Thursday, July 18, 2013

OVRP July 14

First race of the season for me. I can't remember when it's been this late in the summer for my first race, but there it is. I did go down to the old WVRC track to test out the bike a few weeks ago, and I should've posted an entry about that, but I never got around to it.

It was a hot day...temps in the high 80's or higher in the sun.

The turnout for this race was kinda low, but fortunately the Vintage class was pretty well represented with 8 entries, and the 50+ class had 6 or 7 bikes. Bill and I entered those classes, Scott was in Vintage with us and he also entered the Sportsman class on my bike. He hadn't raced my bike in a while, and we were curious about which bike he'd be faster on.

The heat races went pretty well, I got paired up with Scott in the Vintage heat. I thought I had a decent start, but he had a better one and got the holeshot. I tried to stay on him but he didn't make any mistakes that I could capitalize on, so we finished in that order. The 50+ heat went about the same except the winner was some dude on a modern Kawasaki 450.

Scott went out for the Sportsman heat and slotted into 3rd place coming out of turn 2 behind Nick Wiemer on his Rotax, and a guy on a Honda CRF450. He was chased hard by a modern KTM 450 for the rest of the race, but he held on to take 3rd place.

They didn't post the lap times for the heat races, so it was hard to know whether Scott was faster on my bike than his. He felt (and I agreed) that mine has more power than his, but it's a much harsher delivery from closed throttle, so it takes some technique to get a smooth exit from the turns onto the straights, whereas his bike is smoother, but doesn't have the same punch. They're both geared the same, for what that's worth.

We got to the features pretty quickly. Vintage started out kind of fun with Jamison Minor taking the holeshot, but Scott right on him, and I was a few lengths back. We ran a couple laps before Scott and Jamison pulled a gap from me. I didn't look behind, 'cause I never do, but I had a pretty good gap behind me to Pete Wooten on his very nice Triumph 500, followed by Bill on the RD350 and the rest. Jamison and Scott were coming up on traffic as they had 2 laps to go, Scott was pretty sure he might've been able to set up a pass, when Jamison pulled off into the infield with a mechanical failure. That put Scott on the top of the box, with me on the second step of the podium, Pete with a well earned 3rd and Bill taking an also well earned 4th.

The 50+ feature was only a few races away, with the Sportsman race immediately after, so I stayed in the leathers despite the oppressive heat. The race was a repeat of the heat race, dude on the Kawi checked out on me, I checked out on Pete, and he maintained a gap on Bill. Two second places in a row for me.

Then I handed off the bike to Scott for the Sportsman feature, and stumbled up to the bleachers to watch his race. While the bike had been running ok for me, he had a misfire right off the start. It became clear that there was something wrong, he couldn't maintain the speed he'd had before, so it was just a matter of finishing the race without getting in anyone's way. Too bad, because I think he could've been in the mix if the bike had been running well.

We had the best spot in the pits by the shade trees.

Scott got to ride Bill's RD350 in practice.

Vintage feature race.

Bill leading a vintage HD panhead?