October 6 2002, Second Creek Raceway Denver, Colorado
The last race of the 2002 MRA schedule was held on a beautiful fall day, with the sun shining and 80 degree temperatures. It was the perfect setting for the last event. The 750 superbike race was the first challenge of the day. Gridded on the third row, Ricky exploded off the line into the lead. While being hounded lap after lap, Ricky held off the challenges, but one lap from the end, he missed a gear exiting the rats nest turn and was passed promptly. With only a lap to go, he could not retake the lead, finishing second. With the last round of the race of the Rockies up, it was the final opportunity for a win. Starting on the front row, provided the chance for another holeshot and that is just what he did. Once again Ricky lead the pack for the first few laps before getting horse powered past and relegated to second place. However, Ricky would not concede and was trying everything to get back into the lead. As the laps wore down, the chances to repass were not presenting themselves. With the white flag waving, Ricky had one shot, coming up on some back markers the pace was slowed, and he went for the pass. The crowd was on their feet and everyone’s eyes were on the finish line. Heading for a photo finish Ricky lost out by three feet. With today’s finish, Ricky locked up second place in the race of the Rockies state championship.
Pueblo Colorado September 29, 2002
As the 2002 MRA season starts to wind down, Ricky continues to defend his number one plate. Heading to pueblo, a very horsepower demanding track, he knew it would be a tough challenge to hold off the big bore competition. The temperatures were perfect at eighty degrees, with the sun shining; it was a great day for some hot racing. First race of the day was 750 superbike. At the green light, Ricky got to turn one first and led the pack. Three laps from the checkered flag, Ricky was passed and could not mount an attack to get back past, finishing second. Next race was race of the Rockies. Starting on the front row, it was a long way to turn one and he was shuffled to fourth. Within the first lap, he moved into third and started to pressure second place. Lap after lap, Ricky tried to hammer his way past but could not make a pass stick. At the flag, Ricky came up a wheel short posting a third place finish.
September 15 Second Creek Raceway, Denver, Colorado
After a long layoff, Ricky was back in the groove. The morning practice showed some suspension chatter; hopefully a new set of Dunlops would help solve that problem. First race up was the 750 superbike class. A big wheelie off the line did not help his fourth row start, but he put his head down and worked his way to the front. With laps running out, Ricky applied pressure on the leader, but could not get past, ending up in second. Next up was race of the Rockies. Rocketing off the second row Ricky nabbed the hole shot and led the pack into turn one. Within the next few laps, he broke the track record while leading the race. As the race wore down, the suspension gremlins reared their ugly heads and the checkered flag relegated Ricky to second place. With two race weekends left, Ricky is holding on to second place in ROR. Last race of the day was 750 supersport. This was his last chance for a win. With another fourth row start, Ricky jumped into second place and dogged the leader for all eight laps, but could not find a way past, adding another second place finish to the day.
07-28-02 Continental Divide Raceway Mead, CO
Ricky was back in form this weekend. At the tight, twisty and technical CDR race track, Ricky took advantage of his gsx750 sharp handling traits to bring home a couple of wins this weekend. The first race of the day was the 750 superbike. Starting on the third row, he got a clean jump on the field and methodically picked his way towards the front. By the halfway point, Ricky was in the lead, never to be challenged again for the first win of the day. Next race up was race of the Rockies. Surrounded by the big 1000’s, he knew it was a tall order to lead the pack into turn one. He still managed to stick it out into second place. Making up time on the brakes and into the turns, Ricky was dogging Dan turner relentlessly. As the race wore on backmarks were definitely playing havoc on the leaders-last lap, last turn, backmarker in the middle, Ricky on the inside, Dan on the outside, Dan gets the better drive, leading Ricky by a couple of lengths at the flag for a very exciting finish. Last race was the 750 Supersport race. With the day running late, the race was shortened to six laps. Starting on the fourth row, with only six laps to work with, Ricky knew a great start was critical. The plan was derailed when a rider crashed in front of Ricky on the first lap, forcing him wide into the dirt as the leader pulled away. He put his head down and went to work, with two laps left; he caught Denny burke, the leader. White flag comes out and Ricky made a high speed pass in turn one to take the lead. Ricky holds onto the lead for the win of his last race of the day.
