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Old 04-29-2021, 05:19 PM   #1
chuckie90
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Novato
Motorcycles: CRF250R Kalex Moto2
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Team Barker ODonoghue BW Rnd 2

It was a short break of a month in between the first and second rounds. I had a good amount of changes to make to both the chassis and the suspension. I know that the previous set up was too softly sprung and probably too little trail with the current inserts for the triple clamps. We went from 98mm of trail to the new set up of 108mm. Thais would make the bike steer slower left to right in transitions but should give lots of feedback on the corner entrance all the way to the apex. On both the front and the rear suspension we went stiffer, a full point on the rear and .5 in the front. We got the dash board fixed by AIM sports, I shipped it Monday and it was back to us by Friday. It seemed fixed but as we found out at the track the lap timer was still not working. Some other modifications that were done Crispin handled, new faring brackets and mounting the snorkel so there was no slop in the fitment.
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Crispin and I loaded up early Friday morning and headed for Buttonwillow. We planned on doing the half day practice after getting the pit set up. Originally, we were supposed to pit with my buddy Rob who I raced with last year. On the way to the track Rob’s transmission failed 100mi from the track. Totally sucks!!! He was kind enough to donate the camping spot to us. It would be myself and my friends I usually pit with Steven Lucker and Donyel Williams. No Tom Montano this round…. Also hanging out this weekend was Steven’s mom Stacy Webb who I went to high school with and a few of her friends.
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Friday practice went smoothly and I could tell the changes we made were in the right direction. We got in 4 good sessions and made some minor changes with preload and clickers. We mounted up a fresh set of Dunlops at the end of the day. I had been running on some used Moto2 tires that were a few years old. Now we were back to the American slicks off the truck. Friday night we went to a Mexican restaurant in Wasco called Catrina’s sat in a booth and had dinner, this is the first time I had been inside a restaurant eating in a while, solid food and drinks. We now stay at the Best Western in Wasco, it’s been a good change.
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Saturday morning we were at the track early. We got thru tech and were ready for the first session. The weather was great, cooler temps but warming, Now for the rest of the weekend we would have AFM timing and results on Race hero. By the 2nd session we did a best of 1:53.9, the bike was very much improved and was allowing me to push the boundaries in corner entrance and mid corner speed. The 3rd session with a little more preload in the front we went a second quicker at 1:52.9
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In formula 1 qualifying we went out late for clean track and did the best of 1:54.0, I was hoping for a better time, but I think that Buttonwillow is one of those tracks where it is easier to go quick in the cooler temps and in the heat it saturates both bike and rider, we would be 19th on the grid.
At the end of our Saturday would be the F40 middle weight race. I was gridded on the second row behind pole sitter Steven Jesus Rue-ster, I got good start and slipped the clutch just about right, into turn one in 5th, and quickly made a pass on the inside for 4th place. The front pack of 3 would be pulling away from me, my times not quite close enough to keep them in sight. Towards the middle and the end of the race we started to go through the back of the heavyweight race, I had no pit signals so didn’t know who was behind me but we held them off to the finish. Saturday night was fun, we went to a brewery in Bakersfield called Lengthwise and had a table of 9 outside on the patio, nice dinner and great friends.
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Leading up to the weekend we watched the weather reports, 80’s on Friday and Saturday and 65 degrees on Sunday with a good chance of rain. I expected to wake up seeing the ground wet? Everything was still dry with storm clouds off to the west. Morning warm up was uneventful and I decided to flip the rear tire after practice, Buttonwillow is mostly right turns and several of them are fast so it burns up one side more than the other.
Our first race would be Open GP, the AFM allowed me to race this class because there were not many classes a prototype like the Kalex would be legal for. I was gridded on the 5th row and racing against liter bikes, it’s a little frustrating once in the race, pass them in the corners and they pass you back on the straights. We finished 15th with a best time of 1:55.0.
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Our last race of the weekend would be Formula 1. The AFM was watching the weather closely, all the races would be cut to 5 laps and schedule was running about an hour early. We were gridded on the 5th row and I wheelied off the start and lost 3 or 4 positions. There was guy on a Kawi that was way erratic going in the dirt on the slower turns, he crashed in turn 2 on the 2nd lap and brought out the red flag. We went back to the pits and it was obvious they would restart the race quickly. No time for tire warmers. The restart wasn’t bad, I quickly set into a pace with the group I was racing with, I totally thought I was battling with the Kramer 890 but it turned out to be the Oregon built Light Fighter electric bike, I was able to pass him with two laps to go and build a short gap on the last lap with my best time of 1:52.5. We would finish 13th.
Overall we were really happy with the results, we gained 3 seconds and more importantly the bike performed much better and was enjoyable to ride.
We look forward to the next round and would like to thank all of our sponsors Barker O’Donoghue, SPS Suspension, BARF Racing, X-Lite Helmets, Zoom Zoom track days, Cycle Gear Racing and Oxymoron for the awesome pics!!!!
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Old 04-29-2021, 07:53 PM   #2
budman
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Name: Budman
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