Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain CO, September 14/15 2013
The last round the 2013 MRA series was held at Pikes Peak International Raceway on a dubious weather weekend. With all the rain and flooding the week previous the race was in question. The weather gods did smile on the MRA, as most of the weekend was pleasant.
F-40 was the first one for Ricky, and starting on the pole he got his standard start and led the pack into turn one. One rider, Rob Chrisman, has been Ricky’s only real competition in the class and this weekend was no different. The two riders went at it all race long. With multiple passes Ricky was finding his Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10 was working very well and the Dunlops were hooking up nicely. As back markers came into play, Ricky continued to get the short end of the stick and ended up following Rob across the line for second place at the checkered flag. Although the points for the class championship were tied, Ricky lost out due to less race wins. Race two for Ricky was Open supersport, and a front row start had him leading again into turn one. With the sting of the second place from the earlier race, he put his A-game on and left the pack for an easy win.
Sunday’s weather was in question and tire choice would be critical. Open superbike started in dry conditions and Ricky again nailed the hole shot. With a couple of riders on his tail, another battle ensued. Just past the half way flags the rain drops started. The third place ride made a brave/ foolish pass on Ricky and the race leader just before the red flag came out ending the race. Scoring had Ricky in third place for his finish. With Race of the Rockies up next, everyone was looking up trying to decide what tires to run. With dry track conditions, the Dunlops slicks went on the ZX-10. Another great start from the second row had Ricky running at the front with the lead pack. As the race continued you could cover Ricky and the other two riders with a blanket. The front two riders were engaged in a battle royal and Ricky was watching it closely. Again rain drops started to fall and the race was red flagged. The rain continued for over an hour, but then let up. As the starting grid was under water, the race start went single file, dirt-track style on the front banking. From third in line, Ricky’s start was a little timid and he followed the pack for the first lap. As he got a feel for the wet track he started to move forward. Running in third, he was passed, pushing him into fourth. Two laps later that rider went down, moving him back into third. As the laps wore down Ricky was surprised by another rider making a pass on the last lap. At the flag Ricky was credited with a fourth place finish.
The 2013 season was a mixed bag for Ricky; with a devastating motocross crash early in the year, he was taking each race one at a time and finding new limits. A new bike was also a challenge, coming off the 600 and now on a 1000. Developing the bike at every race took time, and he waited patiently until the program came together before he started finishing at the top of the podium.
High Plains Raceway Byers CO. August 23/24 2013
The penultimate round of the Motorcycle Roadracing Association 2013 season brought the riders back to High Plains Raceway for another weekend of hot racing. A strong turnout of racers and hot temperatures are becoming the norm for this season.
As Ricky continues to develop the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10 and his comfort level increases the team is always looking to improve. Saturday’s race day had the F-40 class up before lunch. Starting from pole position, Ricky’s launch was not typical and saw him get to turn one in second place. As the race continued Ricky could not mount a charge on the leader and the procession ended in the same order with Ricky on the podium with a second place finish. Open supersport was the next race and with a front row start Ricky made the most of it, leading into turn one. Lap after lap Ricky distanced himself from the chasing pack and by the time the checkered flag was shown he had a full straightaway on his pursuers. Ending the day on the top step of the podium with a win had the team feeling good.
Sunday looked to be an even hotter day with temps in the nineties. Open superbike was the first race of the day and the grid was loaded with heavy competition. A great start had Ricky fourth into the first turn. A strong pass through turn two moved him into third, but running slightly wide he could not hold it. Staying latched on the third place rider, Ricky was trying to figure a way around. Without an opportunity to make a pass the laps wore down and with two to go the second place rider went down in a cloud of dust. As the race was red flagged Ricky was credited with a third place finish. Last race of the day was Race of the Rockies, the big one. Starting on row two due to a strong qualifying session Ricky got hung up going into the first turn. After getting through he had already lost touch with the lead pack. With his head down he was desperately trying to make time to no avail. While running in third place he was unaware that the fourth place rider was making time on him. Three laps from the end as the two riders encountered lappers going into turn one Ricky was relegated to fourth. Taken by surprise he tried to regroup to take the position back but ran out of laps, ending the race in fourth.
Last race of the season will be held at Pikes Peak International Raceway September 13/14.
High Plains Raceway August 10/11 2013
Round five brought the club back to HPR and high temperatures greeted the racers as to be expected in August.
