Faster and Faster
As I mentioned, I got into a rhythm out in that race. How I would describe that rhythm is establishing a first lap that was fast, but clean. And every lap after that, I made fine adjustments as I tried to go faster and faster. It actually felt easy to be honest. Just like it did back in 2014 when I broke into the 1:05's the first time. The points in which I would pick up the throttle, and how fast I would pick up the throttle, to how far I trail braked into a corner and how gently I let off all added up to that little bit extra I needed to get the job done. There is a bump tipping into turn 7 I would hit and it would kick the rear tire into the air every lap I was in the 1:05's. Anytime I didn't get that kick into turn 7, launching the rear in the air for a split second followed by the rear-end wagging into the corner on landing, I knew I wasn't going fast enough. There's a couple other little things I discovered that I could keep an eye out for as I progressed through each lap to tell me if I was on pace or not for a low 1:05.
I will say that I learned this OMRRA weekend that 1:04's are possible someday. I didn't understand how a lap faster than my previous best, a 1:05.7 (set in the same race in 2014 that McDonough broke the track record with a 1:05.3) could be done. But I learned how, and now I see the possibility to go even faster which is a good feeling. It takes a lot of variables to be right for a track record to be broken, however. It takes the right weather conditions, the right track conditions, a rider that's extremely focused and comfortable with his/her bike, it takes the perfect tire selection (my Dunlop ultra-soft slicks were on point!), it takes a good bike setup and team, good competition, and it takes a strategy. There are a few more variables I may be missing, but it's surprisingly hard for those to all come together. I've been racing the same track for 4 years, and the last 2 on a bike that theoretically is better and faster than my old track record bike, yet for years I couldn't go faster until now.
Anyway, we will see how long I can hang onto this record! Or how long until I can beat it again. The rest of the OMRRA weekend went alright. I had an electrical issue that didn't allow me to race Open Superbike on Sunday. I finished a close 2nd to Ryan Sutton in Formula Ultra after duking it out with him all race.
I'd like to give a huge thank you to Eric Dorn of EDR for always helping me at PIR and prepping a wonderful race bike! Big thanks to my Dad for the effort he puts into taking me racing, it's pretty cool to be doing this with him. Big thanks to Jason Paden at Dunlop tires for the amazing support as well. And thanks to Oregon Motorcycle Attorney, who I owe so much for this amazing motorcycle I have! Thanks to all my sponsors: