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Ride Hard, Pray Harder

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2005 CBR600RR - WMSC #602

Note: No more racing! Thanks for all your support!




600 Modified Production (Race 4)

Finished: 20th
Laps: 8
Race Points: 4
Total Points in Class:
600 Modified Production: 4


What I've realized is that if I don't practice, I won't get faster. I've had to skip practice the last few months due to other obligations but that's no excuse.

I got up early on race day and wasn't feeling too well but made it to the track, filed my paperwork and headed to practice. I was running decent laps (1:34) so I thought I would be able to pick up the pace to 1:32 during the race. What I didn't anticipate was by the time the race rolled around the winds would be picking up. I'm dog slow when it's windy and it makes me think about what happened to Chris a lot. Hey, it's always windy at Willow, isn't it? It's high time I learned how to race in windy conditions isn't it? I'd say...

Anyway, after the riders meeting I go to check the grid for the one race I entered and I'm not listed! I walked in to check with the office and realized I put myself in the wrong race! haha.

That's not even the funniest part. The funny part was because of my own clerical error, I was sent to the back of the grid. My friends let me have it but it was all in good fun. Shandra told me "Hey, I did that last month and they sent me to the back of the grid as well...." so I guess I am not the only rider to make that error :)

I was still not feeling great but the when the flag dropped it doesn't matter anymore. The RR was feeling good with the new 190 rear though I will need to go up 2 more teeth in the back because my gearing is all screwed up. There were a lot of crashes today so I decided to see how I'd do on the start. Once again I got a great start and ended up mid pack by turn 1.

I had several close calls including a guy in turn 1 on the start that caused me to have to grab a fist full of brakes which then caused several riders to get around me. I decided then that it was more important to bring me and the bike home in one piece. Backing off the throttle I was passed by many of the riders I passed on the start. Oh well. You live, you race, you learn. It's not about winning trophies but learning to be smoother (which I am working on). The speed and faster lap times will come soon. It ain't the bike, it's me.

After my one race, I put the RR right into the trailer and was out of there by 12:30. That's one of the best things about being out of novice is that I don't have to wait until the last race of the day anymore :)

See you in October. I'm not going to race next month due to it being Toyota 200 weekend.


WSMC or Streets in October (Haven't decided which one yet, maybe both!)


UPDATED 6/17/2007

600 Modified Production (Race 2)

650 Superbike (Race 5)

600 Mod Prod: 17th / 650 SB: 27th
Finished: 600 Mod Prod: 19th / 650 SB: 18th
Laps: 600 Mod Prod: 8 / 650 SB: 8
Race Points: 8 (4 per race)
Total Points in Class:
600 Modified Production: 6
650 Super Bike: 4


Some days you just aren't "feeling" it....and this weekend I had no game.

The highs from last month's improvements were lost this month. The weather was nice but VERY hot and not too breezy. I slapped on a brand new set of Power Races on Saturday afternoon and was running within 8/10ths of my fastest race times during practice Sun AM so I thought I would be OK. Not so fast!!

600 Mod Prod:
I was gridded 17th and got another great start. I was 12th by the first turn. I held that place until lap five when coming out of turn 4b the back end stepped out. BIG TIME. I managed to save it but that totally threw my trust in the tires out the door. Within one lap I went from 12th to 19th place. Seven riders passed me because I had to stay off the gas in the right hand turns to keep the back end in line. These are new tires and shouldn't be breaking loose like that. After the race I had the Michelin guys look at it and they said the tire was fine but a little low on air pressure so they added a few pounds in. That should solve the problem they said, right? Not! Read on....

650 Super Bike:
Ok well so much for the tire just being low on pressure. As soon as I started the race I knew something was just not right. In turns 2, 4a/4b, 8 and 9 I could feel the tire slipping. I had to modulate it with throttle inputs. I was riding on the razor's edge. Not much I could do about it but hang on. I got lapped going into turn 8 right at the end of the race. DOH. But -- it was the three fastest guys and they were all running 1:22s! (Toye, Pfeifer and Tigert). Just to show you I wasn't imagining things, Tigert's last two laps were 1:28 and 1:29 (slow for him). As we ended the race (I was right behind Jeff) he pointed to his back tire. Yep, his was fried too. So maybe the weather had a lot to do with it?

Either way, most of my goals were met and it was double points so instead of just getting 4 points, I got 8. I'm going to see if I can get some of LLoyd's time and run a few laps at Willow with him to see if he can help me figure out what the deal is. The Michelin guys think it's my suspension (upgrade it, they say!) and I think it's the tire because the suspension has not been changed since last month and I didn't have these problems. (PS: Tigert's 07 600RR is a LOT faster than my 05. I got to see that first hand.)

