CVMA 2018-2019 Round 4 at Chuckwalla Raceway
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!
This was also a weekend of endings. It was my final weekend as a novice racer, as I would renew my AFM license the following month as an expert.
It was also my final round racing my 2007 CBR 600RR as my primary racebike. This machine has been a trusty steed all throughout my novice year, so it seemed fitting to let it leave it’s mark on a new track and a new cohort of racers.
Chuckwalla itself is a beautiful racetrack surrounded by mountain ranges. It is not unusual to see the military practicing maneuvers in the area, so the racing is broken up by paratroopers falling from the sky, or jets mock dogfighting in the skies above. At night, mysterious blinking lights move through the sky in silent formation as sausages roast on a grill surrounded by friends.
Saturday Race 2 – Amateur SuperSport Open
A decent launch and only a little bit of drama at the start of the race lead to a 1:58 best lap. Not the best from practice, but suitable for a first race at Chuckwalla!
I overtake #707 Anthony Garcia for 4th only to lose it late in the race to #778 Grant Boldt. I manage to cinch a 5th place finish. Only way to go from here is even faster!
Saturday Race 6 – Amateur Formula Middleweight
The first middleweight brings tight battling in the first couple laps. I struggle with rear tire traction as I struggle to keep up with #135 Jason Carbone.
Unfortunately my best lap does not improve, and the core of the issue seems to be the worn-out, spinning rear tire.
Saturday Race 11 – Amateur SuperSport Middleweight
An awful launch but a strong first lap rings in the final race for Saturday.
At the end of the first lap I settle into a battle with #119 Ty Bengford, finishing just behind him in 5th.
I set a new PB of 1:56.9 on the shagged out rear tire by running smoother on the control (a good fight definitely helps too!).
Sunday Race 5 – Amateur SuperSport Middleweight
With a fresh Pirelli SC2 out back courtesy of CT Race Tires, I am ready to do battle again on the second day at Chuckwalla!
Things get fired up immediately with a tight battle against #119 Ty Bengford.
Once clear, I move up the pack, and with a pass in the final corners of the last lap, am able to secure 2nd place with a big improvement to my PB, setting a 01:54.5!
Sunday Race 10 – Amateur SuperSport Open
I get a good launch into an early 2nd place, but the leader is nowhere to be found. I get track ahead to myself, but with nobody to pace my laptimes suffer somewhat.
#166 Jose Revelo overtakes me in the 4th lap, and I chase him to a 3rd place finish.
Sunday Race 13 – Amateur Formula Middleweight
I get a weak launch and move through the pack to 4th by the 2nd lap. I sneak past #629 Michael Mulloy in the 3rd lap, then set up behind the two leaders.
Unfortunately I can’t get my laptimes back into the 54s, and I round out the weekend with a 3rd place finish.