WERA @ Roebling Road Raceway – July 2019

If this weekend was going to be remembered for anything it was that it was so hot rubber melted. Yep, the motorcycle tires seemed to literally be melting when Blake came off the racetrack.

Saturday’s Motorcycle Practice

Blake went out for his first practice on Saturday with the tires from his last race weekend. For the second practice he and Mike decided to put on new tires. When he came in from that practice the tires were destroyed! Roebling Road Raceway is known for having a rougher surface, that is hard on tires. So, you expect to go through tires a little faster, but this seemed crazy. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.

Formula 2 & D-SuperBike Motorcycle Races – Saturday

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The first race Blake entered his Kawasaki Ninja in was the Formula 2 class. After a pretty uneventful motorcycle race, he got third place.
For D-Superbike, Mike told Blake to be careful because the tires didn’t look the greatest. He took first place even though he felt like he didn’t have any grip; the tires were just too wore out. The tires felt good but didn’t make for a very exciting motorcycle race.

D-SuperStock Motorcycle Race – Saturday

D-Superstock was his last race of the day, Mike put a new rear tire on for this race. Another racer, competing on a SV650 motorcycle, got a better start than Blake, and was able to put a gap between them. Slowly Blake was catching up and about halfway through the race was able to pass him. However, that motorcycle having so much more power would get by Blake on the straight. They played cat and mouse this way for a bit, until Blake was able to get through the corners faster and faster, getting too far ahead for the SV650 to get by him on the straight. Blake took 1st place in his class and first overall also which made it super exciting.
Saturday night, Blake hung out and feasted for dinner with his Black Hawk teammates and the Force Race Team. The heat had exhausted everyone, and it was a quiet, early-to-bed kind of night.

Sunday’s Motorcycle Practice

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After Blake’s first Sunday morning practice, Mike thought he would try to beat the heat with a new approach on Blake’s motorcycle tires. He had a new front and a harder compound tire put on the rear wheel. Blake tried it during the second practice and wasn’t too crazy about it.

Sunday’s Motorcycle Races

That hard compound tire is what Blake had on his motorcycle for the Formula 2 race and he got a third place finish but, said, “No more.” Mike then switched the rear back to an old one and made some adjustments he thought would help with tire wear.
That seemed to help how Blake felt on the motorcycle, as far as his tires grip. For his last two races of the weekend, D-SuperStock and D-SuperBike, he finished in first place in both of those. But, they could see the tires literally melting against all that heat in the pavement. Georgia is known for its peaches but there was nothing “peachy” about the heat this weekend. Mike said he would have brought a bunch of old tires and used a rear for each motorcycle race Blake had this weekend had he known how the heat would mess things up. Oh well, I’m sure just the experience benefited both Blake as a motorcycle racer and Mike as a crew chief.

Wrap Up & Upcoming Events

Two 1st place finishes both Saturday and Sunday in D-SuperBike and D-SuperStock and 2 thirds in Formula 2 means he was on the podium all weekend. Not too shabby. His podium speeches are a work in progress. He’s always really good about thanking his sponsors but we are working on not starting every speech with, “It was a good race.” But, hey, it’s true!
WERA has no motorcycle races scheduled until August 17th and 18th. Those will be at the Talladega Gran Prix Raceway. Until next time…

WERA @ Barber Motorsports Park (June)

The Davis family has grown! June 22nd, our oldest daughter got married; Blake has gained a brother-in-law and become and uncle. Needless to say it has been very busy around the Davis household. Then, the following Saturday while we were racing with WERA at Barber Motorsports Park there was a wedding and Blake was the ring bearer. Yes, the ring bearer. Wearing motorcycle riding gloves as he passed off the rings. It was quite appropriate for the setting! Last weekend Blake did a track day with N2 TrackDays organization at Road Atlanta. To welcome his new brother-in-law, Blake invited him to come give it a try. Hopefully Blake didn’t scare him off!
All that busy has kept me from sitting in one spot for very long, hence, making writing difficult. So, here’s my go at catching up on Blake’s race report.

WERA’s Regional Motorcycle Races

Both Saturday and Sunday’s motorcycle races were for points in WERA‘s regional competition. Saturday’s practices were cut way short because WERA was co-hosting a vintage competition. Blake got his motorcycle, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 out on the track, for the first session and made one more lap around and then the session was red-flagged after another rider went down. His second practice session was only four laps. Needless to say, he couldn’t really gauge how he and the motorcycle were feeling.

