Pikes Peak International Raceway September 13/14 2014
The last round of the Motorcycle Roadracing Association’s 2014 season was held at Pikes Peak International Raceway, a favorite of both racers and fans. With unseasonable temperatures in the low forties, there would be no valuable practice on Friday. Saturday morning had the F-40 class on the grid, and with a front row starting position, Ricky made the most of it, nailing the hole shot. Leading into turn one he would continue holding onto the top spot. As the race wore on he was being hounded by the class champion. As they skillfully worked their way through traffic the question was could Ricky hold onto the lead. Two laps from the checkered flag the pair came up on three riders, Ricky chose the low line and his pursuer chose the highline. The riders in front went low blocking Ricky causing him to lose the position. With just one lap left Ricky could not reclaim the lead, finishing second in a thrilling race. Second race of the day, for Ricky, was Open Supersport. Another front row start, but with a huge wheelie, he could only follow the leader into the first turn. As the pair distanced themselves from the rest of the pack Ricky continued trying to make a pass to no avail. At the flag, another close second place podium finish.
Sunday morning brought the Open Superbike field to the grid. With a second row start, Ricky moved into fourth place during the first lap. Holding onto the third place rider, Ricky could not make any headway. He was definitely struggling. The bike was not working to his liking and the lap times were showing it. At the flag, a fourth place finish was in the books. Last race of the day, Race of the Rockies, was minutes away. This would be Ricky’s last start of the 2014 season. With a second row grid spot and a good start, Ricky went into turn one with the lead pack. As things started to sort themselves out, the front two riders started to gap the third place rider and Ricky. By midpoint Ricky had made a pass into third, only to lose it on the next lap. This cat and mouse chase went on for the rest of the race entertaining the crowd and keeping Ricky charging hard. At the last checkered flag for the year Ricky ended up one bike length from a podium spot, finishing fourth.
Ricky ended the season with second place overall in the F-40 and Open Supersport championships and fourth place overall in the Open Superbike and Race of the Rockies championships. The 2014 race season saw many changes and improvements to the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10 and Ricky is already excited for the 2015 race season.
High Plains Raceway Byers Co. August 23/24 2014
There was major concern about Ricky actually racing this weekend due to an off track knee injury. Friday practice it showed limited mobility requiring a trip to the doctor that afternoon. With no good news, Ricky would tough it out and try to salvage any points he could.
In Saturday morning practice the knee was not much better, but when the lights went off for the start of F-40 adrenalin took over. A good start had Ricky in second place by turn one and he would hold that position for the next five laps. Now the third place rider was moving up on Ricky without his knowledge, and a pass was made but Ricky fought back to retake second place. The fight continued with Ricky losing the spot again. With traffic he could not make another pass, finishing a close third. Open supersport was next and a typical start had him into second place from a front row grid position. Playing follow the leader, without seeing an opportunity for a pass, resulted in another second place podium finish.
Sunday the knee was slightly better, but still a concern. Open superbike was up and a terrible start had Ricky fighting his way through the pack to try and make up for it. After a couple of hard passes he was into fourth but had a big gap to third. Not being able to make up any time on the third place rider he had to settle for a fourth place finish. The day’s finale, Race of the Rockies was on the grid and from the second row Ricky launched into fourth place by turn one. As the two race leaders started to pull a gap, Ricky was locked onto the third place rider. Three laps in to it, Ricky saw an opening an took it, moving into third. The pass would not last as it lit a fire under that rider and Ricky could not move past him again, resulting in a fourth at the flag. A much better weekend than anticipated. The bike is getting dialed in more each race and the team is looking forward to continued success and improvement.
Pikes Peaks International Raceway July 19/20 2014
Heading to PPIR Ricky had some new found confidence with the fact that some tuning mods had picked up nineteen horsepower and it was a favorite track of his. With the temperatures in the high nineties and no rain in the forecast it looked like a great weekend for racing.
F-40 was the first race on Saturday and with a front row start Ricky went into turn one side by side with the class champion. As they got into the infield Ricky settled into second place and was dogging the leader. Lap traffic came into play and it would be a game of pick up a little time then lose a little. In the final laps Ricky could not make up enough to attempt a pass but a strong second place felt good. Open supersport was next up and another front row start saw his take the lead. Two laps later he would lose the position going into turn three. Staying with the leader was a good indication how well the bike was running but traffic was hindering his progress. At the checkered flag another strong second place podium finish was the result.
