May 20, 2019
This weekend’s WERA motorcycle races were fun ones for Blake. Wish I could have been there. Unfortunately, I missed it…again. This momma’s heart is always torn when I can’t be in two places at once. Blake’s siblings Ross and Abby had things going on at home so, I stayed behind to be a part of those. I did have fun though. Ross had his final lacrosse game of the season and Abby invited a bunch of girlfriends over and officially became a member of our church. Mike hates to miss out on what the other kids are doing but, since I can’t handle crew chief duties, off to the races he goes. Ok, enough of that.
Three Days of Motorcycle Fun
Mike and Blake arrived with his Kawasaki Ninja 400 motorcycle in tow to Roebling Road Raceway late Thursday night. One thing that is great about Roebling Road Raceway is you can get into the track 24/7. So, when they got up Friday morning they could just begin prepping for the weekend.
N2 Track Days was hosting the track day event Friday. Saturday, N2 Track Days along with WERA were hosting a 2-hour and 4-hour endurance race. Then, Sunday was WERA’s regional competitions. It was set up to be a fun-filled weekend.
N2 Track Days Friday Event
Friday morning Mike worked, putting on Blake’s wiring harness. Mike ordered a power commander and quick-shifter from Spear’s Enterprises making Blake super happy.
While he was doing that, Blake caught up with Stefano Mesa and SuperLex. The three of them registered for the N2/WERA 2-Hour Endurance Race as team “Tom & Jerry & Blake”. They were going to be racing Superlex‘s Ninja 300 on Saturday. So, for the first track day session, Blake rode SuperLex’s motorcycle to get a feel of the motorcycle. Which, thankfully, all three of them felt good on.
By the time Blake’s second session came around Mike was done working on his motorcycle and he spent the rest of the day riding his Ninja 400. Blake didn’t feel like it was a great day for him. Nothing terrible; just didn’t feel himself. He hoped it was lack of sleep and went to bed early.
WERA/N2 2-hr Lightweight Endurance Race
Saturday morning Blake, Stefano and Lex all went out on SuperLex’s motorcycle during the practice session. Lex started the race for team Tom & Jerry & Blake; she rode for 30 minutes. While she was out riding Dale Quarterly, a legend in motorcycle racing, took time to give Blake some riding tips.
The team changed the tire and refueled, putting the team 2 laps behind. Blake hopped on the motorcycle and ran consistent lap times and used the advice Dale Quarterly gave him. He saw the pit board telling him he was in 2nd place and then with 2 laps to go he saw all these people on the wall swinging their arms and waving, telling him to go faster; and he did. On that lap, he got the fastest lap of the race. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough; he finished 2 seconds behind first place. But, it was a good ending to a good race for team “Tom & Jerry & Blake”.
Even Mike Participates In Endurance Race
N2 Track Days had a team in the 4 hour endurance race. Their motorcycle was a Yamaha R1 with a motor built by Westby Racing; it was sweet. Mike helped them in the pits and their team ended up in 2nd place also.
That evening, Blake got a little spoiled by racers and friends. He went on a couple track walks getting pointers, was invited to eat dinner (more than once) in the pits, and hung out talking motorcycles until it was time for bed. He was sure to tell me there were some recipes I needed to get. I love how much motorcycles has extended our family.
Sunday’s Motorcycle Practice
Sunday morning Blake was excited to ride with Dale Quaterly and MotoAmerica pro’s: Dallas Daniels and Jamie Astudillo during his practice session. While he was out with them, he saw a Suzuki SV650 up ahead, smoking. So, he backed off and sure enough, the motor on that motorcycle blew. There was so much smoke Blake couldn’t see Dale Quarterly who he had just been drafting. But, Blake did great. He stayed on the throttle to prevent anyone from hitting him from behind and got off the race line to avoid whatever oil might have been dumped on the track. Everyone on the track handled themselves well and there were no accidents; thank goodness!
Greg Reisinger, another racer and friend, brought his Yamaha TZ 250 2-stroke motorcycle (the kind of motorcycles they use to race in Moto 2) for Blake to race! I cannot believe how kind Greg is to Blake. Here he was letting some kid ride his super fast motorcycle.
