|Date:||June 18, 2006|
|Track:||Talladega Gran Prix Racetrack|
|Bike:||2002 Honda RVT1000 (RC51)|
|Weather:||Partly Cloudy, High near 91f, occasional breezes|
Dewayne Henson and Catt Moss were instrumental in getting me through my first day of racing. I can't thank them enough.
Registration wasn't supposed to be such a big deal on this day but it took considerably longer to get registered than on the previous day. Catt speculated it might have something to do with the fact that there was a $2000 purse being put up by Suzuki for one of the races. I'm sure that has a way of drawing them out of the woodwork.
I signed up for three races: Heavyweight Twins Superstock, Heavyweight Twins Superbike and B Superstock.
I was gridded in last place on each start because of my Provisional Novice status. WERA racers are always gridded according to their current points standings. I won't have any points at all until I've completed the two requisite race weekends without a crash and gotten the rest of my paperwork in order. After getting my bike, leathers and helmet passed by Tech I got ready for my first (of two) practice sessions.
For practice I was grouped with 750cc and up Novices. I managed to pass another provisional
novice during my first practice session. It was a sweet pass as I just edged by him on the
"bowl" cornering around him on the outside at a higher speed. In retrospect this was probably
the highlight of my weekend's racing experience.
My second practice session was cut short because too many people were wiping out. There were at
least two crashes during that practice session. This is doubly unfortunate because there is no
need to be so competitive during practice. As the old saying goes, "You can't win practice".
They red-flagged our second practice session after only about 3 laps and called it.
We had the obligatory rider's meeting at 11:10 then broke for lunch.
After lunch it was time for racing to begin. They played the National Anthem as everyone stood respectfully. Then it was time to race. The first race was a 6 lap "Mini" race. It's very entertaining to watch these guys fully dressed in racing leathers, getting into a full tuck on a scooter capable of maybe 45 MPH after a minute's acceleration.
My second race was the 12th sprint of the day. Again it was a two class race, combining Heavyweight Superstock Expert and Novice with Vintage class 6 Heavyweight and Vintage class 7 Medium weight. It had gotten cloudy for the last half hour or so before this race, but during the race the sun came back out and things got hot. I was really feeling exhausted by the last two laps and found it necessary to ease off considerably, riding out the race but not riding hard.
I spent a lot of time hydrating and trying to get my energy up for my third race, which incidentally was going to be last race of the day. This was simply B Superstock Novice. I actually managed to pass another rider during this race. Woohoo for me!
Most important lesson learned during this race day: Racing is exhausting and requires lots of stamina. I need to lose weight, do some endurance training and overall get in better physical shape if I'm going to continue doing this.