Well, well, it has been a while. This year the “off-season” was a lot longer than any of us expected thanks to the Corona Virus. Thankfully, it didn’t keep Blake off of motorcycles all together. He started training at Cornerspin with his coach, Aaron Stevenson, and was able to ride his dirt bike at home.
This is a long race report. A track day, an endurance race, and four sprint races…nothing like jumping in with two feet! If you ask me his top 3 races were the endurance race, Formula 2 and Light Weight Super Stock. So, hang on here we go.
Blake was super excited to get to Summit Point Raceway on Friday where N2 Track Days was hosting a track day. Blake had never been there and wanted to see how quickly he could get his times down. Since there are several MotoAmerica tracks he’s never been to he’ll have to figure out how to get his lap times down quickly. He won’t have the luxury of time to “get comfortable” before he needs to be going his fastest. So, this weekend would be good practice for that.
During session one his lap times were as high as 1:28 a lap. Blake said the tight turns made it tricky to learn. He did two more sessions, pushed to find a rhythm and went a good bit faster in his third session running 1:22’s. Unfortunately, lightning struck, the skies opened up, ending the day.
Thursday was the final 4 hour endurance race hosted by N2 Track Days along with WERA. Greg Reisinger of Chief’s Racing invited Blake to join their team for the final round. They had a Suzuki 650 with an endurance tank on the motorcycle. Mike wasn’t sure if Blake was even going to be able to reach the clip-ons (aka handlebars) because of his size but, he could. But, would he be able to throw the motorcycle side to side around the track for over an hour? The race got underway and Kevin Boda took the first stint getting the team to the fourth position before he came in and handed the motorcycle off to Blake. Soon after Blake got on the track, there was a red flag. The racers restarted from the position they were in at the time of the red flag. Third place was a lap ahead of the Chief’s Racing Team at that point but Blake was able to get ahead of them before he came in for fuel, ending his turn. The team had some “flubs” like: a missing rider, an extra pit stop so found rider could take over, and loose motorcycle parts caused another unplanned pit stop. Chief’s Racing Team finished in fourth; which wasn’t too shabby after all of that commotion!
Friday and Saturday were crazy. It rained and it poured and rained, and poured some more. Racers said there was 5” of water sitting on the pavement in the Charlotte’s Web turn and puddles that extended across the entire track, one that they rode through for twenty feet! Needless to say, just staying on two wheels, made it a successful day. Friday Blake’s Lucas OilKawasaki Ninja 400 got him on the podium and take home a third in D-SuperBike and a 1st place in D-SuperStock and a 3rd in Formula 2. Saturday, he wasn’t so lucky; he just couldn’t catch all of those SV650’s. He came in 4th in Formula 2 and in the AMA LightWeight Twins he came in fifth.
Finally, Sunday, the rain stopped. Blake’s Nana and Papa came to cheer him on for the Championship. His Papa and I stood at the wall to watch the Lightweight Twins SuperStock race and I couldn’t believe that twice Blake waved at us. He is always so focused and never goofs off during a race. He finished 6th. When he came into the pits frantic that his clutch was “fried”, I figured out he wasn’t goofing off, he was motioning about his trouble! What does mom know? Mike and Ross (Blake’s brother) were able to get the clutch replaced in less than 2 races and Blake was on the grid for his last race of the weekend, the Formula 2 Nationals. It looked promising as he took the hole shot but not so much when 4 SV 650’s passed him on one straight away; he finished 5th.
Each evening there was award presentations. The racers were given their podium awards and awards for those who won the points championships. Blake won 3 National Points Championships, woo hoo! The American Motorcycle Association was there as well to give trophies for their National races.
Then, Sunday evening the AMA awarded some of their top honors. Blake’s friends took home all of them. Will Ray took home the AMA Novice of Year Award, Chuck Ivey was awarded Veteran Racer of the Year, and his buddy Eli Bannish received the Youth Road Racer of the Year Award (he’s 10, the same age Blake was when he first started road racing)…AND….drumroll please…Blake was awarded the AMA Nicky Hayden Horizon Award!!!! This award was renamed for Nicky Hayden, a world champion, after his death. It is awarded to an amateur road racer who “is poised for greatness” and exemplifies good character and sportsmanship on and off the track. What an honor!!! It was funny to see Blake shocked and speechless. Every time he tried to talk he was stumbling over his words.
After some photos and interviews, the 2019 GNF came to an end, a GNF that Blake will never forget.
The Ultimate Guide for Transporting Your Motorcyle
It’s hard to explain the adrenaline you feel when racing motorcycles. But like anything in life, there is a lot more to racing bikes than simply the racing itself. There is an entire logistical side to racing that you need to stay on top of.
Some of the biggest requirements to succeed in races is to learn how to prepare your bike, and one of the best ways to prepare your bike, is to learn how to transport it to whatever races you are competing in.
If this weekend was going to be remembered for anything it was that it was so hot rubber melted. Yep, the motorcycle tires seemed to literally be melting when Blake came off the racetrack.
Saturday’s Motorcycle Practice
Blake went out for his first practice on Saturday with the tires from his last race weekend. For the second practice he and Mike decided to put on new tires. When he came in from that practice the tires were destroyed! Roebling Road Raceway is known for having a rougher surface, that is hard on tires. So, you expect to go through tires a little faster, but this seemed crazy. But, you gotta do what you gotta do.
The Davis family has grown! June 22nd, our oldest daughter got married; Blake has gained a brother-in-law and become and uncle. Needless to say it has been very busy around the Davis household. Then, the following Saturday while we were racing with WERA at Barber Motorsports Park there was a wedding and Blake was the ring bearer. Yes, the ring bearer. Wearing motorcycle riding gloves as he passed off the rings. It was quite appropriate for the setting! Last weekend Blake did a track day with N2 TrackDays organization at Road Atlanta. To welcome his new brother-in-law, Blake invited him to come give it a try. Hopefully Blake didn’t scare him off! All that busy has kept me from sitting in one spot for very long, hence, making writing difficult. So, here’s my go at catching up on Blake’s race report.
WERA’s Regional Motorcycle Races
Both Saturday and Sunday’s motorcycle races were for points in WERA‘s regional competition. Saturday’s practices were cut way short because WERA was co-hosting a vintage competition. Blake got his motorcycle, the Kawasaki Ninja 400 out on the track, for the first session and made one more lap around and then the session was red-flagged after another rider went down. His second practice session was only four laps. Needless to say, he couldn’t really gauge how he and the motorcycle were feeling.