2005 Race Reports:
At this point, it has been 5 weeks since breaking my left clavicle. Alot of people doubted i'd be able to ride so soon. I knew I still had a chance for the championship if I won this weekend and if Randy Laurie got 4th or less and Jeff Hartman DNF's. I didn't really think about it much, I just wanted to ride and win so much. I documented my recovery from up to this point on what it took for me to get here. (read about it here)
Saturday Practice day was sunny and dry. I didn't ride much, did a few laps to test out the strength in my shoulder. It was really hard to get into my leathers and had to leave the zipper open at the very top a bit and then duc-tape my undershirt to my leathers so it wouldn't rub on my pointy-still-healing bone. You can see what I mean in the pic below, grey ductape holding the shirt away from the bone.
The Pits flooding.
After that little rush, I get out for a quick morning practice to get some rain practice in. Then in the morning qualifier, things turned a little dicy. I was kinda nervous a bit, but tried to shake it off and just concentrate and pretend it was practice. I went into this thinking I had no chance at the title, so I tried not to think about that and ride my best. Had no idea what was gonna happen.
Coming up to turn 4, I pass my teammate Dan, on the outside and cut into the inside of turn 5 and started chasing down Jeff Hartman (current leader in the championship).
We get to turn 1 and he tries to outbrake me. I let him in, knowing i'll get him again in the next few corners.
We get up to turn 2, I pull up along the outside of him and he goes thru one of the big standing puddles, spashes a ton of water on me which blinded me for a second. I bogged the bike down a bit so I wasn't able to catch him on the straight between turn 2 and 3. We get up to turn 3, then he's tip-toeing around, so I just go around on the outside of him then just took off.
I pretty much demolished everybody, had a huge lead over Dan and Jeff. Then on the last lap, Jeff crashes out in turn 1 off the front straight while he is attempting to pass Dan on the brakes. Jeff's day was done.
For the race, I'm up on the front row, I get a not bad start, but not the best. Dan gets holeshot, and i'm in 3rd after turn 1. We come up to turn 2 and I pass both Dan and another guy to take the lead. Just like in the qualifer, I broke away and left them all in my wake. I got sore mid race in my shoulder, but I tried to ignore it. I accidently almost crashed out as I looked back to see nobody, and I ran off the pavement and into a bit of dirt/grass that was basically turned into a lake from all the rain that was alongside the track while heading to turn 2. I managed to get it back on safely and just cruised to the victory.
Took my victory lap after and came in. I find out afterwards Randy Laurie took 4th, Dan took 2nd. Which means I won the season championship. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy.
Here's how the final points total for the season ended up as.
1st Me: 106 points
I'm estatic. All the pain both emotionally and physically that I went thru these past 35days. I thought after breaking my clavicle and missing 2 races, that I was done for. I'm just... I dunno how to describe it. Went through some pain today while riding, and my skin around the pointy part of the bone is pretty red, like a big red circle. I guess now it's time to relax and rest it now.
well.... alot of bad news.
September 9, practice, break in the rebuilt motors on both bikes, September 10th and 11th, double race day.
So far, i'm in the points lead in the Formula 3 championship, winning all the races up to this point this year.
Saturday morning, go out for that days 4 lap qualifer, I get a decent start off the front row and move up to third coming out of turn 1. Staying with the 2 front runners, i make my move in turn 7 on 2nd lap. Coming in real hard, I brake way late, to make a double pass into 1st.....
Except something unexpected happpens. One of the guys i'm trying to pass brakes a tad early and swerves out in front of me. I'm coming in real hard on him and forces me to brake REEAAAAALLLL hard, putting me into a rolling endo (rear end waayy up in the air), he tips it into the corner and I barely miss rearending and side swiping him. But at this point, i'm 90degrees pointing up and I flip over the bars landing hard on the pavement. At the same time my bike goes flying in the air and lands on top of me and we both cartwheel and tumble for awhile off the track.
To sum things up quick, I came away with a broken left clavicle (left collarbone), a pulled groin and bruised up pretty good.
I'm pretty annoyed about this as I pretty much threw away the championship with this crash. I'll be out for 4-5 weeks healing, but only 1 race left in October and not enough points to recover.
After this weekend, Jeff on the #22 machine won both races and took a 24 point lead in the season standings.
It was quite the battle. I was so busy last week building my teammate's Dan's bike for him. It rained hard on sunday night, but was mostly dry by the time I woke up at 5:30am to head to the track
During morning practice, there was some left over oil on the track in turns 4 and 6 which was really dangerous. That was cleaned up thankfully by the qualifers before lunch, which by the way I won the qualifer pretty easily.
Exiting Turn 5 and heading for the sharp Turn 6 (was
a oil patch here in the morning)
Today was quite interesting. Because of new sound limits enforced upon us, we had to do some modifications to the bikes to try and get the sound levels down. Unfortunatly there isn't much we can do. Everything we tried is damaging to the bike, and sucks away alot of power. This was evident pretty bad during the race in the afternoon.
