Blake loves being on his motorcycle and he loves motorcycle racing. Unfortunately, this month the schedule was looking pretty light. WERA only has one race weekend for him and it happens to be on Easter weekend. Easter is like Christmas for our family; we cannot miss Easter. And you know Blake just can’t get rusty so, Mike found a race.
It was one of Florida Motorcycle Road Racing Association’s (FMRRA) rounds being held down at Jennings GP in Jennings, Florida. Blake had been to the track once before when Josh Herrin came and worked with him at a track day. But, we had never raced with FMRRA. Mike and Blake said it was great; it was well organized, registration was simple, there was a podium, and the awards ceremony was quick.
Saturday – Practice & Qualifying
FMRRA uses Saturday as a practice day and to qualify for the races on Sunday. They rotated practice groups through all day then at 330 each race group had a 10 minute session for qualifying. Blake was in the Production Twin group; he qualified 2nd behind Steve Breckenbridge on his SV650. Jennings GP is Breckenbridge’s home track and he is fast.
Mike and Blake didn’t know too many people there. But, SuperLex and her dad, showed them around, introduced them to friends, and everyone was great. After a little wrenching on the motorcycle and some hanging out, Saturday was a wrap.
Sunday – Motorcycle Races
Sunday morning Blake decided he wanted to try his hand at the SuperStock 600 race which really wasn’t for Blake’s motorcycle. He would be allowed to compete in it though since it was racing up (those motorcycles were a lot faster than Blake’s). On top of that, he hadn’t qualified for that class. But, Mike let him go ahead and register for the race.
Production Twins Grande Corsa Race
But, first was the Production Twin race, one of their Grande Corsa classes that are 12 laps. Blake gridded up front based on his qualifying time. He took off, took the lead, and took first place. It was a good race.
SuperStock 600 Sprint Race
Then, there was the SuperStock 600 motorcycle race, the one he hadn’t qualified for. Since he hadn’t, he started last, in 27th position. Mike was glad, he really wants Blake working on getting through traffic. This grid was huge, it was going to be good practice, or not, if Blake couldn’t keep up with these crazy fast motorcycles.
Blake wheelied his motorcycle a little off the start but once he clicked second gear, the front end came down. Going into turn one he made his way from the inside to the outside and passed 2 or 3 bikes around the outside. Turn 2 was up ahead, it’s a fast turn, the motorcycle in front of Blake was passing another racer and going through the turn Blake split them both and kept moving. Shew! Still on the first lap, Blake was going on the outside of a motorcycle at the start of some tight s-turns. The racer must not have seen him and went wide but, instead of being pushed out Blake ducked under him as they turned into the second turn, squeaking by. He was plucking riders off one by one and made it up to 6th place! And this race, it was only 6 laps! It was so fun! After the race a couple different riders came up to the pit saying, they could pass Blake on the straights but, there was no use because, they knew he was coming by them in the turns. Way to go buddy; you’re a beast!
Production Twins Sprint Race
A very quick, light shower came through right before the Production Twins sprint race and the FMRRA officials gave everyone 15 minutes to switch to rain tires, if they wanted. Blake and 3 other riders were the only ones who gridded up with rain tires on their motorcycles. Fortunately, for everyone who didn’t switch to rain tires, the track dried out beautifully and there was no more rain. But, for those who had, it was super hard to keep their motorcycle going where they wanted. Two racers came in after a couple laps saying it was impossible to ride on rain tires. The third racer came in last place. Then, there was Blake. He got a good start but didn’t have enough grip to slow down going into turn 1 and Breckenbridge (who wisely chose not to run rain tires) was able to stuff Blake on the inside and there was no way Blake was keeping up with him.
There was some good action on lap 5 of 6. Third place caught up to Blake and passed him. Some how, as they were coming out of the last turn onto the front straight, Blake, all sideways on his motorcycle, got an unbelievable drive and beat that guy to the line. Blake finished the race 2nd and it was awesome!
The Wrap Up
Don’t know when we will get to race with FMRRA again, but it was definitely a fun weekend. New friends were made, 2 podium finishes were had right along with a good time! Next Blake will be at Virginia International Raceway in the Fan Zone and to watch the MotoAmerica races. The whole fam will be there; can’t wait! Until next time…