Wow, I never would have guessed that the toughest part of a Laguna Seca race weekend would be the drive home. That and working hard to qualify sixth in a very competitive field only to cross the line in 16th after the opening lap.
Aside from blowing the first corner, I had a pretty stellar weekend. Team Cycle World Attack Performance Yoshimura Suzuki is still playing catch up, but our distance to the front continues to diminish. There’s still lots of room for improvement in my riding, as well as getting what I need out of the bike.
A huge thanks to Yoshimura Racing for delivering a new motor in a short time–and a very fast one it was. The GSX-R1000 continues to become more and more fun to ride as we figure out the settings I prefer. The bike has so much potential; the only hang up right now is getting the front to stay settled while I trail brake toward the apex of the corner. My guess is we’ll get that sorted during the Virginia weekend. From there, it’s game on for the top spot on the podium.
I can’t remember the last time I was this excited to get to the next round. It’s a combination of seeing the team begin to gel, the camaraderie, competition at the track and, most of all, the sensation of trying to deliver all that horsepower to the asphalt in the shortest amount of time possible. Arriving at Laguna, we were a question mark. Going into VIR, we’re a contender. For me, it’s going to be a long couple of weeks of waiting.
Not long enough for my brother, Ben, though. After having surgery on his thumb to repair the bone fragments and severed tendon he suffered at Mid-Ohio, he will put the short time to good use and bask in the glory of his fantastic victory.
Having the opportunity to hang around Laguna Seca and burn more laps after the race weekend with the Skip Barber school was a good way to pass the time. After a little celebration for Ben with my family above Turn 9 on Sunday evening, I got up early to put in some miles on the pedals around Fort Ord with Team Sho-Air/Specialized. After Scott Tedro and the rest of the guys headed back to SoCal, I burned some more miles into Carmel Valley where I met the Mazzotta family for a dinner mixed with some philosophy and laughs.
Day one at the school started out a bummer because one of our students promptly went straight out and broke his collarbone–buzz kill, for sure. The second day went poorly for me when I became ill in the morning. Frequenting the restroom in leathers while trying to help my group of students was tough. By mid-day, my joints and head were aching.
Departing Monterey at 6 p.m. expecting to drive eight hours in that condition was optimistic, to say the least. After hitting half the restrooms between Monterey and Lost Hills, I finally took a nap, which was rudely ended when I woke up in a pool of sweat–fantastic. And then another restroom break…
Arriving in San Diego at 7 a.m. with a long list of neglected items to take care of before a red-eye flight this evening to Connecticut for my friend’s wedding is making for one nasty hangover of a day. It’s time to recline this economy seat 2 degrees and see if I can get some sleep. Upside to all of this is that VIR is going to be that much closer when I arrive home.