Saturday’s Formula 2 Motorcycle Race

As the calls were being made for his Formula 2 race, clouds were starting to roll in. Blake was so frustrated. The last couple of race weekends there has been a lot of “in between” weather; raining here and there trying to decide between rain tires or slicks. Blake did not want to go through that dilemma again. Well, he didn’t have to, as the racers gridded up there was no rain. The race got started, and pretty quickly, so did the rain. Blake was doing good, he was in second. He and the other racers were on slicks which would make for a slippery race in the rain. The spectators could see Blake slow down which, made sense but, then it seemed he was slowing way down. Now, there were two SV 650’s, an FZ-07, and a 250 GP motorcycle were in front of him. You know, I have lots of knowledge on the track (cough, cough), and was getting anxious because I thought Blake was being too cautious and was going to miss the podium. However, somewhere out of sight two of the three racers in front of Blake slipped in the rain and crashed and another motorcycle went to the pits, allowing Blake to take second. What do you know? He actually knew what he was doing.

Saturday’s D-Superbike Motorcycle Race

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Peace

Blake’s next race was D-Superbike. He said, “the track was nice” for this race. “What’s a ‘nice’ track?” I asked. He said it was dry but not too hot; that when the track gets too hot it gets oily/greasy and becomes slippery. The kind of start Blake had in this race, I guess it was a “nice track”, because it was amazing. He ended up being passed by a faster motorcycle, raced the rest of the race all alone, and took second.

Saturday’s D-Superstock Motorcycle Race

Blake started in the second group of motorcycles for the D-Superstock race. He got through his group off the start but was caught up in some of the back traffic of the front group. While Blake was working through the traffic it allowed two in the front to pull a gap on him. He worked his way up and caught the racer in second but didn’t have enough to get by him before the race was over. He finished 3rd overall but, he did get first in his class.

“I Do’s” at the Race Track

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Blake & Sister Being Silly Before Wedding

As I mentioned earlier, there was a wedding at the track. Blake quickly got a shower and served as ring bearer for the marriage of Jared Trees and Heather Syzmanik and that is how we spent Saturday night.

Sunday’s Formula 2 Motorcycle Race

Of course, there was motorcycle talk Saturday night also and Mike and Blake decided to change Blake’s sprocket and put on new brake pads. His shift points just weren’t quite right and who doesn’t like to stop hard and quick? By the second practice Blake had his times down to his race times Saturday. So, things were looking promising.

That is, until he started the Formula 2 race. He had a bad start and had to work hard to try and catch up. Apparently his brakes weren’t “seeded” well (I think that’s like they hadn’t gotten or been made snug yet) which was really bad when Blake went into turn 5 and ran off track. Now, he was all the way back in last place. He didn’t let that shake him. He was determined to get back up front. By the time the race was over he was behind fourth place; what a comeback! Blake finished fifth in that race.

Sunday’s D-Superbike Motorcycle Race

D-Superbike didn’t go as planned either. You see, one of Blake’s crew members (me or another Davis family member) puts a piece of tape on his gas tank so he knows where he is supposed to grid up at the start. Well…one of us forgot to do this so, he gridded himself in the back. But, as usual it motivated Blake to push hard. He worked through the racers but first and second place were able to pull ahead and Blake pretty much raced by himself and took third.

The clouds were looming all day. Every once in a while a sprinkle or two would happen scaring everyone but nothing too bad. But, then, the officials saw lightning which puts a mandatory hold on the races. Once they got started again, the WERA officials chose to shorten the races to 4 laps to get all the racing in before the end of the day.

Sunday’s D-Superstock Race

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Coming on to the Straight

Four laps isn’t a lot of time to get much done but Blake sure did try. Off the start of the D-Superstock race, Blake pulled away from his class. He worked his way through many of the bigger motorcycles in the class ahead of him. Then, the second place guy was all he had to catch and that racer was going pretty good; it took Blake a half a lap to get by him on his Ninja 400. He was catching up to the overall leader when the race ended. Blake took second overall and first in his class.

The Wrap Up

Ring bearer duty, running off the track, and rain all made for a good time. Blake got 1st in both of his D-Superstock Races, a 2nd and 3rd in the D-Superbike races and a 2nd and 5th in Formula 2.

This weekend Blake will be racing with WERA at Roebling Road Raceway down in Savannah, Georgia. It is going to be hot! After that there are no races for a month. So, Blake will stay one week with a cousin in South Carolina and then the next week he goes camping with his grandparents. I’m sure he will find somewhere to do a track day after that. Until next time…