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Loudon Race Report 8/9/08


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This was going to be my first race weekend at Loudon this year. In July, I crashed in Friday practice - lost the rear in the bowl - and couldn't race as the rearsets had torn off the mounting ears from the frame. A little help from Rockwell Cycles (and some welding) put the bike back into working order. I tried to do a track day at NJMP the next weekend, but had to stop after just a couple sessions. Even though it was a lowside, I tumbled at the end banging up my ribs. My ribs hurt too bad to ride. I took the next weekend off to be ready for Loudon again. I didn't make Friday practice, the weather was bad - pouring rain. I got registered for 3 races for the weekend on Friday night - 2 saturday and the novice endurance race on sunday. That would leave me enough time to get down to NJMP for CSS on Monday and Tuesday.

 

Practice didn't go well - I was too tense. My times kept coming down though so I just tried to relax. Still a bit nervous about the crash as I don't know exactly why it happened. 2nd practice was cut short due to a red flag but I knew I was faster. Eventually it was time for the novice middleweight superbike race. I was gridded in 5C - there were 34 bikes total. When I got in position, I couldn't see the starter. Not good. This would be the first time I've ever started the Ducati in anger and I didn't know when to go. I strained forward to catch a glimpse of him but wasnt sure the rpms were holding. I looked down. Just then I hear the roar - the race had started. I dropped from 19th to about 30th in an instant. I was mad but decided to keep my head and try to finish midpack. I started trying to work around slower traffic. My lap time for the 2nd lap was a 1:30.5 which is actually faster than any lap last year and I was seriously held up by traffic. I passed 2 bikes before the front straight at the end of that lap and thought I had put them behind me. As I went into turn one (starting lap 3), I tried to run into the corner deep and then snap the bike in. I did, but (my memory gets really weak here) I remember thinking "he just hit me!" There was another bike inside me and I hadn't left any room. This other bike on my inside shoots in front of me with the rider not really on the bike - the rider falls off to the outside and the bike crashes in front of me. I do remember the windscreen on it exploding when it hit the ground. The next thing I remember is someone telling me not to move and I was in a lot of pain. I don't actually know how I crashed, but I did. I hope the other rider is okay.

 

Tomorrow I get my shoulder plated as my collar bone is in several pieces at the moment. I have a killer bruise of my left hip - I'm purple from half way down my left thigh to my rib cage - kind of a lurch/barney mix. :) I couldn't make it to CSS at NJMP but maybe next season. The bike seemed to have suffered little damage so I'm not sure what happened. I'll post a follow up if I find out :)

 

btw, typing with one hand is really slow!

 

have fun out there and keep both wheels down!

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Hi duc766,

 

I'm really sorry to hear about your crash(es). I'm glad to hear you are going to be OK and hope that you heal well. And I hope you have good insurance.

 

You should contact the US Marshall's to find out what happened. You can contact them here. If you were transported, something would have been recorded about what happened. At least they could put you in touch with whomever was working Turn 1 and you could talk to them to find out exactly what happened. If you have any difficulty, let me know and I will help you. It's important to find out. Even if it wasn't your fault, simply knowing how the incident developed can help you to avoid similar situations in the future.

 

Loudon Turn One can be a challenge to find the groove at first, eh?. You have all that room to sweep in hard off the front straight, but, then you have that nasty transition from the banking to the infield. You said you were going in deep to snap it in. Did you mean before or after you came off the banking? I take the transition at a shallow angle and then bend it off.

 

Anyway, did someone else travel to the track with you? How did you get home from NH?

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Duc 766;

 

Your post read like it came from my own journal. Loudon is a tough track to ride on but even harder place to race IMHO.

 

I had a similar weekend, crashing in the last practice session Friday and then in the same race you did on Saturday. I also was gridded on row 5 and in my race I was so tenantive from the previous crash that by the time I gridded at the end of the sighting lap, the one board was turning sideways. I wasn't even in gear so I was also late off the line. I didn't make it as far as you did as my throttle stuck WFO cresting the hill going down to the bowl (previous crash damage to the throttle) and I also left in an ambulance.

 

You will make it back...it just takes time to rebuild your confidence but you will be back. BTW, getting stuffed in T1 is not uncommon there.

 

Good Luck with your healing.

 

Kevin

 

PS I also ride a Duc.

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