One weekend after Willow's AHRMA race we were off to Portland International Speedway.
It was completely a new course for me. Very fast straights with some technical tight turns. Gary Swan of Toad Town Racing was nice enough to bring my Ducati 900ss up to Portland. I, on the other hand, flew up like a rock star and was at the track Friday morning. To our surprise...RAIN! All day! I was able to get several practice laps in but none with out rain or wet surfaces. I didn't have rain tires; therefore, Parelli DOT SC2 were a bit sketchy during the rain. Mark Brown of the Seattle Cretins came down from Vashon Island to race his CB 350 sportsman bike. Several Seattle and Portland Cretins came down to support along with some Flying 15 brothers as well.
Race day 1. A local pro riders showed up on a very fast built Suzuki SV 650. The grid was about 8 bikes with more locals on SV 650's including Tim Lyle. Rain again in the morning, but it dried out enough on the second practice to get the tires hot. I started to feel more comfortable, but soon realized that I didn't have the correct gearing. I was running the gearing from Willow, and the track needed much more lower gear to get out of the tight turns.
I took off in a fury, but was left behind by the local pro. I stayed out behind him, but was soon enforced by the other local Suzuki rider. He finally passed me coming out of the last turn were I was losing power because of my gearing. I tried as hard as I could to brake late into one, but soon he would pull away. I would finish 3rd in Battle of the twins F2.
Race day 2. Much nicer weather today. As I walked through the paddock toward my pits with a slight hang over from Saturday nights partying with the boys. It was actually a bachelor party for one them that included several strip clubs and beers. haha
So, as I was walking toward my pit; I looked over to the pro rider, and his team mate showed up today. Aargh! I knew this was going to be a challenge. I asked around to a few riders if they had a front Sprocket for a Ducati, but there was none available. I pulled out hard slipping the clutch off the line and came into one in third position. The Suzuki rider that passed me the day before was tight behind me. I lead in front of him for 4 laps. He got passed me again out of the last turn. I stayed right on his ass until the last lap. I tried a few passed earlier, but the door was shut and I almost lost my front tire. On the last turn, I ran on the outside trying to hold more momentum. Just as I was setting up for the last turn, he whipped his rear tire out and forced me to the rumple strip. I never let off, but was forced to wait on hammering down the throttle. We came out of the last turn on the last splitting a lapped rider. I thought I was going to get him, but ones again, he over powered me and beat me by almost a bike length. I would end up finishing a disappointing 4th place; although, my lap times were over 2 seconds faster than race day one.
The race weekend was really great though. It was nice getting to see old friends from Portland and Seattle. Plus, getting to ride a new track is always challenging as well as rewarding.