Yes... VIR... my favorite track on the east coast. Lots of elevation change and very technical. My first time here was back in 2002 during a NESBA trackday.
And now we race it....
I was in Group 2 practice as this was my first round and I have zero points.
The weather would stay crappy for every session G2 would have including Qualifying on Saturday morning.
Free Practice 1 & 2 ...
I had never rode VIR in the rain so I just went out to learn the track in the wet. Vir has lots of grip. Just stay off the sealer as much as possible. Exit of T1, up the hill in T7 and at the bottom of T17 were the most tricky places.
Some guys were struggling with entry in T3, T4 and getting through the esses.
You only get one shot at Q this year. It's a 40 minute session. Group 2 started at 08:30 in the wet. I mounted up a new set of rains and had a set of dot's on warmers just in case it dried up.
I go out and run about 6-8 laps and come in around sixth quickest. After a drink and talk with the crew we know we're in trouble as the sun's starting to peek through and the track is getting a narrow dry line in places. Not enough for dot's yet.
So I head back out looking for quicker times and manage to pick up about a half second each for the next few laps. I finished third quickest in G2 behind two very fast riders Xavier Zayat and Caroline Olsen.
Turns out the track becomes dry for Group 1 qualifying and not a single rider in Group 2 makes the 107% cut off and we all go to the LCQ.
The LCQ is a 10 lap shoot out where the top 5 get to go race with the big boys in the 20 lap main.
One rider from Group 1 failed to get in at 107% as well so I have to start in the fourth grid box.
Once you're placed in the LCQ you're there for the weekend. So now I have to finish fifth or better each day to move on to the main.
I get an OK start and go into T1 fourth. I stay there as the front two riders check out. I have a nice battle going with CJ (#20) when one of the front riders crashes out. I finish 3rd.
I'm starting on row 8 left. I'm just happy I made it in. It's a long race so we just settle in and ride. Once again I'm in a nice battle with CJ LaRoche, Jaret Nassaney and Aston Yates. We managed to stay tight most of the race. I only had four of the top riders put me a lap down. While off my PB a little bit we ran into the 1:34's. and finished 13th in class.
Holeshot....yes. This was by far the best race I have had in some time. I got the holeshot and lead two laps before being overtaken into T1. I had run a bit wide and opened the hole. I gathered it up and put my head down to continue on. Once again I ended up in a heated battle with two other riders. We ran nose to tail the entire race where I finished fifth.
And YES I DID... I lead two laps of a MotoAmerica race....
Well I didn't start last... but next to it...lol.
This time my holeshot put a strain on the clutch and it started slipping right away. Going into T1 on lap one my lever popped on downshift. I decided to not push the bike hard and fell back from the pack. I wanted to finish the race and not DNF. Turns out I had lost the free play and my cable was super tight. My bike would not pull at higher rpm so I rode a steady pace and finished 14th.
MotoAmerica is always a fun challenge. I have my family to thank for become so involved. I have my sponsors to thank for providing the parts and service to put me on the grid.
And to Off Camber.. good to see you and the boy again... you guys were rocking out T1 this year !!!