This race was different. First, my girlfriend Suzanne decided to come, which changed a lot of things. On to the motorcycle race recap!
Friday night arrival
We arrived at Tally on Friday, set up the paddock and dropped the trailer. Rather than my usual dinner trackside and tent stay, we had a nice dinner in Anniston. We then went to what Suzanne described as a “neighborhood in transition,” where she had rented us an AirBNB. I think the words “sketchy neighborhood” seemed more appropriate, so I didn’t leave anything in the car. Sketchy ‘hood or not, it was very relaxing, and kinda nice sleeping in a real bed!
The struggle with practice
We got up the next morning to get to the track by 7:30AM to register and get the bike to tech inspection. I was in practice #2, and since I had completely changed out the suspension, I wanted to make sure to hit both my practice sessions. Also, Tally had done some work to fix their mistakes in turn 2, and I wanted to see how that came out.
I went out for practice and felt pretty good for one lap, though the quickshifter was giving me some problems. On the other hand, turn 2 had a lot more grip, as long as you stayed to the inside of the corner.
On the second lap I got into the right hander and started to feel the front give way – probably too much tire pressure plus the new stiffer springs. I pitted in and dropped two pounds of pressure in the front, but by then they were making the calls for the next practice. My best lap was a 1:16.
Here’s the struggle: I was faster than last time I was here on this bike. I’m still not as fast as I was on the old bike, which makes no sense since I have more power. I’ve gotta figure this out. It’s driving me crazy!
The motorcycle race recap
We gridded up for the race, and I thought I got a decent start, but I was swamped into turn 1 and it killed my drive. I was in the back of a pack of about 6 riders going into turn 2. I passed a couple of them on the brakes in turn entry, but Kyle Wagner got on the inside of me entering turn 2. We went through that corner side by side, but he had a better exit line and better drive, and I lost him. I passed another rider in the right hander, but from that point on I was about 75 yards behind a big pack. I never lost them, but I never caught them, either.
After finishing the race and returning to the paddock, discovered I had dropped two seconds from my prior lap time, which was positive. Still not as fast as I want, but an improvement.
After we had packed up and I went and picked up my 2nd place trophy, we hit the road. Partway home I realized that a great thing had happened – not one red flagged race all day! Nobody had a serious get-off! It’s always good when none of your friends get hurt, and they can all use the motorcycles again.
We’re at Roebling Road again in three weeks. I’m registered for a track day on Friday to see if I can find a few more seconds per lap, and then we have a doubleheader. I’ve also got one minor bike modification I want to make – a quick-turn throttle. I had one on the old bike and it worked well, hope it will help me get on the gas a little quicker.