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Author Topic: WMRC Race Round #1  (Read 5557 times)

Amory

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WMRC Race Round #1
« on: May 05, 2009, 06:27:14 PM »
This is the first year back racing for me after taking a year off to let my body heal from all the injuries I got in my first year of racing. I'm racing with the WMRC, Westwood Motorcycle Racing Club, in British Columbia, Canada. The track is a tight and technical 2.2KM course that is really quite bumpy in some areas. Despite that, it is a fun track that really tests your braking and accelerating skills.

Anyway, the weekend started out with a track day on Friday, hosted by West Coast Superbike School. I haven't been on my racebike, an 04 CBR600RR, in a while and it showed, big time. I couldn't even hold a somewhat competent line through any corner in the first session of the day and was probably the slowest intermediate level racer on the track. A combination of fear and rust got in the way of me being able to duplicate anything near my old average times of 1:18. However, by the end of the day I had started to get comfortable again, but still no where near where I needed to be by Sunday for the races. It was nice to get back to the track and hang out with some of my old racing buddies and it made a somewhat bad day into a great one. There is nothing like your friends telling you that you look like a kid wearing a hockey helmet who just got off the handi-dart bus :)

Here's a pic of me:


The weather played an interesting role the whole weekend. The forecast called for a sunny day Saturday and rain all of Sunday. Saturday comes along and it is overcast all day long, making the track temp less than optimal. I was planning on trying out some new Michelin tires, but decided against it as there was little point to practicing with new tires when it would rain on race day. So for the rest of the day I worked on getting my basic skills back up to par, braking, accelerating, leaning over and body position. Every session I did, I felt better and better and thought I might actually be able to be competitive come race day. Once the times for the first few sessions were posted, I was surprised to see that I was the fastest rider in my class (by .5 of a second), but still not near my previous years best lap time. By the end of the day my time had come down to a 1:20.2. After the last session I was faced with an interesting problem, all week long the weather reports said it was to rain on Sunday, but as of 5PM Saturday the forecast changed to overcast with some breaks. I couldn't decide which tires to mount on my rims, wets or my new Michelins? I decided to sleep on it and wait till the morning to mount the tires that suited the weather.

Sunday comes along and it had rained all night long making for a wet track in the morning, but the sun was shining. I had an hour till the first practice to get my rims off and new tires mounted up. I didn't make it...but I made it just in time for the second practice session. So I get one 15 minute practice on the Michelins (I had always run Pirellis before), a PRC front and PR4 rear. Turn in was much quicker than the Pirellis, the bike seemed to “fall” into the corners and side to side transition was improved. Anyway I was happy with them and ready to race.

First race of the day was Superbike Race 1, as I did not race the previous year my grid position was way at the back (like wayyyy back). So I get out on the track for the warm-up lap and in the very first corner I feel a very odd sensation in the front, not knowing what it was I continued on. Sure enough in the fifth corner I feel it again, but this time I get to think about it on my butt, sitting in the middle of the corner. The front washed out and I lowsided, surprised the hell out of me because I was going at about 65% of race pace. So that was one lesson learned, cold Power Race tires do NOT work. Note to self: get tire warmers. Luckily one of my fellow racers lent me a front tire warmer 20 minutes before the 600 Super Sport race, so I wasn't going out with a completely cold front tire. With absolutely no confidence in my tires, I rode the first 3 laps of the race like a novice. But once the tires heated up, I put my head down. I managed to gain back 7 spots and finish ninth, almost catching up to a pack of four more riders.

Moving through the field:


Next up was the Open Super Sport race, and lucky for me I managed to borrow a set of tire warmers from a friend. This time with the tires heated up and ready to go, I knew I could push hard from the beginning. After the start, I went into the first corner 5th and by the end of the lap had passed two riders and moved up to 3rd. Getting into second would not be so easy, for 6 or 7 laps I just could not make a pass stick on the guy in front of me. Finally after many attempts I got by coming out of the third corner  hard on the gas. 2 laps later I had opened up a sizeable gap and attempted to chase down the learder. Unfortunately for me there was not enough laps in the race to do so, but I was happy with a 2nd place finish and a podium!

In the end, my lap time was reduced to a 1:17.2, much faster than I had expected. So for the upcoming double header weekend, which just happens to be the Western Canadian Championship, I have my sights set on the podium for each of my races (as long as I don't bin it in the first corner...)
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DakotaCBR

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Re: WMRC Race Round #1
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2009, 06:36:09 PM »
Awesome finishes bro. I liked the Michelins because of the PRC front, but the rear tires never lasted very long. I switched to Pirelli this year, and although I still like the PRC front better, the Pirellis last almost twice as long for me.
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Amory

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Re: WMRC Race Round #1
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2009, 01:05:48 PM »
Yeah the PR4 rear seems like it wont last as long as the SC2, which lasts forever. I just can't get over how well the PRC front works though, just so much more grip and feedback over the SC1 or SC2 fronts.
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Jason748

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Re: WMRC Race Round #1
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2009, 02:56:06 PM »
 :thumb:  Sounds like fun to me!

FYI on the PR4, it's really meant for higher ambient (80F / 27C or above) & track temps, otherwise you eat through them pretty quick.  The PR5 wears much better and has almost as much grip.
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