Saturday, September 17, 2011

Round 5 Report

Weather was forecast to be beautiful all weekend, and the predictions turned out to be true.  As an extra bonus, my folks were coming out to join me as well.  Dad would be able to lend a hand in the pits, and while mom is definately not a race fan, they offered to let me sleep on the spare bed in the hotel in Gimli.  So only 1 night of camping in the back of the car -- feeling like a factory racer!
As I had wrapped up the ULGP category already (I ended up winning by 15 points) I didn't bother bringing the tigcraft -- actually, most of it had been sold off by now (more $$$ to finish the husky).  So only 3 races this weekend.
Practices went well -- the continued modifications/tweaking of the bike are making it more and more comfortable, which will always allow me to go faster with less drama.  The rearsets were huge, as I was no longer griding my boots away; however the chin fairing was developing a sizeable hole on the right hand side due to turn 4.  I guess I was getting the bike heeled 'reet over since the repaving smoothed out the entrance to that turn.  Took a bit longer, but the low 1:06s did come, sadly no 1:05s.
Race 1:  Cdn Thunder GP
Check out the video:

My apologies, I think I now can post 15min+ videos, but there was no need, I wasn't able to pass Jason at the end, so another fighting 5th.

  Race 2:  Cdn Thunder #2:  10 laps
I was most happy with this race, perhaps my favorite from all season.  A bit of argy-bargy going into turn 1 on the first lap, but I was able to get into 4th and stay there, keep Wilson on his TZ in sight the whole race, and turn a series of 1:06 laps times -- finished 6 seconds out of 3rd, and 7 seconds ahead of the 5th place rider.  A boring race, actually, but technically solid.  Unfortunately, no video... some goofiness with the camera -- also affected race 3.

Race 3:  Cdn Thunder #3:  10 laps
A weird race for me -- felt like I was going faster, but I couldn't get out of the 1:07s -- neither could Jason just ahead in 4th, but I couldn't get by him.  A race pace similar to my pace in Race 2 would've secured another 4th, but I couldn't do it.  5th by 2 seconds, half a minute ahead of 6th.  Not the greatest way to end the season, but I drove home with the realization that I have a lot of rooom to go faster, especially going into turn 1, where the most time is made up.

Overall, I finished the season in 5th place in Cdn Thunder.  Not bad for my first season "back"... to start the "whine" flowing, the other bikes and riders ahead of me have either been at it for longer, or have obviously faster machines.  Racing an essentially stock ex650 against a Buell 1200 or a GP 250 bike won't be easy by any stretch.  Somehow, however, Doug's 650 is incredibly fast and he is a talented rider.  To make things worse, Pete turned a 1:02 on the weekend on his Buell, which puts him in another postal code compared to my laptimes.  I think my season-long dices with Jason, who you see a lot in my videos and his "pipe and dyno tune" SV show the parity between our bikes.  Whine session over -- I'll get 'em next year!

Now what?  The off season is upon us.  Dad was kind enough to make another bike part delivery for me --- the 650 full fairing is now being test-fitted to the ex -- even coming from an identical bike, some modifications and tweaks need to be made.  A slipper clutch is inbound, and perhaps some new rubber.  One of my competitors tuned his sv up, and while it was a rocket, it also had a catastrophic failure in race 2 on Sunday -- as in, thanks for the oil pan, piece of case sitting in a bath of oil, style failure.  Not interested in risking that -- so the exhaust experiement and perhaps a lightened flywheel will be the extent of the souping up this winter.  That, and finishing off the Husky.  Of course, I will keep you posted with updates and pictures...                                                                                                                     

Thursday, September 1, 2011