Race Results HPR September 17/18 2015
The last round of the 2016 MRA season was held at High Plains Raceway under perfect race conditions, with temperatures in the high eighties under blue skies.
F-40 was Ricky s first race of the weekend and with the points lead he was on the front row for the start. When the lights went out he was into turn one in third spot. At the end of the back straight he would move into second on the brakes. One lap later he would take the lead moving past the leader going into turn six. From there he would stretch the lead to over fifteen seconds at the flag. Second race of the day, Open Supersport was being called to the grid and with the points lead, a front row start saw Ricky shoot to the point and lead the pack into turn one. As the laps wore on he would continue to extend the gap for a decisive win. With today’s win’s Ricky clinched the Open Supersport and F-40 class championships.
Sunday’s weather was just a touch warmer but very pleasant. Open Superbike was up and starting from the front row Ricky nailed the hole shot leading the first lap. On the long back straight he would get horse powered and relinquish the lead. Ricky was trying to hold onto the leader but he could not run the pace but would hold off the charge from behind finishing second at the flag and in the championship. The last round of the Race of the Rockies was called to grid and with a P3 qualifying spot he had a front row start. When the lights went out Ricky had the pack following him into turn one. He would continue running in the top spot until the number one plate holder would motor him down the back straight. Although with a fresh Dunlop on the bike, it was working well and Ricky could run the pace. Just passed the halfway flags Ricky was still running comparable laps times and trying to narrow the gap but a lapper got between them and would end the drive. Having a twenty second gap back to third, Ricky came across the line with another podium position in second and clinching second in the Race of the Rockies championship.
Another great season would not have been possible without all the support from Rocky Mountain Kawasaki, Arai helmets, Bel-Ray oil, Dunlop tires, EBC brakes, Hindle exhaust, RST leathers, Woodcraft, Pete Brandauer, Marvin Rosencrans and Chris Koster .
Pueblo Motorsports Park Pueblo, Colorado, August 27-28, 2016
Phenomenal weather greeted racers for the penultimate round of the 2016 MRA season. Pueblo is one of Ricky’s favorite local tracks and he was looking forward to the weekend.
Saturday started out with F-40. A front row start had Ricky tow the pack into turn one. Although in the lead he was not gapping second place. Two laps into it a red flag came out leading to a restart for six laps. Once again Ricky took the lead and on what he thought world be the white flag lap hit traffic and had to check up going into turn one where he lost the lead. Not seeing a white flag, Ricky thought he had two laps left and closed up on the leader waiting for the last lap to move to the p1 spot. Unfortunately the next flag he saw was the checkered, a miscue on the flaggers’ part, ending his chance for a win. Open Supersport was the next race of the day and another front row start had him second into the first turn. By turn two the leader ran wide and Ricky tucked up underneath, as the leader started to lean in on Ricky he decided not to lock bars and rolled out of it. While following the leader Ricky was also being hounding by the rider behind. This freight train continued for the next five laps till Ricky caught a false neutral in turn seven. Lucky to be able to hold it together he did drop a position finishing in third.
Sunday brought another beautiful day and Open Superbike was Ricky’s first race. Starting on the front row he followed the leaders into turn one. While pacing with the riders in front the leader went down in a cloud of dust. Ricky would stalk the new leader but could not find a way pass, finishing on the podium in second. Race of the Rockies would be his last race of the day and with a fresh Dunlop, he was ready to put the hammer down. As the lights went off, Ricky followed the front row into turn one. Making a quick pass into third he was pressuring second place. As the laps wore on he could not find a spot to attempt a pass, then getting into turn eight a little too hot he elected to stand it up taking a dirt excursion. Making his way back on track he had lost touch and any chance of moving up a position finishing once again on the podium in third while lowering his personal best lap time.
High Plains Raceway Byers, Colorado, August 7, 2016
Going into the fifth round of the series, HPR had done some track sealing which had not cured. The MRA decided to run the North course which was fine with Ricky as that is his preference anyhow. Comfortable temperatures were welcome after the last two rounds which were well into triple digits.
