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Old 05-28-2021, 10:29 PM   #1
chuckie90
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Novato
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Team Barker O Donoghue round 3 2021

After a month off we were ready for round 3 AFM at Thunder Hill. There was no Friday practice so Crispin and I headed to the track late afternoon on Friday, the other members of team ďSĒ got there a little earlier than us and secured us a spot under the metal canopy. We dropped off the bike and all the gear before going back to the hotel for the night.
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Saturday morning we got an early start, stopped for our coffee and breakfast sandwich. AFM tech ran smoothly and we put on the tire warmers for the first session. I really wanted to get the data system working before this race and tried to communicate with AIM to get it fixed. The GPS that does lap times and telemetry has not been working, all I have had on the dash is RPM, no engine temp either.
When we got this bike a few years ago I knew there would be lots of technical work with the bike, but the engine and tuning would be straight forward. Back in 2018 I got a grasp on the data and suspension, this season has been difficult because I do not have the data. I have got the balance of the suspension back to a place where it is comfortable to push the bike for faster lap times.
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The first couple of sessions went smooth but the lap times were slow. Thunderhill is a technically fast track, the key to faster lap times is to carry momentum through the fast sections, turn one, two, eight and nine. By the time we got to the afternoon sessions I was feeling more comfortable but our times were still in the 1:59 lap times. For Formula 1 qualifying we tried lower rear tire pressure and it helped a lot with rear grip. I went out late and got some clean track and did a best time of 1:57.7 for 14th position.
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Our first race for the weekend would be Formula 40 middleweight. I was gridded on the front row outside 4th position. I got a decent start but slipped the clutch a little too much at the end of 1st gear and lost 2 positions into turn one. I pushed harder and got back to 4th by turn 6. I thought I might have a battle with my teammate Tom Montano but I quickly started to gap him. The front group was lapping about 2 seconds quicker and I would not catch up to them. My last lap was fastest at a 1:56.6, I would finish in 4th place.
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Saturday night we would try to have dinner at Casa Ramos, it was packed with very little staff. We were supposed to be seated next, most people that were already seated had a long wait for their food. We gave up and walked to ďThe Brown StainĒ aka the Black Bear Diner.
After dinner we got back to the hotel and saw people at the pool and spa. I always enjoyed a hot tub after a day of riding. I met a nice Hungarian couple at the hot tub and had a great conversation. My wife is from Hungary.
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The next morning we got an early start and were ready for the morning warm up. Pushing the bike out I was not able to start it, we got a push from a scooter and nothing like maybe no spark or fuel? We tried to troubleshoot and could not get it figured out. Sadly my weekend was over. We dropped off the bike with Will Morton of M Works this week to figure out what is going on and try to get the data system working again.
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After years of racing I sometimes wonder how some of the top national riders stop racing and no longer compete? So many of these riders like Rich Oliver and Thomas Stevens rarely ride road racing bikes anymore? Is it the safety factor, because they have families and do not want to get injured? I would love to hear your feedback on this matter. Riding dirt bikes with my friends is great but it will never replace going fast on a real road racer. I turned 50 years old this last summer and I still really enjoy the process of going racing and competing against other riders. I have come to a place where I really need to remind myself to have a good time riding and not worry so much about lap times. Itís tough though I am a racer have that in my blood. I have fallen off both on the dirt and the track and getting hurt is worse as you get older, but itís part of the game isnít it.
I am looking forward to the next round at Thunderhill and making progress with the Kalex and my lap times. Crispin has been great support this season and puts all of his heart into our program. I think with the bike sorted we will see improvement in the set up and my lap times.
I would like to thank all of our sponsors Barker O Donoghue, BARF Racing, X-lite Helmets, Zoom Zoom Track Days, SPS Suspension, Cycle Gear Racing, Dunlop Tires and Oxymoron Photography.
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:34 PM   #2
budman
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‘56’s @ 50 is impressive to me.

It was good to see you Chuckie. Bummer on the Sunday bad luck. Hope the next round brings a full weekend of smiles.
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Old 05-29-2021, 08:45 PM   #3
jbawden
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Your report didn't mention the "woo girl" loosing her mind during the FP race while you where chillin under the tree.

On your question about continuing racing at an older age, I think its a number of things; Risk to your person is probably a big part of it, but I think the financial cost, time and energy expenditure, and the perceived return on investment are big disincentives to participation. It rules that you're indulging in AFM, its a legit club made better by your participation.
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:33 AM   #4
chuckie90
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Yes Jon, That was definitely a highlight, I've noticed both at the track and out on the trails( dirt ) our sport has attracted more of a "Monster Truck" crowd as of late? It always had the potential for that..... I still love it either way
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Old 06-01-2021, 07:42 AM   #5
FourThreeSix
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Hope Will gets you all dialed for Round 4, Chuck. We've seen what you and that machine are capable of!
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