Hey everyone Anthony here again. Sorry for the delay but it is a struggle to maintain my grades in school while traveling so much for racing. I would like to share my weekend with everyone from road America. We arrive Wednesday and set up. Road America is one of the more awesome paddocks on the MotoAmerica schedule. From trails to the scenery you just seem to not get enough of it. The fans are some if the best in the country as well.
Early Friday morning I went out for my first practice at the track on a 600 ever. Everything went good and I believe I was the 4th fastest SuperStock rider. I ended up running out of gas three laps before the end of the session. This track is very long and runs through gas quickly due to the long straight always. On the cool down lap as I was getting picked up my buddy Brandon also ran out of gas in the same corner so we rode back together on the crash truck. As I went out for my second session I knew I was going to have to make a pit stop for fuel. I dropped my time a lot but was still 1 second from the leader. This was a lot to think about going into Saturday because this track is very big and the draft may or may not be that one-second difference.
Saturday morning is wet and nasty. Qualifying was in the wet and a lot of my fellow riders had some spills. Wishing Nick McFadden a speedy recovery. I ended up p13 overall and 6th in class. Nothing to brag about but things could be worse. I rode the whole session alone to see my capabilities in the wet.
A few hours later, race one rolls around and everything is still wet but the rain is ending. Everyone but very few people go to the grid on rain tires. After the warm up lap, a few people changed to dots or slick tires; we did not. On the first lap, I was following Michael Gilbert out of turn 5 where he high-sided and I narrowly missed his head. I was glad that I remembered the Yamaha Champions Riding School technique where they teach you not to stab the brakes because if I did, I would surely have hit Michael and made both of our weekends much worse. I do hope Michael is feeling better and can get back out soon. He is carrot for the rest of us in SuperStock this season.
From that crash, the race is red flagged. The track is still wet. As the race gets sent back out the sun starts shining strong. By this point it is too late to make any changes. The lights go off and the track is dry almost instantly. I rode a very hard race fighting for grip as I used up my rain tire to soon. At the end of the race I was spinning out of every corner. I fought tough and finished in 6th position. Not my best race but I’ll take it for such tricky conditions. After the race I sat down with my team and discussed where I was slow. I said where I could make up time and then explained that the bike is really slow and I cannot catch the draft on any riders.
After our debrief I rode around the pits to see if there as a dyno truck in the paddock but there was not. I really felt like the bike was slow and needed some peace of mind. Jason Pharrell of Pharrell Performance was kind enough to drive me all the way to his shop where he had a dyno. Jason confirmed what I thought as the race bike was making less less horsepower than a stock R6. Unfortunately, without the YEC software, there was no way to see if tuning could fix the issue or determine if it was something in the motor. Although I was a little disappointed in the results I cannot thank Jason enough for taking his time out to do this for me.
Sunday comes up the next day and we know our disadvantages and our advantages. Practice is as usual and we were 3rd fastest. The pace was off but the track was green this early in the morning. It’s time for the race and I’m excited. I knew I had to ride really hard to do well at a horsepower track where I had very few. I ended up in a race for third all the way down to the second to last lap with JC Camacho. I enjoy riding with JC, he is a great guy andwe so aften close in speed. We fought hard for 10 laps until he tucked the front going into turn 11. I rode an easy last lap and brought it home safely in 3rd position. This was by far one of the toughest races in my life and podium was surely a sweet one that we enjoyed.
I cannot thank YCRS, Dainese, AGV, Markbilt, Scott Powersports, N2trackdays, Yamaha, SBS Brake Pads, Dunlop Tires, Brothers BBQ, my dad and crew, and everyone else who made our journey last this long possible enough.
As of right now we do not have the funding to make it out west to compete at Utah and California. We would love to make it there as I am making up points in the points chase and am not far out from the lead. The top 7 riders are almost within 25 points. Anything could happen and we would love to make it to all the races and fight for it. Well guys and gals that’s it for now. Until next time.