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Mid Summer Update and QXNW Recap

Posted by Q75 admin on Thursday Jul 24, 2014 Under 2014, News, Other Racing

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It’s July! Middle of the summer, but getting closer to the end of racing season, unfortunately. There’s still plenty left on our schedule, though.

Firstly, I’d like to announce that my wife and I had our first baby, a boy, on June 3rd! His name is Loic (rhymes with heroic) and he’s been the most amazing thing to ever happen to me. He’s now 7 weeks old and it’s awesome to see how much he’s changing and learning. He made his first appearance at the race track this weekend and did awesome. My wife and I are looking forward to the day we get to see him on a quad. Right now we’re just enjoying how he is small and new.

Speaking of racing, I made it back to Quadcross Northwest’s round at Straddleline in Olympia, WA. Straddleline has a beautiful location and a great event facility. The motocross track is medium sized and changes every so often to provide different levels of challenge to racers. Nothing is too huge though, making it a great track for beginner MXers to learn the ropes and get comfortable. It made for some excellent racing!

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Dan Dehut and I battling during the second moto.

On Saturday I went out for practice, but had a few jetting and suspension issues. I made some adjustments for my second practice (thanks Eric Mott for your help and loaner parts), but didn’t entirely fix the problems. I pulled myself out of the ProAm race at that point. I’m not in the points for that class, it was going to be close to a full gate, and I don’t need to be in the way by not clearing the jumps I needed to because I wasn’t confident in my bike. I felt like a wimp for not running two classes, but it did afford me some extra time to help some other people at the track. If I got the bike dialed to where I was comfortable on it, I could enter the Pro Am race on Sunday.

Saturday’s weather was misty and cool – around 65-70 degrees – and the track was ready to rip. In my first moto I got a good jump off the line, but lifted the front end. I ended up wheelie-ing all the way down the start stretch, which probably looked cool, but didn’t do me any favors for position. I can say my Maxxis tires are not short on traction. I ended up toward the middle-back of the pack and working hard to get by the riders in front of me. I cased the big Pro Double which had me worried, but thanks to Precision’s bar clamps my wrists were saved from any injury. I made a mental note to not do that again and another mental note about how much nicer it will be when I am off the desert bike and on the MX bike. I will say that the Teixeira Tech components I run are so versatile that they work in both environments fantastically. I passed a few people and by the 4th lap I was in 4th place. On the last lap I railed the outside corner on the last turn and finished in 3rd.

My second moto of Saturday went a little better. I got a little better start, and only had to make a couple of passes. I finished in second but my 3-2 wasn’t enough to beat Josh Fain’s 1-3 or Dan Dehut’s 3-1 and I got third for the day.

On Sunday the weather cleared up a bit so it wasn’t as misty. It was still cooler temperatures (considering we’d come from over a week of 100+ degrees) and overcast, but that’s fine for racing. No sun in your eyes and not too hot. I went out for practice and felt pretty good, but my neck was hurting from casing the double the day before. I haven’t been riding much either (a new baby kind of cuts down on riding time) and was feeling Saturday’s motos, though it wasn’t as bad as the first race of the year! I took my Ryno Power (which I can’t recommend enough) and got my gear on for the day. I intended to have a better day of racing. Unfortunately, moto 1 had some other plans.

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Jim Schuman and I vying for position just after turn 1.

After a bad start that put me second to last in the first turn, I again had a lot of work to do. As usual, there are guys that might be slower than you riding the widest bike possible to keep a position, which can be  frustrating. I worked a couple of passes right away and then couldn’t make the pass stick to one guy. I thought for sure I’d end up in 5th, but I’m not one to give up and call it quits so I pushed and finally got around him in the corner before the finish in lap 4, and started lap 5. I fended off my good friend Josh Fain for awhile, but he ended up passing me on a jump and he continued on to pass for 2nd in the next few corners, but by that time I could see 3rd place. I charged forward, determined to get that spot and in the second to last corner I made the pass on the outside for 3rd and hit the checkers. The moto was a lot of fun, but a good start would have made it a little less work. 3rd is obviously not ideal, but I had another moto.

For my second moto, I wore a different helmet – my all matte black Klim F4. I love all my Klim helmets, but apparently the all black one is my lucky helmet because my motos always improve when I’m wearing it. Look good, feel good, ride good I guess (we racers can be head cases like that). I lined up on the gate, taking the spot just to the right of the doghouse. When the gate dropped I was about 3rd into the first turn, and neck and neck with Jim Schuman. I managed to get past him exiting the start chicane and over took the guy that got the holeshot when he went wide on the third turn.  As I was finishing out this corner I got bumped from behind and was sent sideways over the floater heading toward the big Pro Double that gave me whiplash the day prior.  I managed to straighten it out in the air and click in to fourth which was required to make the double. Luckily I nailed it.  I was out front and I knew it was going to be a tough race, Dan Dehut was right behind me. He stuck on me for the duration of the moto. He didn’t let up for a second and pressured me the whole race. It made for a really fun time for us and for the spectators too.

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Starting lap 4 in the lead and looking to hold on to it!

I finished with a third overall for Saturday and  a second overall for Sunday. I’m pleased with the results, but I’ll be working for the W at Washougal. Washougal is such a big track that you have to have your fitness and your bike in order. The laps are long and some of the jumps are pretty big. I am looking forward to that race. It usually draws out a few more racers.

Now that the weekend of MX is over, I’m going to make some adjustments to my bike and head back to Straddleline for the WORCS race. It’s been a long time since WORCS has come up to the Northwest and it’s been even longer since I’ve raced one, but I’m looking forward to the woods riding and seeing some friends from other states when they come up to compete. Big thanks to Arlen at LED Performance for doing a quick refresher on my bike for the WORCS race on our way through town. If you need work done on your quad or bike (he specializes in vintage bikes) he is the man to see.

I want to thank all of my sponsors for helping me this year. It wouldn’t be possible for me to compete without their help. I run their products because they work, and I recommend them to everyone for all types of racing – desert, XC, MX. They are the best!

 


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