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Ball Sac Racing Race Report

Pat's Race Report from Firebird East

2/18/2006 - 2/19/06 Chandler, AZ - with CCS

 

 

Racing in the Southwest has changed in the off season.  Road Race Southwest Inc. was formed to run the race series as an affiliate of CCS.  It will be the same group running the races, but they'll have control to change some polices and procedures to make the series better. Last year, the racer turn out was very poor, except for the last round. The enthusiasm for the new series is strong and it looks like we'll have a good turn out this year.

 

This race is at Firebird East. I've never cared too much for this track. The best part about Firebird East is the 40 minute ride home!

 

Tom and I each bought a new Kawasaki 650 Ninja to compete in the new Spec class at Arroyo Seco. We thought it would be fun for everybody to race on identical bikes. The only mods allowed in the spec series are DOT tires, rear sets, handle bars (no clip ons), race body work, and brake pads. I received my body work from Cheetah a couple of days before the races. I also got a fairing stay and lower handle bars from Jarel at Ninja 650 Shop. Since the bike would be virtually a stock bike, it didn't take long to make it ready to race. I was hoping the rear sets I ordered would be ready before the races, but they were not. This caused a small problem. All my other race bikes are GP shift and this would be street shift.

 

I signed up for three Lightweight races on Saturday with the 650 and two races Sunday on the 999r. I've never raced a Lightweight bike or ever rode this 650 before I got to the track. I was worried about the first practice session. I thought I would be in the way, until I started passing people. It was definitely different. I went out on the 999r for practice group #3 and found it very difficult to ride both bikes back to back (different shift patterns and a little bit more horsepower on the Ducati) and parked the Ducati until Sunday.

 

My first race was the 30 minute GTL race. I figured out in a hurry that I would get smoked by SV650s on the straights. In stock form, the Ninja is down a few horsepower to the SV. There is not a stock SV on any race track in America. At the very least, they have a pipe, Power Commander and suspension work. I also noticed that most of the Lightweight racers seem to skip a few meals. Most of them are below 150 pounds. I weigh over 200 pounds! I'd pass a SV going into turn 10 and he would just motor past me on the straight. I finished 6th out of 10 with a best lap time of 1:05.58. The leaders best time was a 1:01.9.

 

I decided to change to EBC HH brake pads (same calipers as SV) for the Lightweight Supersport race. If I was going to move up in the standings, I would need to ride harder. I finished 6th again. This time there was 13 on the grid. In the Thunder Bike race I came in 6th again. I dropped my lap time to a 1:04.46 with the leader doing a 1:02.1. After this race the rear tire was pretty shagged. With the stock suspension on this bike, there are a few corners where you don't have the confidence to go any faster. 

The rear end was wallowing in the fast corners. The rear sets will make a big improvement. I was dragging my feet in every corner.

 

On Sunday it took a little while to get used to the Ducati. I was scheduled to do Super Twins (race #1) and Heavyweight Superbike (race #3) and then be done for the day. The Ducati wouldn't start for the final practice session and for the Super Twins race. Normally I would jump on the 749r and do pretty decent in the race, but I left that bike at home and jumped on the Kawasaki. As last years Expert Super Twins champion, I get pole position all year. I'm thinking if I get the hole shot, I could stay in front of those faster bikes and could pull a little gap in the tight stuff. WRONG! I was in the lead for the first 30 feet, until 5 big twins pass me before turn one. I'd pass this RC51 going into turn 10 and see if I could try to beat him to the finish line. For the last four laps, I'd try different lines and every time he'd pass me right before the line. I finished in 6th place. I thought I would be in the way during the Heavyweight Superbike race and decided to skip that race.

 

I think the little Ninja will be a lot of fun in the Spec class away from those pesky SVs!     

 

I would like to thank my sponsors:

 

Section 8 Superbike, Duc Shop, Ducati, Speedy Moto, Motowheels, Motorex, Universal Forest Products, Vesrah, Suomy, Sidi, Lockhart Phillips, Michelin.

 

Thanks to Tom, Brian and Mike for all the help in the pits.

 

Pat
#468

 

     
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