Pikes Peak International Raceway, Fountain, CO September 19-20, 2015
The MRA hosted the last race of the 2015 season at Pikes Peak International Raceway. The weather was spectacular. With strong racer turnout and great viewing, spectator attendance is always large.
Saturday morning started out a bit cool but warmed up quickly. Formula 40 was Ricky’s first race and the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki was feeling good. With a set of soft Dunlops mounted up, Ricky was ready. When the lights went out he rocketed into the lead. With every lap he continued to pull away from the field for an uncontested win and the season championship.
After lunch, Open Supersport was called to the grid. With a front row start he, once again, lead the pack into turn one. Four laps later he was passed by the points leader and pushed into second place. Ricky tried to retaliate but he could not the move back into the lead, finishing second in this race as well as taking second place in the championship.
Sunday was a little warmer, but the competition was even hotter. Open Superbike was the first race of the day and would be an indication of how Race of the Rockies would go. Ricky nailed the hole shot and would again lead the pack into turn one. Holding point position was tough with two riders hounding his every move. Eventually one did make a move relegating Ricky to second place. As the laps wore on, Ricky was under constant pressure but held on to second until the checkered flag. This would give him third in the championship.
Last race for Ricky, Race of the Rockies was on the starting line. With a small points lead, Ricky would qualify on the front row and need the advantage to maintain second in the championship. Setting up a strategy, Ricky’s plan was to stalk his competition and pounce on the last lap. With a deliberately slow start, Ricky was setting his plan in motion. Unexpectedly, the leader went down on the second lap, leaving Ricky racing for the win. Staying with the plan, he held onto the new leader until the white flag lap. Coming out of the last turn, Ricky was on the gas hard, looking for the winning drive but got sideways and lost out on the win by .15 seconds. With his second place finish, Ricky locked up second in the Race of the Rockies championship. On the podium, Ricky took time to thank his sponsors; Rocky Mountain Kawasaki, Arai Helmets, Bel-Ray Oils, Dunlop Tires, EBC Brakes, Hindle Exhaust, RST Leathers, Kyle Racing and Pete Brandauer, Marvin Rosencrans and Chris Koster.
The 2015 season was definitely good with no mechanical problems or soil samples, one class championship, second in the premier class, Race of the Rockies and second and third in Open Supersport and Open Superbike, respectively.
High Plains Raceway, August 29-30, 2015
The penultimate round of the 2015 Motorcycle Racing Association season was held at HPR on the shorter north course. The weather looked to be optimum for racing with temperatures in the high eighties and no precipitation.
Saturday’s program had Formula 40 as Ricky’s first race of the weekend. With a pole position start, he jumped into the lead. Being closely pursued, Ricky was trying to hold off the number one plate holder. As the pair hit traffic, Ricky got the short end of the deal and was relegated to second place. As the laps continued there would not be an opportunity to retake the lead and at the checkered flag, a second place podium finish was in the books.
Ricky’s second race of the day was Open Supersport. With another front row start, he rocketed into the lead. Once again, being pursued by the number one plate holder, Ricky would loose the position but not give up the fight. Realizing that he had something for the leader, Ricky continued to push hard, looking for an opening that would not present itself. On the white flag lap Ricky was hounding the leader and would try a pass at the finish line. That’s when things got hectic. A back marker was just in front of the leader when he decided to wheelie across the line as Ricky was trying a draft pass. Coming up a bike length short of the win, Ricky was happy to escape unscathed.
Sunday it was a little warmer, but still pleasant. With a front row start in Open Superbike, Ricky’s start was not typical and he followed the leaders into turn one. Things got into a groove early and Ricky was holding onto third place. As the race continued it became a procession and at the flag, Ricky had another third place podium finish.
Last race of the day, Race of the Rockies, had Ricky on the grid in second row. A good start had him running in second place for the first few laps. As he got motored down the back straight he was working hard to hold onto third place. Five laps later he would get passed again down the long straight. Holding onto the third place rider for another five laps, he finished fourth.
Another strong weekend for the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki race team, and with the final round at Pikes Peak International Raceway, one of Ricky’s favorite tracks, it’s sure to be a battle to the end.
High Plains Raceway, Byers CO. July 11-12, 2015
This weekend the racers were back at High Plains Raceway on the north course, which is Ricky’s preferred layout. The weather was in the low nineties with no chance for rain. The racer turnout was strong and, bottom-line, it looked like a great race weekend.
Saturday had F-40 and Open Supersport on the agenda. As the lights went off for F-40 Ricky nailed the hole shot and immediately shot into the lead. With his great start Ricky was never challenged and walked away with an easy victory. After lunch Open Supersport was up. With a front row start Ricky lead the pack into turn one. There was a challenge and it came soon. Two laps into it he was passed, relegating him to second. Fighting back, Ricky retook the lead for a lap and just as quickly he was back in second. With his head down Ricky was determined to move back into P-1 but he could not make it happen, finishing a strong second and on the podium again.
Sunday saw temperatures increase into the high nineties, but Ricky was just getting warmed up. Open Superbike was the first race before lunch and with another front row start, Ricky found himself following the rest of the front row into turn one. Latching onto the second place rider he tried to stay with the lead group, but could not make any moves that would stick. At the flag it would be a third place finish. Race of the Rockies, the premier race of the day, was called to grid up. A good qualifying time had Ricky on the front row. Another great start and he lead the pack into turn one again. Down the long back straight he was passed, but went back to the front only to see the red flag waving. Back to the grid. A restart saw the same results, with Ricky leading into one. He would maintain the lead for two laps, and then relinquish it down the long back straight. Holding onto the leader for most of the race kept things exciting, but another pass was not possible. At the checkered flag a second place finish was his best result in ROR for this season.
