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Old 06-20-2018, 07:48 PM   #1
peterfry
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Motorcycles: 2009 R1, 2014 FZ-09, 2015 R1
Name: Peter Fry
Peter Fry AFM Round 4 Race Report

This will be my first report of the season, and I have to say that I'm really excited to share what's been happening on Team Fry this year. After a rough season last year plagued by braking issues, and culminating with my not-so-fabulous oiling of the front straight at Thunderhill due to a blown oil filter, I was ready for some good progress.



Round 1 Buttonwillow Recap
Coming into the season, I wasn't sure what to expect. The race budget was tuned for a full season of racing, and my aspirations were to go after points in a few classes. I've also (finally) been taking physical fitness seriously, since this has become a major blocker in the hunt for better lap times. I'd been bicycling all winter with Mickey Fimbres, and felt ready for the challenge.

The results were immediately apparent. I was able to practice Friday/Saturday, and run four races Sunday without significant fatigue. In fact, my best lap time of the weekend was a 1:50.7 on the 5th lap of Open Superstock, the last race of my day!

Final results were 6th Open Superbike, 6th Open GP, 7th in Formula Pacific, and 4th in Open Superstock.



Round 2 Buttonwillow Recap
It was unusual to have a second shot at Buttonwillow in one season, so I was excited to see if I could improve on my results from Round 1. After two more days of practice, and a few changes to the bike, it was absolutely on rails.

I was also getting much more comfortable on the bike, after having lowered the foot pegs to allow my 6'2" frame to get further under the bike during the fast sweeping turns of the southern California racetrack.

I was absolutely thrilled to beat my personal best lap time and dip into the 1:49's, and even more so that I was able to run that consistent pace throughout the day-- 1:49.475 in race #2, and 1:49.546 in race #13!

Final results were 2nd Open Superbike, 5th Open GP, 7th Formula Pacific, and 4th Open Superstock.



Round 3 Thunderhill Recap
High temperatures and gusty winds at Round 3 proved challenging for everyone. I had high hopes for improving my PB laptime, but this was not the weekend for it. All that said, as with Round 2, I was pleased to be able to run consistent times throughout the day, with a 1:52.3 in race #2 and 1:52.2 in race #13.

Final results were 3rd Open Superbike, 3rd Open GP, 8th Formula Pacific, and 3rd Open Superstock



Round 4 Thunderhill
Round 4 came around, and for once I felt I had time to properly prepare. All of the necessary sundries had been ordered, work wasn't crazy, and life seemed to conspire for the racing bliss assist.

Father's Day
I left SF on Thursday early to make a stop in Sacramento for a pre-Father's Day visit. My dad has been a total rock in my life for many years, both personally, professionally, and showing up to every race; rain or shine. Luke, I'm so grateful for your support.

Friday "Practice"
Friday practice was more aptly named "Friday Wrenching Day." A laundry list of maintenance items kept me off track until late morning (oil change, new clutch, to name a few), but the time was well spent, since I could focus the rest of the weekend on riding. Fridays are difficult for me as practice days anyway, since I don't have a standalone lap timer. "Am I going faster?" "Totally!" "Also, on second thought, maybe you just feel faster!"

Friday Night
Friday night, my girlfriend Katie arrived, along with my dad Luke, and we commenced an effort to produce Tacos Three Ways-- Charred Corn and Zuchini, Hatch Pork Chile Verde, and Carne Asada. We had a great time chatting away, got to know our pit neighbor Chris who is an awesome human and eager and talented rider, and went to sleep feeling very good about the weekend to come.

Saturday: Practice and Qualifying
Saturday morning, Mickey Fimbres arrived. Mickey moved to the east bay on Thursday after several decades in SF, and still found time to drag his butt up to the track and run the race program for the weekend. I'm not sure how he did it, but I can't thank him enough. We spent Saturday working on setup, and at the end of the day managed to qualify on the second row for Formula Pacific in 8th.

Saturday: "The Fix"
While watching the Saturday races, I ran into my old and dear friend Sean Gager on the hot pit wall. We got to talking, and I mentioned that I was having trouble in turn 2-- almost every lap, I feared I would lose the front, and it was holding me back.

Sean and I have been working together on and off for over five years, and it took no time at all to re-establish the report that only close friends and collaborators achieve. Sean immediately identified my issue as the springs being too soft. We resolved to go up from 10.5nm to 10.75nm in the front. Mike "Fuzzy" Castro concurred with the diagnosis and even gave me the special fork spring tools out of his own kit, saying "keep them!" with a huge smile on his face.

Saturday Night
Saturday night, we cooked tri-tip, fresh corn on the cob from the supermarket in Willows, Cauliflower steaks, and a hearty veggie salad. I highly recommend shopping there instead of Walmart--awesome selection, and fresh/local produce. After dinner, we enjoyed the raucous symphony that was the slow bike races, and found our way to bed.

Sunday Warm-up
Sunday morning, I needed to test the spring change as best I could under race conditions, so we went out for morning warmup with all of the gusto of a race. The spring change felt good, but, since it was Sunday warmup, everyone was going slower and it was difficult to say for sure that the change was going to help.

Open Superbike
My first race of the day, as usual, was Open Superbike. I was gridded on the front row next to Jordan Edginton and Jason Lauritzen. I got a pretty bad start, but managed to slot into 4th behind Jordan and Jason into turn 2. We had a pretty awesome three way battle going for second place until Jason tucked the front coming out of the final turn on to the front straight. Jordan did an excellent job avoiding him, and we soldiered on with the race.

