George McConnel's Motorcycle Racing Blog

Dates:June 11-12, 2011
Track:Talladega Gran Prix Raceway
Bikes:2001 Suzuki SV650
Weather:Sunny and warm. Highs around 95.
Conducted By:WERA

Track Diagram

The Talladega Gran Prix Raceway is designed to be run either clockwise or counterclockwise. This weekend's events were conducted in a counterclockwise direction. The redesigned track has been run in clockwise direction once since the repaving, owing to safety concerns.

I went ahead

Randy's first time ever on a track
Ed Bargy's instructors are wearing the green shirts.
and ran a regional event

Ready to hit the track. Look at all those bikes!
right before my vacation and trip to Montana. Trying to do it on the cheap I decided to just use the leftover slicks from my previous endurance race back in April. I signed up for a Solo on Saturday and a sprint (LWT SS) on Sunday. This meant two practice sessions each morning and of course the two races.

Nothing really special happened. It seemed a bit lonely out there without Dewayne and some of the old guard. But of course Rob and Michael were there.

On Saturday during practice 1 I ran a 1:09.2. During practice 2 I ran a 1:08.7. That turned out to be my best lap of the weekend. During the solo my best lap was a 1:09.1, and I never managed to bust back into the 8's on Sunday for some reason. Partly I think I was just tooling around on old tires, but I may have just not been pushing hard for any number of reasons. One piece of good news for the Solo: I actually beat one of the expert riders. Bad news: He was on a Ninja 250.

During Sunday

Randy prepares to head back out for more...
morning practice

Joe took this picture of me on the 90's.
Michael Wischmeyer went down hard in turn 1 and broke a bone in his hand. Looked pretty bad but he seemed to be getting around okay later in the day. I know he and Rob were planning on going to Miller for the endurance round, so I don't know how this effected their plans for that.

I ended up taking a 4th place (last Expert position) in the LWT race. I was cheating a bit since I was running slicks, and would have gladly switched to LWTSB but it was no big deal. I'm slow enough not to cause anyone any problems, and I am just as fast on DOT's as I am on slicks. I thought I might have something for Gary Gay (he was also running 1.09's, but some novice riders got between me and him and kept me from being able to bust a move on him.

Most important lesson learned during this race weekend: Not much learning going on here, just having fun.

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