Jo Rhett (jorhett) wrote,
Jo Rhett

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of Wins and Crashes

I'm sure that most of you are used to seeing my 3rd-4th-4th-3rd kind of results. Well, not this week. It was both better and worse. I won my first Expert race, but I crashed out of two other races this weekend. Results are something like 6th-5th-1st-5th

To start with, the track configuration was a LONG straight followed by two tight turns, a short straight and TIGHT, narrow chicane with a u-turn back onto the straight. Net effect? Very hard to pass because it was single file through the chicane. Saturday I was trying to focus on the new riding style, and frankly I realized at some point that I wasn't going to be very competitive this race.

Sunday morning I woke up, and broke out some sweet fast laps in the short morning practice. Felt confident and fast. Did very well in the heats, and won one of them! But it was very competitive, and I was challenged in every corner on every lap. But all the drama happened in the mains...

When I rolled up to the grid for Mod Thunder, the starter asked me to go check out Turn 1 for debris that someone had reported. I rolled over, saw nothing and came back. I had just rolled back up to my grid position (still in 3rd gear and braking) when the starter threw the flag. I was dead in the water, and last into the first turn. I shrugged off placing in this race and decided to see how many positions I could make up. I got through 10 people in 6 laps, and ended up behind Jordan. First (Bryan) and second place (Mike) had checked out and were unavailable. But if I beat Jordan I'd get on the podium.

Jordan was piss-poor slow in the chicane -- so slow I practically had to stop. But when he hit the straight his 80lp self just rocketed away from me. I would make up the distance on the brakes, and then he'd spurt away again. I tried hard to work out a pass in the fast tight turns, but realized I just didn't have it when I saw the white flag.

Last time into the chicane -- which is *SO* not a passing place... and Jordan goes a little wide. I stuff it in the inside of the exit which is about to become the outside of the u-turn. My pass was clean and clear. Jordan was more than half a bike length behind me, but on the inside. Well, he stuffs me right back. I pick up the bike but I can't prevent our wheels from touching, and I go down trying not to take him out. He gets third. I get 6th or something after picking up my bike and finishing the lap. (and I so caught the boy and tickled him for that!)

Super 50 was on the new Derbi GPR, which I still don't really have working well. I placed 5th or so out of 11. Not much racing in this class per se ... we're all at slightly different speeds so it tends to become one long train with gaps between the riders.

Expert Trophy Dash -- it's rare that I can compete for the win in this class. But Bryan didn't race it this month because of a sore foot (focused on his championship classes) and Devon actually crashed out and dislocated his finger in the heat race. In the heat I got the holeshot and ran away. In the main Jordan and Mike beat me to turn one. I got past Mike, and then took up trying to pass Jordan like a crack addiction. Inside, outside, Jordan was in top form everywhere except the slow chicane... where he was so slow that it destroyed my entry onto the front straight, where his 80lb self would run away. I wanted to do a tight(er) turn at the end of the straight and turn that into an outside->in pass across the finish line, but every lap Mike was coming up my inside at the end of the straight forcing me to lay off the brakes and run around him, closing off my options for using that line on Jordan. Finally I put together one of those unheard of everything-done-right passes. I went very tight into the chicane (L) and exited beside Jordan (R) going the very-long-way-round. (L->L->L) Which won't work - there's just too much real estate there. But it let me keep my speed up and enter the straight with the throttle wide open. Jordan didn't get as far away from me on the straight. He saw me set up for the tight inside, so he shifted to go tight. So I let go the brake, slapped my knee down and spun the rear wheel going the long way around again. But this time it put me on the inside for the next turn. I grabbed the throttle and never looked back. This is my first win in an Expert class, ever!

Formula Extreme was just ridiculously stupid. I got a good start, putting another rider between Jordan and I. First and second had serious horsepower and just motored away. Third place crashed out at the end of the first lap. I was in third. Fourth wasn't threatening and Jordan was in fifth and not gaining. First and second were unattainable. All I had to do was motor home for 9 laps. At some point my mind disengaged and my thoughts wandered, and I hit the torn up pavement in the u-turn and lost the front with the throttle wide open. Dumb, dumb, dumb tired tired tired.

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