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I don't have a full race report, as I was just a participant at this race, but there was enough interesting stuff to warrant a post, I thought.

First of all the track:

It's the I-70 speedway, in Odessa MO, a short high bank oval asphalt stock car track about 40 miles East of Kansas City. In the infield, they had a full sized BMX track, with no less than 5 doubles, a whoop section, three high bermed bowl turns and a few other bigger step-ups. There was also a couple acres of flat asphalt in the infield, with flowing 1st and 2nd gear kinks and hairpins, and finally a 1/8 mile banked dirt oval that we used about 2/3 of, jumping in, and jumping back out before heading to the main straight.

This is a big, big track, with the pros turning 1m52s laps.



Here's a flying lap of the track -

1. Exiting the last corner, a 2nd gear, 180 degree left, you join the main straightaway of the asphalt oval. Easy at first on the gas as you finish the turn, the rear wants to step out with too much throttle... patience pays off. Once you're close to upright, its full throttle, and through the gears quickly, switching from 4th to 5th (if you have it) as you cross the start-finish line. Just a moment in fifth gear, and it's clutch in, hard on the front brake, banging down two gears as you angle in for the chicane that takes you momentarily onto the pit apron.

2. You want to get back on the banked turn at as shallow an angle as possible - anything else is adding distance to your lap, and making the transition harsh. Even at a shallow angle, running to the very corner of the apron, hitting the banking is a lot like hitting the face of a jump. Once you're up on the banking, it's back into 4th and hard on the gas, but not quite full throttle... a funny thing happens as you accelerate around the banking, your suspension compresses with centrifugal force, your tires deform and feel underinflated, and a heavy throttle hand makes the rear of the bike wallow sickeningly. As you accelerate towards 85 mph, the outer wall seems to sweep down on you, and the hard left-hand detour into the dirt arrives in no time.

3. Clutch in, hard on the front brake again, and two down shifts, you want to aim wide at first because slowing down on the banking seems to just suck you down to the inside of the corner. Once you're past the cone on the left, it's time to straighten up before you hit the loose dirt of the infield.

This dirt is just a flat, shallow right-hander opening back up onto the asphalt apron. The dirt is loose, and too much throttle or too much lean angle will get you nowhere quick. Get the bike pointed straight at the inside of the next asphalt corner, and modulate the throttle to keep wheelspin in check. Back onto pavement before the corner, you can gas it hard and bank all the way to the left to run up the infield road that bisects the oval.

4. Down this short straight, you top out in 2nd just before rolling off and scrubbing speed with the binders to set up for the ninety degree left. This turn has a wicked dip in its apex... at speed, when you hit it leaned over, your tilted suspension does almost nothing to soak it up. It comes across like the bang of bottoming your forks, and its hard to remember not to tense up on the grips. On the gas again gently, you shoot towards a dog-leg right followed by a quick, sharper-than-ninety left into the BMX track.

The BMX track is wide and smooth, but tight. The jumps are close together, the bowl turns are high and sharp. It's all I can do to ride through in 1st gear, modulating the clutch in the tight turns and only really gassing it for one isolated set of doubles. The section ends in a set of about eight whoops that dump into a flat dirt right hander finally yielding to the flat pavement of the infield.

5. Back on asphalt, you can open the throttle up without fear of spinning the rear slick. The next turn is a sweeping right. You accelerate through, reaching high rpms in 2nd gear, then scrub speed for a tighter right/left kink. The inside of both turns here are marked by big barrels strung together with yellow tape. If you cut too close to the apexes, your handguards prang off the barrels with a deep "boing" sound and an evil little wag of the bars. You do have handguards, don't you?

6. Hard on the gas, and it's around another shallow barrel turn to the right. Here the rear tire hooks up brilliantly, and the second gear power wheelie is inevitable. As you accelerate, a five foot embankment looms before you. Spectators stand along the embankment to the right, and you hit it at a 45 degree angle at close to 45 mph. The emabnkment falls away beneath you, and you are flying into a dirt bowl. If you anticipate the coming left-hand arc before you launch, the rear wheel comes around to the right. The fast guys just continue to bank into the turn in mid-air... I hang on and pray for a straight, vertical landing.

7. Bam! Back on the dirt, you find yoursef riding on the blue groove laid down over the course of morning practice. You can accelerate and turn almost as well here as you can on pavement. The groove runs around the outer edge of the dirt oval for half its circumference, then it cuts in hard to the inside, running straight down the center of the dirt track before the sharp right to the gentle jump back out of the bowl. You can use the front brake gently on the blue groove, but in the braking zone, the dirt is wavy and bumpy, making rear brake next to useless.

8. Over the lip, and back onto the asphalt, it's first gear time. Your tires are dirty. The asphalt is dirty, and first two corners are sharp little hairpins. This works great to clean the residual dirt off your tires, and after the slow one-eighty left, you can give it the cane into a tight left/wide right chicane, still in first gear. Exiting the right, the rear tire spins a bit before it hooks up.

