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
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
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.