Sunday morning Blake went out for a practice session with his race number on it (Greg did that Saturday night). Daniel Payne was behind Blake as he started onto the track and saw Blake go into turn one way too fast. Payne had a front row seat to Blake almost totally blow the turn. Blake said he was thinking, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!” with a handful of brake. Finally, he had to let off the brakes and just turn the motorcycle as hard as he could. Somehow, he managed to stay on track. He quickly realized just how much faster he was going on that motorcycle and how much earlier he was going to have start braking.
Later in the session, he and Daniel Goodnight were riding together. When Goodnight couldn’t pass him on the straight riding his Yamaha R6 Blake knew this TZ was the fastest motorcycle he’d ever been on. Blake couldn’t wait to find out just how fast Mike thought he was going.
Sunday – WERA’s Regional Races
Race One – D-SuperBike
Blake’s first race of the day was on his motorcycle, the Kawasaki Ninja 400, in the D-SuperBike class. The race started, the racers made one complete lap, and a motorcycle went down into turn 1 causing the race to be red-flagged. That meant they would be restarting the race. Kayla Yaakov was Blake’s competition in this race. He was so frustrated lap after lap he’d get around her through the turns but she had the power down the straights on her NSF 250, Moto3 motorcycle, to pass him. Again, through the straight short shoot to turn 9 she got by him and powered right on to the finish line, putting Blake in second place and Dallas Daniels was third.
Race Two – D-SuperStock
This motorcycle race was the same story but, this time with Damian Jigalov on a KTM Duke 690. Blake could get by him through the turns but couldn’t do anything for the power of that motorcycle on the straights. Blake had a blast it was a good clean race but, he had to settle for second in this race also despite having faster lap times. Blake lives for competition and keeps trying to figure a new method for next time.
Race Three – Formula 2
When I asked Blake about his third race, Formula 2, he smiled and said, “That was on the TZ!” He really, really liked riding that motorcycle. He had pole position BUT, he was on a two-stroke. They start off slower than 4-strokes. I know there is some mechanical reason for that but, I certainly can’t explain it to you. Mike talked to the guys who were gridding behind Blake so they’d be aware and not run up the back of Blake. Thankfully, they were kind and said, “No problem. Just tell Blake to hold his line.” Which, from tiny, Blake has always been good at.
Anyway, the green flag waved, the motorcycles took off with Blake left in the back. But, before turn 1 he had already passed two racers and kept plucking off racers until he was out front. And, being on that super fast motorcycle, he pulled a major gap. Which isn’t usually Blake’s thing. He likes to be around other motorcycles to battle.
But, this Yamaha TZ 250 was keeping him on his toes, it was like he was battling. On one lap, going into turn 9, Blake got on the gas causing the front to start sliding out, then the rear tire started to slide, then the front again. The motorcycle was going back and forth. With the rear sliding out one last time coming out of the turn onto the straight, Blake stayed on the throttle, sat the motorcycle up and kept on getting it. He said, “It was awesome because it was all so smooth.”
Another lap through turns 4, 5, and 6, he was all messed up. He missed a downshift into one turn then went and downshifted one too many times in another. That one almost high-sided him; the rear tire stepped out, caught traction, the tire chirped but, luckily Blake didn’t get thrown and kept going. Through all of that commotion he didn’t lose too much of his gap and stayed in first to the finish line.
Blake brought the motorcycle back to the pits, grinning ear to ear and revving the engine as he passed friends cheering for him. He and Greg were both excited and Greg didn’t bat an eye when Blake told him about all the wild riding on his precious motorcycle.
Results In a Nutshell
That makes three 2nd place finishes (LightWeight Endurance, D-SuperBike, D-SuperStock) and one 1st place finish (Formula 2). Blake’s next race is WERA’s Cycle Jam at Road Atlanta, May 31. That is the same weekend MotoAmerica is racing at Road America out in Wisconsin. Be sure you find a way to watch the races and/or shop with a sponsor. Let’s make motorcycle racing great again!