Anthony’s first-time EVER on a 125

This video was taken by an instructor with Keigwin’s at Anthony’s first-ever trackday during his second session. At that time Anthony was 11 years old and he’d never ridden anything bigger than a 65cc NSR. It was his first-time ever on an RS125 and his first-time ever at a track longer than a mile.

His fastest during that session was a 2:11. By the end of the day he set his fastest time with a 2:06.8

Willow Springs is HOT and Windy…

We’re back from our trip down to Willow Springs. It was Anthony’s first-ever visit to the track. Though the track is relatively simple in terms of layout, it’s definitely a difficult track to master… in more ways than one.

We arrived there on Friday to practice and learn the track. The weather was “ok”, though a little windy (which was mild compared to Saturday). The highs were in the mid 90s and the Motoyard staff ran a great trackday.

Because of his age, Anthony was restricted to the B group and he found it very difficult to get clean laps.

Saturday was a “free” day for us, since he only had one race, the Mini race. If we thought Friday was windy, we were in for a surprise. Saturday had consistent winds at 15 to 20 mph. Like always, I took the RS125 apart and made sure everything looked good for Sunday’s races.

On Sunday we had three races, WERA Minis, Formula 3 and Formula 2. I talked to Chris and Corey from CT racing about tires for Sunday and they suggested Pirelli Diablo Superbike Moto3 SC1 front and rear. The weather forecast for Sunday was light winds and 100 degrees. Perfect weather for the SC1s.

The first race was the mini race. Anthony got a great start and pushed hard to open a gap in the 4-lap main and take his second victory of the weekend. The next race was the Formula 3 race, 125GP. Like in the mini race, Anthony pushed hard to open a gap and take his 3rd victory of the weekend.
The final race was the Formula 2 race, 250GP. There were 3 fast 250GP guys who knew Willow Springs well and we knew it was going to be a tough race. Like in the other races, Anthony got a great start, and though he was out-dragged to T1 by the 650s and 250s, he was with the leading group. The leader of the pack was on a Ducati 650 (748 down-bored to a 650) and he was gone. But second, third and fourth place were in sight. Anthony passed fourth place and began to chase 3rd. He got around 3rd place, a 650, on the inside of T4 and maintained 3rd until the last lap, when things got interesting.

On the last lap, fourth place, a 250GP, passed Anthony on the main straight, and into T1. Anthony rode closely behind it and began to work on moving past him on the outside of T2. He tried as much as he could but the 250GP out-drove him out of T2. Anthony followed into T3, but opened wide for T4 to get a better drive into it. It paid off, as he was able to dive into the inside of T4. He pushed hard to get away, but the 250GP was past him by the time they got into T7. Lucky for Anthony there was a lapper in front, who slowed the 250GP down, and allowed Anthony to go around both on the outside. The 250GP still had the inside, but in order to make the last corner, it had to run wide, this was Anthony’s opportunity to pass on the inside of the exit of the last corner.

As much as Anthony tried, the 250GP out-dragged him to the line to beat him for 4th. Yeah… another 250GP was lurking behind both, and out-dragged both to the line to take  3rd.

Though Anthony was kicked off the podium, he had a lot of fun and learned a lot. It was good to see him fighting, if a little scary.

We’re going to Buttonwillow in two weeks for the next WERA round. Wish us luck.

Press Release from AFM

ancaster Comes From The Back To Take Four Wins At Thunderhill Raceway Park With AFM

Tucker Lancaster launched from the rear of 20+ bike grids to take wins in 750 Production Expert, 750 Superbike Expert, Formula 1 Expert, and Solo MID Expert. Lancaster, a 15 year old recent graduate to expert status thus having no points, started at the back of all his grids and worked through heavy traffic to gain his podiums on the 3 mile counter-clockwise road course.

Formula Pacific, the headline sprint race on Sunday had exciting action as well, Lenny Hale setting fast lap of the weekend at 1:47.800, besting Ricky Corey by .010. Corey, however, held on for the win. Also in Formula Pacific, two other riders made club history: Joy Higa became the first female racer to compete on her Suzuki GSX-R1000, and 14 year old Anthony Alonso became the first racer under 16 to compete on his Honda RS125, both finishing just outside the top ten. Alonso took home wins in Formula 2 and Formula 3 Expert. In addition Steve Metz, a ten season AFM veteran, took home his first win in Open Twins Expert with his 09 Ducati 1198S.