At just past the halfway point of the 2015 season; Ricky is leading points in the F-40 class and Open $upersport, third in Open Superbike and second in the Race of the Rockies. As the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10 continues to be fine-tuned, Ricky continues to impress.
Pueblo Motorsports Park, Pueblo Co. June 20/21 2015
Round three of the 2015 MRA season brought the racers to Pueblo, one of Ricky favorite tracks. With temperatures in the triple digits it was no surprise, as this has become the norm.
Saturday saw the F-40 race gridded up with Ricky on pole. A typical start saw him lead the pack into turn one. Running solid consistent times he pulled away from the pursuing pack to a comfortable ten second lead by the checkered flag for his first win of the weekend. That afternoon Open supersport lined up and with a strong start he still was second into turns one. As he was trying to stay with the leader, the third place rider made a bold pass on Ricky into turn one, unfortunately he could not hold his line and ran out of track, crashing at the exit. Another rider fell in turn ten and his bike was left lying on the outside of the turn and on the white flag lap two riders collided causing a red flag. With all the chaos Ricky was happy with another podium finish in second.
Sunday saw the temperatures even hotter! Open superbike was the first race of the day for Ricky and with a front row start he nailed the start. Once again by the time the pack got to turn one Ricky was sitting in third. Pushing hard to stay with the front pack, Ricky could not make up any ground and with a good lead over fourth he cruised to another podium finish with a third place . Race of the Rockies was Ricky’s last race of the day. A great start saw Ricky stay with the lead group for the first ten laps. As the laps wore on the top three began to spread out with Ricky holding on to third. With the second place rider in sight Ricky tried to make a charge for the spot, but could not gain any time resulting in another podium spot in third.
With the extremely hot temperatures and many riders falling, Ricky felt good about racking up more solid points towards the championships.
High Plains Raceway, Byers CO. June 6/7 2015
Round two of the Motorcycle Roadracing Association 2015 series looked to be much more promising than round one which was cancelled due to rain and lighting. With the racers very anxious to start the season, the turnout was great.
Saturday morning saw sunny skies and moderate temperatures. The f-40 class was the first race for Ricky and being gridded on the front row all systems were a go. When the lights went out, a not so typical start had him following three riders into turn one. By the time they exited turn three Ricky had moved into second place. Within another lap Ricky would take over the lead and hold it to the finish line for his first win of the season. After lunch the open supersport race was up. Another front row start and Ricky led the pack into turn one. Ricky was clicking off consistent laps but was being caught by the second place rider. A pass was made relegating him into second, but he would pick up the pace and continue to fight for the win. At the finish line Ricky came up short by a few bike lengths and had to settle for second.
Sunday brought hotter temperatures and it was feeling like summer. Open superbike was up and another front row start had Ricky following the leader into the first turn. As Ricky continued to hound first place he started to set up the pass. With a great drive out of turn three, he would get next to and then out brake the leader to take the lead into turn four. Ricky would hold onto the lead for the next four laps, but then with a slide coming onto the front straight he would lose the position. Try as he might, he could not make a pass for the lead, finishing second in the most exciting race of the day.
Race of the Rockies was called to the grid and another front row start had Ricky getting into turn one in third place. The top three riders were freight training it for the first half of the race without much drama. As the laps continued, everyone was holding position without any serious challenges. Another podium finish for the weekend with Ricky thanking his sponsors, Rocky Mountain Kawasaki, Dunlop, Arai, RST Leathers, BelRay, EBC, Hindle, Kyle Racing, and Pete Brandauer and ending the first round on a positive note.
Circuit of the Americas, Austin, Texas, April 11-12, 2015
The beginning of this year’s race schedule had a different look. Instead of the team heading to Daytona, it was to the Circuit of the Americas, near Austin,Texas for the first round of the new MotoAmerica series which was held in conjunction with a Moto GP round. This was to be Ricky’s first time racing at COTA.
With very limited track time, it was to be a steep learning curve for Ricky. After one very short practice and then a qualifying session, Ricky was gridded on row eight for the Saturday start. After practice it started raining and didn’t stop for the rest of the day. With no practice in wet conditions, Ricky’s approach was a cautious start and then see how the race would play out. When the lights went out, Ricky was into turn one in tenth place. Becoming more comfortable he began to up the pace and started making up ground. Past the halfway point he was engaging in a battle over fifth place. With a cat and mouse game going on, Ricky realized he could not break free and decided to just stalk the fifth place rider. Just four laps from the finish, the rider in front of him went down, forcing Ricky to run off the track to avoid him, losing three positions in the process. At the checkered flag, a ninth place finish was in the books.
Sunday looked to be a dry day and required a new setup for the Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10. With a set of Dunlop slicks mounted, Ricky was ready for a strong start. Unfortunately it was a little too aggressive and a lap later Ricky was shown the meatball flag for a ride through penalty. After serving his penalty for jumping the start, he continued putting in consistant laps until the checkered flag with another ninth place finish.
Ricky was proud to be part of history by competing in the first MotoAmerica round, adding a new track to his repertoire and a pair of top ten finishes.