On the plus side, I got two sets of new tires for $660.00. The second set I bought were the 190s so maybe having a wider profile will stop the rear end from moving around on me for now on. We'll see.

Note: Checking my rear tire pressure it's at 18.5lbs. 3.5lbs lower than it should have been so maybe that's why it was getting too hot and greasy? We checked it during the race and I thought 22lbs hot was a tad low.

See ya next month!


WSMC (Big Track) August 18/19, 2007


UPDATED 5/20/2007

600cc Modified Production (Race 1)

Finished: 16th
Laps: 8
Race Points: 2
Total Points in Class:
600 Modified Production: 2
600 Super Stock: 0 (Did not race this month)
650 Super Bike: 0 (Did not race this month)

Lap times/Race results HERE


Excellent weather at Willow today. The best I can ever remember it being. I arrived on Saturday and spoke to the front desk who promptly informed me that I had enough points to move out of novice if I wanted to: Ummm -- HECK YEAH!!

On Saturday I completed my corner working and received my Probationary Expert license. Sunday morning I did two practice sessions. Since I needed to be home early I decided to just do the 600 Modified Production race since it was the first race of the day.

Reality and humility check:
I checked my grid placement and found out I was 28th, next to last. Heh. Not only was I gridded at the very back, I was going to get schooled by the fast guys. That's ok because that's what I needed. This is the best way to learn -- mix it up with the big boys. When the flag dropped I was pretty nervous as evidenced by my wheelie. I managed to settle things down and pass some riders to slip into the middle of the pack. I was later passed by three riders in the 8 lap race. The last one who passed me I ended up passing him on the brakes into turn one about a half lap later. I managed, somehow, to stay ahead of him by 4/10ths of a second and finished 16th.

Some "monumental" (said it jest) goals were achieved in my first expert race:
1. Not crashing.
2. Not finishing last.
3. Not being lapped.

What can I say...I'm a realist. That's ok. The 600cc class isn't called the "meat grinder" class for nothing. It's the most competitive field in club racing. I wanted to challenge myself and that's exactly what I got. Time for fun!

Have a great weekend and see ya next month!

PS: Rest in peace #635, fellow June 2006 NRS graduate Kevin Surantararungrsi who passed away on May 11th in a street riding accident. May the Lord comfort your family in this time of loss.


6/17: WSMC Practice/Race (no Saturday practice)


UPDATED 4/15/2007

501-650cc Novice

14th out of 21 riders
Finished: 6th
Laps: 6
Race Points: 7
Total Points: 11


This was probably one of the worst weekends to race that I can remember at Willow. It was very cold and so windy at times it would literally blow you over.

Due to finally having class points I was gridded 14th. That was great as I know the RR has pretty good power and is easy to launch so I figured my best shot at getting a top 10 finish would be on the start. Our race was the 18th out of 19 runs so we ended up starting at around 5:20pm. It was overcast and the wind was blowing hard (when does it never blow at Willow?!) so I kept that in mind.

The green flag drops and I get a great launch. I end up in 4th place into turn 1 and held it until the middle of turn 8 when a rider who didn't realize how strong the wind was blowing tried to pass me underneath. As soon as we got to turn 9 the hard wind stood him up and pushed him right off the track. Thankfully he is ok even though his R6 didn't fare too well. Turns 2, 3, exit of 7 and entry of 9 were the worst. You never knew where your bike was going to go when you drove it across and into the wind. After watching the R6 go off track I decided to back it down a notch. The race was uneventful for the most part (a rarity for "nervice" class). I tricked myself into relaxing by thinking of it as a regular practice session.

Eventually I was passed by two riders during the course of the race. I figured it wasn't worth binning the bike to try and keep up in these conditions so I settled, happily, for 6th place and 7 very valuable points.

Thanks to Jeff Tigert for helping me get my suspension dialed in (it was way too soft). The bike actually goes where I point it now and I am not running wide on the exits. I thought it was my riding style but Jeff pointed out that my bike was squatting in the turns under acceleration and that is what was causing me to go wide (and lose time).

See you next month!


5/19: WSMC Practice
5/20: WSMC Race


UPDATED 3/18/2007

501-650cc Novice

20th out of 34 riders
Finished: 34th **** (That's racing...so they say)
Laps: 4
Race Points: 2
Total Points: 4


Since my race was the last one one of the day I decided to take notes in the morning around each of the turns watching Kenny K and Jason Perez. That really helped me a lot with my lines. I made sure to watch the 600cc races from various vantage points as well. To be fast at Willow you really have to study the pros.

