One of the best practice days ever…

Yesterday Anthony and I drove to Sears Point Kart track for some mini practice. It had been a month since Anthony had ridden the baby RS and he was itching. We showed up at 10am and it was cloudy, but by 11am the clouds were gone and the track was coming to temperature.

To join us we had one of Anthony’s longest sponsors, Jim from Suomy, and his good friend Erv who came to hang out with us, along with Carlos from CN Racing who came to ride his supermoto. Later in the morning Alan from Sportbike Dynamics joined us.

For the first two sessions the track layout was one of the tightest they use. However, everyone voted to switch to the “national” layout (thought going backwards) and the rest of the day we spent on it.

Anthony already had an idea on the laptimes on that layout, even though it was going the opposite way, and set a goal. He kept at it and when the day ended he went faster than ever.

It was really nice to have people hang out at the pits with us and it was even nicer to hear Jim and Erv tell stories about the “old” days.

We’re off to Thunderhill this coming weekend. I hope things go as well as they did yesterday.

Press release by WERA from this past weekend

From a press release issued by WERA Motorcycle Roadracing, Inc.:

ROUND #2 NATIONAL/SPORTSMAN AND JENNINGS ROUNDS

Round #2 of the Michelin/WERA National Challenge Series, the WERA National Endurance Series, the Pirelli/WERA West Sportsman Series presented by Lucas Oil and hosting a round of the MOM Series for USBA took to the world class Miller Motorsports Park this past weekend with Mother Nature’s blessings. All results from the event are on the web site, but we wanted to give special recognition to the premier classes which ran this weekend.

The WERA National Endurance Series saw BEI/Dunlop Development take the overall win on their Suzuki 1000 followed on the podium by Vesrah Suzuki on their 600 Suzuki and then MWR Investigations rounded out the top three on their Suzuki 750. Teams from all across the US made up the 25 machine grid and with six hours of no red flag racing 175 laps were completed by the leaders.

Class winners included BEI/Dunlop Development in HWSB; Vesrah Suzuki in the MWSB and TWF/FTM & Jon in the LTSB on their Suzuki 650. The trophy class was won by RDS Racing out of Temecula, CA on their Yamaha 600. The lucky winners of the Lucas Oil travel give-away were KANDO Racing from Tustin, CA and Twisted Racing from San Luis Obispo, CA in the HSB Class; Paradigm Racing from Scottsdale, AZ and Clark Brothers Racing from Aberdeen, ID in the MSB Class and Team Kinetic from Nashville, TN and Jolly Roger Racing from Woodstock, GA won in the LSB Class – each team received $250.00 cash in travel money from Lucas Oil.

Sunday’s three premier classes included the Next Moto GP/WERA Formula 3 where the top three riders all on Honda 125 machines were Anthony Alonso, Kenny Anderson and Sean Heeney in that order. This class had a gap of only 3.328 between 2nd and 5th and is the class for young guns aspiring to move up into the big bike ranks.

In the 600cc Superstock Class the podium top spot went to Benny Solis, Jr. on his Yamaha 600 (Solis qualified first on Friday in Qualifying as well) second was Tucker Lancaster on his Yamaha 600 and rounding out the podium was Daytona Anderson on his Yamaha 600. This class produces the future stars for the AMA Pro Racing Supersport Grids.

In the WERA Superbike Class an epic battle developed between Shane Turpin on his WSBK Ducati 1200 (Turpin is the American Wild Card for the WSBK Race at Miller next weekend) and Jeremy Toye on his Kawasaki 1000 – Turpin worked his way from the 15th row start to take over the lead from Sean Dwyer early on and Toye came from Row 11 and worked hard on passing rider after rider to position himself behind Turpin in the final laps and passed on the last lap to take the win by 0.182 at the line – Oleg Pianykh who runs the MOM comparable class rounded out the podium on his Suzuki 1000. For all other results please check out the WERA Motorcycle Roadracing web site at www.wera.com

Garrett Johnson was the lucky rider who won the Remote Control Car from Lucas Oil and Jeff Stern was the lucky winner for the Go Pro Camera Raffle sponsored by Lucas Oil. $270.00 was raised for Air Fence from the Raffle.

Also this past weekend the Pirelli/WERA Sprotsman Series ran a double header at Jennings GP in Florida where again Mother Nature had a smile on her face. Results for all the Jennings races for both days can be found on the web site as well.

All in all a great weekend of racing for WERA riders across the country and we thank each one who came out to support WERA Motorcycle Roadracing and hope we see you all again at a race in the future!

WERA Motorcycle Roadracing was founded in 1973 and remains the foremost place to develop talent in the sport of motorcycle Roadracing. The legacy of Pro riders on a National and World level is legendary. All events are run by WERA Motorcycle Roadracing and they go coast to coast offering entry level racing with the Pirelli/WERA Sportsman Series as well as a Pro-Am Series with the Michelin/WERA National Challenge Series which includes the only traveling Endurance Series in the US using the World Endurance platform for most of the rules.

For more information on WERA Motorcycle Roadracing please check out our web site at wera.com!

750 miles, 16 hours, 8 laps and 1 trophy

That was the story of us this past weekend as we drove to Miller Motorsports for the WERA National. We left for the track on Wednesday night and stopped in Reno to rest. We continued our trek to Utah early in the morning. 750 miles and 16 hours later we were at the track. We arrived around 6pm (Utah is 1 hour ahead) and hung out with friends.

Friday we had scheduled a trackday, and the forecast called for Thunderstorms. When they say Thunderstorms in Utah, they mean it. By 8:30am rain began to fall and thunder and lighting made their appearance.

