Theres nothing like driving 19 hours to a race after working all day. I can honestly say I was dreading that drive for two weeks before we left. There were only two of us driving and both of us had to work on Thursday, so I knew we were both going to be pretty exhausted going into it. I got pretty lucky and had my girlfriend stay up with me and keep me from careening into a ditch, which would have been bad, although it seemed like a fantastic way to get out of driving on more than one occasion on that trip. Luckily I kept the bus on the road because when I saw the track for the first time I was in complete awe.
I did the last leg of the trip and pulled us into the track. Extremely over tired.
We got there Friday around noon and decided it would be a fantastic idea to jump on our bikes and get a couple practice laps in. Yeah, probably not the best idea either of us have had but we drove 19 hours to ride and track, and dammit we weren't going to wait to do something as silly as sleep before we got out on the track!
I think we unloaded the bus and trailer in record time, we were both so excited to get on the track that we were literally throwing stuff out of the trailer just to get the bikes out. I got geared up, decided to do a nice easy rolling lap just to get a feel for the track since I've never ridden it before and because the dirt section was insanely large. I rolled over the first few jumps, cased one of the small table tops, trying to clear it in first gear, and the went around one of the small berms and my bike died.
I didn't even get one lap in and my bike just turned off. She wouldn't start again either. To make it worse yet, I was about as far as I could possibly be from the pits. I had a nice long walk to worry about whether or not I just drove 19 hours to blow my bike up after riding it for maybe 2 minutes. After getting the bike back to the pits we started checking the plugs, and any other suggestion people walking by might have had. About two hours later I realized that this had happened to me a couple years ago at Pikes Peak and it turned out to be a popped fuse. Sure enough a small 5 amp fuse was shot and I was extremely relieved that was all it was.
After getting that sorted I decided to do a few asphalt only laps, just to make sure she was riding well and smooth. I honestly can't say enough good things about this track. If you ever have the opportunity to get on it, I highly suggest that you do. This is hands down the best track I have ever been on in the United States. The elevation changes are phenomenal and really make the track a ton of fun to ride. I almost regret not running in the asphalt only class only because of how much fun I had turning laps in practice.
On our way back from the track, we were heading down the road and spotted a camel. On a leash. In someones front yard. Which also happened to be next to a restaurant. We immediately knew where we were getting dinner. As we were parking we spotted a lemur just hanging out, walking around the parking lot like it's not big deal. Apparently the owners of the restaurant live next door and they have a ton of animals in their yard. Like Llamas:
And my new bestie Kangaroo Jack:
It was probably one of the highlights of the trip. We all took way too many photos with the animals.
The first day of racing. I couldnt wait. My bike was running great, I was setting up my first ever Supermoto Livestream and I was finally going to be able to hit the dirt section. It was going to be a great day!
And then my bike died on my second practice lap. In the same exact spot as it died Friday. So fantastic. I got really lucky and AMA Pro Chris Kemp was kind enough to lend me one of his spare bikes that he brought, a 2011 KTM 350 (more on the bike later). I headed out for the first time on that bike to do my qualifying laps, which was pretty interesting. Chris went out behind me and followed me for a couple laps. On our third lap he went ahead and had me follow him through the dirt which was insanely helpful. I can honestly say I've never ridden a dirt section this big or long and it was a little tough to get down for me. Following him for a couple laps had me clearing everything with ease. Heres a quick video of the dirt ( I know, I didn't clear the back to jumps, I wasn't trying to).
It was a pretty hectic day even without having to learn how to ride a completely different and new bike. I was running back and forth between the pits and tower all day trying to get the livestream going and filming along with making sure I was on the grid in time for my races. It was definitely interesting and I ran into a few issues but we will only learn from the mistakes and make that stream better for you guys. Better streams are coming guys, I promise!
During the Open Pro/ Open Am race I came in fourth. Which wasn't terrible but didn't say much. From fourth back we were all dead. The pro class and top three positions were all pretty far ahead of us and you could tell that we all lost a ton of energy about halfway through that race. It was an absolute struggle to keep going. Ive never been so dead in a supermoto race before, and I was on a bike that weighed in 100 lbs less than my normal bike. I probably would have legitimately died trying to ride that dirt on my bike.
Ironically with only a couple races left in the day it started lightning and they had to end the event early on saturday. Everyone hurried off the track to pack everything up as quickly as possible so they didn't get drenched.
Sunday was beautiful all day. No rain in the forecast and we were ready to continue racing. After practice the first race up was "The Buddy Race". It was a team race, two riders, 8 laps, 6 driver changes. You could ride either one bike or two (My team HammaRacing rode one) and when you came in you had to put the scrunchie on your wrist onto the other riders before they could take off. It was a ton of fun and absolutely confusing. They started the race in my absolute favorite way: Le Man's Start.
It was a mad dash to our bikes, guys with electric start pushing the button and jetting off, the majority of us were kicking like crazy people to get going and one team even had to bump start their bike to get off the line (I'm pretty sure they got off the line first too). The rest of the race was a haze. I dont remember passing a single person the entire race, my partner and driving buddy Anthony Vene passed a few but none of us had any idea where we finished. All we knew was by the end of it we were stupid confused because we were going on our 9th lap while people were just starting their 8th (FINAL) lap. After finishing the race, I headed up to the timing booth to figure out what happened and to get ready for the stream. Surprisingly enough to us we ended up with the win, 10 seconds ahead of second place!
In both the 450 pro and Open pro race Monte Frank, Eric Stump and Chase Guthrie all had a serious fight going on for the first three positions. It wasextremely entertaining to watch! Those guys are just all so fast and attack the dirt like its not a big deal. Whats even more mind blowing to me is that none of them seem like they get tired especially when you start watching the majority of the field. You can see a lot of the other guys hurting.
This event turned out to be one of my favorite events of the year so far. The track was long a challenging and I can honestly say Im really happy I made the drive out there this year. Chances are I will be back next year and hopefully a lot of you guys will be able to make the trip. It is well worth it! Here's a great recap video from Freestyle Supermoto!
Results From this weekend:
|Open Asphalt Big Bike|
|4||169||DUMB & DUMBER RACING|
|6||111||BROKE BACK RACING|
|9||142||DAVIS SPORT GROUP|
|LOTW Lightning Round|
Huge Thanks to Chris Kemp for all the action photos!