Road Atlanta – June 3-4, 2017
The WERA motorcycle races this weekend came quickly. With two blown motors from the previous weekend, Blake’s “crew chief”, aka Dad, had a lot of work to do before Blake’s practice on Friday.
The Honda RS125 motorcycle has a race chassis which handles differently than a typical motorcycle giving Blake the opportunity to practice and gain experience on a motorcycle more like those professionals race. However, it is also has a 2-stroke engine which requires more finesse and maintenance than your typical 4-stroke engine.
During Friday’s practice on the Honda RS125 the motorcycle overheated. Mike found that the piston and cylinder were scarred he was so frustrated and did not know what the problem could be. Mike asked Scott from Scott Powersports to check his work with the rebuilding of the motor and he agreed everything looked good. Then, Mike consulted Stewart from Rising Sun Cycles about the jetting chart he was using. Stewart said that was the problem; the chart was not right. Mike made some more adjustments and hoped Saturday would go better.
REGIONAL MOTORCYCLE RACES
During Saturday mornings practice Mike thought Blake was riding reserved. His first race was Formula 2 on the Honda RS125. Blake gridded in the back, everyone took off, he started making passes, got caught up behind 3 motorcycles that were battling for position and finished 11th.
Formula 3 on the same motorcycle was next. Blake didn’t get the best start but Tyler Scott did, and pulled a gap. Matt Wallace came around Blake on the back straight but Blake was able to draft and pass him through turn 9 and pull a gap on him. Even though he finished 2nd the rest of the race was pretty boring according to Blake.
After those races he was excited saying, “The bike felt great.” I think the confidence in hismotorcycle had returned. Blake ran a 1:48 and said about his goals for Sundays races, “I need a few seconds. It will be hard to do but, I think I can do it.”
On his Yamaha R3 motorcycle Blake’s first race was E-SuperStock. He got a good start and was hanging with Josh Jovi into the first turn then was pushed wide giving Damian Jigalov and Garrett Parker the space they needed to get by. Blake finished the race in 6th place.
His final race of the day was in D-SuperStock. There were a lot of motorcycles going into turn one. Blake had his gearing “tall” for this race track so that he could carry more corner speed. He eased up in order to not have to shift so much thru all of the other motorcycles. Then, battled with Heather Syzmanik making it a fun race; he finished fourth.
NATIONAL CHALLENGE MOTORCYCLE SERIES
With Sunday morning came rain and cooler temperatures. Because of lightning there was a delay getting started. Another quirk to the Honda RS125 is that there is no thermostat. Therefore, a very high tech method is used to regulate the temperature…duct tape on the radiator. The cooler it is, the more duct tape you add to allow the engine to get hotter.
The Formula 3 race got underway but Blake saw the motorcycle’s temperature was getting too low. If the engine gets too cool it can “cold seize” and, you guessed it, lock up. So, Blake came into hot pit, Mike made adjustments (added duct tape) and Blake finished the race.
Off the starting line in the Formula 2 race all of the Suzuki SV 650 motorcycles passed Blake but by the first lap he had passed all of the novices. As the race went on he passed more motorcycles to get him into third place but at the line was out-powered by James East giving Blake a 4th place finish. He came into the pits, got off his motorcycle, and was grabbed and picked up by James East who just took 3rd place from him. East was excited and was thanking Blake for a great battle saying Blake renewed his excitement in the sport. Blake agreed it was good racing saying it was the best race of the weekend!
Blake does not have any races the next two weekends but will be back at it June 25. Blake and his “crew” (mom, dad, and siblings) appreciate all of the support and encouragement from so many. Don’t forget to follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and even to share his pages. Each “follow”, “like”, and “friend” helps not only with name recognition for Blake but the sponsors that support the sport of motorcycle racing. Thanks again and we look forward to seeing you at the racetrack!