Bikes, Barber, and Blake
We arrived at Barber Motorsports Park Friday evening for WERA’s motorcycle races and Blake was ready to go Saturday…so he thought. After his first practice, he came in saying he didn’t feel right. The last time he was at Barber his lap times were in the 1:47 range; that first practice he was in the 1:49’s. So, he could have been doing a little better. He began doing some stretching and mind exercises to focus on the motorcycle and the job he had to get done. By the time he went out for his second practice he did much better and got back down into the 1:43’s.
Saturday’s Motorcycle Races
His first race was E-SuperStock. Off the start Damian Jigalov got his motorcycle out in front, Blake was determined to catch him and did coming out of Charlotte’s Web, then Jigalov got him again later that lap. This went on for a while and then just over the half way mark it started to rain and the race got red flagged. Therefore, whatever place you were in the last time you crossed the finish line is where you finished. So, Blake got second.
There wasn’t much excitement in the Clubman race, at least for the spectators. One thing I really like about Barber Motorsports Park is that you can see most of the track from the observation tower. But, you can’t see turn 15 and 16 and apparently coming out of one of those turns the front end of the motorcycle tucked, his handlebars were all the way sideways, Blake was sliding on his knee. Which was a good thing, he used his knee to keep the motorcycle up, was able to straighten the front end and pushed the bike back up and kept racing. Not even losing a position, finishing second.
Blake was so frustrated in the D-SuperStock race. He never could get away from an FZ 07 which is a motorcycle much faster than his Yamaha R3. However, Blake is so good on the brake’s and in the turns that he would catch up and even pass the racer in the turns but then get passed by the racer on the straights. So, essentially he was getting held up playing cat and mouse with that guy and couldn’t get on with his race in his class. Blake finished second in his class that race.
Sunday’s Motorcycle Races
During practice on Sunday morning Blake was saying that the front end of his motorcycle wanted to tuck when he was mid corner. So, Mike made some adjustments to the suspension.
When it came to his first race, E-SuperStock, Blake said the motorcycle felt better and got his lap times down to the 1:41’s. He never caught up to the first place rider but had his favorite pass of the weekend in that race. He and another motorcycle racer were racing towards the Charlotte’s Web turn. Blake out-braked him, got under him, held his line (the one the other guy wanted), and passed him. It was fun to watch too, that guy ended up getting 3rd place behind Blake.
His last motorcycle race of the weekend was in the D-SuperStock class. Blake was able to get past most of the SV 650’s which he was proud of but it wasn’t much fun after that. He rode his own race after that and got first.
We got packed out and headed home. We stopped in Chattanooga, TN to eat on the Tennessee River. Blake ordered his favorite food, shrimp, and we watched the sun set. It was a nice way to finish a hot, sweaty weekend.
We all hope you had a great Fourth of July and remembered to be thankful for all the past and current military that have fought for and to protect our freedom’s.