With new fork suspension parts courtesy of Bob Fier, Ricky was excited about the weekend. As the team continues to develop the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10 the top step of the podium seems closer.
Saturday had the F-40 race up first and an atypical start had Ricky second into the first turn. The race seemed to be non-eventful as he could not make any time on the leader and pulled a substantial lead over third place. With this finish Ricky is holding the points lead in F-40. Second race of the day was Open supersport and with a great start he lead into turn one. He was being hounded by the second place rider, who would eventually make the pass. As Ricky tried to take the lead back he could not get it done, with a second place finish at the flag.
Sunday had the Open superbike race line up in the morning and with a great start he led into the first turn. Maybe it was just a little too good as Ricky was shown the jump start flag on the second lap. As he was trying to make time before his penalty, Ricky got into turn four a little hot and had to run the return road, costing him valuable time. The next lap around he was not shown the penalty flag and amongst the confusion ran off again in turn four. At this point Ricky decided the best strategy was to save the tires for Race of the Rockies and just pull in. With a good qualifying time he was on row two for the start. Another great start and he was third into turn one. He held onto this position for five laps before he was passed down the long back straight, pushing him back to fourth. This time he held onto the third place rider and would mount a challenge. Trying to get a pass done was not easy; every time Ricky would make time in one area he would lose it down the long straight. At the flag Ricky took home a very rewarding fourth place knowing there was more to come next time.
Pikes Peak International Raceway July 20/21 2013
As the Colorado racers headed to one of their favorite tracks, Pikes Peak International Raceway, wet weather was a concern. Another issue was water seeping up from the pavement in turns three and four.
Ricky was confident at this track and had hopes of a strong weekend. Saturday’s program had F-40 as the first race of the day for Ricky. A typical start had him first into turn one. Ricky was feeling pressure from behind and knew it was time to go. With his focus turned up a notch, he constantly opened a gap on the second place rider. As the checkered flag flew, Ricky had his first win of the weekend. Open supersport was after the lunch break and a front row start saw him lead another group of racers into turn one. As the laps wore down, Ricky was fighting for traction and not finding any. Past the halfway point he was feeling the heat from second place. Three laps from the checkered and Ricky lost the lead going into turn three. He could not retaliate and ended the day with a second place finish on a surprisingly dry day.
Sunday saw the team make a handful of changes to the Rocky Mountain ZX-10 in search of more traction. Next race was open superbike and a great start from row three saw Ricky go to the front for lap one. Although the changes helped it was not quite perfect. As he continued to struggle for grip he was losing positions. At the flag Ricky was credited with a fifth. Last race of the day, ROR was on the grid. After consulting the local Dunlop rep, Steve Mills, Ricky was trying a new compound. Starting on row three, he did not get one of his typical starts. At the halfway point he was running in sixth. Ricky constantly was hounding fifth and eventually got by. Now he was pressuring the rider in fourth and made another pass to take the position. Ricky now had his eyes on third place and was making time when the laps ran out and the checkered was shown. The new compound Dunlop was the magic bullet and with a hard-fought race Ricky ended up in fourth, just short of another podium finish.
Pueblo Motorsports Park June 29/30 2013
The third round of the MRA 2013 series brought the racers to southern Colorado and, as expected, the heat was a factor. Friday’s practice saw temperatures well over 100 degrees. Luckily things did cool off for the weekend. The team did pick up a new sponsor, Tire-Penz, a local company that produces markers to highlight tire lettering. Adding a contingency program for all the racers, they were well received in the paddock.
Saturday morning F-40 was gridded up and Ricky was on the front row. With his now-typical great starts he led into turn one. Holding onto the lead for the next four laps, he was being stalked from behind. Down the long front straight, Ricky was relegated to second. For the next few laps he tried to recapture the lead. As the riders hit lapped traffic, Ricky made a pass to take the lead. As the battle went down to the flag, Ricky came up short by a bike length for the win, taking second.
Open supersport was next and when Pete Brandauer asked Ricky what the plan was, he replied “I am just going to put my head down and push from the start.” That is exactly what he did. Nailing the hole shot, Ricky lead every lap and by the checkered flag had the front straightaway over second place and setting a new track
record in the process.
