LRRS Round 5 — August 15-16, 2015
I went into Round 5 with a lot of excitement and a lot to look forward to. Since Round 4, I had committed myself to getting more seat time on my dirt bike and on the flat track, I was ready for the work (and fun!) to start paying dividends. I arrived Friday around lunch time to find Chris Dove #123 and new teammate #508 Savvas Kosmidis enjoying their practice day thoroughly. Savvas’s bike had just returned from TSS Graphics and looked absolutely amazing! Seems like everything TSS touches right now turns to gold! After unloading and setting up, we all enjoyed a nice relaxing evening at Club CMP.
Saturday morning starts early for middleweight amateurs. We have first practice group so that means tire warmers on at 7:00 and an unhealthy dose of caffeine to get moving. I went out and had a good practice session, but upon pitting in, I was notified by the track marshal my bike was smoking. After getting the bike into the CMP garage, I discovered it was simply a slow drip out of my oil filter. Unfortunately, the change cost me a bit too much time and I missed second practice session.
I look forward to this race more than anything else in the weekend. The challenge of remaining consistent for 25 minutes of racing is a difficult one that not a lot of riders can achieve. I had a bad start and ended up near the back of the field; however, on the 2nd lap there was a red flag crash that sent us back to pregrid. On my second go around, I got a very nice start and found myself towards the front of the Amateur GTO field. I battled with a lot of different riders and, with about 5 minutes left, I was in 5th and running an excellent race.
-This is where things went south-
Entering Turn 1, #273 Dave Hemstreet passed me on the outside, pulled tight in front of me and got on the brakes. My reaction was less than stellar, I literally grabbed ALL of the brakes. My bike endo’d and I went over the top and went for a heck of a tumble down the track hitting two pieces of air fence along the way.
My crash caused a red flag and ended the race, it also ended racing for me that weekend. My bike was pretty damaged and I was in quite a bit of pain. The EMT’s and infield care team were excellent, we’re fortunate to have such a good staff on hand to help out when things go wrong. While I was pretty banged up, I didn’t feel any injury I had sustained was an emergency, so I decided to forego the ambulance ride to Concord hospital. Upon returning home to Quincy, I visited the doctor and was happy to receive negative xrays; just a bad contusion to my left collar bone and scapula, some scrapes and bruises, and what I can only describe as “full body whiplash.”
There was definitely a lot to learn from the crash, still a lot to process as well. I certainly could have done things differently. While it wasn’t Dave’s fault I crashed, I didn’t expect him to brake when he did. He passed me cleanly on the outside, I had the option to roll off and give it a bit more space. What I learned is that I went into Turn 1 with a plan for what I wanted to do, but I didn’t have a plan for what someone else might do. That’s definitely something I need to work on.
The good news is I set a PB during that race of 1:20.894. I also rode the entire race at a very consistent pace. With the exception of the 2 outlaps and another 1:20.9, I ran 1:21’s the entire race. That’s a pretty substantial jump for me having not gotten south of 22’s this season. I had a goal of 19’s this weekend and had it not been cut short, I fully believe I would have achieved it. All the extra seat time on the dirt bike really paid off. I have a lot of work ahead of me to get the CMP Racing CBR back on track for Round 6, but have just learned the chassis is straight so it looks like I’ll just be replacing a lot of hard parts.
Great appreciation to Central Mass Powersports and Gary Pescatore. I can’t stress enough how awesome it is to have a dealership of their quality at my back. They’ve already begun the process of helping me track down parts for the rebuild, John at the parts department is a top rate guy! I should probably apologize to Doug at TSS Graphics for ruining his nice HRC wrap on my bike, but I’m sure after repairs are done he’ll have me looking as good as new for Round 6.
Race Report by Duncan Wood #910