High Plains Raceway, Byers CO – August 29, 2009
The ninth round of the MRA season brought the racers back to HPR for the last time this year. The last round was a very important race weekend for Ricky, with three championships on the line and Kawasaki contingency.
Saturday’s program had the 600 Supersport up after the lunch break. Ricky nailed the start and began to gap the field when a red flag stopped the race. On the restart he was not so lucky. On the first lap he was running in third; making a move on the brakes put him into second. Next lap he took the lead only to lose the lead three turns later. Making a bold move through the chicane put him back into the lead. This dog fight would go on for the next two laps until Ricky made a pass stick and pulled away from the competition. Winning the race, the championship and the Kawasaki contingency made for a great day.
Sunday brought variable weather conditions with the possibility of rain. The 600 Superbike race was first on the agenda. On a dry track, a good start saw Ricky put it into second on the first lap. Hounding the leader he could not make any time. Lap by lap he was losing touch and had to settle for second. With the second place finish he also took second in the championship. Last round of the Race of the Rockies was up. Another good start had Ricky in second place playing follow the leader. Knowing a good finish would clinch the championship, Ricky put it on cruise to a second place. With that finish he locked up the Race of the Rockies championship to cap off another great year.
Without the help and support from Rocky Mountain Kawasaki, Dunlop, Bel-Ray, EBC, Dainese, Aria, Hindle, GPR, Woodcraft, Dynojet, Lockhart, Corsa Components,Western Stone, The Walnut Room, AST, Fitz Graphix, Dr Hannigan and Marvin Rosencrans this winning season would not be possible.
High Plains Raceway, Byers CO – July 26, 2009
The penultimate round of the Motorcycle Roadracing Association brought the racers back to HPR. With great weather and a big spectator turnout it was looking like a great weekend of racing.
This being a Kawasaki contingency race, Ricky was intent on doing well. Saturday had 600 supersport on the schedule. Starting on the front row he shot into the lead. Winning was all Ricky had on his mind, and with the financial motivation he kept pushing hard. By the halfway point Ricky had pressure from behind. Staying focused and mistake free Ricky took the win and the cash.
Sunday’s weather and crowds were great again. The start of 600 superbike saw Ricky get to turn one in second place. Running right behind the leader, Ricky was riding aggressive trying to find a way around. Lap after lap Ricky could not get close enough to make a pass. On the white flag lap, Ricky was as close as he had been. Still trying to make a pass, he pushed a little too hard and low sided in turn two. While his Dainese suit and Arai helmet kept him safe, they could not contain his disappointment.
Race of the Rockies was next on the schedule. Another front row start had Ricky into turn one in third place. Quickly moving into second and chasing the leader, Ricky was not making any time. Remembering the earlier race, he got into his rhythm and continued to hound the leader. Waiting for the leader to make a mistake and capitalize on was not happening. Just past the cross flags the leaders hand went up as Ricky went past to take the lead. Keeping his head down and trying to stay mistake free he was heading to his second win of the weekend. At the checkered flag, Ricky had another victory in hand.
June 27 & 28 2009 Pueblo Motorsports Park, Pueblo Colorado
Round six brought the racers back to PMP for the last time this season. Back on the ’09 Kawasaki ZX6, Ricky was feeling much more comfortable. With warm tempitures for the weekend, things were looking good. Ricky mounted a new set of Dunlops and was ready to do battle.
At the start of the 600 supersport race he was off the line well and dropped into second. Lap after lap he was looking for a spot to make the pass but the opportunity did not present itself. One lap past the halfway flag, Ricky decided it was time to get the job done and made an out braking move going into turn one. After the pass he started to put some distance on second for a comfortable win.
The 600 superbike class gridded Sunday morning for the first race of the day. Ricky was on the front row and nailed the holeshot. Through turn one he was side by side with a rider to his inside. Ricky started to drop down as the other rider backed out of it. From there he gapped the field by a nice margin for his second win of the weekend.
Last race of the day was Race of the Rockies. With another great start, Ricky lead the field into turn one and continued to pull away. By the checkered flag, Ricky had the entire length of the front straight over second place.
With three wins over the weekend, Ricky was feeling much better, and leaving Pueblo with the points lead in all three classes was just icing on the cake.
June 6 & 7 2009- High Plains Raceway, Byers Colorado
The fifth round of the MRA season was back at the new High Plains Raceway. Ricky had made the trek to Miller Motorsports for the World Superbike weekend, but unfortunately suffered motor problems not allowing him to race that weekend and also forcing him to ride last year’s bike this round.
Saturday’s 600 supersport race saw Ricky get an unusually bad start. Having to make up lost ground working his way through the pack, the lead rider pulled away. By lap five he had moved into second but was not able to make up any ground on first place. Settling for second was not where Ricky wanted to be, but trying to adapt to last year’s bike was also frustrating.
Sunday brought the 600 superbike race to the grid before lunch. With another poor start Ricky was riding hard trying to get to the front. With a couple of bold moves, Ricky made it into second place, but once again the leader was gone.
Race of the Rockies was next. Another slow start saw Ricky battling riders for position. A bar-to-bar fight over second place allowed the rider from behind to catch up and make a pass down the long straight relegating Ricky to third. Just then a red flag came out eliminating any chance to retake second place.
Keeping it on the podium all weekend was good, but without any wins, Ricky was not happy and would be looking forward to the next race where he would be back on the ’09 Kawasaki ZX6.
Motorsports Park Hastings, Hastings NE, May 23, 24, 25 2009
The third and fourth round brought the MRA racers to Hastings Nebraska for a Memorial Day double header. Perfect race weather greeted the riders at a time of the year that can be questionable.
