Moroso April 22 and 23
$2000 later the bike is straight and almost back to 100%. Now that everything is straight I have to learn to ride all over again. Everything feels different and Im still working on my confidence. Since I wasnt sure if the bike would be ready in time I didnt preregister. This is a costly handicap at Moroso with turn 3 being a first gear single file affair. Being anything worse than 6th through here will all but cost you any chance of wood.
Race (1) G.T. Lights, Started roughly 22nd I got a decent start and found myself midpack going into turn 3. Being caught behind a slower rider here will make you want to kill someone. Once through I pulled the trigger and motored by a couple riders. I cleared the traffic directly in front of me and looked down the straightaway. Nobody there.. the lead pack was long gone so I settled in and managed a 6th I think. All and all not bad considering my start. Its a shame the GT races in Florida are 6 laps because I was running better lap times (1:36s) than the 4th 5th and 6th place bikes.
Race (2) LW Superbike, Again starting from "back-o-the-pack" Similar story as GT Lights, my times were off but the race pace was slower as well. If I can regain the confidence in my bike and tires Ill be back up front soon. The bike should be looking great for next month thanks to Steve Long and the guys at SPEEDWERKS. New paint, although I wont know what color until I get it back. Given Steves talent with a paint gun, I gave him "artistic control". Looking forward to May
Roebling Road April 8 and 9
Well I arrived at the track for the Friday open practice. I spent Friday putting on the new pipe, fairing stay, plastic and other repairs from the crash. All the new parts arrived the night before we left so all the assembly had to be done at the track. I still wasnt completely sure if the frame and forks were straight so I was hoping for the best. First session kept my full attention. Roebling defiantly separates the posers from the real riders!! HP certainly wont help you much here. I spent most of the day learning the track, bolting new parts onto the bike and trying to get confidence back. I was way off the pace I would need to run to be competitive. I didnt feel comfortable on the bike and spend most of the day trying to decide if it was the bike or me. Still undecided I had Ron Perry look at the frame. His opinion was not the news I was looking for. A buckle near the steering head all but guaranteed a bent frame. To make things worse a closer look at the forks showed a couple crimps as well. Saturday and Sunday came and went without much excitement. With a bend frame and forks all I could do was limp around for points. Finished bottom third in G.T. Lights and LW Superbike. Sent the bike home with Eric Grey of Computrac to be straightened. Cant wait to Race here on a straight bike. Cant wait for next season!!!!
Moroso Race Report 3-18-00
Ran very fast in practice. lost front
mid corner, no warning, up one second..
sliding down the track the next. Pepe' hit a curb and flipped in the air several
times. Damage as follows:
Upper and windshield obliterated
Fairing bracket doing imitation of pretzel
Tail section in 7 pieces, I was only able to find 7 anyway
Forks don't agree on which way to point
Front rim bent
Front fender cracked
Scrawny butt bruised
Severe damage to wallet
Ego and Pride Bruised but not broken
GT Lights, Taped bike back together, luckily it was raining so I was using the
other set of rims. Taped tach to triple clamp, no windscreen or plastic, limped
around for 4th
Bad start, bike handling very funny especially running through deep puddles,
pulled in after 3 laps so not to hurt myself or anyone else.
See You In Savannah, GA !!!
Ben CCS#240 EX, Florida region
1988 FZR 560 (Pepe')
Bens Daytona Race Report 3-5-00
Thursday 3-2-00: Arrive at 7:30; scrounge up pit space and head for tech. Stand in tech line for 1.5 hours, luckily Ron Perry was close in line so we killed time bench racing. As we stood in line they called our practice group and I just had to laugh as ONE bike circulated the track of the 100 or so that were in that practice group.. He must have been there at 5:00am hahaha. First practice session .. Its only been 2 weeks since Homestead but I feel rusty. My only previous exp. at Daytona was last ROC as a total squid. This time on the Superbike it got a taste of REAL racing. Pulled in from first practice practically in tears.. The bike felt horrible, I felt horrible and was not looking forward to the ass kicking I was going to get from Keener and the rest of the Expert field. The bike was wobbling into and out of every turn and felt unstable on the banks. Next practice was better, tightened up the ol steering damper and things felt more stable. By the end of the day I was up to speed and felt much more comfy but the bike still was dancing around real bad under braking.
Friday GT Lights 3-3-00:
Grided second row. Dry heaving on the grid from nerves. Green flag drops and all I can think is I better get my ass moving before the rest of the field runs me over. Into turn one some where between 2nd and 6th it was all a blur. I remember passing a bike or two in turn two and a couple more exiting the horseshoe. By the dogleg I was in front and not sure what I was doing there. Exited the infield feeling like a hero and pinned my head to the tank for the trip around the banking. Setting up for the chicane, I see the dreaded red flag and slow it down. Not knowing for sure I ask the grid marshall if we re-grid or grid in order on the track (rookie brain fart since we didnt finish the first lap). Waiting on the grid for what seemed like an hour watching my bike overheat. Restart.. I get an awesome start and find myself out front again and go like hell. Friends in the stands later tell me I had a 6 second lead on the field. I was in the dogleg as the pack was exiting turn 2. I was getting into a rhythm and wondering where Keener was. Things were going great till a lap later the Red Flag waves again. Third restart, they guy in front of me wheelies and pulls it back down. He then decides to pull to the left to let people by.. only problem was I was going left to avoid him.. 7 or 8 bikes go by so Im 8th into turn 1. Clawing my way through traffic I fight my way back to the front taking the lead from "team mate" C.J. Czaia. Things were going great till my next time through the dogleg. Just as I hit the apex the back of the bike decides it wants to say hello to the front. Halfway there it changes its mind and catches, sending me into the air. I was lucky to land back in the saddle and still heading in the right general direction. Judging by the way it slid out I figured I cooked my rear tire. Exiting the infield I grab a handful only to feel the rear tire lay down a patch. Yep tire must be history. Just my luck Mr. Keener and the 710 machine began closing in and soon went around me. I must add that Keener had a perfect opportunity to stuff me bad going into the chicane but held off till we were through. Once by me he chased down the leader and sat on his tail through the chicane drafting him on the banking and making a textbook slingshot for the win. I pull into the pits to find out the rear tire was fine but my cotter pin was gone and the rear axle nut was 2 threads away from falling off. My little adventure sliding through the dogleg was the result of my rear wheel actually moving around.
Sunday LW Superbike 3-5-00:
Grided first row and got a good start. Led the first two laps but felt noticeably slower. Still running the same tires I had on since the last race weekend I noticed the grip a little less than the previous race. Having no races Saturday, I mind-fu#%ed myself worrying about the race and just never found a good rhythm. By lap 3 Keener and Fisher were by and I found myself battling with a Harley to keep 3rd. Well seeing a Harley show me a wheel was a little humiliating so I put my head down and put a little distance between me and him to finish third. All in all I feel very fortunate to have done so well as a rookie expert and to have taken myself and the bike home in one piece.
Thanks to Steve Keener for all his help, as well as, the whole Gang at Speedwerks for putting together an awesome bike !!!!!!!
Well Guys, It's the start of a new season and I've already been cast out as "Sandbagger and Whiner of the Year".Won't fill you in on the details since Smokin' Joe took care of that during my interview in the Winner's Circle. Yes, I said Winner's Circle (not Whiner's circle).
Sorry , not enough time between Homestead and Daytona to get my report written. Been spending all my time uploading the new website. Hope you dig our new home @ www.superbikeracer.com.
*Don't forget to send me some pics and info so that you may be added to the racer pages.
See you all at Daytona!!