Custom home made tip to try and quiet the bike down.
We pointed it away from the sound meter that sits track side.
A few times would come up so hard on his bike from behind, I would almost rear-end him as he blocked off the passing lines. The sound modifcations we did to the bike affected power so much, that when I tried to pass on the outside, I just didn't have the power to pull him out of the corners as he would always break away on the short straight sections.
Eventually by the 2nd last lap, I found my opening in turn 5 as we were approaching lapped traffic. Up in the inside of turn 5, I pulled a double stuffed maneuver and got by both the lapped rider and the leader and took over the lead. However by doing that, I had to kill my momentum to sneak up into the inside. Luckly I was able to slip the clutch a bit to get some power again and never looked back. Hit the finish line and the white flag came out to signal for the final lap.
Coming off the straight into turn 1, he tries to outbrake me. I knew he would overshoot the corner as he went by me on the brakes, then I diped up into the inside as normal and regain the lead again after a split second of loosing it. Then we power out to turn 2, again his bike showing superior power today as he pulls up along side of me on the outside. After this I wouldnt have no more of this and stayed on inside, blocked his exit momentum and never looked back for the rest of the lap.
After turn 10 and heading to the checker flagged, I see I pulled away about a good 10 bike lengths on him, which was quite satisfying and took the win.
I must say, never had to work so hard for that win. For awhile in the first 1/2 of the race, he got away and had a good distance from me and it took awhile to start to gain on him. Was worried for a bit, and didn't want to fold up like a cheap suit. So stuck my head down and just pushed and pushed and pushed. Had to make up for the lost power in the corners, especially in turn 3, 4, 6 and 7 as the bike would be squirming away out of the exits trying to find traction. Most satisfying indeed. My mom came out to the races, she was going nuts, as well as the spectators as I was told afterwards.
It was pouring rain first thing in the morning when I got to the track. Really really dirty too as lots of dirt in the turn 5 / 6 / 7 and 8 sections especially. Got the rain slicks mounted up by 8am, and chilled for a hour. The rain had stopped by 9am and went out and did the practice session. Took it nice and easy as broke in a new piston.
First qualifer would be at around 10:15am, and by then it started to dry up as the sun started to come out. The track was half wet in some sections and dry in others. There was a 30min delay as the corner working crew cleaned up some dirt in turn 7 and 8.
By then, I kept the front rain tire on and put a brand new slick on the rear. Went out and during the 1st lap of the qualifer, one of the guys looses it in the wet section in turn 7 and highsided the bike. The qualifier was stopped as the Ambulance flag came out as he hurt himself pretty bad. I won the qualifer after the restart.
Next up would be the F3 race. I started up on the front row, got a decent start and was in 3rd after turn 1. Would over take everybody for the lead by lap 2 and never looked back since. I kinda took it easy after I got the lead and just cruised along for the win.
Today I had problems with the inside flap of my boot getting caught on the left rearset ankle guard during the race. was really annoying, especially when having to shift up through all the gears when making the approach into turn 1.
That's John, in the blue/white shirt in the pic to the right. I can't thank him enough for how much help he has been all year so far.
In the end, all that hardwork for a piece of metal and wood, and some $$ from contingency and sponsors like Bridgestone, EBC brakes, Vanson Leathers, etc....
I qualified 2nd in Formula 3. By the time the race started, weather was getting iffy, as it started to sprinkle a bit and make the track cooler and a bit slick. Was stuck with the decision of whether to put the rain tires on or run the slicks. I decided to go with the slicks. Went out and lined up on the starting grid on the front row. Race started and I blew my start (note to self: need to work on starts). I started 2nd on the front row, by the time I got to turn #1, I was in 7th, doh! After turn 1, I stuffed 2 people in the inside going into turn #2 and moved myself up to 5th.
By then, the guy in 1st was breaking away from everybody as I was getting caught in traffic. I knew I had to make my move fast, and by turn #5 I passed 1 more guy on the outside to get myself into 4th place.
By lap #2, I caught up to 3rd place and passed him on the brakes in turn #5. Then moved myself into 2nd after passing the next guy on the exit of turn #6 on the outside. By the time I exited turn #9 onto the front straight, I see the guy running in 1st has at least a full straight away lead on me. It would take me 1 lap to catch up to him, and by lap #3 in turn 8 I stuffed him on the inside before throwing it into the quick left hander into turn #9, and from then, I put my head down and just never looked back and ran 5 laps in the lead to take the win by quite the large margin.
Overall, it was a good day of racing for me, the weather sucked for myself, but after my races, it cleared up later in the day for the other guys in superbike and supersport classes.... go figure! However, I did pick up some contingency money from Bridgestone, EBC Brakes and Vanson leathers for my win in Formula 3.