Tuesday, June 2, 2009

NEMM! (New England Mini Moto)

So Sunday turned out to be a great race day as well. The first round of the New England Mini Moto series at Loudon. Our goal was to have some fun, support the new series run by our friend Aaron Phinney of Caferacer.net fame, and not get dinged up. Fairly low expectations, but this was a new venture, so it seemed like a good idea to go in like that.
Turns out we had a blast. My XR100 really wasn't running right, I had OK low end, but I couldn't get any high RPMs, the engine wouldn't rev. I figured I'd be alright if there wasn't a long straight...but there was a long straight. Since I've already tried several times to adjust the timing with no apparent sucess, I decided to live with it.
Bill's bike was looking and running great.

We went out for a couple practice sessions. Each session is 20 minutes, which I'm just not used to at all. In dirt track racing you're lucky if you get two 5 lap practice sessions, so this was somewhat surreal to me. I just pulled off the track after awhile, 'cause I figured I was just burning gas.
Bill and I were signed up in the XR100 Cup, and Aaron wanted me to go into the Premier class as well. I confess I wasn't really sure what all the classes were, but Premier sounded and looked like bikes that were way over the level of my poor, tired little XR100. I convinced Aaron to let me run in the Sport Cup with Bill and some of the other guys. He said it would be fine but I'd have to start at the back. Fine.

Well I don't really remember much of the heat races, I did pretty well in the Sport Cup, 3rd, and I was doing OK in the XR100 Cup till it started to rain, I crashed and finished just about last.

The Sport Cup feature was great though, I had a decent start and was running in 3rd behind a TTR and a nice BBR Honda ridden by what I guess was a slightly less experienced racer, (she had a hard time with the T1 hairpin) so after lap 2 I was in 2nd and I could see Bill and our buddy Steve Baker were not too far behind me. I was hoping they'd have a harder time passing the BBR girl than I did.
Well I was doing my best to hassle the TTR, but no matter what happened in the infield, he'd pull away on that long straight. I could see Bill catching up to us on every lap at the end of the straight, till the 2nd to last lap, when I didn't see him because he was right behind me. Well he was patient, followed me around and passed me on the straight as we took the white flag. I knew it was over but I tried to at least stay with him and not get passed by Steve, and we finished in that order. Bill ran a hella good race to run me down after the gap we started with, so we were both pretty psyched after that!

Th XR100 Cup didn't go quite as well for me, starting from the last row I had a good start and gained a couple positions. Then I made some mistakes here and there and lost ground just as quickly. It was a ton of fun though, 15 bikes in the race. I haven't been on the track with that many bikes in a long time. I'm looking forward to the next round, in Graniteville Vermont!

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