Jordan ran a great race and finished in 2nd, leaving me with 3rd. After the race, Jordan and I went to check on Jason, who's first words were "thanks for not running me over!"

You are very welcome, sir.


youtu.be/EdI0OKPaqKo

Open GP
The second race was Open GP, and oh/my/god, this had to have been the best race of the season. Too bad I forgot to turn on the camera! Hopefully Jordan has some good footage.

After the Superbike race, I was pretty happy with the new spring setup, but we'd thrown off the bike's geometry, so I decided at the last minute to drop the front by 1mm. Mickey made short work of the change, and had the bike ready to roll well ahead of final call. Mickey has been racing for way longer than I have, and it was great to have his support in the pits, allowing me to concentrate fully on riding.

The green flag waved, and once again I got a mediocre start--once again behind Jordan into turn 2. This time, though, something was different. I wasn't losing touch with him or Chad Swain! I later learned that I rode a 1:52 from a standing start (flipping awesome). I decided to seize the opportunity and made an attempt to pass Jordan on the brakes into 9. He immediately responded, ducking under me and regaining 2nd. We must have changed positions two or three more times before it seemed like he and Chad were getting away.

The situation seemed pretty dire until the 5th lap, when we started to come up on lappers from the other waves. Determined not to give up, I put my head down and hoped that Chad and Jordan would be held up by traffic, putting in my best lap of the weekend, a 1:50.9. By the final lap, I had managed to reel in Jordan.

I knew I was stronger on the front straight, and if I could get ahead of Jordan out of T15 I'd have him. I went deep on the brakes into T14, briefly overtaking him before he ducked under me to take the lead into T15. I didn't give up though, and put in the drive of my life out of 15 onto the straight.

Shift to 4th.
Gas.
I was gaining.
Shift to 5th, we were side by side.

By the starting tower I knew I had him. Chad, Jordan, and I finished that race within a second of each other!

By luck of the draw, the lunchtime podium was Open GP. It was my first podium celebration, and it felt really good to be recognized for the hard work, and to stand next to two very talented riders.



Formula Pacific
I managed to qualify on the second row for FP, on the outside. This time, after adjusting the free play on my clutch lever I got a much better start, slotting into 5th ahead of Cory Call and Jordan.

I knew Jordan had a better pace than me, and Cory as well in spite of his racing on an unfamiliar bike due to a crash last round. In true racing fashion, I resolved to make them work for it. We had a fun battle for several laps before they both got by me. I tried to hang with them, but found myself making mistakes-- I settled in to a rhythm and clicked off 11 laps right around 1:52-- very happy with the consistency, and a 6th place finish after Chris Siglin retired late in the race.



Open Superstock
I got another decent start in the superstock race, and as expected Andrew Lee checked out almost immediately, as did Chad Swain. This left me in a fairly lonely 3rd place.

A few laps in, I started getting signals from my brother Mark that someone was getting close, but didn't look back to see who it was until the penultimate lap. I was super surprised (in a good way) to see Kevin Murphy behind me.

Kevin had been struggling with setup, and when I saw him reeling me in I was like "Yeah! Go Kevin!" followed immediately by "Oh Shit!" I put my head down and drew from the reserves, rolling past the finish line in 3rd place.


youtu.be/AIOGlPbVYK8

All in all, an awesome weekend, final results were 3rd Open Superbike, 2nd Open GP, 6th Formula Pacific, and 3rd Open Superstock.



I'd like to thank my sponsors for making this all possible: CT Racing Pirelli, GP Suspension (special thanks to Mike Castro), Alex at Fastline, Pacfic Track Time (I'm an instructor now-- come out and ride with us, we'll do some laps together!), Motion Pro, MotoD, Woodcraft, Renthal, Axo, GP Frame and Wheel, and Gimoto!

Special thanks to Mickey Fimbres (crew chief and riding coach), my Dad Luke, brother Mark, Kate Senger Fimbres for loaning out her husband for the weekend two days after moving across the bay, my beautiful girlfriend Katie Moore, and Max Klein/OXYmoron Photography.



Last edited by peterfry; 06-20-2018 at 08:33 PM..
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:45 PM   #2
89fj
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great report!
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Old 06-21-2018, 07:04 AM   #3
Honey Badger
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Nice job Peter and great write up!
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:18 AM   #4
Smash Allen
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great work all around, you rock peter
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:38 PM   #5
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Congrats on a solid weekend Peter! Really nice to see everything come together for you after all the hard work you've put in.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:21 AM   #6
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Nice haul on the weekend, and some great laptimes. Great to see the continued progression and to see you back out on the grid!
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Old 07-06-2018, 01:24 PM   #7
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Awesome recap and report.

Good luck this weekend.
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:55 AM   #8
peterfry
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Thank you everyone for the encouragement and support!

Quote:
Originally Posted by synfinatic View Post
Congrats on a solid weekend Peter! Really nice to see everything come together for you after all the hard work you've put in.
Thanks Aaron! You know my journey better than most, so I really appreciate it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigre13 View Post
Nice haul on the weekend, and some great laptimes. Great to see the continued progression and to see you back out on the grid!
Thanks Steve! I'm bummed not to be out there with you--but so excited to be back out here "full time"
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