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stuman

The Streets Round 1

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Racing on The Streets

 

Not the streets you’re thinking of, I mean The Streets of Willow Springs. That’s probably about as close to a street race as I’ll ever get. The Streets of Willow Springs is the other track. Where the big track or classic Willow Springs as it’s now called is fast and flowing, The Streets is tight and technical. Where the big track rewards courage and momentum, The Streets is a little less scary and has a variety of corners. Both are very fun and challenging, but they are like night and day on opposite sides of the same piece of property.

 

My race weekend at The Streets got off to a pretty rough start. I showed up Friday for practice totally psyched to race on The Streets having never raced on the track before yet having a million laps around it with The Superbike School. I had been preparing for the race for sometime, training on my bicycle and getting the kinks worked out of my ZX10 at track days. I even got a cool new canopy and some pit shirts for my crew thanks to the California Superbike School. Still with all the time I had to prep it’s a good thing I came out for practice on Friday as I had nothing but problems.

 

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I went out for my first practice on Friday and didn’t even make it through turn two. I had a problem with my master cylinder and when my bike just about did a stoppie without having to squeeze the front brake I figured something was up and I better pull into the dirt. I resolved the problem with my brake and went out for my second session only to find my bike was cutting out coming off the corners and generally running like . I found a problem with the motor to be related to a new feature I added to my Power Commander and was able to get the bike running well between sessions. Things went from bad to worse in the third session when I lost the front in turn three and threw the bike down the road. Luckily there was almost no damage to the bike and the two riders I had just passed were able to avoid running me over. I was able to go out and ride again in the next session but a small problem with the face shield on my new helmet ended my forth session early and at this point I was considering packing it up and going home but I persisted. I figured it couldn’t get any worse and I was right.

 

After my string of mishaps Friday morning things started to go my way and I was able to get a couple good practice sessions in on Friday afternoon and my lap times started to get into a range I felt was acceptable. I got most of the problems out of the way on Friday and was glad all that stuff happened then instead of on race day.

 

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Saturday was a much better day as I had some help from my buddy Tom who cam out to work on my bike and Keith Code showed up to coach me. I can’t tell you how great it was to have someone like Keith come help me out. He helped me figure out some stuff with my bike setup and with my riding which helped a ton. I was able to do a few practice starts at the end of the day and I got one good one out of the three I tried, this would come back to haunt me on race day. I ended the day feeling pretty good about my progress and ready to rock on Sunday.

 

Sunday morning started off with a bang when Jeff Tigert set a new track record at a 1:17.3something. Jeff’s got a few laps around The Streets as well riding as a tester for Honda, but the guy didn’t even practice on Saturday!

 

My Open Modified production race was up next and I was looking forward to seeing how fast I could go. I lined up on pole position and was hopping to get a good start and run away, but it was not to be. The green flag flew and I got away pretty clean, but Tim Knudsen came flying up the inside and passed me like I was in reverse! We were both on equally prepped ZX10s but Tim got the launch from hell and just plain smoked me into turn one. I followed Tim for most of the first lap until he left the door open in the left going onto the final turn. I stuffed it up the inside and Tim couldn’t do a thing about it. After I made the pass I put my head down and tried to put a gap on Tim but my buddy Robbie was holding up a pit board that told me +0 at the end of the second lap, Tim was right on my ass. I turned a 1:18.5 later in that race which was to be my fastest lap of the day, but the biggest gap I saw on my pit board was a +1. On the last lap of the race I was able to put a lapper between me a Tim and that was enough to hold Tim up so he couldn’t make a last lap desperate pass and I went on for the win and the lap record for the Open Mod Prod class.

 

My second race was very short lived as I came together with another rider on the exit of turn two and broke my foot peg off. I was unable to finish the race and ended up with a DNF as a result.

 

The last race of the day was less eventful. Again Tim smoked me off the line (note to self I need to work on my starts before the next race) and passed me before we even got to turn one. This time I was able to pass Tim on the inside going into turn three and put about a second a lap on him and finished over 7 seconds in the lead. Win number two and a lap record for the Open Super Stock Class!

 

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All in all a pretty good weekend. I plan to race the rest of The Streets series and the Toyota 200 this year. I’m look forward to some great races and I’ll keep you all posted as I go.

 

I have to say thanks to Keith Code and the California Superbike School for all their help this year! Also my buddy Kevin at Advanced Kawasaki for hooking me up with a great bike and all the cool shiny bits. I switched to Michelin tires this year and Ryan and the guys at Michelin are hooking me up with some awesome rubber. The guys at KBC hooked me up with a couple new lids to protect my noggin and make me look cool (if that’s possible) and I’m loving their new VR3 helmet. Track Daz has been kind enough to let me ride with them and those guys put on the best track day going.

 

That’s all folks, I’ll be back at it 5/6/07 at The Streets again and I’ll let you know how it goes…

 

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Stuman;

As a former multiple time student of yours, it is awesome to see you "walk the walk".

 

Congratulations on your victories and your track records.

 

Kevin Kane

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Hey Stu~~~

 

Congrats on your success!!!

 

Glad you showed up, and was good to see you.. It's been a while.

 

Let me see if I can send you a photo or two .. cheers man.. Take care.

 

Aaron.

 

(Let me know if you can, how to add photo's to this post...)

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