We raced in the rain at Miller last year and knew the track dried up quickly. Also, the forecast called for dry and relatively cool temperatures, mid to high 70s, so there was no reason to practice in the wet if the race was going to take place in the dry. Because of the cool temperatures, Chris from CT racing recommended a Pirelli Diablo Superbike SC1 front and an SC2 rear.

Rain finally stopped by noon, and by 2pm there was a dry-line. Our session was in the A-group, at 2:40, and we readied ourselves for 3 practices. We had not been here in a year so it was important to make the most of them.

Since we had only ridden 3 sessions, I didn’t do any work to the bike, choosing to work on it Saturday after practice. On Saturday we got one practice, and then the endurance race started.

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Saturday practice went well and thereafter Anthony and I did our normal tear-down.

Sunday’s schedule was 2 practices and then 4-lap mains. Anthony was in races #6 and #9, Formula 2 and Formula 3 respectively.

Formula 2 was pretty hard-fought. He began to chase down the 650s as the leading 125cc, and caught up to 3rd place. As they fought for position they came together and the impact broke Anthony’s clutch lever. Though Anthony does not use the clutch for up-shifts, he does use it for down-shifts. Without it, he needed to slow-down his down-shifts to help get the gears engaged. He tried his best to take P3, but the clutch (or lack thereof) was costing him too much time. He finished the race in 4th place and the fastest non-650.

Within minutes we had the bike ready for race #9, Formula 3. Anthony was gridded 2nd. The other kids got a great start and Anthony was 5th into T1, but by T3 he was leading the field. He put his head down and began to open a gap to second-place. He lead every lap to take the victory by 21 seconds and go faster than he’d ever gone.

He was very happy with the result and cannot wait for the next race.

AFM Round #2

This past weekend we participated in Round #2 of the AFM series in Northern California. The weather was great, with temperatures hanging in the low to mid 90s and low wind.

Anthony participated in two races, F3 and F2 aboard his 2000 Honda RS125. For F3, he was gridded on pole. As the race got underway Anthony was P2 into T1, but managed to gain P1 out of T2. He put all of his efforts into breaking away and pushed as much as possible. Even though the front tire already had 1 full day of practice, he was still able to set very fast times even in traffic and take his first victory of the weekend.

The second race was the F2 class, against 250GP bikes. Anthony was gridded 7th out of 12 riders. Anthony got an ok start and managed to make his way into P5 by lap 1. He continued to fight with the leading group and by lap 2 he was 4th, chasing a trio of 250GP bikes. The leading group of 4 began to break away and though Anthony was trying, he could not get past P4… they were riding very well. By lap 3 Anthony finally managed to get into P2 and began his chase for P1. He made his pass stick and began to work on opening a gap to take his second victory of the weekend.

This was Anthony’s las race as a 13 year-old and is looking forward to Miller next week. It was Anthony’s first race using updated suspension from Kyle Racing. It was great to have Chris and his Pirelli crew there to give us guidance on the tires. Those guys really know their stuff.

Throughout the weekend Anthony tried out a new SaferMoto vest which he felt fit him better, he’ll be using that at Miller.

We were lucky to have several of his sponsors share the weekend with us, Budman (BARF Racing), Jeff and Chris (Pirelli), Helmut (Helimot), Alan (SaferMoto.com), Carlos (CN Racing) and Gerry (GP Frame and Wheel). Our good friend Jim (Suomy) could not make it and we missed him.

Hopefully the weather holds for Miller and we can have a safe event.

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Matching gloves from Helimot

Thanks to Budman and BARF Racing, a couple of months ago Anthony was fortunate enough to get his first set of Helimot leathers. Helimot leathers are top-quality leathers and Anthony felt really safe in them.

While picking them up, Helmut (owner of Helimot) took the time to explain to Anthony the various materials he uses to make the leathers. In particular, he explained to him the various types of soft padding he uses and why. Anthony was fascinated and kept asking questions. As the conversation evolved, the question of gloves came up. Helmut explained to Anthony that he took special care in designing gloves and its protection around it.

For example, he explained how Helimot gloves reduced the bulging of the gloves when you are holding onto the bars, and thus calluses are also reduced. He also talked about how he uses different padding on gloves than he uses on suits.

Helmut and I chatted about as set for Anthony this is what we got, custom-made matching gloves… think Rossi and Lorenzo :)

He was able to match each glove for each hand

So you want to try an R6?

A couple of months ago, Anthony began to ask me about trying out a 600. Until then, he’d said he didn’t like them and that he just wanted to ride his 125. I think part of the reason was that most of his race-buddies had moved up to 600s and Anthony had grown. In the span of only a few months he’d shot-up a few inches.

I mentioned Anthony’s crazy idea to a few people, one of them Chris from CT racing. Chris has taken a liking to Anthony and they get along really well.

A couple of weeks ago Chris called me and said he had talked to Eric Kondo, a fellow BARF Racer, and he had agreed to give Anthony a go on his 2011 R6. I was happy to hear that someone like Eric would let Anthony try out their bike because I knew it would be safe. When I told Anthony, he was ecstatic and anxious.

The big day was set for a trackday at Thunderhill at the end of April. I had my normal chat with Anthony and explained to him that it was NOT HIS bike and that he needed to be careful and just enjoy himself.

The time finally came after lunch. Anthony rode the bike for two sessions and every time he came back with a bigger smile on his face. He could not believe how much power the bike had and how easy it was to spin the rear tire. Obviously he disliked the extra weight. He commented on how difficult it was to counter-steer the bike and how much effort and time it took to get it turned (I guess he’ll need to start working out).

Anthony was so happy to ride the bike that he didn’t want to get off. We are thankful to Eric for letting Anthony use his bike and to Chris for spreading the word. We were also fortunate to have a few of Anthony’s sponsors enjoy the day with us, Jim from Suomy, Rob from Evolution Motorcycle and Rob from MotoGloss.