My first rain race, and my first endurance that wasn't a "hey you wanna ride with us on Saturday?", was a six hour WERA National Endurance race in Savannah. Yes, I said first rain race AND NATIONAL. That meant that Kurt Hall and Team Valvoline Suzuki (think Keith Perry and John Ulrich), Team Arclight Kawasaki, ALL the major National teams were there. We rode my roommate's CBR600 F2, on street Metzelers....cuz we couldn't change tires, and hoped they'd last. The rain was a gift to us
In my second stint, Kurt Hall passed me going into T1. Middle of T2, their "total loss" ignition system gave up, and he coasted to the outside of the track and stopped in the mud. I passed between Kurt and the MotoWorld camera that was following him off track. And thus, my 2 seconds of national TV fame.
My teammate came in from his second stint about 20 minutes earlier than scheduled, complaining of a sore knee. So I told everyone that I was just going to relax and bring it home....not to expect much. Rode the first hour uneventfully, but I began to realize that I was out there longer than I had been. I came past pit road, and my team was all jumping up and down at pit wall....my gf, my co-rider, and a couple of friends.
I came around the next lap, tapping my wrist, trying to signal that I wanted to know how much longer I had to go. They never got it, or they chose not to tell me....I really don't know which. What they DID do was get more excited every time I came by. Ok, whatever....I'm on cruise control out here.
The checkered came out, and as I came up the finish straight, I started pumping my left fist in the air. I hadn't thought about the extra mass and inertia of 50 pounds of wet leather, and nearly started the death tank slapper from hell, within sight of the line!!!!
When I got back to the pits, I asked "why didn't y'all tell me how much longer?" All they could say was "MAN, you were ROCKIN it out there!!!" I looked at the lap charts, and sure enough, I had averaged almost 11 seconds a lap faster than I had in my first two sessions, or than my teammate went by a LOT. ELEVEN SECONDS A LAP! To this day, I have no idea how that happened, but it was consistent through an hour and a half, so it happened.
Next thing I know, guys from the BIG teams were dropping by our pit, shaking our hands and congratulating us on a solid performance. I don't recall being so proud, except when I got my podium. And we didn't finish last. Good times. The best times.
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