High Plains Raceway, Byers Colorado
September 29/30 2018
On the last race weekend of the year the weather can be iffy. On Saturday, with cold temperatures, practice was limited in the morning, but by lunch it had warmed up nicely.
With another front row start in Lightweight Grand Prix, Ricky launched his Rocky Mountain Kawasaki 650 into the lead and continued to dominate the field as he had done all season. With the points lead all locked up at the previous round, he was just looking to improve on his personal best lap time.
Next was Lightweight Endurance. Not competing in the 4 hour, he was still lacking points for the championship. A great start had him leading his group and catching the combined group in front. Five laps later he was passed by a new rider in the class but retook the lead. With this heated battle and passing riders from the group in front, Ricky realized that this cat and mouse game could jeopardize his championship. He wisely put it on cruise to a second place finish and the Light Weight Endurance Championship.
Sunday morning saw wet and cold conditions, not conducive for racing. The race day was put on hold waiting for the weather to clear. By lunch time the club decided to start the program very late, with abbreviated laps. Knowing he had already locked up the Super Twins Championship, and not able to improve in the Thunder Bike class, Ricky decided to call it a season and loaded up for the trip home.
Another successful year with sixteen wins, two podium finishes, three track records and three class championships, a great year for any racer.
This season would not have been possible without the help and support of Marvin, Roger and Marshal at Rocky Mountain Kawasaki, Mike Lukachy with Pirelli Tires, Lee and Lang with Hindle Exhaust, Robert Keller at EBC Brakes, Jeff Weil at Arai Helmets, Eric Wood at Woodcraft, Pete Fitsimmons for the paint and Kathy and Pete for help in the pits.
As an added bonus, Ricky was inducted into the Colorado Motorsports Hall of Fame in October, a very exclusive group with only four other motorcyclists.
High Plains Raceway, Byers Colorado
September 8-9, 2018
The penultimate round of the 2018 MRA season brought the racers back to HPR with a twist. This would be the first time on a new configuration of the track. All the racers were eager to see if this would be their preferred layout. Ricky determined that it would be an acceptable option.
With weather being as nice as it gets, there was lots of excitement in the air. First race of the day for Ricky was Light Weight GP and with a front row start and a strong finish, he could lock up the championship. That is exactly how it played out, with a win and the Championship. Later that day Light Weight Endurance was called to the grid and with a front row start, Ricky lead the pack into turn one and continued to gap the field for another win. However he was still down on the point’s leader and would have to wait till the last round to hopefully clinch the championship.
Sunday brought another beautiful day with the sun shining and temperatures in the eighties. Ricky’s first race of the day, Thunder Bike, was on tap and with a second row start his work was cut out for him. With open class limits on displacement it is always a challenge. A good start saw him in third until the first long straight and as the big horsepower bikes came by, Ricky tried in vain to stay in their draft. As much as he could pull back in the turns he would lose on the straights, fourth would be the best he could do today. Last race of the day was Super Twins GTU, a class in which his bike is much more competitive. A great start off the front row had Ricky leading the pack into the first turn and he would continue to show them the way. Another win for the day and clinching the season championship put the crew in a great mood for the ride home.
High Plains Raceway, Byers, CO
June 30th-July 1st, 2018
Round three brought the MRA to High Plains Raceway. With new pavement on the track and the annual Four Hour Endurance race scheduled for Saturday afternoon, anticipation was high for a great weekend. As most racers know, new pavement can mean headaches for the tire techs, but Mike Lukachy, with Pirelli, made the right call as the tires looked great and worked well all weekend.
Saturday would only have one race on the agenda for Ricky since he chose not to compete in the four hour endurance. As Light Weight GP was gridded, Ricky had a front row start and made the most of it. As the riders jostled for positions, Ricky came out of turn three with the lead and used the draft from the faster bike down the long straight to hold on to it. As the laps wore on he stretched the lead and took the checkered flag with a comfortable margin.
Sunday morning brought cooler weather and more concern for the tires. Thunder Bike was up and with a second row start Ricky got through turn one in second place. Once the riders hit the long back straight Ricky would lose two spots but would hold onto the third place rider. Lap after lap Ricky would reel in third place and lose it back on the straight. This cat and mouse game went on most of the race until they hit back makers and Ricky lost touch ending up with a fourth place.
Last race of the day was Supertwins GTU and with lowering his lap times in the previous race Ricky was confident of a strong finish. Lights went out and the grid launched forward with Ricky at the pointy end. At the crossflags he had a three second lead and by the end of the race he increased it to five seconds. Another great weekend for the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki race team.
Pueblo Motorsports Park, Pueblo CO.
June 2/3 2018
The second round of the MRA series took the racers south to Pueblo where triple digit temperatures prevail, but not this weekend. With cool temps it was actually a pleasant weekend.
Ricky lined up for his first race of the weekend in Light Weight GP. When the lights went off Ricky got a great start, but was out horse powered to turn one. On lap two Ricky made a move going into turn one and took over the lead. He was pressured from behind for a couple more laps but then started to increase the gap taking home the win. After lunch Light Weight Endurance was called to the grid and with a combined start Ricky managed to get the hole shot in his group. Working his way through the faster pack ahead he was leaving his group in his wake. When the checkered flag was waived he had over half the front straight on his competition for the second win of the weekend.
Sunday the racers woke to much cooler conditions with rain threating. With Thunder bike next on tap, Ricky was on the second row and looking for a great start, knowing he would lose the drag race to turn one. As predicted he managed a good start but by turn one he was running in sixth. Working the draft and making time through the infield he moved up one spot into fifth and would hold that position to the finish. Next race, was Super twins GTU and the skies were threating with rain in the distance, first call was put on hold. Time was not helping as the rain showers moved in and with the track being deemed unsafe the rest of the day was canceled.
Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, CO.
May 5/6, 2018
The first round of the 2018 Motorcycle Racing Association season started off with quite a few changes. The big news was that the opening round would actually come off without a cancellation due to weather. The other big news was that Ricky would be campaigning a Rocky Mountain Kawasaki 650 Ninja.
During the off season Marvin Rosecrans set the bike up with upgrades to the motor and suspension. Ricky took care of the cosmetics and Pete from Fitzs Graphics handled the paint.
On Saturday all the work paid off. The bike was working excellently. First race of the day turned out to be a duel between Ricky and last year’s class champion. A front row start saw Ricky running in second for the first few laps, but finally getting by the leader. On the last lap Ricky was relegated back to second place and with time running out could not retake the lead.
Next up was Light Weight Endurance, a thirty minute race. With a front row start, Ricky grabbed the lead and continued to stretch it to the checkered flag for the first win of the season.
Sunday morning Thunder Bike was the first race of the day for Ricky and he would have a big challenge trying to hold off the 1000’s as it is an open class. With a good start he was holding on to second only to lose it down the back straight. Next lap same results pushing him back to fourth where he would finish.
Last race of the day for Ricky was Super Twins GTU. Another front row start and he led the pack into turn one. He continued to pull away from his competitors, winning in a dominating fashion, certainly a great start to the new season.