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Ball Sac Racing Race Report

Tom's Report from Mid Ohio Sports Car Course

9/23/2006 Lexington, OH - with AMA Sports


AMA Sports Road Race Grand Championships

I have been looking forward to this event since we decided to add it to our schedule last May. Pat, Dave, Roger, Kevin and I would be the riders going to represent Arroyo Seco at the AMA Sportsman Grand Nationals. I was interested in seeing what times I could do on another AMA circuit. Roger and Michelle would drive the rig loaded with 7 bikes and all the gear and the rest of us would fly. Just happened we all got to the motel within 15 minutes of each other. It was late Wednesday night so we just hit the sack and got up early Thursday morning and head to the track. They don't have signs and we got lost, taking us an hour and a half to get there. We got reregistered and set up pit, not far from pit out. I planned on using the tires I had 3 races on to learn the track. I was able to get everything ready for my first session as was Dave, the only other one in our group to get out. Dave had been here before and I asked him how the track was and he said I'll wait for your impression. My very first lap I get on the long straight and get to 6th gear pinned, so I'm now thinking this is gonna be fun!! But then at the end of the long straight, I go down to first gear and wait to get to 2nd and wait and wait. then I get to second and quickly back down to first and first and first and then back to the long straight. Besides being a tight twisted, uphill, downhill, wall lined track it really doesn't have much grip. I come in very disappointed and tell Roger that he will have more fun on his 650 (other than the long straight) than anything else. I'm also thinking I might do better on Brian's 750 than my CBR. The first session I do a best time of 1:48.2. The second session I feel a little better and do a best of 1:41.0 and start thinking the gearing is way off. Third session I do a 1:36.8, so the times are dropping and the 1:32's I'm shooting for are only 4 seconds away. I still have the same tires I did 3 races on and the first 3 sessions, so with new tires I was pretty sure I could get to my goal of 32's maybe even 31's, which is what I am thinking. The last practice session of the first day my best time is 1:35.6 on the same tires without the gearing change, so I feel good.

Friday morning, 2 practice sessions and qualifying the rest of the day. This is where it all started to go downhill. I think if I would have just ridden my bike I would have gotten to my goals, but hind sight is always 20/20. I start the day on Brian's bike. I just felt that I needed to get used to it for qualifying. The braking and shift points are way different! I run in the 38's first practice. The second practice I take out the CBR with new take off's from Vegas. here's where I should have put on fresh tires and pushed. I run in the 35's and when I come in definitely know I need to change the gearing. the bike is at the limiter too much and overheats. So at Pat's suggestion I go over and talk with James Kerker an AMA regular that runs a CBR1000rr. He says he is running 15/43 gearing, way different from my 16/40. So before qualifying, with Dave's help we change the gearing to 15/43. I have 2 qualifying sessions back to back and I qualify at 1:35.9 and 1:36.0 trying to figure out the new gearing. Now I'm pissed, I know I should be faster. On the long straight I am getting to 6th before the kink loosing a lot of top speed that I had before. We quickly change the rear sprocket to a 40 which gives me more on the straight and the next session, after I run 2 qualifying sessions on the 750 with all different things going on I run a 1:35.0 the fastest time of the weekend. From this point on rain was on and off. We changed tires on the 750, I don't know how many times. I decided I would run the 750 in any wet situations, the cbr had way too much power to keep under me in the dry here let alone the wet.

Saturday I did get a window between the rain for the 1000 Superbike race. I had new tires and no practice but wanted to try and make the best of it. I qualified on the second row and got a great start. I passed 2 guys in T1 and was in third before the end of the straight. I was about 4-5 bike lengths behind second place with the guy in first checking out. I really felt like I could catch the guy in second and was closing on him the first 3 laps. Then it started to rain and I really backed off. Fourth, fifth and sixth moved right up behind me. I was on slicks and those guys were on DOT's. Lucky for me they Red flagged the race because of rain on the 6th lap and I kept those guys behind me and something happened to the guy in first so I wound up with a second! Roger had a great race after that in the wet on the 650 and finished second. The Senior superbike race was another down pour and I did this on Brian's 750. I got a good start and was in second place for this 4 lap race for 3 laps. I really didn't think anybody was behind me, hell I remember looking up into the stands where the whole group was, coming out of T1 saying "what the hell am I doing out here" and the guy goes by me. I should have paid more attention. I tried to repass him and almost threw the bike down a few times and never did, finishing third. The guy that finished 2nd had a best lap time 2 seconds slower than mind, but he kept his head down and I didn't. Sunday was another wet track no practice one race on the 750 and 2 races on the CBR. We thought because the temp and track temp was cold we should take some air out of the tires. That didn't work out and I just went backwards in the first race on the CBR, again realizing the gearing is off. I decided not to do the last race so we could start packing up and get Roger on his way. The 750 race I just couldn't get the tire to hook up. It had no grip at all. We softened up the suspension the day before for the rain and forgot to put it back, but I thought that would give it more grip?? Then I was thinking that the spring is way too stiff and maybe that's why softening it gave it less grip?? Shit if I know. Could have just been cause it was too cold. It made me think about my bike and how it has less grip since I put the 10.0 spring on it, yet it felt better when it was stiffer. I am going to try a 9.5 spring at Infineon next week and only having one bike to figure out will definitely be nice! First and foremost have to thank Jay for all the help in the pits. He went above and beyond to make sure things got done. he is welcome in our pit anytime!! Also need to thank Roger and Michelle for driving out the rig, without them we never would have gotten to try Mid Ohio. Dave and Pat are always a help digging in weather setting up or taking down the pit. Definitely missed Sally on the long trip, glad she is gonna make Infineon next week! As always thanks to Brian for all the web work and this time thanks again for the bike, it's still in one piece dude and hopefully a little faster.lol



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