9. Now you're shooting towards the next-to last corner, a hairpin rght that puts you on the main pit lane, headed the wrong way (clockwise). Going into this right, you really lay your left knee into the radiator shroud and power it onto the pit lane, shifting up into second gear as you go. You do the mirror image maneuver at the end of the pit lane to negotiate the hairpin left back onto the main straight... exactly where you started.


So that's the track - how did the day go?

Pretty good, for me. But all my fellow speedzilla buddies had their share of challenges. Walnut arrived at mid-day on his streetbike to be a spectator - he had snapped a bolt while prepping his race bike on Friday, and couldn't get the repair done in time.

NickNovice was a no-show. Understandable, with a house full of babies.

ChrisCap brought his WR, but found its suspension too soft for race duty, and his carbon muffler exploded in his second practice session. Fortunately he was able to scrounge a muffler from another rider's YZ250F, which seemed to work fine.

Matt and Natalie Pursley arrived with a CR250F that they planned to share, bit it started making an obscene grinding/clanking noise before Matt's heat, so back into the trailer it went. Matt finnagled a YZ250F from another rider, but it had some kind of intake leak that made it pop and fart like a two stroke. Lots of fuel screw and a much bigger pilot made it rideable, but Matt described the suspension as "inadequate." He theorized that someone had taken all the oil out of the forks and put it in the shock. But he rode it, and finished a solid 2nd in the 250 main.

Matt's dad, Jim Pursley, rode ChrisCap's old KTM, but didn't realize until after the heat race that he had 27 pounds in the front and rear tires. Not really giving him the grip he was used to... He rode much better in his main with 20 pounds front and rear.

Aside from the St. Louis contingent being mostly either absent or broken down, it was a great day. The weather was perfect, the track was a challenge, and the racing was good.

I'm looking forward to more Odessa supermoto events. I really think it's the coolest venue for supermoto racing anywhere in the Midwest. The banking is sick. The dirt is rockin'. The Odessa crew is extremely friendly. Two thumbs up.
:rockon
 

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My take

Great Report! A couple more notes. 1) I was almost beat by a mini bike. 2) Banda flys on pavement and clinches like hes got the runs on dirt 3) Walnut rode his LC4 all the way to Odessa, claimed a major case of monkey butt and hasn't been seen since. 4) Natalie looks good in pink leather 5) Matt doesn't
 

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i gotta call a spade a spade. my wife was a pain in the ass and i was nice enough not to get medieval. i'll be there for the gateway finale with bells on(as opposed to a skirt). :banghead
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
chriscap said:
Great Report! A couple more notes. 1) I was almost beat by a mini bike. 2) Banda flys on pavement and clinches like hes got the runs on dirt 3) Walnut rode his LC4 all the way to Odessa, claimed a major case of monkey butt and hasn't been seen since. 4) Natalie looks good in pink leather 5) Matt doesn't
Explanations are desrved for almost all points here:

1) The mini rider (actually it was a CR150F prepped for the Honda Red Riders Jr. Supermoto challenge) is a national champion (of the very same series) and he rode like a demon, taking 2nd in the sport moto class, and he nearly lapped me in the 8 lap combined vet/mini main event. The kid kept that bike pinned everywhere. Unreal!

2) I'm slowly getting better on dirt. But you're right, it's my downfall in every race. I would not say I was flying on the asphalt though... maybe only by comparison to my dirt performance.

3) I have ridden a street legal supermoto. Walnut had a 400 mile round trip. When I was at the peak of my endurance for long distance street riding, I could do 350 miles on a dirt bike seat. 400 miles is absolutely nuts.

4) Natalie doesn't need pink leathers to look good. I'm just going to stop right there before I cause a problem for myself.

5) In theory, pink leathers shouldn't make a talented, handsome, pro racer look like he just got caught trying on his sister's nightie. In theory.
 

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Wow. Sounds like I missed another great race out there. Makes me almost sorry I went and destroyed a rear tire in Arkansas over the weekend....almost:D I will be there in Springfield again, to help out though.
 

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Sounds like it was a good time, I wish I could have been there. I did get to do some racing though. A friend of mine rents the dragstrip in cordova Il. at the end of every year so I took the crf down the track. Its a 1/4 mile track but I only went 1/8 mile at 7.92 at 86 mph. I was happy with that, and I got more comments & questions about supermoto than ever before.
 

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493 miles to be exact...taking donations for the ass transplant...

I did about 260mi backroads, which was tolerable, but the 200 or so miles on the Interstate were like the Spanish Inquisition....

Race bike is still broke...don't have any time at all to work on it...but I may be able to change the antifreeze out of the LC4 and disconnect the lights so I can have just one more race day...even if it is on a pig...

Formula Fatass Rules!
 
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