Laguna Seca- July 13
The weekend started out on a high note, with the weather perfect, the crowd’s record breaking and Ricky’s lap times better than last year. Unfortunately things did not get better. Despite faster lap times, he qualified in twenty ninth place a few spots back from last year’s grid position. On race day, Ricky’s plan was to get a great start and make up a few spots. After the green flag dropped and the pack headed into turn 2, a rider went down in front of Ricky, forcing him off the track and into the dirt. Ricky reentered in last place, while trying to make up some ground he lost the front end in the fast turn five and low sided. He was ok and so was the bike, so he reentered the race only to be greeted by a red flag. On the restart, his luck was slightly better but a few more laps into the race another red flag was shown. What turned out to be the last start of the race, Ricky nailed it and moved into the top twenty. After battling with a group of riders, Ricky had his luck run out when he slid out again, ending his race. He picked up his Colorado powersports Suzuki and rode into the pits calling it a day. For his efforts, Ricky was credited with a thirtieth place
Second Creek Raceway, Denver, Colorado, 6-30-02
On blistering hot day, Ricky scorched the competition in the 750 superbike class. Starting on the fourth row, he nailed into the first turn in the third place. One place at a time he worked his way to the front, into the lead and gaped the field. On a day filled with red flags it was late in the afternoon when the race of the Rockies got on the track. Once again, Ricky timed the start perfectly and lead the pack into turn one. With all the heavy hitters behind him, he put his head down and tried to make a break. The plan worked for a little over half the race, but Dan turner was about to spoil the plan when he past Ricky coming out of the rats nest corner. With Ricky on his new Colorado powersports Suzuki 750, he could not mount an attack against Dan’s 1000. With a solid second place, Ricky is currently leading points in the premier class r. O. R.
Pikes Peak International Raceway June 9
After spending most of last week at PPIR, it seems like coming back home for the MRA club race.
With a high confidence level from such a great finish last weekend, Ricky was hopeful for a good showing today. Because he riding his new Suzuki 750 in different classes, he would be starting from the back row in the heavyweight superbike and heavyweight supersport classes. He knew that in race of the Rockies the horsepower disadvantage would definitely hurt.
First race up was the heavyweight superbike. Ricky seemed to have things well under control. By the fifth lap, he was in the lead and pulling away for the win. Next up was ROR; a front row start saw him running second for a few laps the pass into the lead. However, Dan tuner would hound Ricky, eventually getting past. Ricky tried repeatedly to get back past, but could not get the job done, finishing second. Last race of the day saw another last row start in the heavyweight supersport class. With a very determined start, he would work his way to the front and stretch out the lead to comfortable ten seconds for his second win of the day.
Pikes Peak International Raceway- June 2, 2002
This was a really big weekend for roadracing here in Colorado as the AMA superbike national series came to town. Ricky had sold his Suzuki 1000 and replaced it with a Suzuki gsxr750 primarily to have a bike for the superbike class. With only one week to set up his new ride, Marvin Rosencrans did an impeccable job. During the first practice on the gsxr750, Ricky was running some of his best lap times at PPIR.
After qualifying times were in, Ricky was sixth fastest in superbike. He also entered superstock as additional track time would help with more set up time. He was qualified 22nd in the superstock. Tough class!
Temperatures were record-breaking high and the sun was beating down. It would be a hot day of racing. After twenty-nine laps of tight competition, he finished in sixteenth place.
