Sunday, December 6, 2009

2009 racing

Not a huge amount to report from this year. I raced 3 times: Willow Springs, Portland and Miller.

At Willow in April I had the pleasure of meeting and racing with Steve Arnett on his Paul Smart Imola rep Ducati. We had a very close race which made things fun. Otherwise I would've been circulating alone. Willow is a horsepower track and as the Guzzi makes 80 rwhp if I'm lucky and weighs over 450lbs it's hard to keep the big multi cylinder Japanese Superbikes in sight. I was running 1.45 which is kind of slow. I'm probably blaming the bike more than I should. 1.40 should be a realistic time but at Willow I'm ... what's the word.....crap!!.

June: Portland Vintage Days as usual was great fun. After surprisingly winning last year my competitors were on top form . Tom Mellor on his Trident 750 was turning 1.23's which is quick. My best time was 1.27. About 2-3 seconds faster than the previous year. Again raced with Steve and his Duc. This time I beat him.

The following Monday I did a Ducati track day. Lots of laps and I felt like I improved my times so I'm hoping to do well next year at the track. Diced with several guys on modern Ducs especially one guy on a Hypermotard who clocked us at 130mph at the end of the straight. I out-braked someone on a Desmocedici which I thought was particularly heroic until my friend Steve pointed out that of course I out-braked him, he wasn't about to go throw a $75,000 bike down the track. I was certain I would be getting that GP ride after such a performance!!

Miller Motorsports Park in September is the racing highlight of the year. Many of the West coast racers try to attend and there's a particularly large turnout of Honda 160 racers. This year there were 37 of us. I managed 5th in the 160 only race. The 160 race has a Lemans start (see movie, I'm #445) and the sight of 37 grown adults running across the track to bump start tiny little Hondas is a sight to behold.

Steve A and I again had a great race in Formula Vintage on the Sunday. We were literally neck and neck the whole race. I made a mistake on the last lap and overshot my braking and Steve poured on the coals and turned a 1.56. Mistake or not I think he would've won it. My best was a 1.58. So Steve is up 2 to 1 and we are both looking forward to next season and plotting ways to gain an advantage but I think we will again have some close battles. Steve claims that he can get more horsepower out of his old nail but I think he's going to be fitting an N.O.S. bottle somewhere. My plan is to shed some weight off the Guzzi and try to improve acceleration. Can't wait!!!!!

Below are the bikes at the end of the season. Apparently the Honda makes slightly less power than the vacuum cleaner next to it.

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