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T200 Qualifiying Race Report


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I thought it was going to be hot in the middle of the Mojave Desert this weekend and I was right. No surprises where the temperature is concerned. Riding around in the middle of 100 deg. Plus heat in a leather suite is not exactly comfortable, but it’s still pretty fun.

 

This past Friday was the first round of qualifying for the 6th annual Toyota 200 at Willow Springs. For those unfamiliar with this race it is The Biggest Cash Purse in all of road racing, world wide, with $150,000.00 up for grabs. This race typically draws some good talent with Jason Pridmore winning the inaugural event, Josh Hayes a three time winner, and Jeremy Toye narrowly besting Steve Rapp last year. This year it’s going to be interesting to see who shows up for the race as it conflicts with the final round of the AMA Superbike series at Laguna. Rumors abound about Pridmore coming back and who Carry Andrews will have riding his bike this year, but we won’t know who is really in until next month’s final qualifying round the Friday before the race.

 

In any case I went up to Willow on Friday to try to put in a decent time and secure my place on the T200 grid and things worked out well. Having not raced my ZX10 on the big track since last year’s T200 it took me a while to come up to speed on the sweeping turns of Big Willow. After a few practice sessions I started to feel like I was getting the flow of the big track and I felt pretty good going into the qualifying session. I ended up turning a 1:25.3 which placed me 8th on the grid. I think that should be good enough to put me solidly in the field for the race. I’ll probably get pushed back a few places during next month’s qualifier just before the race, but I think my time should hold up for a decent grid position. Who knows, maybe I can go a little faster next month and move up. My starting position really doesn’t matter all that much, it’s a long race and a lot can happen in 80 laps at Willow.

 

http://willowspringsraceway.com/clubs/wsmc...0Qualifying.htm

 

Saturday was another hot one but I ran a few practice sessions anyway just to get some seat time. I was feeling pretty strong for the 20 lap Solo GTO race that kicked off at 5:00.

 

At the drop of the green flag for the Solo race I got off pretty well and was able to make a few quick passes in the first few turns. I settled into around 5th place right behind Jack Pfeiffer, which was very entertaining. Jack’s the privateer that finished fourth a couple years ago in the Daytona 200 and is known for his wild riding style. It was very enjoyable, to say the least, to watch Jack light the rear tire up and slide sideways off just about every corner. Jack definitely does not have traction control on his ZX10. After a few laps Jack and I moved up through the field until we ended up with three Advanced Kawasaki ZX10s in the top three places, Robbie Dowie, Jack and I 1,2,3. Later in the race Jack had some problems and pulled in so I inherited second place which is where I would finish, but not without some drama.

 

You see, one of those quick passes I made in the beginning of the race was a guy named Tyler Paulson. I Jack and I gapped Tyler pretty quick in the beginning of the race but Tyler didn’t give up and clawed his way back to my rear wheel so that when I took a peek back on the last lap he was right on me. I ran a blocking line for the last lap and held Tyler behind me until the front straight. Tyler got da kine drive and I punched a nice big hole through the air for him to draft right up next to me at the checkered flag. I held him off but it was so close at the line that neither of us knew who crossed first until the final results were posted with me finishing second ahead of Tyler.

 

All in all a very fun weekend even with the heat. I’ll be out for the T200 at Willow on 9/16, wish me luck and stop by my pit if you’re coming to the race.

 

Of course none of this would be possible without the help I got from The California Superbike School, Advanced Kawasaki, KBC Helmets and Track Dayz.

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Wow!

 

Great report!

 

Love the drama!

 

Keep 'em comin'!

 

:)

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Congrats on the 8th place in qualifying. That is one hell of an accomplishment! (Jealous) Are you gonna go with the three pit stop strategy? Or the splash and go, ride the tire 'til the only rubber left is on the side walls strategy as in years past. Hahahaha..... Or was that the tire you qualified with on friday???

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Congrats on the 8th place in qualifying. That is one hell of an accomplishment! (Jealous) Are you gonna go with the three pit stop strategy? Or the splash and go, ride the tire 'til the only rubber left is on the side walls strategy as in years past. Hahahaha..... Or was that the tire you qualified with on friday???

 

Two stops this year, that one stop thing never worked out for me :) Get ready to change them tires quick pal :)

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