MAXC Round 7 Circle W Ranch 9/8/2011
I have been in hiding most of the summer. Tired of the DUST but more importantly raising my grandson. I have also made the decision to get back to a 2 stroke. I have gone back and fourth for the last couple of years. I had a KTM 350SXF that I picked up as soon as they hit the states almost 2 years ago. While I loved the bike it was time for another change. As soon as the 2013’s hit the showroom floor I grabbed a KTM 250xc. I’ve been slowly making mods to it and getting it ready for competition. Keep your eyes out for that article coming soon. With the bike completed and dialed in it was time to hit a race. We’ve been getting a little rain here and there in Indiana and with the race being just 1 ½ hours from the house I felt like the track should be good.
The races are typically held on Saturday (which I love) and on Friday night we got some big rain storms. I had a brand new set of Maxxis SI’s on the front and back. I was ready for whatever conditions we were going to have. I did a short walk of the track just to get an idea of what kind of conditions we were going to have. It looked like the ground had held up good. The start of the race came and I was ready to see where I stood. Had the time off hurt my speed? Did going back to a 2 stroke hurt me or help me? I was curious! I was on the 5th row and itchy to get this started. Finally the green flag flew and I dropped the hammer on the 2 smoker. It jumped off the line and sprinted toward turn 1. I had the jump on everyone and would get the hole shot! This is something that I DO LOVE about getting back on a 2 stroke. We had a couple of turns before a VERY long and fast straight heading to the woods. One of the many fast guys in the SR A class, Jeff Ford, showed me a wheel right before heading in the woods. I had no problem letting him take the lead into the woods as we had no idea how slick it was going to be. Turned out to be a good idea as some sections were like ice and others were great, just trying to figure out which is which when your leading is the hard part. Following him made it easy to key off of and adjust accordingly. Jeff and I would swap the lead back and forth a couple of times the first lap. We started the 2nd lap and he led again into the woods. This didn’t last long as he had to pull off with a flat.
I took the lead and just tried to keep a good pace and be mistake free. The course was burning in good and I was having a blast. Toward the end of the 2nd lap I noticed a rider taking a line that I obviously missed. When our 2 lines came back together it was another guy from my class, Marc Labelle. I hadn’t seen the line that he had taken and was curious where he picked it up. I decided I would follow him around and see where I missed it. I would put pressure on him throughout the lap just to make sure he knew I was there. When we came to the split I dropped in right with him. I felt like it was a questionable line at best but it was obvious there were a lot of riders taking it and it was way faster. When we got toward the end of the 4th lap I made a mistake on a hill climb. I quickly turned around and reshot the hill. This put Marc out of my line of sight now. It was time to drop the hammer and try to reel him back in.
At the beginning of the 5th lap we got the white flag. I had 1 lap to reel him in and a 27 second deficit to bring back. I started to really push hard. I was only in the woods a mile and I saw Jeff Ford, he yelled out 15 seconds! I had nearly cut the lead in half in just 1 mile! I was fired up and pushing even harder now. I knew I could do this but with there still being some slick conditions out there I needed to concentrate on being mistake free. It didn’t take long and I was right on his rear wheel. He missed a turn and this made the pass easy. Once I took the lead I kept pushing. I pushed every corner and everywhere I could yank that throttle I did. I took the win and the checkered flag. It felt great and the new bike was incredible. After 2 hours of racing I stayed on the leaders lap and would take the win by over 2 minutes. Rory Mead took the overall and not being caught and lapped by him after 2 hours of racing felt good!
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