The 2019 season saw two new sponsors, Fired Up Fabrications and Motul Oil. Along with current sponsors Arai helmets, EBC Brakes, Hindle exhaust, Pirelli tires and Rocky Mountain Kawasaki the stage was set.
First round, Ricky was anxious to test the upgrades to the bike. Unfortunately, cold conditions greeted the racers for the test day. During the second session Ricky found the limit of traction and had a fast get off. Luckily he did not suffer any injury and the bike was only slightly tweaked.
Saturday the temperatures got into the pleasant range and with championships in his classes from last year, front row starts were the order for the weekend. First race of the weekend, Lightweight Grand Prix, saw Ricky take the win. That and two more podium finishes made for a good start to the 2019 season.
With the MotoAmerica twin’s class gaining popularity, some of the national riders made a few appearances throughout the year, certainly raising the bar. Ricky continued to stand on the podium in Light Weight Grand Prix, Light Weight Endurance and Super twins GTU. Numerous top five finishes in the Thunder Bike class had Ricky chasing the bigger more powerful bikes.
At the end of the Motorcycle Roadracing Association 2019 season, Ricky finished second in Lightweight GP and Super twins GTU, third in Lightweight Endurance and fifth in the Thunderbike class.
At the national level, Ricky traveled to Utah for the AHMRA round where he won two Sound of Thunder 3 races and placed fifth and sixth in the Sound of Thunder 2. This would qualify him for the Barber round in Alabama at the end of the year. Arriving in Alabama he was greeted with a heat wave where temperatures were just shy of triple digits. After a day of practice Ricky was still getting up to speed for the first day of racing. Sound of Thunder 3 was the first race of the day and a great launch was cut down by another rider pulling in front of Ricky from row four. As the laps wore down, Ricky had made his way up to third but a last lap, last turn pass put him into fourth place at the checkered flag. Later that afternoon Sound of Thunder 2 was called to the grid. Ricky managed a good start from the sixth row, but throughout the race the stronger bikes passed him on the back straight and he finished twelfth. Sunday Ricky nailed the start in Sound of Thunder 3 and would battle his way into second place, closing in on the leader. As the laps wore down the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki Ninja started to develop handling issues. Rather than risking a DNF, he put it on cruise, losing positions in the last few laps for a fifth place finish.
Looking back on the 2019 season, Ricky felt a little more horsepower would have made his job easier in clenching a class championship, but all in all it was a safe, competitive season.
The successful season was only possible with the help and support of Rocky Mountain Kawasaki, Arai Helmets, EBC Brakes, Hindle Exhaust, Motul, Oil, Fired Up Fabrications, Marvin Rosecrans, Pete Brandauer, and Kathy Montgomery.