Mikey Martin: Salinas TT and ST

NEWS May 12, 2011

Mikey Martin: Salinas TT and ST

Photo by Dave Hoenig

Hey everyone, this is my race report for round 4 and 5 of the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Pro Singles championship. This double-header race was in Salinas, California. It was a TT and a Short Track.

Round #4 TT

I was happy to be back in California and I was also happy to have a TT track, because that’s my favorite discipline in racing. In the first practice the dirt was really deep and it was a weird TT to me, it was harder then a usual TT. I felt good and qualified third in the first free practice. I switched bikes to see which bike I liked better and went out for the next practice. It was the first qualifying practice. I felt a lot better on the stock bike than our high horsepower bike. I qualified sixth and knew I was faster on the stock bike, so I took the risk of racing it knowing that this was a horsepower track.

After qualifying, there was a long intermission so I walked the track to see where I could make up time. I went back to our pit and made some adjustments to the bike. I felt really good but something wasn’t right so I thought about switching back to my horsepower bike, and I did before the heat.

We went up to the line, we took off and I was in about fifth and there was very little passing because the track got really slick the tires were just spinning. I tried pushing as hard as I could but I just was not moving forward, I ended up fifth. Which meant a second row start in the main. I knew I made a mistake by riding my fast bike, so I switched again before the main. I was ready for the second row start, but I knew what I needed to do.

We walked the bikes up to the line and got ready, the light went green, I got a great start and was in about fifth in turn one, then there was a huge crash, so they restarted the race. We got ready and took off again, I was in about third in the right-hander, another crash and there was another restart. The next start wasn’t as good, I was in about seventh and the track was getting so bad and getting so hard to ride, I passed two more riders and ended up sitting in fifth for the rest of the race, I was happy for another top five. My teammate Mike LaBelle took a hard fall and I want to wish him a speedy recovery and hope he is back on the track soon.

Round #5 short track

The next day was a short track. I knew I could go fast on a short track. I was riding the stock bike as I did yesterday on the TT. We had to be at the track really early. Before we knew it, we had to go out for the first round of free practice. I felt really good, I liked the track a lot, it was shaped weird, and in first practice I qualified third.

Back in the pits we made some adjustments to the bike and cut the tire to hook up more. The next practice was qualifying. I rode hard and I felt really fast, but the track was changing a lot and getting slick but I knew what I needed to do to hook up. I ended up qualifying fifth. That put me on the front row, third over from pole.

In the heat race I got a great start, I was in third and was working on passing the guys in front but it was just really hard to pass because it was getting slick.

I thought I found a fast line for the main so I was going to try it since it was too late to make any moves on the top two riders. I ended up third but that meant front row.

I changed my suspension a little to run the high line. There was an intermission and the last chance qualifier race. I thought I knew what I needed to do to make podium.

The horn went off and we walked up to the line. I picked all the way on the top so I could ride my line. We got ready, the light went green, and I came off the line in about seventh. I was getting roosted so bad and it seemed like I couldn’t make any passes, then about half way through the race I moved up higher and I started passing riders on the outside. About the last five laps my line was so fast I was catching the leaders. I made two more passes on the outside. I got third, I made the podium after being in seventh place most of the whole race, I was very happy it was my first podium of the season.

See you in Springfield, IL, for rounds 6 and 7 May 28-29 for a TT and Mile!
Mikey Martin 91Y

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