Sunday brought Open superbike to the grid and second row start had Ricky trying to make the best of it. Unfortunately a big wheelie did not help but he did make a great pass on the outside of turn two to slot into second place. Two laps later he lost the spot going into turn four but would not let that deter him. Putting pressure on the second place rider throughout the race and showing him a wheel made for a crowd pleasing show but he could not retake the position finishing in a close third. Race of the Rockies was the last race of the day for Ricky and throughout the weekend he was playing with different Dunlop’s looking for the advantage. Taking a gamble he started on a unknown and came up snake eyes. A good start from the second row had Ricky chasing the leaders all race long but not being able to make up any time, he ending the day in fourth.
With the horse power gains Ricky is now on terms with the front runners and some chassis tuning for the next round are in the plans. At the half way point of the year Ricky is sitting second in points in the F-40 and open Supersport classes and fourth in Open superbike and Race of the Rockies.
Race report June 21/22 2014
Round three had the riders heading south to Pueblo Motorsport Park, one of Ricky’s favorite tracks. You know the weather will always be on the hot side, and this year was no different, with temperatures in the one hundreds.
Saturday, F-40 and Open supersport were on the schedule. First up F-40 and with a good start Ricky got the holeshot. As is becoming the norm, by the time the pack had made it down the long straight Ricky was regulated to second. Losing time on the front straight was making it tough to hang with the leader. By the halfway point Ricky was get pressure from behind. Getting passed again on the front straight, he was holding onto third trying to retaliate to no avail. Another podium finish, but not where he wanted to be. Open supersport was up after lunch and Ricky had another great start but with the same results. Lapping in third place with heat from the rider behind had Ricky trying all he could to get into second. Losing a spot on the brakes into turn one was not the plan, and on the last lap Ricky used all his knowledge of Pueblo to make a last turn pass putting him back on the podium for a third place finish.
Sunday saw a slight drop in temperatures with cloud cover most of the morning. Open superbike was called to grid and a second row start had Ricky fighting with the pack into turn one. As the laps wore on things didn’t settle down and there was constant jockeying for position between the top six riders. Ricky was making moves toward the front and finally cleared the riders behind putting himself into fourth place where he would finish. Last race of the day for Ricky was Race of the Rockies and with a second row qualifying position it would be another fight to turn one. This time he got the best of his start and immediately got with the lead group. Trying to stay with them was another story; again losing out due to a lack of top speed was frustrating to say the least. At the checkered flag, a fourth place was in the books.
After the Pueblo round, Ricky was desperate for more horsepower and did find some after getting the stock ecu reflashed. Hopefully at the next round things will be a little different.
High Plains Raceway June 1 2014
The second round of the Motorcycle Racing Association season had the riders back at High Plains Raceway. This weekend had the weather gods smiling with the temperatures in the mid-eighties and no rain. Full grids with record amount of entries made for great competition in all classes.
Saturday Ricky gridded up for the F-40 on the front row. As the lights went green, he nailed the start going into turn one side by side with the class champion. Down the long back straight he relinquished the lead, but held onto second. As the leader was gapping Ricky, the third place rider was applying the pressure. One miscue from Ricky exiting turn three saw him get pushed back into third. The remaining laps, positions stayed the same with Ricky pacing second place, but not able to take back the position. The next race, Open Supersport saw Ricky with his traditional start leading the riders into turn one. As before, heading down the long back straight, Ricky was out horse powered and was in second by turn four. Try as he may, he could not hold onto the leader and was now concerned with the rider in third. Running wide in the fast uphill turn seven, a small slide and he was dropped to third. At the checkered flag another third place podium finish was the order.
