putting up with all my questions and all his words of wisdom. I soaked in all of it and will work hard to put it to use. He has a way of making you feel like you will let him down if you don't get this shit. It's like "here's what you have to do to get faster, do it and you will, but don't waste my time by not working at it!"

Also have to thank Rian for all the wrench turning and help.

Thanks to all our sponsors and friends.

Tom Savoca


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