Top Novices from the weekend: for the heavyweights, David Doerflinger rode his Honda CBR1000RR to four wins in Open Grand Prix Novice, Open Superbike Novice, Formula 40 Heavyweight Novice, and Clubman Heavyweight. For middleweights Kyle Schirrmacher was the stand out with three wins in 600 Production Novice, 600 Superbike Novice, 750 Production Novice. Lightweights had Timothy Ames with three podiums as well; two wins in 650 Production Novice, Clubman Lightweight, and second in 650 Twins Novice.

The next event for AFM is June 30-July 1 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.

For a full list of results, class standings, and additional information, go to www.afmracing.org.

Unofficial Results
June 6, 2012

Formula 2 Expert
1. Anthony Alonso (Hon RS125)
2. Michael Altamirano (Yam TZ250)
3. Richard Snowden (Hon TSR250)
4. Kevin Winter (Yam TZ250)
5. Erik Kolstoe (Yam TZ250)
6. Sergio Morales Galvan (Yam TZ250)

Formula 3 Expert
1. Anthony Alonso (Hon RS125)
2. Michael Gilbert (Hon RS125)
3. Kevin Murray (Yam)

 

Back from Thunderhill – AFM Round #3

We are back from our short trip up North to Thunderhill Raceway. We practiced on Saturday morning and afternoon and all practices went well. In fact, the weather was pretty close to “perfect” for racing. It hovered in the mid 80s to the low 90s. We had no issues in practice and by 3pm, the last practice of the day before Saturday races started, I was already beginning to tear into the bike. I did my normal tear-down and everything looked good. I installed a new piston and buttoned up the bike to get it ready for Sunday.

Sunday I woke up early, mainly because the birds would not stop chirping and the Sun raises at what seemed to be 4am. I let Anthony sleep in and I got to work on unloading the bikes and getting our pit setup for the race. He finally woke up around 7:30am and got ready for morning practice.

Our first race was the Formula 2 race. This is a race for 250GP bikes, but Anthony is allowed to participate on his 125GP. Anthony was gridded on pole and got an “ok” start, but the 250GP bikes have more power and quickly swallowed him up. In the process, he and another rider made contact and for a second we thought Anthony was out of the race. From where Mom was standing she said she saw Anthony’s body disappear behind the wall, only to see it reappear. Somehow Anthony managed to save it and keep going but this cost him several positions. However, he quickly got to work and by the end of lap 1 he was chasing P1. Anthony made his move for P1 on the outside of T5b and into T6 and put his head down to open a gap. Anthony kept at it and managed to take the victory.

The next two races were going to be after lunch so I spent some time going over the bike to make sure everything was fine. Chris from CT Racing mounted a new set of Pirelli tires, SC1 front, SC1 rear and SC2 rear (early in the day we didn’t know which compound to use for the race) and we had them waiting for the main event of the weekend, the Formula Pacific race. Formula Pacific is the premier event and you must qualify to enter it. Anthony’s laptimes in previous races qualified him for it. I was going to enter him a month ago but chose otherwise because of possible safety issues. This class is made up of mainly 1000cc Superbikes and we were concerned of what would happen to Anthony if he got too close to them.

So my homework was to understand the race and measure the risk. Last month I watched the Formula Pacific race and timed everyone. I noted there were three groups of riders; the REALLY fast guys doing 1:48s and 1:47s, a second group which gravitated around 1:53s to 1:56s and the third group which did 2:00s. I knew Anthony could do 1:58s and high 1:57s and figured he’d be between group 2 and 3 so we entered him for this round. Additionally, I cautioned Anthony to focus on laptimes as there was NO POSSIBLE WAY he could win.

For the race we picked the SC2 rear, as it was only in the high 80s. Anthony was gridded last, thank God, and by the time the leaders were entering T2, he was just exiting T1, those Formula Pacific bikes are FAST. But he kept his momentum and got around P12 entering T5a and then P11 into T6. He put his head down to close the gap to group 2 (group 1 was GONE) and managed to run the fastest times he’s ever done at Thunderhill, with a fastest of 1:57.2. He finished P11 and said he REALLY enjoyed all of the tracktime he got. He was able to focus on going as fast as possible and he did it. I was relieved that everything had gone well and he’d had fun.

The last race of the weekend was the Formula 3 race. There were only two other entries so the grid was pretty small. He was on pole for this race but completely messed up his start and was last into T1. He passed P2 into T2 and began to close a 5 second gap to P1. He finally managed to take P1 into T14 and lead the rest of the race to take his second victory of the weekend.

This weekend went really well. We had several sponsors join us, Jim (Suomy), Alan (SaferMoto), Chris and Cory (CT racing), Gerry (GP Frame and Wheel), Rob (MotoGloss) and Rob (Evolution Motorcycle).

Our next race is at Willow Springs with WERA. Anthony has NEVER been there so it will be interesting to see how it goes.