A front row start for the F-40 made getting the hole shot almost a sure thing. As the lights went out he did nail it and led the pack into turn one. As the laps accumulated he stretched his lead for an easy win. Saturday afternoon, Open Supersport was gridded up. With a front row start he led it into turn one. It quickly became a dog fight as he lost the lead at the end of the back straight on the brakes. Staying on the leader’s tail and showing a wheel repeatedly, Ricky was applying the pressure. It would come down to the white flag lap, as Ricky made a pass when they got into traffic. Three turns from the checkered flag he would lose the lead only to get it back in the next turn. In the last turn he would get caught up with a lapper and lose the lead again coming up a half a bike short of the win. The winning rider would be eventually disqualified for illegal equipment, giving Ricky the win.
Day two had the Open Superbike race on the line. When the light went off, Ricky had a great start, leading the group into the first turn. He lost the lead into turn four but would continue to pressure the leader. As this battle continued, the third place rider would horsepower past both of them down the back straight. Ricky would continue trying to get a pass done but just could not make it happen finishing in P3. Next up was Race of the Rockies and with a P3 qualifying spot he would find himself in third heading into to turn one. With the excitement of the earlier races this one would be somewhat anticlimactic turning into a procession with Ricky finishing third.
High Plains Raceway July 9/10 2016
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any hotter, Denver breaks a record at 102 degrees. Needless to say, it would be another tough weekend for the racers and fans.
F-40 was Ricky’s first race on Saturday and with the last round still in his mind, the game plan was a little different. On the front row for the start, Ricky gabbed the holeshot and lead the pack into turn one. Pushing hard, he started to gap the field, leading the race from flag to flag for his first win of the day, Race two was Open Supersport, and with another front row position Ricky again nailed the start. Leading the pack into turn one, he was immediately being pressured from the rider running in second. Just past the halfway flags Ricky was attacked going into turn four, but he took the low line going into the corner and retook the lead. On the white flag lap Ricky lost the lead going into turn two but got a great drive out of turn three and went back to the front into turn four and held on for the win.
Sunday’s temperatures were just a little warmer and the race laps were shortened up, but no one was complaining. Open Superbike was called to the grid and with a front row start, Ricky got a nice launch moving into third place. Running with Saturday’s setup he was a little cautious for the first lap letting the leaders get away. Once comfortable Ricky began to push a little harder and would pace the leaders but not be able to make up any ground. Another third place podium finish for the day. Last up ROR, with a P3 qualifying spot, Ricky got into turn two in second place. As the class champion was trailing and trying to make time, Ricky was pushing the leader. The crowd was getting their money’s worth on this one. Lap four the number one plate holder powered by Ricky and the leader leaving them to fight over second place. Two laps later Ricky drafted passed into second and began to pull away. About the halfway flags Ricky felt the bike not working as well and was having trouble maintaining the pace. Three lap’s later things continued to deteriorate and Ricky lost the position. Another third place podium finish but frustrated knowing he had second in the bag.
Just passed the halfway point of the season Ricky is leading the F-40 class and holding second in Open Supersport, Open Superbike, and Race of the Rockies.
High Plains Raceway June 18/19 2016
Hot was the word for the weekend, not only in temperature but also in the way of competition. Last year’s Moto American Superstock champion, Jake Gagne was using this MRA weekend for some team testing. With temperatures in the triple digits, it would be a tough weekend.
Saturday’s first race was the F-40 class. With Ricky on the front row, a good start had him follow the leader into the first turn. Ricky felt he had this race covered and decided to play follow the leader and move into the lead at his convenience. Unfortunately as both riders starting to hit lap traffic Ricky would get gapped and have to play catchup. The race was also shortened to six laps which left Ricky precious time to make his pass. Coming up a bike short of the win was not how it was supposed to play out.
Open super sport was the next race for Ricky and another front row start had him grab the holeshot. Although he was being followed closely, Ricky was holding onto the lead. Just passed the halfway flags, Ricky was relegated back one spot. Now the table was turned and Ricky was hounding the leader. Trying to recover the position Ricky ran out of laps and came across the line in second place.
