LRRS 2018 - Round 2

This is going to be another short report as I've got another project stewing in the background, and well, it was another mostly drama free event.

To start, no A-ko yet, but she will be back for the Classic! Mistake's rear wheels were shipped off to Dubya USA in California for rebuilds, and I though shipping forks to Mass was expensive...

LRRS Round 2

Friday was beautiful, ideal weather with a bright sun, mild temps and dry air. I got a couple practice sessions in on Facade and confirmed that despite being last year's tires, the Pirelli DOTs were still hanging in there.

Saturday I enjoyed both practice sessions on Facade, and then put the R6 back on it's stands for the rest of the day. The rain came in and eliminated my interest in braving the track for HWSS. Instead I wandered the pits being my usual social self, and got invited to a potluck dinner in the Seacoast Sport Cycle garage that evening. As an added bonus, Todd from Heroic was on site for this event and I got to meet his wife. Too much food was eaten, had a fun conversation about cooking and candy preferences, went to bed early on a full stomach tired from all the socialness. The way it should be.

Sunday I got to ride the rented mule for the weekend, a Kawasaki Ninja 400 still sporting it's OEM bodywork. Save for rearsets and Dunlop Q3+ tires it was bone stock. In my one practice session on it I was pleasantly surprised to hang with Isaac of ECK fame, the little bike had some pep and the stock suspension was surprisingly viable.

Two races for the day, HWSB on the R6 and ULGP on the baby Ninja. In HWSB I rode my brains out, did not get caught by the Amateurs and was not last in my class when I crossed the stripe. I pulled a 1:21.558 which is my fastest time yet on the R6, but still off from the 20s I have done on the FZR and still pretty slow overall for an Expert on a MW class machine. I'm early getting off the throttle and on the brakes, and not working my gearbox anywhere NEAR enough. Also, the R6 likes to point out how out of shape I am... what a work out!

ULGP started out badly, as the weather would not make up it's mind. Riders crashed on the opening lap triggering a red flag, the start was delayed, we gridded up only to be sent back for another weather delay... When we finally did get out it was a 6 lap race instead of 8 on a mostly dry track. Some riders were on rains which overheated quickly, others were on race DOTs or slicks which did NOT like the damp sections while I was on street tires that seemed to be the hot setup for the conditions. I was still massively outgunned bike wise but had a ball hammering the little Ninja around like the slightly large pit bike it is, up to and including getting both wheels in the air at the same time going over the pavement seams out of turn 10! My race was a battle with Jake Vader, his father and a couple vintage racers and a total giggle-fest. Ultimately I came in 5th out of 5 in my class, but laughing like a maniac as I got to take an RS125 on the outside into Turn 1 at one point, drag raced (and lost) to a Kawasaki H2 and generally tried every nutty hail Mary I could think of to scoot the little Ninja around the track just a hair faster.

Six laps was not enough, I could have gone for an hour plus on the baby Ninja, and the only reason I'd have to stop after that would be to catch my breath from laughing too hard. Were I starting from scratch with racing right now, the Ninja 400 would be on the short list of bikes I'd consider buying. Sadly it's primary shortcoming is a lack of classes it can reasonably compete in, 500SS and 500SB are it's only places to run, anywhere else it'll get quickly beat up on by bigger machines. As a B bike for the FZR... hrmm... maybe SVM would give me a good trade for Facade...

...bad thoughts, do not trade the most reliable bike in the stable for a new shiny...

I ended the weekend tired, and near the bottom of the ULGP points race but I'm on the board and still have a fighting chance. 19 points off the lead is a LOT better than 67.