Well its all over and done now. It was an awesome experience all round and everyone enjoyed it a lot. We got to the track at just after 7.30 yesterday (Saturday) morning and went through the noise test first. They seem to do it a lower rpm than we do at home so it meant we went through a full 2/3 db lower which was good but got us thinking we should have had Craig at DEP make us some shorter silencers!! People say our bikes are loud at home they are nothing compared to the stuff out here that’s for sure.
Racer X 450 Post Show – Steel City
The other thing that we learnt was the fuel is a lot different. We got some Unleaded race gas from Cernics he had from a long while back but the sealed cans were fine but we mixed it with pump gas to get it to roughly 97/98 octane. Later at the track we were told that any octane is legal as long as there is no lead or oxygenated its fine. The bikes ran ok that wasn’t a problem but if you were going to race a season or even go back again it would be easy to get more power from the bikes than we do back home. Its now even more obvious why the US Team can get a bit stressed at the Nations getting pipes through and that the bikes don’t sound the same when they come over to Europe.
Tommy Searle came over just before the first race to say hello and see what we thought of the Track. we spoke a bit about the Nations and Eastwood gate which we found out while we were here. Its pretty disappointing that Mark won’t be leading the Team and that was the feeling from Carl and Tommy on the situation. They want to go and put on a good performance for Easty now having been selected by him.
Racer X 250 Post Show – Steel City
The Racing was tough and harder than we thought in all honesty. We knew it wouldn’t be easy but looking at the racing on TV before hand I felt we had a shot at top 15 for Matiss and top 10 for Carl. They both struggled in the first race and rode tense but gave it there best shot. Carl got up to 15th after going back a few places at the start, they push so hard in the first 10/15 mins and that’s what Tommy said before the Race is teh hardest thing to get used to. Matiss crashed when he was around the top 20 so had his work cut out and wasn’t at all happy with himself. I knew he would go for it at the start of the second race but he got a bad start and was 30th ish around the first turn but got into 22nd I think before the end of the lap. He got to 12th and was on the back of 11th who was Barcia before he hit the wall as such 15 mins in. Until that point it was the best he had rode all season I would say he looked good and was moving forward. Nunny had a bad start in Race 2 and was involved in a few bumps and scrapes first 2 laps which put him back outside the top 20. When he found his groove he rode pretty good before a stone hit his goggle lens popping it in so he settled for 16th behind Cody Cooper.
I know that some people at home wondered why we came out but its something that I wanted to do for a long time, Matiss has achieved a dream of Racing a US National, Nunny raced another US race but this time on a 450, James Cottrell didn’t make the cut but rode good in the practice and was closer to Matiss times than he has been all year (when he has ridden about 3 times!!) on a 2.30 lap which was rutted with some pretty big jumps and the other boys (G, Carl, SP and Matt) all had a good time and that is what Racing should be about. Small fish big pond comes to mind but we have been, seen and even if we didn’t conquer learnt a hell of a lot in what was one day of Racing.
Thanks to Jeff Cernic (You are a good mate!!), Davey Coombes, Jeff Canfield, Matt Cottrell, Junkyard, Lanes Construction, Moto Magazine, SP Landscapes, DEP pipes, MSR, Fox and Shift in particular for this trip as it wouldn’t have been possible without them.
You can read the full article in next months issue of Moto Magazine on sale October 8th.