RSP Racing #29 – Michael Weyant
Race Report – LRRS Rd2 – 05/17/2015
The weather was looking great other than the possibility of some showers on Saturday morning. I arrived at the track Thursday night and was surprised to see that I was the first one from my team to arrive. I got my trailer set up and then did the necessary food shopping. By the time I returned a lot of my track family had arrived so I spent some time catching up and then settled in for an early night and much needed sleep.
Friday was a good day for practice with the exception that there was a TON of traffic. I mean there were bikes everywhere so it was very difficult for me to string any quality laps together. Still, I made the best of it and focused on my passing technique and worked on a few select corners where I am weakest.
Friday night the rest of the team arrived and we got settled in. My family showed up shortly thereafter and we grabbed some dinner together. It was upon returning from dinner that my usual luck reared its head; I dislocated the big toe on my right foot with a possible break/fracture thrown in for good measure.
The liftgate on my trailer was open and it floats about 10” off the ground. I was walking towards it to close it and my right foot was just under the edge when my youngest son decided to jump on it, sending the weight of the door and child directly onto my foot.
I took some time to calm down and was seriously wondering if my season of racing was over as I could not put any weight on this foot at all. I realized that the toe was dislocated so I popped it back into place (owe) and taped it up as best I could. Dejected, I hobbled back into the trailer and tried unsuccessfully to find some sleep.
I woke after a few hours of fitful sleep and tried unsuccessfully to put my weight on the ball of my foot. Well, I am in points races so there is nothing for it. I have to race.
My first practice session was spent trying to figure out just how I was going to ride. I was way off my pace but at least I could roll around the track using the heel of my foot. After the first session I went over to see Peter Kates of Computrack: Boston to inquire about some suspension changes. We tweaked a few things here and there and I set out to do the second practice.
Unfortunately it started to rain before I could get back out there so the first race of the day would be my proving ground for the suspension changes.
Unlimited Grand Prix
I was actually gridded in pole position (1A) for the first time in my expert racing career. Sadly, I squandered this honor with a really poor start and entered the first turn in 5th place but pushed up into 4th with a late, outside pass in T1.
I struggled through the race and was right on the rear wheel of Rick Breen (#28) on his BMW S1000RR but I was having a very difficult time making a pass. There was a TON of amateur traffic which Rick used to his advantage and I spent most of this race making up ground that I lost due to traffic.
I finally did manage to get around Rick on the outside of T1 on lap 7 which pushed me into 3rd which I held for the remainder of the race by aggressively passing the AM traffic and trying to keep them between Rick and I.
A highlight of this race was a surprising and short-lived encounter with Eric Wood (#5) who got around me on the last lap. Eric was running in the race that started after mine so although we were not directly competing, it was fantastic to see that I could actually stick with him (somewhat) in some spots and it also showed me just how weak I am in others by comparison. Knowledge is power and I plan on taking advantage of this new information in the coming rounds.
All in all I am very happy with my results considering that I was well off my pace due to my injured foot. I rode the entire race on the heel of my right foot.
UNGP Video: https://youtu.be/phVYNQNlSCk
Best Lap: 1:16.316
Finish: 3rd of 8
Middleweight Grand Prix (The Dash for Cash)
Although I am not in points contention for this race, it is my favorite due to the fact that it is always a larger grid and all the talent shows up for this one race. I was gridded in the 2nd row in the 3rd slot (2C) but again got a terrible start and slotted into 8th place.
I ran in 8th for 5 laps but was off my pace for most of the race. Eventually Corey Hildebrand (#8) passed me going into T6 where we came together for a few seconds, which was interesting (reminder to put Woodcraft lever guards on) and quite fun. A short while after my foot completely gave out on me causing me to nearly fall off the bike and allowed Tim Barber (#46) to get by, pushing me back to 10th.
I desperately tried to muster up a counter-attack but my foot would have none of it and so I voluntarily left the race for the first time in my expert middleweight racing career. Not a great feeling, I can assure you.
Best Lap: 1:15.453
Finish: 15th of 17
Saturday night after racing was done I spent some time icing down my foot and turned in at a reasonable hour. I slept well and woke feeling refreshed and ready to race. My foot was in pain but it was throbbing (bearable) instead of the sharp stabbing pain that I had yesterday so I had hopes that I could put down some hot laps today.
I taped up my foot as tight as I could and crammed it into my boot. This would have to do. I went out for only a few laps of the practice session to test out my ability to ride and although I was not at 100%, I was certainly better than the day before.
Once again I launched from my favorite grid spot: 1D and got a much better start than the previous day. I was 3rd going into T1 and tried to make a late outside pass on Joel Allen (#35) but he was having none of it. I had to run slightly wide from this attempt, only 6 inches or so but it was enough for Kristopher Knopf (#31) to close the door on me pretty hard at the apex of T1A and I had to back off which cost me some valuable time.
Again I showed my weakest spot in T3 as I was pushed wide from an aggressive inside pass by Christian Chronin (#58) and lost still more time. I put my head down and tried to keep up with Christian but he was simply the faster rider that day and I watched in anguish as he slowly pulled away from me. I was a little over a second and a half behind him on lap 3 when the red flags came out due to a crash in the Amateur bracket behind us and we were sent in to re-start the race.
The restart was nearly a carbon copy of the first with the exception that ultra-fast guy and favorite to win, Scott Greenwood (#4) was absent from the grid. I was side by side with Joel Allen, tried the outside move, went wide, and Kristopher Knopf shut the door on me at T1A. I was pleased that I stuck with the lead two riders until on lap three, Christian Chronin passed me going into T3 which knocked me back to 4th. I fought as hard as I could to keep up with the lead three but once again they slowly pulled away from me. We encountered a lot of AM traffic but I was able to slice through it pretty well.
There was a moment of confusion when I came around for the final lap, I saw a bike down against the wall by turn one. I couldn’t make out who it was but after my cooldown lap they ordered me to go to tech which only happens if you podium. It turns out that there was an incident on the front straight just before the finish line and Christian Chronin crashed out. As he was off his bike before the finish line they had me go through tech in 3rd place but it turns out that they awarded the position to Christian anyway so I ended up in 4th. As I will not be in any kind of points contention for this bracket I decided against protesting the decision.
Best Lap: 1:15.675
Finish: 4th of 13
I was gridded in 1B and got a very good start, taking the holeshot. I held first place for one lap until Dennis Levesque (#17) passed me on the straight under power on his Ducati 1098R. I stuck with him for 2 laps but was unable to pass when the race was stopped due to a red flag.
The restart was much like the first. I got a terrific start and took the holeshot. This time I was able to hold Dennis off for 2 laps before he once again motored by me on the front straight. After that it was an uneventful race other than working my way through the throngs of amateur traffic.
For some reason, timing and scoring does not have any of our laptimes so I am afraid I can only leave you with the fact that I took 2nd place.
Finish: 2nd of 8
Well, what can I say? My life is starting to read like a daytime soap opera. The only thing missing is for me to suffer amnesia after a gunshot wound.
In the end, I pushed through the adversity…again…to do what needed to be done and although my finishes were not what I would have hoped them to be, I still collected enough points to keep me in the game.
As always I have to give thanks to my amazing wife who, for some unknown reason, continues to support me while I do this crazy thing. Love ya babe!
Congratulations to my brothers in arms at RSP racing who all had successful weekends with a few new personal best times laid down as well as some really fun racing.
Finally I have to thank my stalwart sponsors for their unwavering support towards my racing campaign. I am sure that you all must get sick of hearing about it but I truly would not be able to do what I do without them.
The next race weekend in June hosts the longest running motorcycle race in the country, the 92nd running of the Loudon Classic; a grueling 20 lap feature race in which I will be participating. If you are anywhere in the NorthEast I strongly encourage you to stop by!