*this is my report from gixxer.com as you will notice names of people that are from that website, although it is slightly modified so its not just a straight cut and paste
well, after getting to the hotel at about 12:30 pm we knew the morning was going to come quickly.. but since we were only going to run the 6 hour we didnt need to bring the bike, getting it through tech, or worry about setting up a pit area of own. so that eased a lot of tension.. (when i say we i mean my fiance and myself). so we get to the track around 7:45 and go to get my WERA license and the process couldnt have been easier. since i emailed with evelyne clarke before the event i knew id get my same number of 96 which is awesome. so all i had to do was fill out a paper and give her the credit card.. then she asked what team i was racing on and i said "Da sheep are skeered" with a chuckle and she got a kick out of that and knew just who i was talking about.. lol
so I now have my WERA license, and am ready to race. we go to the pit area to see what we can do and everything is just about ready since the boys all ran the friday practice.. they said the bike felt pretty good but njracer had mentioned how the front wanted to tuck a lot so i knew before i even rode it that we would have to raise the front of the bike. i went out for my first practice session and it was really weird riding a different bike to say the least. never been on the 1000rr before so i didnt know what i was in for. but i could immediately feel that the bike definately had to go up in the front. the lap timer said i ran some 24's and what not which isnt bad considering it was my warm up session on someone elses bike. so i get back to the pit (pit lane) and we go to work.. the front was already just about all the way up, but we had a few more mm's by burying the fork caps so we did.. the boys all went out for a few quick laps and said they could feel a difference in handling so that was good. i got one lap around on it before the flag, but it was just enough to realize that our change had helped.
so, we are gridded on the 3rd or 4th row of the second wave and ive never launched this bike before but i got a decent start.. even had to do a little bumping to secure my position on the way to turn one. we werent in bad shape going into t1, but holy crap was there an intense amount of traffic. and it was some hard work to slice through it.. first few laps in was in the 24's and 23's, and then i look down at the timer and see it read like 22.03 so i said shit im moving pretty good and not even pushing myself of the bike.. so then im running in the 21's (now mind you i only had about 15 minutes of practice on the bike before the race). then all of a sudden im running very consistantly in the low 20's. i said to myself im not here to break any personal best lap times or be a hero im just going to finish the race, but i wasnt even pushing myself so i said ok.. ill just brake a little later into t1, carry a weeee bit more speed through t3, and t10 (my tough turn) and next thing you know im clicking off some 19's.. i was very pleased as it came with very minimal effort. i would have been a little happier if we raised the front of the bike a few more mm's but it still felt pretty darn good in the turns (much more stable than my gixxer which means i have some work to do on my suspension for sure). i ended up running up on some traffic and decided i wasnt going to get crazy passing these people just to keep my lap times in the 19 range since its not my bike and its a team effort. i realized some of these guys were on 750's and 600's so id stay behind them until the straight away and just power past them (learning my lesson from attempting to pass hector jiminez in turn 10 a couple weekends prior which lead to a pretty spectacular crash on my part, when i could have just used the power. for those who dont race, hector is a pretty fast front running expert, and this is his home track). anyway i still ran very low 20's being stuck behind people for half the track so i know i could have run much faster.. i was moving well and ran up on a guy in t4 (t4 is a smoking fast downhill right hander.. screaming in 3th gear type of fast. roughly 110-115mph is my estimate) and decided to try to pass him and another guy on the outside of it and i pushed the front a little and then said its time to back it down and just pit in since i was out there for a while.. so next lap around i did the signal to pit in but then i started passing some more people and i wanted to make up a few more postions before we pitted in.. 3 more laps and i pitted.. just about a 30 minute run.
then the owner of the bike (jeff) went out and had a little incident due to a very crowded t1. he came back to the pits ok (thank goodness) and the bike wasnt too bad). so we got the bike fixed up but lost a lot of time. the test dummy was njracer, and the bike felt good to him. then went bmann, and then me again.. the tires were still doing pretty good, but starting to lose a little. this time around my right leg was really shot since the rearsets were set to the maximum height (which really cramped me up at 6' tall, but we all had to sacrifice a little something to make the bike comfortable for everyone). it became pretty hard to hold myself steady on the bike in the long right handers like the 1,2 combo, and through the carousel (turns 6-7 where your on the right side with knee down for a good 8-10 seconds straight ). that taken into consideration i really backed it down and ran mostly 21's and 20's.
since the clock was ticking we decided to run some short stints to finish the event so we could each get another session so we shorted the last 4 sessions to 10-15 minutes. we knew we were a number of laps down so extra pit stops wasnt going to hurt us at all. i ran a little harder this last session since it was like a sprint race and i may have run some high 19's, but the lap timer wasnt working right so i dont know..
so all in all it was a great time this weekend, with good people..i enjoyed riding the 1000rr. when i compare it to my 2003 GSXR 1000 ill say that the gixxer has a fair bit more power, and torque that was pretty noticeable to myself. i also prefer the feel of my brakes by far. the honda did stop good, and stayed pretty stable under hard braking which was nice, but the feel was very mushy to me and didnt install a lot of confidence.. the front end felt more planted, and i know we could get it even better if we had more time (and if there were fork extenders in them). the bike did make it easy to get to wot though which was nice. did i go faster on this bike for any special reason, or just because im getting more familiar with the track? probably a little of both, but the front end feeling much more planted (especially through t10) was surely a big help. i did set a new personal best lap time of a 1:19.48
i got to meet lizard1 as well this weekend which was cool. it was nice talking with ya lizard, sorry i didnt catch you on our way out but it was a little chaotic at the end of the day.. but im sure ill see you around again. and a big
to laohu69 for all the help in the pits. it was really cool of you to show up and help out bro.. cant wait to see some pictures!
i owe a big thanks to two sponsors in particular.. first id like to say thanks to Corey at MotoMummy for his support of my racing effort, and also "On2-Racing" for their help as well. without both of these guys supporting my racing it would be far tougher to make it happen.
id also like to thank "Da sheep are skeered racing" for a good time!
and last but not least i have to thank my fiance Yamily for her support. without her support and effort a lot of this wouldnt be possible either!
hopefully some pictures to come soon.
just another note to add.. racing as an expert for 3 years has given me a different look on things, and people you race with.. Im used to racing around experts only being in CCS, and LRRS. But when you run the wera endurance its a combined event. The bike we were riding belonged to an amature so we were running yellow plates. And I know I was blowing past some people with rediculous closing speeds,so when they see this bike come blazing past them with yellow plates it must have hurt their ego just a little bit..
not that it makes any difference in the end, but just something funny i thought of while smoking some people..
and we ended up finishing 7th in class which isnt very good. but we lost 60 laps due to the crash so it was to be expected..
thanks for reading.