Sunday, September 25, 2016

Race #7, 5, 1, and *

Ran the warm-up lap and gridded for the Formula Colorado class in MRA's Round 7, which was my 5th race ever, 1st race in 2 years, and pulled out at the end of lap 1: DNF. I thought I could quickly work my way back to previous lap times chasing the back of the grid, but it didn't work out that way. The hardware works great; the liveware, not so great. It is one thing to battle with someone else at the back of the grid (That is still racing), but when the entire field disappears in the first half lap and getting lapped within 3 laps is inevitable, then I don't feel like I belong out there. That said, I did get a lot more comfortable on it. Chicken strip reduction rate was ahead of expectation. Riding mistakes were getting easier to identify. Lines around the track were getting more obvious. The 2WS system was never a distraction: It steers far better, making it a lot less work to go faster. Trail braking is far more effective. We're going to have a lot more fun generating better results.

Yes, it is a lot of fun to show up at a racetrack with an exotic motorcycle, but motorcycle racing is ultimately about about the racing rather than the motorcycle. Other than some minor bodywork restoration and steering column modification, there's nothing left to do except race it. And work on a completely new design based on the same configuration and very little else.

Top photo: Tracy Helmhold