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Old 03-26-2021, 09:31 AM   #1
chuckie90
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BARF Racer
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Novato
Motorcycles: CRF250R Kalex Moto2
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Round One Race Report Buttonwillow 3/20-21/2021

After a long off season I was ready to get back to the track. My buddy Rob who owns the Saprilia 450 was not in a place to go racing again. A few months back I mentioned to my friend Crispin I would not ride the 450 for the AFM season and he offered to help do a program with the Kalex we raced two years ago. I had got to a good place at the end of the 2018 season with Crispin and the Kalex, sadly at the first test of 2019 we crashed it, broke my foot and that put us out for the year.
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One thing I forgot before starting the season was that we made some major chassis and geometry changes in the winter of 2018/2019. We received settings from a reliable source in Europe and thought it was worth a try? The set up was almost the opposite of what I had developed, less rake and softer springs with more preload. I didn’t remember this until James of SPS mentioned it on a call Saturday night of the race weekend. Oh well live and learn.
We drove down early Friday morning to do the half day practice. Initially the bike felt ok and started to get used to the power of the 600 again. The day was uneventful and a weird storm blew in the last session with sand and light sprinkles.
Saturday morning was chilly and the aim dashboard started blinking on and off, we tried to mount it on some bubble wrap to dampen the vibration, no luck there and I would have no instruments for the rest of the weekend. No tach, water temp ect… Bummer, the bike still ran fine.
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There was long delay between the morning practice and afternoon qualifying but we got a clean session and I thought we got some fast laps? My best was a 1:57.1 for 17th on the grid. To me it felt like I went faster than that?
The first race of the weekend would be Formula 40 middleweight. We were gridded on the fourth row of the second wave. I got a good start but pussyfooted through the first 2 turns and went backwards. I tried to settle into a comfortable pace and finished 8th with a best lap of 1:55.6.
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Sunday morning was colder than the day before and in the only practice it was probably 52 degrees. Our first race on Sunday would be Open GP, the AFM gave me this class to race in because the Kalex does not meet requirements for most 600 classes. I started in 6th position and fought against the big 1000’s for the whole six laps ending up in 20th place. In the past I was always in the top 10 in this class and it was a bit disappointing finishing this far back, but I reminded myself this was the opening weekend.
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Our Second race for Sunday would be Formula One. This class offers the best chance for the Kalex to show its performance. Off the line I wheelied and lost several positions. I got into a battle with 3 other riders for the rest of the race. Despite telling myself to concentrate on completing the corners and making some clean laps I had to battle with riders in the same lap times. I went slower than the previous races and ended up 23rd. I was happy that we stayed up right all weekend and I will work over the next month to get the Kalex back to a place where I can push the bike and myself in a comfortable fashion. Crispin stayed focused all weekend and tried to give me the best bike possible.
Working with a true prototype motorcycle is not as easy as it might seem. The bike is almost too adjustable, but really if you can get a solid set up it should be superior finished product.
We look forward to the next round and would like to thank all of out sponsors Barker O’Donoghue, SPS Suspension, BARF Racing, X-Lite Helmets, Zoom Zoom track days, Cycle Gear Racing and Oxymoron for the awesome pics!!!!

P.S.- Also a big shout out to my wife Barbi for understanding my 2 wheel addiction
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