Re: Update on the Wounded Duc / BCM AHRMA encounter (NC Rick)
It was a fun race! Bruce's 999R is a rocket and Robbie is a good rider, so I had my hands full. It was cool to win the first race out of the box on the 749R, considering I just picked the thing up a few weeks ago.
Robbie got his revenge and finished ahead of me in Sound of Thunder. Fred Eiker (ex-AMA Pro Twins winner on Ducati and Moto Guzzis) on a 998R beat us both for the win. Race day conditions at CMP weren't bad, but the practice day sure sucked. It seemed like I was the only guy who *didn't* crash. That was probably because I spent the most of the day just working on setting the controls up so I could ride the thing. Modifying 998 rearsets to fit might be the inexpensive route, but when you're 6'4" tall, it's not the hot setup. It felt okay in the garage, but on the track I was so bound up on the bike I couldn't even hang off. Bruce came through with a set of his BCM rearsets that saved the day for me. Thanks Bruce!
Daytona was a much tougher nut to crack. The new layout makes the track more technical, but horsepower still rules the day. I holeshot all of my races (3 times in BOT F1 on Monday due to 2 red flags!) and lead through the infield each time, but each time the big bikes would steam past on the banking. Dario Marchetti, who works for Ducati in Italy, was there on a 749R with the World Supersport Kit and I couldn't stay in his draft on the banking (Dario later qualified in the top 25 for AMA Formula Extreme, so he's a good rider as well.) Looks like the WSS kit might be the next addition if I want to keep up with the litre bikes.
Ended up fourth each day in BOT F1, and sixth on Monday and fifth on Tuesday in Sound of Thunder. Would have liked to finish higher, of course, but considering the quality of the machines and the international field of riders, I'm pretty happy with the maiden outing on the new bike. Plus, I was only passed once in the infield, so that lets me continue to fool myself into thinking it was only horsepower that beat me.
Still, my lap times were quick enough to qualify for the AMA Formula Exteme race, so I'm pretty pleased with that.
I hadn't even planned on going to Daytona this year as I didn't think my bike would be in. So when it arrived in early February, it was a crazed few weeks sourcing parts, prepping the bike, etc. Big thanks go out to JD Hord of Meccanica Corse for spending two days helping me with bike prep, getting the bike set up on the dyno, etc.; Rick McWaters (Team Yamaha AMA Pro Star Hot Rod Cruiser #1 plate holder) of Cycle Tech for chasing down parts for me; Jeff Hinds of Hinds Motorsports for getting one of the last two 749Rs in the U.S. for me; Alfred and Chris at Cycle Cat for setting me up with sliders and levers; Jason at Section 8 for coming through multiple times with last-minute parts orders and frenzied phone calls; and Art Ramos of BalSac Racing for answering about a million questions.
Next race is AMA Formula Extreme at Barber April 22-24. We'll see if this new bike can drag my old butt around that place fast enough to qualify.
Both Robbie and Fred, along with several other good riders, are planning on doing the entire AHRMA series, so there's going to be some stiff competition in that series for sure. Should be a great year!