Oct 23

2013 AFM Round 7 Race Report at Thunderhill

After Round 3, which was my first race weekend where I raced ever, I knew that I had maybe one more race weekend I would be able to get to by the end of the year, depending on how Berto looks in the championship. I wasn’t going to bail on helping Berto, especially if we are in the mix of things to get into the top 10 and/or to win a championship.

This all changed after Round 4 though…

I have been doing all the trackdays on the Friday before just to get some riding in and to practice myself. When Round 4 came along, I started that Friday like any other…waiting on Berto…

I ride around lap after lap, not really improving, but just taking it easy and enjoying the day. Around the afternoon time, Brandon Kyee and myself have done multiple laps around while he was on the Z2 Trackdays Yamaha R6. I was able to keep up with him for the most part, but im guessing its because he was taking it easy. He was saying the suspension wasn’t quite set up and was having a hard time with it.

He was really wanting to ride a 600 this round and since im a nice guy and try to help out where I can (at least I think I am LOL) I offered my bike to Brandon for the weekend if he wanted to race it. So he take the bike out for the last session of the day. Talk about nervous! But I knew it was in good hands.

When he comes in, the lap timer says 1:54! Without setting a think up for him, he was flying. He says it was the suspension that he loved (cause everything else was stock). K-tech, that’s whats up! That pretty much gave him the motivation to accept my offer and try and get my MotoGloss/Catalyst Reaction R6 on the box.

Long story short, Saturday comes around, 2nd session in to the day, engine failure. So Brandon didn’t race a 600 that weekend…

Now for the road to Round 7…

After Round 6, Berto says to me “Your racing next round, no questions asked, fix your bike.” Well ok Berto, whatever you say sir.

So the engine build process began. Jim and Nickie at Catalyst Reaction stepped up BIG TIME and offered there time for this build. Jim has been building engines for years, most people just don’t know because his shop is primarily a “suspension” shop. But Jim knows his sh*t and was excited to help out to get the MotoGloss bike back up and running.

So first things were first, get the old engine out.

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That took all of about 30 minutes to do since Berto ACTUALLY knows how to do this process. Probably cause he goes through engines like a fat kid does cake!

After that, engine went to Catalyst Reaction. This was when Jim tore it apart to see the damage that we had from engine failure from before. It was bad…

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So suffice to say, this engine was more gone that we had hoped and would take way too much in parts and machine work to get it back to where we want. Talk about bummed. Now I need to find a new engine and at this point in the season, that’s almost impossible! But I put the word out to a few people. Not 45 minutes after Nickie had texted me these pictures (at 10pm I might add – up late working hard) I had sourced a new engine! Oscar Fernandez stepped up and let me buy his backup 2012 engine that was in great condition with very little miles (albeit stock).

The next day I pick it up and drop it off to Jim. Jim then gives me the parts list we need that evening and I call up Mach 1 Motorsports and placed an order for some parts. Mach 1 is great for getting the parts for an SS build because they know there stuff and how to place orders so you aren’t wasting your money on things you don’t need. Example: There is a gasket kit that is an upgrade from stock gaskets and comes in a YEC kit that cost $1200…but ordered individually, they are like $10 apiece. I didn’t know that but Mach 1 informed me that they could get them individually and not in the kit.

Parts came in, dropped off to Jim, and within about 3 days, the engine was built!

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Then in the bike it went….with Bertos help of course.

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Then the bike was off to Alex at Fastline for dyno and break-in.

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Bike came back after all was said and done with 120.14hp. I wanted 120hp so we hit our target. This was all one on Thursday before the race weekend! Last minute, but Alex was able to help out in a big way and squeeze me in to his already super busy schedule. I can’t thank him enough!

So now we are off to Round 7. I headed up Friday morning and on the way up with the big Fun Mover, realized that the wind was crazy! It was like driving a kite! I get to the track and it’s a steady 25mph with gusts in the 40’s. Ya, I don’t really want to ride, but I need to put laps on this engine. So I go out and do a nice easy half day after lunch. I wasn’t going to push anything since the weekend was supposed to be zero wind, so all the brake markers will change anyway.

Saturday morning came and it was time for practice.

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My best time was my standard 2:03’s. My goal was to brake 2 minutes this weekend and I felt comfortable enough that I knew I could do it. The engine was running so strong and gave me such great drive out of corners. One thing I forgot to mention was I switched from Dynojet PC/IM/QS system to a Bazzaz TC/FI/QS system which seemed to feel better on my shifts and was very smooth through the gears.

I was signed up for Clubman Middleweight on Saturday, and Novice 750 Prod, Novice 600 Prod, and Novice F1 on Sunday.

First up with Clubman Middleweight on saturday.

