Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Maple Plain Mn.
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 58 Post(s)
Sbk drew rocks
The Curtain Call …”
By Dave Soderholm
Editor’s Note: MMM’s in-house racer, Dave Soderholm, produced three race reports about his experiences in the Central Roadracing Association’s 2012 season. This is his report from the final weekend of the 2012 season, held September 14-16.
To every beginning there is an end. That thought kept going through my mind as I drove to Brainerd International Raceway (B.I.R.) the final weekend of the 2012 CRA racing year. It has been quite an adventure. Drew and I arrived at the final weekend happy and enthusiastic and within distance of a top five season finish in Super-twins despite having missed three races. I was pumped to take place in the New Rider Challenge Race and the Formula 40 race.
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On Friday afternoon, the new rider challenge took place. It’s a race that’s open to all the new riders that joined the CRA in 2012. It would be my first race running the big course on the RC and I really wish I had had more practice, especially through turn 2. I was gridded on row 3. The flag flashed, I drafted by one guy into turn one and settled into second place. On lap two, I slid up the inside of the leader and put my head down. Coming around turn 10 in the lead, I looked back and had a small gap running up the front straight. It was the last time I looked back, which proved to be my undoing!
As the laps clicked off I ran a good but not on the edge pace and thought things were in hand. On lap five I saw a wheel coming into turn 3. I was surprised, moved over and tucked in. Thinking I’d just follow the rest of the lap, close in 10 and draft by up the front straight, I did just that. I was set up perfect going through turn 10 a bike length behind the leader – until I saw the checkered flag! It turns out there were only five laps – normal sprints have six, which is what I thought this race was. I flashed across the line ½ bike length back and took second place. Clearly, I was fast enough to win the race, but without information on the gap to second and not looking back, I didn’t control the gap properly. Dang. Lesson learned!
On Saturday we had three races to run. First up was Super-twins and I gridded up in the middle of row 4. The flag dropped, I ran to the bottom of the track and came through turn 1 in second place. I ran up the inside between turns 2 and 3 and came out with the overall lead! Thinking back to Friday, I put my head down and pushed. The RC felt great and over the next few laps I built a good lead. Looking back coming out of turn 9 on lap four I didn’t see anyone, so I throttled back a little and ran a quick comfortable pace. I ended up winning by over six seconds and felt really good about it! The win put me in fourth place overall – three points from third and 18 points from the class champion (Congratulations to J.T Noehre!). Considering we left 60 possible points (20 pts. for a win X 3 races) on the table I’d say mission accomplished!
Next up was Heavyweight Superbike. My goal was just to stick with the fast guys as long as possible and see where I ended up. I was gridded on row 2 and got a decent launch. Running into turn 3 in fifth place, I stayed there until lap two. Running a blocking line from turn 4 to turn 5 put me in fourth. Third place was within reach if I kept the hammer down, but first and second was slowly checking out. Over the next four laps, I slowly crept up on third and put the pass on in turn 9. I maintained a small gap over the next two laps and took third place. I was elated!
My final race was Formula 40 – “run what ya brung” if you’re over 40. I would be racing mostly experts on really fast, well sorted bikes. Gridding up and looking around was a little humbling, there were lots of single digit white plates! Off the start I was running mid pack up towards turn 1. I was determined not to roll off, but apparently everyone else thought that too! No one was giving an inch. I finally rolled off when things got kind of hairy and settled in. Every corner was exciting and thrilling with passes happening back and forth! The level of riding was amazing all through the field!
I finally settled into an amazing battle for tenth with bike #46. The guy rode like Rossi! We were both consistently fast, and within a bike length or two for five laps! I’d get a great drive out of turn 10 and draft past him at the end of the straight, then, no matter how late I broke for turn 3, he’d brake just a little later. We’d then be glued together for the rest of the lap only to repeat it again. Drafting by him on the final lap, I moved way over and broke really late for turn 3. Haha! I got him………CRAP! He’s past…! He’s going to crash….! He saved it! Wow. That was a thrilling, and amazingly fun ride! Hats off to ya #46! That’s the most fun I’ve ever had racing a motorcycle!
I pulled into the pit garage and hit the cut-off switch. There was silence. I sat and savored a couple minutes just sitting on the bike in the quiet. What a ride and what a season! I patted the big RC on the tank and slowly swung a leg off. Andy arrived and hoisted it on the stand. I knelt next to the RC Rossi style and thanked it. It’s quite a bike you put together there Drew! Thanks for honoring me with the ride and trusting me with your baby.
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Last edited by wingnutt; 04-26-2013 at 11:00 AM.