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.
Read more “WERA @ Barber Motorsports Park 6/30-7/1”
Four Days of Racing!
Four days of riding his road racing motorcycles is a dream for Blake and thanks to N2 Track Days, WERA, and Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Pitt Race) that happened this weekend. Friday, N2 Track Days Organization hosted a track day, allowing Blake to get some practice on his Yamaha R3 motorcycle.
N2 Track Days’ Friday Track Day Event
N2 Track Days Track Event Blake had practiced at Pitt Race on his Yamaha R3 one other weekend. He was supposed to race also, but in the first lap he crashed out. So, this track day was giving him some time on the track he wanted. As it seems, he has gained experience because his first session out he went faster than he did previously and by the end of the day he had done a 1:59:7 which was incredible! Right off, Blake’s rear tire was coming off the ground when he was braking so Mike adjusted the front suspension. Blake’s times were improving but he wanted Mike to adjust the gearing as well. Mike knew that would not be good, but wanted Blake to feel how the change would affect the motorcycle. Blake went out for another session and Mike saw that Blake was right, the gearing change was necessary. Once again, proving that Blake is “one with the motorcycle”.
N2 Track Days/WERA Endurance Races
Saturday N2 Track Days along with WERA hosted their first round of their Endurance Series. Blake and his friend Owen Fairbairn entered the 2-Hour Ultra Lightweight class as team “Herrin’s Hooligans”. The Herrin Compound is where Blake and Fairbairn spend a lot of time racing, training and having fun and wanted to give credit where credit is due. They were going to be racing Blake’s “B” bike, the 2015 Yamaha R3 motorcycle. Read more “N2 Track Days & WERA at Pitt Race”
June 1-3, 2018
WERA’s annual “Cycle Jam” at Road Atlanta did not start off too well but boy did it finish well. Blake and Mike got to the track Thursday night. That meant Blake would have all day Friday to practice on his motorcycle. Well, that wasn’t exactly how it went down.
Friday’s Motorcycle Practice
As Blake was getting ready to go out for his first practice session, Mike was going over Blake’s 2016 Yamaha R3 (“A” bike) motorcycle and saw that the exhaust was split. So, he quickly went to Blake’s “B bike” (2015 Yamaha R3) and was going to pull the exhaust off of it to use on his “A bike” when he saw that, it too, was split. Ugh, these are M4 Exhausts; the best of the best. What happened?
The good thing was Mike had noticed a race shop just outside the track. So, he and Blake went over there hoping they would be able to weld it and they did. Even though their shop was for cars and Mike and Blake wanted help with their motorcycle exhaust, they were quick and kind. Blake was able to get back in time for his last two practice sessions.
Stickboy Racing is the Bridgestone tire dealer at the WERA events. “Stick”, the owner, helps Mike and Blake figure out which tires would be best at what pressure under various circumstances. Based on where Blake finishes in races he receives contingency money that Stick accepts, reducing tire costs. Stick suggested Blake try a new tire for the weekend’s races, Blake agreed. And based on the two practice sessions he had he thought the new Bridgestone’s were fine. Read more “WERA Cycle Jam 2018”
Racing in the Rain
This weekend’s races were at Roebling Road Raceway in Bloomingdale, Georgia. The forecast called for rain all weekend. But, with two motorcycles, that didn’t bother the pilot (Blake) or the mechanic (Mike). They have Blake’s old motorcycle (2015 Yamaha R3) set up with rain tires already on it so they don’t have to sweat quick tire changes when the rain comes. Now, Blake just jumps from one motorcycle to the other. Another blessing of receiving the sponsorship of the Track Day Winner 2016 Yamaha R3!
It wasn’t raining when Blake went out for his first practice on Saturday but the track was a little damp. Even though Mike has been trying to get Blake to be fast early in the day he told Blake not to push it too much; there was no need. His lap times were in the 1:22’s which wasn’t too bad. The last time he was at Roebling racing his best lap time was 1:22:7.
However, Blake was losing his front end (it kept slipping out) whenever he would get on the gas. So, Mike made some adjustments, adding pre-load to the rear. Read more “WERA @ Roebling 5/19-5/20”
LOTS of Fun at LITTLE Talley
Well, we are back at the Talladega Gran Prix Raceway aka “Little Talley”. This time, though, Blake rode his “back up bike”. It’s actually his 2015 Yamaha R3 that he competed on last year. The Yamaha R3 he normally races is having some work done to it and was not ready for this race. So the, just-in-case-something-happens-to-my-motorcycle, motorcycle is the one he had to race.
Saturday Motorcycle Practice
Saturday morning Blake went out for his first practice. When entering corners that required hard braking, the front suspension would compress too much making the rear start fish tailing. After his session he came in to have Mike make adjustments. Even though the motorcycle wasn’t handling the best Blake still rode it well with a fastest lap of 1:08:8. Mike went ahead and made adjustments to the pre-load and compression on the front forks and adjusted the rebound on the rear shock. Blake said it all felt good after his second practice session and was ready to race. Read more “WERA @ Talladega GP Raceway – April 21 & 22”