This round started off relatively uneventful, but I became plagued by motor troubles as the weekend wore on. In Friday and Saturday practice, I struggled to drop below my round 1 best lap of 1:51.7, even after employing some new tips and tricks learned from Jordan Edginton, as well as my own experience in Round 1. I had chalked this up to being more cautious in corner entrances, but this proved not to be the case.
Prepping for my first expert round of AFM was the usual medley of making rash decisions, then barely clearing timelines to get the bike ready in time. In the weeks leading up to the first round, I opted to change from the FlashTune system that was on my R6 to a Woolich reflash with Woolich’s Race Tools.
This package would allow me to use a strain gauge on the shift linkage for quick-shift, allowing me to tune the sensitivity of the ignition-kill for smoother shifting. Furthermore, the system enables auto-blip for easier down-shifting, as well as programmable launch control. All good stuff for racing fast bikes!
A return to Chuckwalla Raceway brings a new set of challenges! This time we ran the track counter-clockwise, so it was almost a whole new track. Due to the assymetrical nature of the track’s corner complexes, I had to completely refamiliarize myself with getting into and out of the corners at speed.
This was a weekend of beginnings and endings. It was my first weekend ever riding, much less racing, at Chuckwalla Raceway down south in Desert Center California.
Desert Center is a dry area, which enables the track to be used by motorcyclists all through the winter. Consequently, the Chuckwalla Valley Motorcycle Association (CVMA) runs their winter series there.
This was my first time learning to race on a brand new track, and Chuckwalla was no letdown! The track is deeply technical, with very few visual reference points. The motorcyclists who race there have all the skills required to haul ass around that track, and provided me with no shortage of challenge or excitement!