Sunday was just hotter with a one hundred and two temperatures and Gagne entered in the Superbike and ROR classes. Getting to know the new bike and its electronics was key in Ricky getting a better start. Running in second would not last long as the current number one plate holder came by and then Ganue. That’s when the drama began. Gagne ran off the track in turn one and one turn later the leader would lose the front end and ending his race. Once Gagne got back on track he would again pass Ricky on his way to the win with Ricky putting it on the podium for a third place finish. Last race of the day, ROR and with a P4 qualifying spot Ricky was on row two. With another good start he was holding onto third. A few laps later Gagne would again make his way passed on his way to the win pushing Ricky back to fourth. This race was less drama filled as everybody held position to the finish.
Pikes Peak International Raceway May 21/22 2016
Round two of the 2016 MRA schedule was actually the first race of the year due to round one getting rescheduled because of weather. Weather was not an issue this weekend with sunny skies and temps in the eighties.
With the cancelation of round one and the new Rocky Mountain Kawasaki ZX-10, Ricky was very anxious to get on track. Saturday had the F-40 class up first and being class champion, pole position had his name on it. With a good start Ricky put it into the lead but was being hounded by the rider in second. As they hit lap traffic Ricky lost the lead on the white flag lap. Heading into fast turn one Ricky made a bold pass and retook the lead to the checkered flag for his first win of the 2016 season. Second race of the day was open supersport and with another front row start Ricky jumped into the lead. Although being pressured thoughout the race Ricky held on for his second win of the day.
Sunday brings out the heavy hitters and it’s time for Ricky to up his pace. Open Superbike was gridded up and Ricky had another front row start. With not the best start, he had his work cut out for him. As the laps wore on Ricky picked his way through traffic but could not track down the leader and had to settle for a second place finish. Last race of the day, Race of the Rockies was up and with a P3 qualifying position he was on the front row. A non-typical start had him fifth into turn one. Once again there was work to be done. Within three laps he made a move into fourth, two laps later into third. The new ZX-10 was working great and with confidence from Saturday’s wins, Ricky was moving to the front of the pack, one by one. By the halfway flags Ricky was in the lead and would hold it to the checkers.
Rolling the new bike out of the trailer for the weekend and with no changes, Ricky grabbed three wins and a second place, props have to be given to Marvin Rosencrans for getting the set up spot on.
Pueblo Motorsports Park June 4/5/ 2016
Round one of the MRA season was rescheduled to this weekend due to weather. Clear skies and eighty degrees made for a carbon copy of the first round at PPIR. Made for a beautiful weekend in Pueblo where temps are usually closer to one hundred.
After the success of the first race Ricky was looking forward to running at one of his favorite tracks. A front row start for F-40 saw him follow the leader into turn one. Feeling confidant, Ricky decided to take a few laps before making a pass for the lead. Unfortunately they came upon back markers very quickly and Ricky lost out on the first encounter. After pulling the leader back in, the situation repeated itself. With not many laps left he put the hammer down only to come up a bike short of the win. Open Supersport was after lunch and with a front row start, Ricky could still not get a good start. Working on getting passed the second place rider used up most of the laps but the leader was coming to Ricky. On the white flag lap, Ricky put down an impressive drive only to come up a wheel short of the win for second.
Day two, Open Superbike was the first race up. The typical starts that Ricky had on the old bike could not be repeated on the 2016 ZX-10. At the half way point Ricky was struggling to stay with the leaders and on the last lap the rider directly in front grabbed one too many downshifts and went totally sideways forcing Ricky to run off the track to prevent a collision. After rejoining the race Ricky came passed the checkered flag in fifth, not a great finish, but happy not to be in the dirt. Race of the Rockies was last race of the day and with a P4 qualifying spot, he was on the second row. A fairly good start saw Ricky enter turn one in fourth place. After making a pass into third place, the race was red flagged for a serious incident in turn ten. After a long delay, Ricky was on the front row for a six lap sprint. With a great start he was running third into the first turn. Although another rider on the front row had jumped the start, Ricky knew he would gain the position. At this point the leader had built up a small lead that Ricky could not get back. A second place podium finish was the result of a frustrating day for Ricky.
As Ricky gets more comfortable and familiar with the electronics of the new ZX-10, more wins are in his plans.