New Pirelli DOT Supercorsa’s on (SC2 front / SC1 rear) and I was ready to go!

Video Here

I started from like 13th or something originally. We had a totally of 2 red flags and 2 restarts. By the time the race third start came around, a couple riders weren’t on the grid in front of me. I saw that and realized if I get a good start, I can battle for a podium. I knew (just like everyone else on the grid) that nobody was going to catch Ricardo Villegas and Manual Hernandez, they have been running mid 55’s all year.

I got a decent start but really slow through one. I realized its because im going through in 3rd gear rather than my normal 4th and it through off my whole timing. I eventually got it right by the end of the weekend. I settled into 6th place and just couldn’t make up ground on anyone in front of me. I need to find 5 seconds a lap quick! My best was a 2:01.213. Pretty good considering last round my best was a 2:02.195 in Clubman. So I got faster, and that’s what matters.


Warm up was nothing special, just scrub in my body and bike and get ready for Novice 750 Prod.

Novice 750 Production

Video Here

I gridded up 5th here on the inside. This start was a bit of confusion. They went with one grid with the experts rather that split them up. That means that some people had their hands up and didn’t go when the experts went and some went with the experts. I figured as soon as I didn’t see the guy holding the 2nd wave sign in front of us that we were all going at once.

After lap 1 I settled into 3rd place, and held that all the way until the checkered! First podium! After the race I realized that my left shin was cramping pretty bad. This was a horrible problem as it slows my downshifts/upshifts and just screws my head up. I know it was because the shifter was too high and the angle was tough to and took along of range of motion to shift. My best time was a 2:01.492 compared to a 2:01.698 from Round 3 (my first race round).

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So after this race, I re-positioned the shift lever hoping that it would help my shin. I decided not to race 600 Prod as I need the rest for my shin and I was going to be in the back of a stacked grid and wouldn’t have any advantage for doing this race (no points).

Novice F1

This race was after lunch and I felt pretty good about it and getting another podium. The race started and I got a great start from 8th position here as we also did one wave with the experts. I got a great start and what helped me was the fact that David la Bree and Sergio Fernandez got too wild with their wheelies and had to back off which gave me a great start to the race. I settled into 3rd place behind Ricardo Villegas, who checked out right away and Rob Reis. I pass Rob into 10 on the brakes and jump up to 2nd. I’m stoked at this point as I feel good, loose, and MY fastest. I run a pretty empty track until lap three when going into Turn 14 I get passed by both David la Bree and Sergio Fernandez. I knew it was going to happen as my shin at this point is really hurting and cramping really bad.

I stay behind the pair until Turn 6 of lap 4 and they pull away from me. I get passed for 4th place going into turn 10 by Jahan Raissi. Then going into Turn 2 of the final lap I get passed by Yovany Alvarez for 5th place. Also in the video you will see Rob Reis tried to get around the outside of me going into Turn 14 on the final lap, but I was able to get a better drive out of 15 and hold him off to the line. So I had potential for a 2nd place…only to get 6th. My best lap time was a 2:01.154 compared to last round of 2:01.448.

All in all for the weekend I improved my times throughout the weekend and better than last round. I didn’t hit the 2:00 or below mark which was my goal, but I improved. This gives me a good base going into next season and competing from Round 1 and all the way through.

Competing in only two rounds this year, I got 54th out of 155 Novices in Overall Novice and 30th out of 140 in Clubman Overall. That’s kinda cool.

I want to say THANKS to a few people and sponsors that have helped throughout the year even though I didn’t compete all year round.

Berto Wooldridge – Berto you’re awesome and a good friend. Your help this year was huge and I can’t thank you enough. I can’t wait until next year and the big things we have planned!

Catalyst Reaction – From the K-Tech suspension to the motor build, Jim and Nickie has been 100% supportive of me all year. I call them my friends, not my sponsor.

Fastline – Alex helped out big time with the tuning and Bazzaz install. Thank you for squeezing me in to your busy schedule! Not only is he good at what he does, he’s a great person too.

Special thanks goes to:
– Corey and Chris from CT Racing for the sticky rubber that kept me glued to the track, and the awesome service you and your guys give us.
– Ken and Deanna with Pacific Track Time. Always great to see them and the help they give me to get track time is always appreciated.
– Suomy for making my head look good and safe! First Suomy I’ve worn and so I can’t say enough about how comfy and awesome it is!
– Woodcraft for the necessities I had to get on the bike.
– Leo Vince Exhaust for the best exhaust out there.
– Oxymoron Photography for the cool shots throughout the weekend.
– Ace Custom Graphics for all the decals to make the bike look as good as it does in all the photos.
– MotoGloss Paint for making the bike stand out from the crowd!

Photo credit goes to Max and his Oxymoron Photography crew.

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