Monday, June 1, 2009

Wachusett Valley Riders Club

Let me start by saying I love this place! "Sideways Pete" has built a great facility, it's an awesome clay racetrack with a great "grassroots" atmosphere. You can really run anywhere you want on this track surface, and believe me, the pro riders do.
I hooked up with Bill Clarke for a weekend of racing starting here Saturday evening. We were both signed up for the Senior "B" class and I entered Vintage as well. Bill would be running his Trackmaster framed KX125 and I'd be on the XT500 for both of my classes.

Right to the racing, we started with the Senior "B" 8 lap heat, I had a decent start and felt pretty good during the race. I think we got spread out pretty quickly, I was in 3rd behind Bruce Ward on his Rotax and I don't know who was in 1st. I wasn't making any headway on Bruce and we finished in that order. Bill was still learning about his Trackmaster, this was only his second time on the bike, he was riding well but with some caution. Good idea.

The Vintage heat was two races away so I shut off the bike to let it cool off. Took a little help to get it restarted and once I did get it going I stabbed the brake and got nothing. The nut holding the brake stay had come off, (I must have left it loose when I remounted the tire) and the hub rotated and bent the pull rod. I had to miss the Vintage heat race and spend some quality time with my rear brake. The brake arm had stripped on the pivot splines, so I had to remount it with some safety wire jammed in between the splines for a tight fit. Presto...brakes again.

The Senior "B" feature went about the same as the heat race, an OK start, but not good enough to get in front of Bruce and the other guy. The best I could do was keep 'em honest, but they stayed up and in front of me. I finished 3rd again. Bill's race was also a repeat of the heat, but I think he rode a little better.

I had to start on the second row for the Vintage feature race. That wouldn't be too much of a problem, I thought, 'cause I had 8 laps to make my case. I had a decent start and finished the first lap in 3rd or 4th. I remembered to relax and be patient, and by the 3rd lap I was able to pass our new friend Randy on that sweet 500cc Guzzi, which left me chasing Mark Methe on his 400cc Husky. There was a red flag next lap, so we had to line up for a restart, single file. I should have taken more time to get into position because I prefer to start in 2nd gear, which requires rolling to the line in gear. Instead, I got into position and started in 1st. I spun the tire at the start and had to back off just a bit, which was enough to let Mark gap me a little. I was able to close the gap by the last lap, but I couldn't get under him so I had to settle for a 2nd place. No complaints though, Mark ran a great race, I had fun trying to catch him (I actually rubbed his rear tire coming out of T4 on the last lap, I backed off quickly and no harm was done).

So that was Saturday night racing, hopefully I'll get a video feed from Bill to add a little later.

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