Sunday brought another hot day and with forty-eight laps on tap for the superbike race, everybody was concerned about the endurance of the riders. Ricky, being a local and used to the elevation and having completed twenty-nine laps on Saturday was not too concerned. The plan was to charge for the first half of the race and put it on cruise for the last half. After a great start, he was running in seventh place, dicing with series regular Brian Parriott. Ricky got past Brian at the half way point, but saw him come back past Ricky near the end of the race. Ricky’s smart consistent riding helped him finish in an outstanding eight place. Local boy gives the hometown fans something to cheer about and earns an article in the rocky mountain news!
May 19, 2002 Denver, Colorado- Second Creek Raceway
On a beautiful sunny day, Ricky Orlando gave the extremely large crowd something to cheer about, a wire-to-wire victory in race of the Rockies. After jumping into the lead Ricky was never challenged, but did have a hare rising moment when a rabbit ran onto the track. Ricky could not avoid it and struck the animal, knocking his foot off the peg and bending the bracket. Luckily, Ricky was okay but the same could not be said for the rabbit. Amid the fur, Ricky still managed to break the track record by turning a 1:08.2.
The Colorado Powersports Suzuki gsxr1000 was running flawlessly and he ran a perfect race for his second win of the season. In the open supersport class, Ricky scored his second victory of the day after a serious challenge. Ricky also finished third in the open superbike race. What a perfect way to cap off the last race on the Suzuki 1000. Marvin Rosencrans is preparing a new Suzuki gsxr750 for the next AMA superbike round at Pikes Peak International Raceway.
Pueblo Motorsports Park- May 5, 2002
The opening round of the MRA race season here in Colorado brought the racers to pueblo Motorsports Park. A sunny 80 degree day and a large turnout of spectators and racers made for an exciting race day. Ricky was aboard last year’s Colorado Powersports Suzuki gsxr-1000 and picked up where he left off last season. His first race of the morning was open supersport. Ricky nabbed the hole shot and was stretching out the lead when a red flag halted all progress. With another hole shot into the lead, Ricky came under challenge while encountering some back markers. He was passed on the last lap and could not retaliate, finishing second. Open superbike saw another hole shot by Ricky and while leading, a big slide allowed Dan tuner to slip inside and lead Ricky to the finish line. The last race of the day, race of the Rockies, saw Ricky victorious. A tight battle between Dan and Ricky had the crowd on their feet. With both riders trading the lead, it looked like it would go down to the wire. Just past the halfway point, Dan pulled out with mechanical problems. The battle had allowed Ricky to distance himself from the rest of the pack by a huge margin for his first win of the season. Next race may 19 at second creek raceway.
Ricky Orlando Cracks the Top 10 at Daytona- 03/11/2002
With so many top 15 finishes in the Daytona 200, Ricky’s consistent goal was a top 10 finish. For 2002, the week started off promising. On a Suzuki gsxr750, borrowed from fellow racer, Glenn Concer. With only a hindle exhaust system, the bike was running strong. Because Marvin Rosencrans could not make the trip, Pete Hokenstad of Hokenblock Racing was there to assist with the race effort.
Qualifying went well, with Ricky ending up on the 6th row in 24th position. With a great set of Dunlops and fresh EBC brake pads, the bike was ready for the race. With an awesome start, Ricky was already in 19th place by lap six when a red flag stopped the race, leaving him time in the pits to put on a new Dunlop and top off with fuel. A second great start put him in a four-way battle throughout the rest of the race. Lap by lap, Ricky’s smooth and consistent riding moved him well into the top 10 and at times as high as 8th place. Without the advantage of changing tires, they began to go off during the last few laps, dropping him a couple positions. He holds on, though, to 10th place at the checkered flag.
Prior to the Daytona 200, he also competed in the 750 Super Stock race, mainly as a warm-up for the 200 on Sunday. With some problems in qualifying, he ended up on the 9th row in 35th position. Within 15 laps, Ricky had moved up 16 places, where he finished 17th, despite a big moment on the white flag lap. While drafting another rider to the checkered flag, he encountered a lower fairing on the banking and hit it dead center. Although the impact exploded Ricky’s windshield and fender, he did not crash. At that speed, crashing would have definitely left a mark.