Tall Tales about Amatuer Motorcycle Racing

John Reynolds #619 Oct 15 CVMA Round 2 Race Report

John Reynolds Expert# 619headshot

Chuckwalla Valley Raceway CCW
Center Valley Ca. Mid to Upper 80’s and Humid
01 SV650

Results for 17 Oct 2015:

Class                           Sat
Formula Twins            1st
Formula 2                   2nd
LW Formula 40           1st

Friday Night

Not the greatest start to a weekend. My wife was out of town so it was up to my brother and I to make this weekend at the track happen with my two girls. The plan was simple. He watches the them when I’m racing and Ill watch them when I’m not.  Unfortunately that is not how it worked out. He pretty much had them 99.9% of the time. Thanks for your help Bro couldn’t have done it without your help. We arrived at Chuckwalla Valley Raceway about 4:30PM and start setting up. My trailer was right where I left it Sunday after the Socal Trackdays event.  I unloaded the trailer as my brother watched the girls. As I’m finishing setting up Andy rolls up with my “Alfa” bike (SBK Build).  He rebuilt the engine for me after I blew it up using bad gas at the end of last season but it still needed a lot of work. He didn’t have time to full assemble the bike or break in and test the engine. Sucks but work has to get done, so I spent the next couple hours finishing the assembly, swapping a side cover, (my water pump was leaking) safety wiring everything and swapped the body work from the “B”ee bike (cam-swap and stock carbs). Adding that to the time playing with, feeding and getting the girls down for bed and I was one tired individual at the end of the night.  On the bright side the girls were happy (maybe not Uncle) and the night sky was ablaze with lightning. The show was spectacular.

SAT Practice

Me backstraightMy 9M old was up @ 6am so I was up @ 6am with my three year old up shortly after. Their internal alarms are amazing. I got them dressed, fed and played with them for an hour so and then handed them off to Uncle. I still needed to finish the safety wiring and get the bike through tech before first practice. Fueled and ready to go my plan was to use my two practice sessions breaking in the engine. Go out for a few laps, bring it in, check the temperature and head out again. Andy came over after the first practice to check on the bike. I reported that I had a lot of vibration. I started the motor for him. It sounded good at first but after a short bit the rear cylinder was making some unusual sounds. Andy wasn’t sure if it was the carburetor or the motor but to be safe we decided it would be best not to race it and he would take the bike back to the shop. Blah! With Andy and my team mate Jody Sawyer’s (#530) help I spent the second practice getting the rear tire changed and swapping bodywork and other bits back to Bee.  I would qualify with no practice.

Qualifying / Best Lap 2:00.5

Fortunately I was very comfortable on Bee. I had spent the past weekend practicing on her and knew if I could get close to a 2:00 I would be near the front of the grid. All I needed was some clear track, my head down and my best effort. I headed out after the initial gaggle of lightweight bikes and used the first lap to get into a rhythm. Even though I had to deal with some traffic, the bike felt good and I got by slower bikes with no real impact to my pace. The Pirelli slick Dale, at Racers Edge, mounted for me was doing its job and I was getting great drive out of the corners.  When I came in my timer showed 2:00.5. Considering my PR on this bike was a 1:59.7, I was stoked. I had to be close to the front. When the grids for race one came out it was confirmed. I was front row middle. Just a tenth of a second off pole behind Rex Ainslie #789 and a just over a half second ahead of Pittman Wallace # 40. I was also excited to see my good friend Stephen Ludwig #22 out on the grid after some time away supporting his grandsons racing.

Race 1 Formula Twins / Placed 1st, Best Lap 1:59.1

EPIC Battle. The Veteran Verses the Rookie”  THE RACE VIDEO

me T9 smallRolling out I knew this was going to be a fun race. Rex was on pole and he was on a better equipped SV but I was confident that if I could get a good start and get clear of traffic I would be able to stay with him. I was not planning on having a repeat of the last round when it took everything I had just to keep him and Cowboy #31 in sight. Green Flag. I get a terrible start. My clutch is dragging just a little so I just couldn’t get the power to the bike as fast as I needed. Pittman launched out in front with Rex following suite. Rex gets by Pittman into the Bowl, and I run up as close as I can so that I can set him up for a draft pass down the back straight. I give Pitman a little room as we run up to T11 and then drive out as best I could. I get the draft and I get by him into T10 on the brakes. Now for Rex who had not gotten very far. “So your saying I have a chance” It takes me a lap to reel him in and I get a good idea where he is struggling. He is a little heavy on the brakes so I stay close and try for a repeat of the Pittman pass. As we come down the back straight I get a good draft so he is not pulling on me. I pop out and run to the inside. He tries to go late on the brakes but it’s not enough to gain back the advantage. I take the lead. I know Rex is close. I can hear him and he reels me in but I’m not making it easy. He tries me in T10, Nope. Then 4 he drives inside me into T5 and makes it stick but I get a better drive out of T4 and go back under him in T3 to retake the lead. He tries again in T10 but he can’t get inside and I keep under him as we go up to T9. White flag and Rex dives into T16 but goes wide and gives me some room. There was not enough time for him to make up the gap and I take the win with REX .326 seconds behind.

