WERA @ Road Atlanta – Sept. 9th & 10th

motorcycle

The Double-Edged Sword

You’ve heard of a double-edged sword, right? One thing that has both a good and bad consequence. Well, Blake had 6 motorcycle races this weekend and won all of them, that’s the good side of things. The bad? Blake and I trying to do the race report. At the risk of sounding like an ego-maniac, things just aren’t as interesting when he keeps winning. It’s nice to have to sweat it out and work really hard for it. Blake certainly has races like that, but lately, he has been on a roll and doing well. And the race reports just sound repetitive. I hope I can keep you interested…

Saturday’s Practice

This weekend’s WERA motorcycle race was at Road Atlanta down in Georgia. It was sunny and humid just as you would expect. Blake went out for the first practice on Saturday feeling motorcycleout both his Yamaha R3 and the track. Mike has started giving Blake a list of questions when he comes in from practice to fill out, so Mike can look it over and see if any adjustments need to be made to the motorcycle. It helps them both to think things through and check all the possible ways to make the motorcycle work at its best.

One of the questions has to do with the motorcycle’s chassis. Blake said that the right clip-on felt like it was turned in too much. Mike took some measurements and was flabbergasted to find that indeed the left clip-on (or handlebar for us non-motorcycle people) was off by 3 millimeters. MILLIMETERS people!! From what I hear, racers are OCD about their motorcycles. I guess you can count Blake in on that. And sure enough after the second practice Blake got his lap times down to 1:48:0.

Saturday’s Motorcycle Races

In both the E-SuperStock and D-SuperStock races he got good starts and stayed out in front of his class and most everyone else also. Of course, there were faster motorcycles competing from other classes in front of him and in his mind, he was going to catch them, but the checkered flag just didn’t allow enough time. He took first in both of those races.

The Clubman race was about the same. He got a good start on his motorcycle, he did see his friend Isaiah DeBusk come close a few times, but Blake went ahead and took first in that race as well.

Saturday Night Fun

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Saturday night we went with friends who found a fun place to get ice-cream. They use a stainless-steel top cooled with nitrogen and pour the milk mixture on top, then when the mixture freezes they scrape it up with a spatula making it roll up real pretty. Abby, Blake’s sister, was thrilled because she had seen pictures but had never had any. Blake ordered a dessert called Dragon’s Breath. It was a cup with liquid Nitrogen in the bottom and wafer pieces on top. Then, when you put a wafer in your mouth you could “blow smoke” just like a dragon! We all had fun with that.

Sunday Practice

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Blake was excited to see both Josh Jovi and Draik Beauchamp at the track this weekend. Both are older guys (I think they’re 18 or 19) that Blake has always tried chasing down at motorcycle races/track days. The responsibilities of adulthood have kept Jovi away from motorcycles this season and Beauchamp who has been competing in MotoAmerica’s Junior Cup had some time to be there this weekend.

In Sunday’s practice Blake, Jovi, and Beauchamp all kind of ran together on their motorcycles and had a good time. When Blake came in from that practice I asked him how it went, he said it was good, and had no complaints.

Sunday’s Motorcycle Races

Beauchamp competed against Blake in the E-SuperStock race. Blake got him off the start but by turn 6 Beauchamp passed him. Then, Blake got him back coming out of turn 7, Beauchamp wasn’t having it and drafted by Blake on the back stretch. Blake did the same on the front. The rest of the race Blake drafted Beauchamp on the front and he drafted Blake on the back. Except the final lap, once Blake saw the white flag wave he chose not to draft Beauchamp until the back straight. Blake drafted him and coming down the hill into turn 10 they were side by side. Blake wanted to brake but was trying to wait until Beauchamp did. He kept waiting and was afraid he was going to blow the turn. Finally, he saw Beauchamp sit up so, Blake quickly braked and got by Beauchamp managing to stay in front of him until the finish line. Woo-hoo, Blake took the win!!

Unfortunately, Beauchamp wasn’t in Blake’s next race, D-SuperStock. Blake got on his motorcycle started, finished, and won without any excitement.

To work on his passing, by choice, Blake started on row 22 in the Clubman race. Off the start he got his motorcycle up close to the front by turn six. By the time he got the first lap finished he was in fourth. However, the first 3 motorcycles still had a gap on him. Coming out of turn 7 on the second lap he passed for the lead and pulled a gap on them. After four laps left he was ahead by the length of the straight. He took his 6th win of the weekend.

Self-Improvement

On the way home, when Blake was recapping the weekend he said he wanted to learn how to “manage the gap”. Meaning, that when he is in the lead he can figure out how hard he needs to keep pushing to keep the lead. It isn’t smart to take unnecessary risks if no one is threatening your position. However, you don’t want to slow down too much and have someone pressure you at the last minute. He also said he wants to start using his back brake more. The back brake isn’t used a whole lot but can be an advantage to the racer if he manipulates it correctly.

Upcoming Races

This weekend Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the east coast around Virginia and North Carolina. If that is the case Blake will head down to the Herrin Compound to do some training and racing on his Honda CRF100. If not, he may just stay home. The whole idea of being-stuck-in-the-house-because-of-a-ton-of -rain-from-a-hurricane drives both Blake and his dad crazy being that they can’t sit still. So, I’m thinking they’ll head south if things there don’t get cancelled.

Go fast, have fun, be safe. Until next time…