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December Wsmc


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Hi All

 

Just finished the season final at Willow. It was the best weather of the year with the temp near 70 and no wind. The traction was a little off and I never got to really good times, competitive but not my best.

 

The drama for me was just before the race. I was working at Laguna Thursday and Friday and had hoped to get on track and warm up a little. That didn?t happen as a few guys must have thought me bored and sought to keep me busy. They succeeded and I didn?t get to sit down or ride at all. Then I got a ride back instead of driving the truck so I could get home earlier only to leave my car keys in the truck.

 

So at 12:30 am Friday morning I jumped on my bike and rode the hour home. It was 26 degrees at my house so I was quite cold when I arrived. I slept until 7 and took it slow so I could pick my wife?s Christmas present up on the way to the track, her new dirt bike. That went well and when I got to the track I set up my trailer. I had drained all the water since it had been in the 20s for the week. I turned the pump on and the hot water in the bathroom to fill the water heater. That was when the last two days caught up to me, I got distracted and ended up at Dunlop while the water was filling the gray tank and eventually overflowing into the bedroom. After two hours of ringing towels to get the water up out of the carpet my hands were tore up.

 

I finally got out at about three for my first practice session and went right out and hooked up with Siglin on his R1. Boy was I happy, that set the tone for the rest of the weekend and was able to put all the drama out of my head and ride.

 

I was in race one and the last practice session so I skipped the last one and with three sessions between the two days was feeling ready to go.

The first race was F-40 and having won every race this year wasn?t worried too much. That only took two turns to change as running third behind Sullenger and Carnabucci, Watts came flying by me and Carnabucci in turn two. I perked right up and got by into third behind watts. I got by him on the front straight and was able to pull a tenth or two a lap on him and got away for the win. Watts had told me that with the temp low and no wind he was looking to being fast and that was the case for sure, the TZ 250s are sooo fast when the air is good.

 

The 650 Superbike race was next and with more than a few riders that were fast I was worried. I got off in third behind Carnabucci and took the lead for the first lap. Going into one Peris came by and I followed him for lap two and into three. He was doing some very strange things in nine and two, trying to square them off and get a big drive and was holding me up with Palazzo right on me. He did it again in two and I drove under him for the lead. I lead until the last lap when Peris came by just before the braking into one. He had seen my relaxed braking and as he chopped in front of me I cut over and went past him still on the gas. I got it shut down and turned and keep it on line but the front was pushing all the way through the apex. I had the rear light up for the rest of the lap and at the flag had pulled about two seconds on him. The biggest win of the season for me as I don?t race with too many AMA guys, that I have beaten anyway.

 

750 superstock was the race I needed to finish for championship points. I got off in third and was second behind Girard going into eight. I held it on longer and went by into nine. I had my head down and going past the cross flags I looked back and had a good straight as I saw no one. I was going through traffic and with the rear sliding I pulled it back a notch and coming up for the checkered West came by and beat me by a bike. Boy do I need a pit board. He won the race but second was good enough to win the class.

 

I decided that I would race the F-1 race as if I made it to it I would have three finishes and the 750 race out of the way so I could ride the way I needed to. I got off in tenth with the lead group and was up to ninth behind Dowie on the second lap. His bike is fast and every time I passed him he went right back by. I took until lap five for him to get by Pfeiffer and then another three for me to get by him and make it stick. Dowie had a two second gap on me and in just over a lap I had reeled him in. I caught him sleeping but he wasn?t ready to give the spot up and we went back and forth for the rest of the race. With 180+ horse I didn?t have a chance of getting away from him and catching the battle for sixth, two seconds in front of us. I suddenly remembered why I don?t like racing a 600 in the open class at willow. I had no illusions going into the race as with double money all the fast guys came out. I was hoping to get into the top ten and I made that, not to mention a 12 laps as fast as I could ride. Mission accomplished.

F-2 was next and would Watts would be tough but Lane picked it up and I was following Watts in third. I much prefer second and Watts and I went back and fourth for the first four laps. Watts got by lane and I followed lane by watts going into one on the fifth lap. Coming to the white flag I get by Watts going into eight and stuffed it under Lane going into nine. The three of us were never more than a few bike lengths apart and the race was so exciting that the flag man gave a second set of cross flags in stead of the white flag. I kept my head down and took the win with Watts second. It was the best race I have ever been in with constant passing no time to set up a good pass could be had, it was just a slug fest.

 

My last race was 750 mod prod. And I got off behind Girard. He has ridden well this year but has not been a threat past the first lap. Today was different as he was on fire. I passed him in nine on the first lap and he came right back by on the straight. I got him at the exit of eight on the second lap and he came by again, ohoh. Now I was thinking I had to get by before eight to keep it and ran a wide line into three so I could get the gas on soon. I had pulled this pass on Dowie earlier in the day, I got up by him going into four and he held his speed. He is the only rider all year that has gone through four side by side with me and I was hoping he would give me enough room on the outside, he did and that was the race winning pass. I was able to stay in front going into one and pull away for the win.

 

I started the year hoping to bring a couple of class championships and a top ten overall. What I finished with was ALL FIVE CLASS CHAMPIONSHIPS 750 Superstock, 750 Mod. Prod., 650 Superbike, F-2, F-40 light. AND SECOND OVERALL. It my great honor to bring these results to the California Superbike School as proof that a 200 pound old guy can do good with the right coach, KEITH CODE!

 

Four wins and a second in my classes with a top ten in F-1, a very good weekend and a great way to end the year. On the year In 63 starts I have 40 wins, 12 seconds, 5 thirds, 1 fourth, 1 seventh ( what color is the checkered), 1 eighth ( December F-1, first 600) one 17th ( Toyota 200, after running as high as seventh),

And two DNFs ( one in Vegas with contact when passing for the lead caused a head shake and no brakes at 150 mph, the other when I through it away on a warm-up lap). I never thought I could have such a good year and it was only possible with the help I get from the people who support me with parts, entry fee?s, suspension work, Time of work, and a wife and kid?s that allow me to spend every penny on the pursuit of points. Thank you All.

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Will,

 

I'll offer my congratulations as well for a terrific season both at the races and your 5 championships and second overall and the great work at the schools keeping our 27 Kawasakis in top working order every day for every student.

 

I hope you are ready for all the new 2005 bikies you have to set up and selling all of our 2003 and 2004 models 636's. If even half the students who wanted to buy them for track bikes call you they'll be gone by the end of Janauary and you can get to working in your race bike for next year!

 

Everyone at the school is proud of Will and his phenomenal record both this year and last. When you consider he is beating bikes often with over 10 horsepower more than he's got and giving up usually around 50 lb to his competition, you start to get the idea of how well he rides.

 

Congratulations,

 

Keith

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Thank you Keith

 

It has been my great honor to show what I have learned from you over the years, my only regret is that I wasn't able to do it sooner (15 years).

 

As for the horse power a good running 750 is 135 horse and I have beaten a couple with 148 horse with at best 118. Power makes you lazy and not having it has kept me on my toes all year.

Will

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That's great motivation for others, too, Will. I'm not putting you up there with Rossi (no offense) but it seems his lack of power the past season on Yamaha forced him to be creative elsewhere on the track to defeat his opponents, as I'm sure it did with you. I'm sure you caught a ton of guys off guard. I look forward to learning more the next time I make it to the school!

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