AFM 2018 Round 7 at Thunderhill Raceway
The final round of the season, everyone was at the top of their game and there were lots of fresh racers at every level.
Everyone in the novice group was considerably faster than ever before, with new personal bests almost across the board.
On Saturday morning I discovered a significant hole in my muffler. This was caused by the tumble the bike took in Round 4, and was melting the tail section. Thankfully between the handiwork of Jim at Catalyst Reaction, and an angle grinder borrowed from Frenchie, we were able to get the bike track ready by lunch.
With the bike working well, and a high 1:56 in practice, I was definitely ready to do battle in the final round of the season!
An introduction to the brutal speed of the middleweight novices! I am able to secure 1st out of turn 1, and hold it until #775 Nick Csik secures first at the end of the second lap.
#426 Eli Maddock passes us both before turn 1, then #706 Hugo Peralta passes me in turn 14. I finish up in 4th place.
With the pavement at a stone-cold 70 degrees F, we set out for the first race of the day. The launch is dramatic, and I slowly work my way back up to Nick through the experts.
I’m able to overtake Nick in turn 9 in the second lap, and take a defensive line entering turn 14. Nick is able to pass me in the entrance, even though he is very close to the inside. He is able to pass #829 Jesse Carter as well, but loses the front tire and lowsides as he tries the get the bike turned. Jesse loses the front as well, and both bikes slide to the outside. Luckily neither rider was injured, and both were able to fix their bikes in time for the after lunch races!
600SB has traditionally gone well for me, and round 7 was no different. I launch from pole, and control the race from turn 1. With clean track ahead, I am able to ride to a new best lap of 1:55.26!
Red Flag - I get a good fight for the lead in with #775 Nick Csik, but the race is red flagged in the second lap. Restart - I get a mediocre launch, and fall in behind Nick, #924 Jackson Burkhart, and Eli. Hugo and I battle briefly in the 2nd lap, then I battle with Jackson for 4th.
This race involved the fastest times so far this year, with the podium novices all in the 1:54s. I ran a new PB of 1:55.04, still not even fast enough to get 3rd! A thrilling race to be sure!
Amazing battle with Nick, I forgot to turn the camera on until the second lap though! I was able to run 1:55.012, a slight improvement but not quite enough to defeat the “Csik Magnet”!
Great battle with #775 Nick, #706 Hugo Peralta, #823 Robert Brittain, and #143 Jordan Edginton. This battle definitely makes me look forward to running Expert next year!
CT Race Tires for helping me out with sticky rubber and last-minute tire changes, couldn’t have done it without you guys!
Jim and Nickie at Catalyst Reaction for getting the bike’s exhaust sorted out Saturday, and just generally being awesome.
My main sponsors this season: Brian Gluss and Giorgi Kvirkvia. You guys made all this possible!