Sunday’s race schedule had Superbike and Race of the Rockies on the grid sheets. With the first round of Sundays races cancelled, Ricky was gridded according to points from last year. So with a front row start, he took advantage of it and once again lead into turn one. It did not take long for Ricky to get gobbled up by the high horse powered superbikes and lost two spots by lap one. Two laps later he would lose one more spot . Although running faster lap times than Saturday, he could not hang with the lead pack and finished in fourth spot. Last race of the day, Race of the Rockies was called to grid. After qualifying in p6 , he would need a great start to try and run with the leaders. Ricky did not disappoint and on lap one he was in second place. On lap five he was passed on the brakes in turn eight. Trying to hang on to that rider proved to be challenging. As the laps wore on he did manage to close the gap down to two seconds. Ricky was happy about running consistence lap time throughout the fourteen lap main event, but further tuning will be required to run at the front.
High Plains Raceway May 10/11 2014
At last, the roadrace season here in Colorado was ready to begin. High Plains Raceway was the venue and the weather was going to be questionable, but on Saturday racers found a pleasant day ahead. By virtue of second place points from the 2013 season, Ricky was on the front row for the start of the F-40 race. Maybe being a little rusty from the break prevented Ricky from getting his typical start. Heading into turn one Ricky found himself in fourth place. With work to do Ricky was trying to get past the rider in front but was having a difficult time. Finally he made his move and set out after the pack. One more pass and he was into second place. While Ricky was spending all that time getting through the pack a rider behind was doing the same. Coming into turn six that rider got past and relegated Ricky to third. With the few remaining laps Ricky could not get the position back and ended up in third on the podium for the first race of the season.
Second race of the day was open supersport and he made sure his start would be a good one. As the lights went off Ricky blasted into the lead only to be challenged for the lead. On the outside line Ricky had to concede and was shuffled into second. While trying to stay with the leader he was being hounded by the third place rider. Lap after lap it stayed the same until Ricky got into a big slide coming out of turn three onto the back straight. Losing his drive he was passed from behind and would now have to try and take the position back. For the remaining laps Ricky would try to move back into second but to no avail and at the flag another third place podium finish would be the end result.
Sunday morning proved the weather prediction was true and with thirty-nine degrees and rain it did not look like racing conditions. A wise decision by the Motorcycle Roadracing Association was made to cancel the day as the racers made the drive home into snow and rain.
2014 Daytona 200 race results
After a long cold winter in Colorado Ricky was looking forward to heading south to Daytona more than usual, though the weather was not as welcoming as he had hoped, with ambient temperatures in the forties.
With Ricky racing the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10 for the 2013 season, a new Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-636 was prepared for Daytona by Marvin Rosencrans. The bike was supplied by a very generous Steve Mills.
The first practice session did not start out well. Eight laps into it Ricky had a low side entering the back chicane. Luckily he was not hurt and the bike only sustained minor damage. Marvin and the crew had the bike ready for the second afternoon practice. As he got more comfortable on the bike, lap times started to drop. Qualifying on the next day saw warmer temperatures, and Ricky caught a good draft for a top fifteen spot in his session. At the end of qualifying Ricky was on row twelve, thirty-second on the grid.
Race day temperatures were even warmer, into the low eighties, and this did throw a kink into the race setup. With no more practice it was go time. Ricky did not get his typical good start but got held up going into turn one. Once things settled down Ricky got into a groove with a pack of four riders. Running good lap times, things were clicking. About ten laps into it he noticed something unusual with the left hand grip. It was starting to come loose, despite it being glued and safety wired on. As Ricky started to deal with this issue he lost touch with the pack in front of him. For the next ten laps he struggled with trying to get the grip back on, to no avail. Coming in for his first pit stop he alerted Marvin to the situation. The plan was to install a grip at the next pit stop twenty laps later. As Ricky became accustomed to riding without a grip, he decided against installing a new one at the next pit stop. As the checkered flag was waved, Ricky had moved himself up to twenty-second place without a left hand grip.
A top twenty finishing position was the goal of the team and, although close, Ricky felt without the distraction it was attainable. He did leave Daytona with the mileage record still in his possession.
A big thanks to all the crew that helped support the effort: Rocky Mountain Kawasaki, Marvin Rosencrans, Jon Glaefke, Chris Koster , Paul and Susan, Adam Ayers, Peter Brandauer, Warren and Barb Cook, Pete Hockenstad, Pete Fitsimons, and Steve Mills.