Pitt Race 2023-A Heartbreaker
MOTOAMERICA TWINS CUP MOTORCYCLE RACING
Last weekend was very strange. Blake came home from racing his Yamaha R7 in the Twins Cup class at MotoAmerica with 2 podium finishes but the mood was very somber; race 2 was a heartbreaker. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so I’ll start from the beginning.
PRACTICE & QUALIFYING
It actually started out quite well. In fact, a headline from RoadRacingWorld read, “Davis Dominates Twins Cup FP1 At Pitt Race.” Yes, in the first practice he had the fastest lap time.
He went on in Qualifying 1 and 2 to be the second fastest in both sessions putting him in the number 2 spot on the starting grid for the races.
Going into the weekend Blake was 3 points behind Gus Rodio and 15 points ahead of Rocco Landers in the Championship. Race 1 got underway Saturday afternoon and Blake took the lead off the start. Soon, he and the other top 2 Championship contenders battled back and forth for about four laps or so. He decided to follow Landers through the esses, he made a mistake and allowed Landers to pull a gap. That left Blake and Rodio battling for second the remainder of the race. On the last lap Blake rode defensively to keep Rodio behind him. In the last turn , Blake squared up the last turn, Rodio tried to go under him, but Blake dropped down causing Rodio to get a bad drive out of the turn. He stayed right on Blake, drafting him, but didn’t have enough. Blake finished just in front of him taking second.
That bumped Blake in front of Gus Rodio in the Championship by 1 point and Rocco Landers was 9 points behind Rodio. Overnight the team did some work on the motorcycle and Sunday, in morning practice, Blake said the motorcycle felt really good.
Blake knew going into race 2 he had to do well and boy did he. His strategy was to keep the pace slow and the competition uncomfortable. He was passing back and forth going from first to second place and back again. On the last lap, he stayed in second waiting to make a move, but in his words, he “made a stupid mistake.” Sometime before turn 7 he grabbed an extra downshift, killing his entrance into 7. That mistake allowed 3rd place to come by him and he watched those two pull a gap.
He went as hard as he could to catch up, setting the fastest time through the last sector of the race. But it wasn’t enough, he finished third. Oh my goodness, he was gutted. After the podium celebration and press conference, we were walking back to the pits. He said, “My mistake just cost us the championship.”
Oh what heartbreaker! All that time leading and controlling the racing and then to make a mistake that cost you the win. Mike reminded him that it will be hard, but he hasn’t lost the championship yet. He reminded Blake that his motorcycle was the fastest Yamaha in the race, his race craft the entire rest of the race was incredible, and though it wasn’t the result we wanted and it will be more difficult, it is still possible to win the Championship.
It’s hard to believe we are down to the last few races of the season. MotoAmerica will have races at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX September 8-10. The Twins Cup class will not be racing there and Blake will be competing in the last round of the WERA/N2 Track Days by Dunlop endurance series with his Alpha Omega team at Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia.
The next time MotoAmerica hosts a Twins race is September 22-24 at New Jersey Motorsport Park, which is the last race of the season. Blake is going there 8 points behind first and 6 points ahead of third.
You would think bringing home a 2nd and 3rd place finish would be exciting and you see now why it wasn’t. This season has been good for Blake, there has been a lot of battling with other racers, forcing him to improve his race craft. He has learned what it’s like to be under pressure as he has worked to defend the Championship title. Now, there is even more pressure with the points being so close. Of course, we hope he can win but we’re proud of his work ethic no matter what.
Until next time…