Time to race.....

I was gridded 20th because I only had 2 points so far this year. Not bad but the wind was blowing really hard. The flag drops and I manage to pass 14 riders to slip into 6th place at turn 1. It was super windy and there was a dust storm in turn 9 making it hard to see the exit. So suck it up and race, Brian! As I am catching up to the 5th place rider in turn 3 on the third lap out comes the red flag.

We exit the track and wait for them to clear the carnage. Ten minutes later they call us back for a four lap restart. I am gridded back to my original 20th position. The red flag was a bummer as it wasted a good start but I felt confident that I could do it again. On the restart I get another good drive and end up 8th into turn 1. Into turn two I am passed by another rider who I get to know REALLY well later in the race. I end up passing him again and start to work on the pack ahead of me. On the third lap I come into three a little hot and end up going a tad wide. No problem, I'll just tip the bike over and....


Out of nowhere the rider I had passed earlier to regain 8th position hit a false neutral and did not brake. Instead he t-boned me at full speed. His bike slammed into my left side as I was leaned fully over putting the force of the impact on my left thigh, knee and shin. Somehow (divine intervention?) instead of crashing I managed to save the bike and ride off into the dirt. All I knew was my leg was in a lot of pain. I looked back and the rider that hit me had crashed but was standing up so I rode around to see if he was hurt. He apologized profusely explaining what happened and asked if I was OK. I told him "I am fine, it's OK, that's racing and I am glad you are OK as well." We shook hands and I waited to rejoin the race.

Limping the bike home

As I limped back to the finish line the corner workers were giving me thumbs up at each turn. How totally cool of them. I did gain some much needed points to put me in a better grid position for next month. Unfortunately the incident caused me to finish next to last. Craig and Tom helped me load my stuff as I couldn't put any weight on my left leg. Derek came over to help me unload the trailer. I could have been hurt much worse but that's racing in the 600cc "meat grinder" class. It's a risk and if I die doing this, at least I go doing something I love and with a smile on my face...no regrets.

The bike has some minimal body work damage. As for my leg? Right now it has a huge lump and some bruising. My forearm, upper arm and left pinky knuckle has brusing as well. My knee is tweaked but I'm walking it off (no whining or complaining here) and will be ready to go at it again next month.


4/2: Track day/practice with Ducati Desmo Owners Club of SD
WSMC Practice
4/15: WSMC Race


UPDATED 2/18/2007

501-650cc Novice

28th out of 36 riders
Finished: 28th
Laps: 6 (race complete)
Race Points: 2
Total Points: 2


Second novice race. I was gridded 28th of 37 riders but in the second wave to go out (30 seconds after the first wave). There's no chance of catching anyone a few seconds slower than you when you have to weave through traffic in your group. I did manage to catch one rider in the first group but had another rider from my group pass me on the last lap (D'oh!). I got a decent start but with 37 riders it's really hard to find a good spot to go around guys. I was boxed in most of the first lap. When things thinned out I was able to lower the lap times but still not come close to catching the first group. At least I got back in the saddle and am getting used to racing speeds. I have a total of two track days since July of 2006 so I'm way behind the curve.

The best thing is there were NO CRASHES during our session. We had one yellow flag but that was a rider that ran off the track but did not crash. He came back on so that was good.

I did get the bike mapped on the dyno and was surprised to see 109.5 rear wheel horsepower from just a slip on and a power commander (pump gas, not race fuel) at that altitude. That's pretty good considering stock it's around 102 and the motor has 16,000 miles already (well, I street rode it a lot, loaned it to somebody for a few days, did one long road trip and many Palomar runs on it so of course I racked up the road miles).


3/16: Advanced Racer's Clinic
3/17: WSMC Practice
3/18: WSMC Race


UPDATED 6/18/2006

501-650cc Novice

26th out of 32 riders
Finished: 14th
Laps: 3 (Red flagged, 2 yellow flags)
Points: 2
Class Points: 2


First Novice race. Good start but was held up in turn 1. Managed to pass a few riders before a quick yellow flag. Race was red flagged midway through second lap.

Crashed at New Racer's School. Broken rear set, right side of bodywork destroyed. Managed to piece the bike together to finish school. Definitely switching to D209s for the next race.


To my family - I love you all
All the Pastors of Saddleback Church
Adrian Limon - You are my brother in Christ
Kenny Kopecky - Ride with the Champ
Jeff Tigert
Dave Moss
Jason Curtis
L&L Motorsports
Todd Robinson - CalSportbike
Dustin Coyner - Trackdaz
All my sponsors

To all of my friends
- Thank you for support and encouragement to follow my dreams

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