January 13 was the opening round for WERA West in Fontana, CA at the famous Auto Club Speedway. I took my (new to me) 2007 R6 out for it’s maiden races that weekend and had a slow start to the weekend with a 20th out of 27th place finish in 600 Superbike. This was NOT a fun race and I was very frustrated with myself afterwards. Yes, I was on a new race bike. Yes, I was gridded up with at least a dozen pro AMA racers. Yes, there are a ton of great excuses that I could use… But the bottom line is that I was not comfortable on the bike, riding scared, and mad at myself after the race because I knew I had WAY more potential. This set the stage for the 2nd race of the day and I was determined to get my lap times down to something a bit more respectable and finish further up the pack. I was gridded up with the same superstar AMA riders like Pascarella, Linders, Farris, Tigert, Pond, etc… but this time I managed to shed a couple of seconds during the race and ended up with a 14th out of 20th in B Superbike.
I still was frustrated with how little time I had on the bike and how uncomfortable the R6 felt on the track. I have not raced a 600 cc in well over a year and it has been a challenge to relearn how to go UBER – FAST after coming off the more gentle SV650 race bikes.
THe 3rd race of the day was 600 superstock and I knocked a few more tenths off my laptimes and ended up with a more respectable 13th out of 20th. Keep in mind that I am now racing in the most competitive race class on the west coast and riding faster than I ever have… and still haven’t mustered up a top ten finish on the 600, which is really starting to eat at me. However, laptimes were getting better and with 3 full races of experience behind me on the bike I was feeling pretty solid going into the final race.
I had some great battles with JC Gibbs in the previous races and found him again throughout the final race. JC is also an AMA racer. We swapped places throughout the final race of the day which was 750 Superstock. At the finish line he took 8th place an I finished 9th. This was my fastest race of the weekend and the first race on the bike that I actually felt like I was starting to gel with the machine and ride it fairly confidently.
My goals for the race weekend were to turn a 1:36 laptime and get a top ten finish. I managed to turn a 1:37.02 which means I did not accomplish the first goal but was very close (3 hundredths of a second). I did however get the top 10 place that I was looking for.
I had the chance to hang out with a great crew of racers and friends that made the trek down from Seattle to participate in the event as well and I want to thank everyone for coming down. Steve Kidd, Dave Marod, Daryl Richardson, John Niederegger, Brian Rose, Corey Baum (and his awesome Dad)… They also brought my friend and their team mechanic Mr Mike Castro along to help out all weekend. YOu all rock and did awesome ! Great to have you there.
Big props go out to Steve Kidd for being the fastest in our group that weekend on his beautiful new ZX10R that was righteously prepped by Nels at 2WheelDynoWorks. That bike is awesome and Steve rode it very well all weekend.
We shared out pits with the fastest girl in the west Miss Krystyna Kubran and local SV650 superstar Brian Lensch.
I also had my girlfriend Angela there cheering for me all weekend and she got the chance to experience privateer racing at it’s finest. A night on an air bed in the race trailer with my dog Dakota and I ! She didn’t complain once! Might be a keeper!
I left Fontana feeling dissapointed in the lack of speed that I was able to get out of my riding on the R6, but I have to say that the final race really did come together nicely and I look forward to racing in Las Vegas on February 9th and 10th.
My new premium 1.5mm custom Hazardous racing suit made it’s debut at Fontana also and it was so comfortable and nice looking, even though I didn’t finish very well in the races I sure felt like a hot shot wearing that work of art around the pits !
If you are looking for a suit please stop by www.hazardousracing.com and check out the new website that has a ton of great info about our suits. REMEMBER that if you are a licensed racer I can get you $100 off any suit if you email me. I can also get non licensed riders $50 off any suit on the website if they email me. My email is TIM@HAZARDOUSRACING.COM or TIM@WEIGRACING.COM
Hope you all are doing well and I look forward to writing a race report in a few weeks about me kicking some butt in Vegas. I think the season is going to be a tough one, but I plan to keep training, riding, racing, and working my way to the top of the west coast 600 cc race class.
Til Next TIme, take care!
Daryl and I getting ready to go out for practice on a chilly morning at Fontana: