Hayden Schultz KTM RC390 Laguna Seca Race Report

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Race Report

Hayden Schultz Logo

Laguna Seca has always been one of the high points in my season and it started off the same way. Throughout the weekend we experienced both highs and lows. It started off a bit of a mess when I couldn’t find a hotel to stay in the day before I left Orlando to travel out here because of my age (18). Unbeknownst to me was the fact that most hotels require you to be 21 to check in by yourself. I had decided to drive down Wednesday night to Orlando, where I was flying out of, so I could catch my early morning flight without having to wake up at 3am. After driving around for a few hours trying to find a hotel I could stay in I finally did and grabbed a few hours of sleep. The next morning I jumped on a plane and began the battle for arm room on my first flight out. Finally arriving to San Jose around noon, I met up with my friend and crew chief for the weekend Darnell Dorsey. Darnell had raced CMRA when I was younger but had moved out to California and agreed to help out and let me stay in his RV. After catching up on the ride to the track we got credentials and got settled in the pits. I was relieved to finally be at the track and set up so I could relax and take it all in. I knew this track well and was very confident for this weekend.

FRIDAY

 

The next morning the fog rolled in, typical of Laguna Seca mornings. This caused the track conditions to be less than ideal, not much grip or visibility. Never the less I put my head downHayden Schultz Wave and just tried to get comfortable in the short 20 minute session we had. Even though the grip level wasn’t high I didn’t mid too much because I usually do well in sketchy conditions. I felt good about my practice and figured I’d ended up around 3rd or so but was actually able to finish 1st in that opening session. It may sound weird but I don’t get really excited after being 1st in the beginning session because you can only go down from there and it puts a target on your back. After the early practice we had a long break before the first qualifying. This was sort of nice because it gave me a bit of time to walk around and talk to some people I don’t see often and get to meet new people as well.

SATURDAY

 

I woke up the next morning to find that there was much less fog and moisture in the air. This was a good sign for me and I had a good feeling that as long as the track wasn’t too slick that I could drop my time and hopefully move up to the front row. I went out on a mission and was consistently in first or second the whole session. Coming down to the last few minutes I saw my number drop to second and knew I could go a little faster and that it would be close. The second to last lap I crossed the line after really pushing and saw my number jump up to P1. That time was good enough to qualify 3rd overall, giving myself a front row starting position. At this particular track 3rd is on the inside so I was really happy with where I’d start the race from. After that 8:00am qualifying session we had an 8 hour break until the race. I like having hte race shortly after, waiting so long makes me think a lot and get antsy to start.

At around 1:30 our qualifying was up and it was only 20 minutes. I felt good about the bike set up and knew we had a good shot at qualifying on pole for the first time. Things were going well and I watched my number shoot to the top of the scoring tower on track with about 8 minutes left. I knew there would be the usual front runners upping the pace soon so I kept trying to improve on that time when my shifter came off. I finished the lap and pulled in, to find that the bolt had sheared off and I wouldn’t be able to continue. I parked the bike and watched the rest of qualifying, watching my number drop from the top down to 4th by the time the checkered flag flew. Considering I missed that much of qualifying I was surprised I only dropped to 4th. I had only improved my time by 1.5 seconds from the morning so I was holding out hope that if track conditions were alright in the morning that I may be able to go faster.

Finally Schultz Bike Lagunarace time came up. I got a good start and came into the first turn in 3rd. I made an inside pass in turn 2 to move into 2nd and as soon as I got on the gas hard the back end lost grip and slid out. I slid off track and picked up the bike, anxious to see if it was still rideable. The handlebars weren’t too damaged but the left side rear set had broken off and I was forced to call it a day. Races like this, where it ends before it starts are heartbreaking, especially after riding so well all weekend. Because this round coincided with World Superbike we only had one race, meaning I had no shot at immediate redemption. Unfortunately that’s how things go sometimes. Thankfully I only came away with a sore foot, nothing major. All the glory to God in the good and bad. This wouldn’t be possible without the Lord. I can’t thank Arai helmets, Axo, Racer Gloves USA, and Moto-skiveez for protecting me and keeping me safe in that wreck. Another huge thanks goes to Darnell Dorsey for making it all go smoothly and keeping me relaxed and able to focus on riding, as well as giving me a place to stay. Couldn’t have done this weekend without his help. My Mom and Dad also deserve infinite thanks for allowing me to do this and sacrificing a lot to give me a shot at all of this. Jim Cambora with Raceworx had the bike set up really well and I feel confident it would have ended up on the box. I really wish I could have come away with better results to show for all this.

 

 

 

Thanks to my sponsors for making it possible as well:

Moto-Skiveez
Arai helmets
Racer Gloves USA
Motorex
Sportbike Track Gear
Raceworx
K-tech suspension
Axo
Spykes KTM
Rockwell Watches
Matrix Concepts
Spy optic
Shorai
Hotbodies Racing
Ryno Power
Braking
Leatt brace
Factory Effex
Honey Stinger
Incase
Mom & Dad
Emi Beltran & Tony Cardarelli

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.