Sunday was not as successful. In open superbike, Ricky’s start had him lapping in fifth and losing ground. At the checkered flag Ricky crossed the line in seventh place. With a better mindset in Race of the Rockies, Ricky got off the line in third but lost a position down the long front straight. Lap three saw a rider go down in front of Ricky, moving him up one spot. As Ricky got greedy trying to make up ground, he got into the high-speed turn one too hot and had to take the runoff road, adding twenty seconds to his lap. Rejoining the race in twelfth spot, he had ground to make up. As he made his way past riders, the laps ran out leaving him with a ninth place finish.
Some days are better than others and Ricky is looking forward to the next round at Pikes Peak International Raceway where he has had some solid finishes.
High Plains Raceway Byers CO. June 8/9 2013
Racers returned to High Plains Raceway for round two of the MRA series and encountered great weather and stiff competition.
With no new parts, Ricky was just trying to tweak the Rocky Mountain ZX-10 to his liking. First race on Saturday was F-40. With a front row start, Ricky lead into turn one with ease. As the laps wore down he was feeling pressure from behind. One rider got by and Ricky tried to retaliate but was blocked by a back marker. He also realized that last race weekend tires were not working. As the checkered flag was shown, a second place podium finish was in hand. With a fresh set of Dunlops installed, Ricky was ready for a trip to the top set of the podium. Knowing the competition, he decided to follow instead of lead this time. Throughout the race, Ricky was setting up for the kill. The plan of attack was a pass at the finish line on the checkered flag lap. Knowing his ZX-10 had to power to make it happen, Ricky was confident of a win. Two turns from the finish line he put the plan into effect. Unfortunately the shift lever bolt had failed at the most inopportune time leaving him stuck in second gear, unable to pull off the race wining pass, settling for second again.
Sunday saw another great day of weather and Ricky had qualified on row three for the Race of the Rockies. Open superbike was first of the day and with a second row start, Ricky again lead into turn one. With a hungry pack of racers behind, Ricky was feeling the heat. With the bike not giving him the feedback needed, Ricky was getting swallowed up one position at a time. At the checkered flag a fifth place was finish was the order. Last race of the day, Race of the Rockies was called to grid. Another great start had Ricky leading into turn one. The competition was hot, as one rider motored by down the back straightaway. Losing another spot in turn six had him in third, but he was being hounded by another rider. Late in the event Ricky ran a little wide in turn eight and lost one more spot and that is how it ended at the checkered flag.
As the year progresses, the bike gets closer, and Ricky acclimates to it, the wins will come.
High Plains Raceway May 11/12 2013
The first round of the Motorcycle Roadracing Season was held at High Plains Raceway in Byers Colorado on a beautiful and warm spring day. The fans were there in mass, probably the biggest turnout yet. The racers were also there in force with over 150 entries.
This year Ricky is campaigning a Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10 and will be competing in the Formula 40, Open Supersport, Open Superbike and Race of the Rockies GTO classes. Marv Rosencrans had prepared the bike with his magic touch and with the exception of a few parts on backorder the ZX-10 was ready for battle.
Saturday morning the F40 class was up before lunch. With a third row start, Ricky got the hole shot and lead the pack into turn one. At the halfway point Ricky was still in the lead but being pressured from behind. Three laps from the finish that rider made a pass to lead it to the checkered flag, relegating Ricky to a second place finish. After the lunch break the Open Supersport class was called to grid. With another third row start, Ricky nailed the hole shot again, leading everyone into the first turn. As in the first race, Ricky was getting pressure from behind and with two laps to go was passed in the same turn, resulting in another second place finish.
Sunday’s schedule had the Open Superbike race up before lunch and with a third row start, Ricky again lead the pack into turn one. With more competition in this class, Ricky was immediately getting mobbed. Holding onto the lead was become more difficult with brake fade, and he lost the lead going into turn one under braking. A few laps later coming into turn one, Ricky encountered a back marker, holding him up and losing another place resulting in a third place finish. Last race of the day was ROR. With a fourth row starting position, he did not get to turn one first, but was mired in the gaggle of riders jockeying for position. As the laps wore on the front group settled down and Ricky was locked into battle over fourth place. Just past the halfway flags, Ricky was inching closer to making a pass when the red flag was displayed. As the riders re-entered the pits, they were informed the race was over resulting in a fifth place for Ricky.
For the first race weekend and the bike not completely dialed in, Ricky was happy with the results, knowing there was more to come.