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.
Saturday’s Motorcycle Races
The first motorcycle race for Blake was Clubman. The motorcycle had Blake all over the place. The adjustments made were definitely not what was needed. Blake was handling it pretty well when he was headed into turn 9, in 6th gear, wide open and the back end stepped out. Somehow, he hung on and finished first in the race. Needless to say, they adjusted the rear pre-load back to where it was and made adjustments to the front end suspension.
That was the fix! In the E-SuperStock race Blake and his friend, Owen Fairbarn, left everyone behind and had fun drafting back and forth with each other. Blake got a first place finish.
D-SuperStock was the highlight of Blake’s day. This class was combined with a class full of SV 650’s. They have a lot more speed on Blake’s 300. Through the turns they would kind of get in his way but on the straight he would tuck in behind them to use their draft. He got down to a 1:21:8 and took first place.
For Sunday’s practice there was a super light drizzle not enough to effect traction so Blake chose not to ride his “rain bike”. Mike had Blake go out when there was the biggest gap in motorcycles so Blake would have to go fast on his own. He had no one to chase or draft and was still laying down good lap times.
Sunday’s Motorcycle Races
Blake was feeling pretty confident going into the motorcycle races. His first being the Clubman class, the 8th race of the day. You know when you have your clutch partly engaged and you give the motor some gas and it revs but nothing really happens? Unfortunately, that started happening to Blake’s motorcycle with only 3 laps left in the race. His clutch was done and so was Blake’s race. He was unable to finish the race.
Blake’s next race was E-SuperStock, the 10th race of the day, meaning they didn’t have that much time to figure out what to do. There was no time to replace the clutch. They decided Blake would race his “B bike” but first they had to take the rain tires off, they replaced them with the tires from his broken motorcycle. He made it to the start of the race in time…just in time for the rain to start pouring! The WERA officials delayed the start of the race to allow the racers to switch to rain tires. So, Blake went back to the pits and Mike put the rain tires back on the motorcycle. Shew, that was a lot of wrenching in a short amount of time. But it paid off, Blake got 1st!
Even though he won the E-SuperStock race he wasn’t going all that fast. So, for the D-SuperStock race Blake was going to have to go faster. And boy oh boy he certainly did. It was pouring down rain, and he beat everyone even in the other classes, all the SV’s, it was awesome. Way to go Blake!
Blake’s next race will be back in Georgia but at Road Atlanta the first weekend in June. So far it has rained at every race this year. Blake doesn’t mind, in fact, he likes to race in the rain. But, this momma hates feeling like a drowned rat all weekend. So, I’m hoping the sun will be out and that it will be dry! Until next time…