Race 10 Formula 2 / Placed 2nd, Best Lap 2:00.3

My plan was to have a repeat of race one. I knew Rex and Pittman were going to get a good start so I needed to get past Pittman ASAP so that I could stay close to Rex. His bike is faster and I needed to draft him have a chance to get by him on the brakes somewhere and then keep him behind me for the rest of the race.   Well you know what the German military strategist Helmuth von Moltke said about plans, “No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.” Now this is not to say that my CVMA racing family becomes my enemy once we grid up but to say that no plan, regardless how well thought out will work the way you intend when it meets reality. This is what happened to me. At the start Pittman gets another great start and just as in Race 1 Rex gets by him into the Bowl but unlike race one Pittman checks me up out of T11 heading onto the back straight and I lose my drive. Every corner we go through as I’m trying to get past Pittman I see Rex getting a little farther away. By the time I do get by him Rex has a good 3 seconds on me. Try as I might I couldn’t make any gains on Rex. He was killing it running consistent 1:59.s and I wasn’t doing better that 2:00s. As I crossed the checkers Rex had 7.5 seconds on me with Tom Schofield #116x ten seconds behind. Wish it was closer but I’ll take second and the points.

Race 12 Formula 40 Lightweight / Placed 1st, Best Lap 2:01.2

DSC_0042smallBased on the previous races I was confident that I was going to win this race and most likely would be alone out in front. This was based on the fact that Rex wasn’t old enough for Formula 40 and everyone else in the field was running at least a second a lap slower than I was. All I needed to do was getting out in front and maintain a good pace. I did have it in my mind to slow and have some fun mixing it up with my friends but I thought better of it once the green went up. Just like all the races before, I got a terrible start. But unlike the other races Stephen got the whole shot, WOOT good job, and I ended up fourth heading out of the first turn (T16). I was excited about the possibility of mixing it up with Stephen. I quickly worked my way up to second behind him preparing for battle but as we came through T14 I see a cloud of dirt on the top of the Bowl. OOPS, somebody crashed but I didn’t see a red flag at the corner worker station so the game was still on. Not knowing why the bike crashed I made no aggressive moves following Stephen through the Bowl and was right on his rear wheel as we headed onto the back straight. It was my intention of draft passing him into T10. Just as I was preparing to pop out and pass he came off the gas while raising his hand signaling that he saw the red flag. It was everything I could do not to ass pack him. I knew they were going to throw the red and should have known better than to be that close but “racers got to race”.

DSC_0054smallWe all headed onto hot pit hoping it was going to be a quick clean up but when I saw the ambulance rolling I was just hoping it wasn’t anything serious. So we waited. And waited. Some of the staff and others started bring water out and my friend Jen Dunstan #70 came over and played umbrella girl for me. Thanks Jen you’re awesome. The grids was much lighter the second time we lined up. I guess it being the last race of the day some of the riders decided just to pack it up after the red flag. So when the green flew my teammate Jody got the whole shot followed by Mitch Cardwell #124. I go under Mitch between T15 and T14 and started going after Jody. After race one compared race data from our Qstars GPS data loggers to see why I was 2 seconds faster a lap than he was on a better equipped SV650. The quick and dirty was I was getting a much better drive out T14, T11 and T8 and was carrying 6MPH more speed (115 to 109) at the end of the back straight.  And as the data showed I quickly caught him out of T14 and dove under him as we approached the bowl to take the lead. He did a good job following me through T12 & T11 and then down the back straight but I my drive out of T8 was killer and by T7 he was a ways behind me battling for 2nd with Cowboy. Over the next 5 laps I passed a couple middle weight bikes, did some mental laundry and wondered if I had enough gas. I finished 1st, 10 seconds ahead of the rest of my class.

Thanks to my Teammates for always making the weekend fun and exciting. Thanks to my sponsors for providing great support and products that make racing a little easier to make racing happenWoodcraftArmour Bodies,  ACT Leathers,  SiDI Motonation.comAP MotoartsScorpion USA, Socal TrackdaysSPY OpticsM4 Exhaust , Shoria Batteries.

One Comment

  1. Great rap on your the ‘Racing’ part of your amazing weekend, you got so much done this weekend and looked like you had plenty of energy for more!!

    Thank you man!!


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