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Old 07-24-2020, 07:53 PM   #1
chuckie90
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Round One Race Report Buttonwillow 7/18/20

Hello all fellow BARFíers . I have missed racing and seeing everyone at the track. Riding off road during the shut down was what kept me sane. We kept preparing for the next opportunity to get on the track only to be shut down by COVID. So in the weeks coming up to the first AFM round I was not going to be surprised if it got cancelled.

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This year is a new racing program for myself and my friend Rob Leuer. I met Rob probably 20 years ago at the track, we shared a similar passion for grand prix motorcycles. We talked a few years ago about the bike he built, at the time I had an Aprilia RRV550( Supermoto bike converted to road racer) Lots of issues with that bike, I moved on to a Kalex Moto2 bike my friend Crispin bought, raced that in 2018. Testing for the 2019, I crashed , broke my foot and had lots of work for the bike. Sadly we came to the reality that running a Moto2 bike is somewhat affordable but falling off it could get expensive.

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Over the winter I talked with Rob and we came to an agreement we would team up and race the the bike he had built he calls the Saprilia. Itís a Suzuki RGV250 VJ23 chassis with a Aprilia SXV450 engine. Rob had the 550 motor in this bike and also had issues and decided the 450 power plant might be more reliable. I went out and rode the bike in its street form in the hills under Mt. Diablo and imeadatly saw the potential. Small, light and with a power source that was raw and untamed.

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Lots of preperation happened over last 6 months converting the bike from street form to racer. We were able to test the bike twice before the first race. Once at Sears Point and once at Thunderhill.

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For the first race weekend we would sign up for a Ĺ day practice on Friday put on by the track. I wanted to start feeling more comfortable with pushing the bike in corners and building confidence in the complete package. We finished the day with the bike in tact and were ready for Saturday with a fresh set of tires and a stiffer spring on the rear shock.
Because the bike is a Hybrid of two bikes it is only legal for so many classes. Formula 40 LTWT, Lightweight Twins, and Formula 4.
Much of Saturday practice was dedicated to trying different settings on the suspension. The front end of the bike is off of a GSXR-600, the rear shock is stock, we have had James at Superplush upgrade these and give it a racetrack worthy set up. At that point we were consistently in the low 2:00 min lap times and into the 59ís. Our last session before the race would be Formula 4 qualifying. In the beginning of the session I went out in a large group and after two laps realized I would need come into the hot pit and try to get some clean track. It worked and I got two solid laps, my best being a 1:58.6, This would be P2 on the grid for Sundays F4 race.

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At the end of Saturday we had the Formula 40 lightweight race and had a P4 starting position. I got a good start and was 2nd into the first turn. The next few laps I would have good battle with Michael Souza, after passing him into the last turn we both ran a bit wide and nudged each other. It was minor and I was able to pull away for the remainder of the race for our first win.

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This year because of our set up and I wanted to save money I am camping along with Rob, I like cooking and hanging out, I have a tent and a new air mattress, showering at the track. Its actually a refreshing change from the hotels.

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Sunday morning warm up was smooth as glass. Good lap times, I was ready for next race lightweight twins. This is probably my most competitive class in the sense I am racing against all the young kids on Ninja 400s. Again I would get a front row start, this time I wheelied off the line and probably lost 3 positions into turn one. I think I was 5th or 6th out of turn 2. This was a scrap, there were 2 kids on Ninjas that were really going for it. Riders including myself were sliding mid corner. Lots of lead changes throughout the race. On the last lap Aden Thao came by me tried to put a gap between us, I was able to stay with him into the last corner , get a good drive and pass him for the win by .005 of a second. We went a full second faster in this race and it showed that our current set up would need more work to comfortably go faster.
Our last race of the day would be Formula 4. In this race I would be racing against SV650ís and Triple Cripples. Most of these bikes would have more outright horsepower but with our lighter bike we should be able to get to similar lap times. Again I got a less than stellar start, and was 5th into turn one. This race was in the middle of the afternoon and it was closer to 100 degrees outside. I quickly settled into a pace of 1:59ís and I could see it would be difficult to reel in the lead group. I was in 4th, and on the 2nd to last lap the guy in 3rd crashed out and I inherited 3rd place. Congrats to Valentine for the win!!!

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Both myself and Rob were super stoked on the way the weekend turned out. Two wins and a third. Our favorite part was the fact that the bike ran flawlessly all weekend. We would like to thank Oxymoron Photography and all of our sponsors. BARF Racing, Superplush Suspension, Zoom Zoom Track Days, X-Lite helmets, Dunlop, Cyclegear, Metec, Kurveygirl.com, Motion Pro, Galfer, Bill Charles

Last edited by chuckie90; 07-25-2020 at 08:42 AM.. Reason: no pics
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:48 AM   #2
Mechanikrazy
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The photos on Oxymoron of the nudging were perfectly time.
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Old 07-25-2020, 09:38 AM   #3
budman
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Congrats Chuckie...!!

Great first outing man.

Great pics too.. I love the helmet btw. So cool.

Continued success and fun!
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:06 AM   #4
KazMan
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Congrats Chuck, looked good over the weekend and looking forward to watching you make more progress with setting up the bike!
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Old 07-31-2020, 03:45 PM   #5
chuckie90
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Originally Posted by KazMan View Post
Congrats Chuck, looked good over the weekend and looking forward to watching you make more progress with setting up the bike!
Thanks KazMan, please come by and say hi at the next round...
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