MotoAmerica – Road Atlanta

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MotoAmerica’s 2021 Season Premiere Motorcycle Race

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For those of you who don’t know, MotoAmerica is the United State’s professional motorcycle road racing series. Basically, it’s the NASCAR for motorcycles. A typical weekend goes like this:

A Typical MotoAmerica Weekend

Thursday, we arrive at the track, unload, set up the pits, and take the motorcycle to tech inspection.
Friday morning is when the spectators start coming in. The STG Junior Cup (Blake’s class) gets a practice session and then their first qualifying session (Q1). They are given a second qualifying session (Q2) Saturday morning.

The qualifying sessions give the riders the opportunity to get the fastest lap time they can. If they don’t like how the motorcycle is set up, they can come in, make adjustments and keep trying to lower their time. They don’t have to go out at all if they don’t want to; the goal is to get a good starting position for the races. MotoAmerica uses everyone’s best time, no matter which session it was in, to line everyone up on the grid for both races of the weekend.

Blake is in the Sportbike Track Gear Junior Cup which is the entry level class where they ride small displacement, production-based motorcycles. The premier race class, HONOS Superbike, has racers on top-of-the-line, highly modified motorcycles capable of speeds approaching 200 miles per hour and there’s 3 other classes in between.

Spectators can come Friday for practices but, most come Saturday and Sunday. If ever you have a chance to go to the races, bring your camp chair, sunscreen, and your cooler. You can move around the track and watch from different spots and MotoAmerica always has a “Fan Zone” with vendors, shows, even motorcycles you can ride. Shoot, they even offer tickets to ride with a former pro on the back of his motorcycle. I’m hoping I get a chance to do that one time…sort of.

Season Premiere

motorcycle racer
Photo By: Brian J Nelson

The first race of the season was held at Road Atlanta. There’s always some “housekeeping” that has to be done at the first race. Fill out forms, get your head shot taken for broadcasting purposes, etc. Once the day wrapped up, the city of Gainesville, Georgia hosted a meet and greet with MotoAmerica racers in their downtown square. Motorcycles were on display, games were played, and autographs signed. Blake was part of the meet and greet and met a new fan. The emcee announced a chicken-wing-eating contest and the fan challenged Blake. In one minute, Blake ate a whopping one and a half chicken wings. I think we all can agree he needs to stick to motorcycle racing!

Motorcycle Practice & Q1

N2 decided Blake should compete this season on a Yamaha R3. Blake likes how the YamahaYamaha R3. Blake went to tech and explained that his motorcycle was “seating it’s rings” and the smoke was not from a malfunction. He was given the green light to continue however, the session was over. Apparently, that wasn’t a big deal because when Q1 rolled around he ran the fastest lap time.

Q2 & STG Junior Cup Motorcycle Race 1

Saturday morning the track was cooler, there were several motorcycle crashes during that second qualifying. Blake took it easy at first, but was getting faster as the session continued. Another racer ended up putting down a lap time 9/100’s faster than Blake. So, Blake would grid in the second spot for Saturday and Sunday’s races.

Despite the good qualifying; the race didn’t go so well for Blake. On lap 2 or 3, he was headed down the front straight when the motorcycle had some sort of motor issue, causing him to run off and hit the air fence. In typical Blake style, he made friends with some spectators watching nearby and hitched a ride back around to the pits. It totally stunk that he had such a great qualifying and couldn’t finish the race but, he had another chance Sunday.

STG Junior Cup Motorcycle Race 2

And when Sunday came, Blake was ready to get on his Yamaha R3 and put it all out on the track again. Fortunately, he was able to borrow someone’s motor. Unfortunately, he was a little down on power. Once the race got underway, he was near the front, but you quickly saw that his motorcycle was falling further and further back; he ended up finishing 7th. He was disappointed– mostly over feeling like it might have been his weekend to be on podium if there hadn’t been a series of unfortunate events.

God is Good

Photo By: Brian J Nelson

God is good all the time and even though this weekend didn’t go the way we wanted. N2 was the good thing. This year is Blake’s first time being on a team and N2 was awesome. I couldn’t be at this race because Blake’s brother and sister had prom but, N2 took care of him. They were right there to get the motorcycle back together, coach Blake on what to do on the track, and provided the support he needed.

What’s Next?

Now, we are looking forward to the WERA/N2 Endurance race to be held at Roebling Road on May 8th followed by the MotoAmerica race at Virginia International Raceway. VIR is only and hour and half from our house so, hopefully we’ll see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd.