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Ball Sac Racing Race Report

Pat's Report from Miller Motorsports Park

6/10/2006 Tooele, UT - with WERA West

 

 

After the last AFM race at Infineon, I didn't have a bike to race. The 749r was at Duc Shop for a rebuild, the Ninja 650 was in New Mexico and the 999r had metal in the motor. I had three options, go to Arroyo and race the 650, borrow a bike for Miller or purchase a new race bike for Miller. Brian, Allen and Davie Stone all offered me the use of their bikes, but I chose to purchase Dale Keiffer's 2006 Suzuki GSXR 750. The bike was race ready, with fresh paint, new tires, Ohlins 25 mm internals in the forks and Ohlins shock and steering damper, Arrow slip on and Sato rearsets. The bike only had 682 miles on it and was in great shape. All Of Dale's bikes are extremely clean and well set up. The best part was that Dale would deliver the bike to Miller, so all I needed to do was fly in and race.

We get to the track for the Friday practice day and it's pouring rain. I hate riding in the rain. I just don't see the point in it. It would stop raining and the track would dry and then it would start raining again. Miller has four different track configurations. We would be using the 3.06 mile Outer Course. This is the same layout the AMA would be using a week later. With it being a WERA National and the AMA race the next week, there was a lot of fast racers there to learn the brand new track.

The 750 was a completely different machine than what I was used to. My main race bike has 162 horsepower and this bike is in the mid 130s. I haven't ridden an inline four for two years. On the 750 I would need to rev the motor and take advantage of the higher cornering speeds.

The 511 acre Miller Motorsports Park is simply AWESOME! The facilities are world class. They have garages available with power and air. The 3 mile track has a 3500+ feet straight away with a very fast turn one through 5. It took me a while to learn the track with the weather conditions. At the end of Friday practice we had two dry sessions. The 750 stared sputtering and missing. After the first practice on Saturday, we noticed that the fuel injection box had chafed a wire and wasn't working. After a quick splice job by Tom, we're back in business. Tom was finally able to use his set of television repair tools. My best time on Friday was a very slow 2.16. I was coming out of the corners the same way I do on my Ducati. I'd get on the gas and went nowhere! SV650s were out driving me out of the corners! Mike and Tom were already running 2.07s and 2.08s. The brakes on the Suzuki were also no match for the Brembo Monoblocs on the 999r. I still have a way to go to get fully comfortable on the GSXR.

I was entered to do two races, A Superstock and B Superstock. I wanted to do B Superbike instead of A Superstock, but that race was number 15 on the days program and I had a flight to catch at 6:50 PM. I knew I'd get killed in A Superstock. It was all liter bikes with 160 hp and me on the 130 hp 750. I was able to do a 2.08 in the second practice and I was hoping to catch onto the draft of the liter bikes. I was gridded on the second wave in row 17 in spot number 36. I don't understand how WERA could have a two wave start within the same race. They also ran a 3-2 grid. I'm used to the 5-4 that AFM uses. The 17th row on the grid was about a eighth mile from the first row. I ended up 35th out of 39 riders. Those 1000s are fast, they just left me on the straight.

My next race was B Superstock, again I was gridded 27th in row 15 of the second wave. This race was a lot of fun. There was a group of 10 all nose to tail. I finished 23 out of the 36 that started the race. I'm managed to do a 2.07.1 in the race with all of my laps, except the first one in the 2.07s or 2.08s. I pretty sure that I could have gone 3 seconds a lap faster on the Ducati. At the end of the day, I was starting to actually like the Suzuki. The gear indicator is handy to have.

My teammate Mike (#632) crashed while leading the expert HWTSB race and broke his collar bone. My plan to fly home was quickly changed so I could make sure he and his rig got home safely. My other teammate (Tom #151) had his motor blow in practice on Friday and was unable to race on Saturday.

Thanks to Mike, Tom, The Flying Pole and the continued support of my sponsors: Section 8 Superbike, Duc Shop, Motowheels, Lockhart Phillips, Speedymoto, Universal Forest Products, Motorex, Michelin, Suomy, Spidi, Sidi
 

Pat
#468

 

     
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