|Kenny Cummings on left and Don Lange or right with Don's CB175. Don's made a brilliant start to his RR career. photo by Stacie B. London|
|Always could be worse, but bad enough to put it out of commission for the event|
At Willow Springs, I felt that the Grimeca front brake didn't make that much difference, but one doesn't brake much at Willow. At Sonoma there are many hard braking areas and the Grimeca was definitely better but both Walt and I felt that the weight of it made it much harder to heave the bike from side to side through the esses.
|This big Grimeca 4LS front brake definitely stopped better than the previous A1R, but it's weight also made it harder to change direction. There's no free lunch|
|Mike drills while Karl directs to attach radiator hose deflector to exhaust|
So, in Friday's race, I was running 2nd to Mick Hart when, starting the 7th lap, I got the 'meatball' flag. I assumed it was for noise again and wondered if I should pull off. But, a couple of corners later, Zack Courts lapped me on his SOT2 FZ-O7 Yamaha, so I knew I would get the checkered flag the next time around and something in the back of my mind told me that I had a couple of laps to respond to a Meatball flag (as opposed to a black flag). So, I didn't pull off and took the checker, finishing 2nd in class to Mick Hart and 15th overall of the 27 finishers and ahead of one of the SOT2 bikes, two of the Vintage Superbikes, two of the Thruxtons, and all of the e-bikes. But, when I came in off the cool off lap, I was told to report to tech. Cal Lewis, the AHRMA referee, told me that I had indeed gone over the sound limit again. I told him that in practice I had short shifted by the sound meter and had been alright. He told me that until the track said that I couldn't go out again, he would interpret the 3 strikes rule as per day.
So in the 500 Premiere race, I led off the line from pole position, but Ari Henning and Jon Munns came by me between turns #2 & 3 on their 500 Sportsman 350 Hondas. I had a big slide on the exit of turn #5 which cooled my jets a bit, and then I really short shifted by the noise meter and lost touch with the two of them, but stayed close enough that I was able to watch a really good battle between them. My fastest lap was more than 1.6 seconds slower than in the SOS3 race, largely because of short shifting for the noise meter, and I finished 3rd overall and 1st in class.
Walt got the start right this time for the 350GP, though he follow Jim Neuenberg for a few laps as he had ridden at all Fri. up until then. He passed Jim and won by just under a second. Walt didn't short shift by the noise meter and never exceeded the limit. Did we take different lines, sit on the bike differently, shift at different points? Who knows, but I tripped the meter 4 times over the 2 days and Walt not once. Life isn't fair. My best lap time this year was 2:02.434; last year I did a 1:58.490, almost 4 seconds faster, and that was on a frame that turned out to be significantly bent from the crash the previous week at Willow Springs, and was subsequently straightened. It's not entirely valid to compare times year to year as a lot of things change, but 4 secs. The brake might have been a bit of that and maybe the tires were getting a bit old, but 4 secs? It can't be because I'm getting old, can it?
|Lenora Cox, editor of the Velocette Owners Club newsletter, rode this MAC to the track|
|Lenora let me ride it around the paddock and it's badass|
|Jeff Scott fettled the MAC and made this exh. clamp|
|An interesting character assembled this tableau outside our garage|
Saturday, I did a 85 mile road ride with my good friend Parra and three other Roadoilers.
|With my old friend Parra in what could be mistaken for his native Ireland. Great photo by Robert Bleeker|
|With the Dick Mann Specialties TT 500 Yamaha (despite what the tank says) Robert Bleeker photo|
|L to R Parra, me, Jim and Gus. Robert Bleeker photo|
|I critique the DMS TT500 for Parra. Robert Bleeker photo|