With Kawasaki contingency on the line Ricky was looking forward to a good weekend. First race on Saturday was 600 supersport. With a good launch he led the pack into turn one. Putting the hammer down, Ricky led every lap to take his first win of the weekend.
Sunday’s first race was 600 supersport. Tire issues came into play and Ricky was losing ground on the leader after the start. His pace continued to slow, and he was passed again relegating him to third at the flag. On the start of 600 superbike, Ricky was in second through turn one. Stalking the leader he kept the pressure on. Looking for the perfect opportunity to pass, the leader’s hand went up indicating a problem. Ricky was quick to take advantage and move into the lead. Ricky stayed at the front for his second win of the weekend. Next up was Race of the Rockies. With a great holeshot he lead into turn one. Charging hard Ricky lead every lap to the checkered flag with a huge margin for his third win of the weekend.
Monday’s program had 600 superbike up first. On the start Ricky moved into second place. Playing follow the leader, Ricky could not get past the leader and ended up second at the flag. The last race of the day was Race of the Rockies. At the start Ricky got to turn one side-by-side with another rider. As both riders tried to get into the lead Ricky got the short end of the deal and dropped to second. Unable to match the pace, Ricky stayed in second to the flag.
High Plains Raceway, Byers Colorado – May 9, 10 2009
The second round of the MRA season was held at the brand new HPR facility. Spectators and racers alike were very anxious to check out the new track.
Saturday was sunny and warm. Tire choice seemed to be a question with so few laps on the new pavement. Ricky went with a soft compound Dunlop. When the light went green for the start of 600 supersport his start was not the best. On lap one Ricky was in third chasing second place. By the halfway flag he realized he had made a poor tire choice and started to fade. National rider Jason Disalvo put a pass on Ricky, pushing him back to fourth where he would finish.
Sunday’s weather was cool and wet, presenting new tire options. Ricky chose full Dunlop wets. At the start of 600 superbike Ricky was in second. Two laps into it Matt Lynn went down while leading. Two laps later Kane Lasky put a pass on Ricky to take the lead. Ricky stayed on him pushing and showing a wheel at every opportunity. One lap later Kane went down handing Ricky the lead and the win.
Race of the Rockies was next and with a drying track, tires were again the question. Ricky went with Dunlop slicks. At the start Ricky was in second through turn one. By turn ten Ricky moved into the lead. Coming into the last turn, he found himself in too hot and tucked the front end. His Arai helmet and Dainese leathers protected him from harm but not disappointment.
Pueblo Motorsports Park, Pueblo, CO – May 4, 2009
The Motorcycle Roadracing Association’s first race of the 2009 season was held on May fourth at Pueblo Motorsports Park under partly cloudy skies and seasonable temperatures. The question with every new year is who will be there and what will they be riding. After morning pratice the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX6RR was working well. Ricky was eager to get on with the first race of the day, 600 supersport. Being class champion, he was starting on the first row and took full advantage by getting to turn one in the lead. By lap four he was being pressured by national rider Matt Ltnn who was in town chasing contingency money. Lynn tried to get under Ricky through the fast turn ten but was denied. The next lap Lynn got by going into turn one. The cat and mouse game was on. Ricky repeatedly was showing Matt a wheel. On the final lap a mistake by Lynn allowed Ricky to get by to take the checkered flag for the victory. Ricky also shattered the lap record by over a second.
On Sunday the 600 superbike race was up before lunch. Another front row start saw Ricky get to turn one first. The battle was on. As both riders pulled away from the rest of the pack, Lynn would take the lead away from Ricky. As he pursued, Lynn kicked a cone up in front of Ricky at ninety miles an hour through turn ten. As he slowed and tried to avoid it he was gapped by Matt. At the flag Ricky was happy to take second and not a soil sample.
The Race of the Rockies was next. Another front row start had Ricky powering to turn one in the lead As he focused on consistent laps, Ricky held the lead for all fourteen laps to take another victory!
Daytona Beach, Fl. 2009
The 2009 Daytona 200 was going to have a new look and rules according to the new promoter DMG. With the race being run under the lights at night and basically supersport motorcycles there was differently a different feel to this year’s race.
Ricky was very optimistic about this year’s round. With a new and improved ’09 Kawasaki ZX6R and a rare test day at Pikes Peak International Raceway the equipment was ready. Monica at RFA Training was driving Ricky hard to reach his peak physical condition. His attitude was also geared toward a strong finish.
Once on the track the ZX6R was working very well with a little handling issue. Unfortunately a rock to the radiator cut the first practice session short. The next session under the lights had Ricky adapting well, cutting a second off his lap times.
Qualifying was the next session on day two and Ricky found another second, but missed the first wave by a few hundreths of a second.
A beautiful evening greeted everyone for the first Daytona 200 under the lights. With more new rules, the race would be a rolling start with two safety cars. Unfortunately the gap was thirty seconds to the second group, much bigger than a standing start. Ricky had his work cut out for himself and started to lay down fast consistent laps. Moving through the field his first stop for fuel went smoothly. Back on track he had already moved up twenty spots. As his second fuel stop was just a few laps away, the safety car entered the track. It looked like the timing would be perfect for the second stop. Then a red flag changed everything. With the riders brought back into the pits, new rule forbid them from working on the bike. When the safety car led the riders back out for a restart, Ricky would have to reenter the pits for fuel and a new Dunlop costing him valuable time. Once back on track he found the safety car was back out. The confusion of the safety car for the next eight laps cost Ricky the opportunity to make up any more positions. As the checkered flag was shown, thirtieth was his finishing position.
A big thanks to the team as this effort takes more than one: Marvin Rosencrans, Pete and Lucy Brandauer, Pete Hockingstad, Mark Hoyt, Jon Glaefke, Chris Koster, John Burr, Paul Frysig and Jim Clark.