RISPOLI: New Jersey Motorsports Park
NEWS September 15, 2010
So our schedule has been really hectic to this point but it wasn't over yet. Dustin and I hopped on a plane Thursday morning in Salt Lake just six days after my Indy race and after three days of running at Bonneville and headed to Pittsburgh to pick up the van and headed to New Jersey Motorsports Park for the AMA Pro SuperBike presented by AMSOIL round. My sponsor Ant-Racing was already on his way to the track with Ryan Kelly my chief road race mechanic who both worked on my GSX R600's while I was out breaking records. When Dustin and I rolled in it was late Thursday night and we bedded down for some needed sleep. This was the first time for me to see this track so I had a lot to learn and quick. Many of my competitors did track days and the local east coast riders use this as a home track so I was going to be at a disadvantage right out of the box . On Friday we practiced with some scrubbed in rain tires since Hurricane Earl was suppose to hit this part of the east coast. I ran 7th out of 18 riders that went out. Later for qualifying the track was dry enough to run race tires and I was able to pull a 9th out of 26 riders. One my second qualifying run I pulled a 7th and ended up overall 8th on the grid, the last person on the second row. I was struggling a bit and Lenny from Race Tech made adjustments to help me get the bike turned better and add some rear grip.
In race one I got a tough start and was like 10th going into turn one. On one lap I passed four riders on the brakes going into turn one. I pushed my way all the way up to fourth and battled for that spot the rest of the race. The leaders broke away by this time and I was out there pulling with me DeHaven and Puerta. On the last lap I buried it into one grabbing the lead for that fourth place finish and did what I could to hold on. I managed to be in a good position coming onto the straight but knew the two bikes behind me were strong and could draft me if I wasn't careful. Unfortunately I couldn't break the draft and Dehaven caught me at the line for fourth by 0.33. It was a tough deal but I know I rode the wheels off my bike.
After coming in and debriefing with Lenny and the team, we contemplated what we were going to change to do better on Sunday's race two. We consulted with Michael Tjon. Michael has been building my engines since Road Atlanta and he has helped me get on two podiums this year. Michael listened to what problems I was having, took some measurements and gave us some new set up numbers to try. These were radically different than what we had in the bike and I was nervous to have them make those moves. I mean I was 13 seconds off the leaders in race one, but I at least knew what the bike could and could not do. Michael and the teams input was to make the change and experiment now so the team went to work. We also were having some clutch issues on the starting line and we changed that too.
When Sunday warm up came I went out on used tires to see how the new set up was going to react. I was amazed. The bike turned better than it has been and the grip was better as well. I took another 1.2 seconds off my race time from the day before and went from 9th to 3rd in the warm ups. I came in, talked with Lenny from Race Tech and made a small adjustment to the front end and I felt ready to do battle. In the final race I went from 8th to 5th in the first lap. I was fifth on lap one, fourth by lap two, third by lap four and in second by lap five. I was excited but knew Puerta was strong is a couple of sections and had a strong bike to boot. I gave up the lead on lap 17 but again buried it into turn one deep and hard on the brakes to make a pass for the lead again on 18. I led on lap 19, the white flag lap and knew I had to lead coming on to the straight otherwise I was done. I railed the bike through the sections especially sections three and four. I created a little gap when I took to the straight away and charged to the flag. I moved to the outside wall to break the draft and screw up the air a little and it worked. I was able to hang on by 0.71. It was my first win in AMA Pro Supersport and it couldn't have come at a better time. The huge changes to the bike proved to really help and everything from the engine work and new set up provided by Michael Tjon, the suspension by Lenny of Race Tech and the support of my mechanics Ryan and Dustin were working better than ever. I can't thank everybody enough. I was full of emotion for sure and treasured my checkered flag lap even doing a little burnout in front of the cheering fans. It was one of the coolest pro wins of my career. I was emotional about my first AMA Pro Road Racing win. I was emotional because I dedicated this win to my Mother who passed away a couple of years ago who was a big part of my success and I was emotional because I wanted this so bad.
To all my sponsors, friends and family thank you very much. To Ant-Racing.com my main sponsor and supporter this one's for you!
Cycle Dynamics, ANT-Racing.com, Bazzaz Racing,Vadnais Machine, Bettencourt Honda/Suzuki, DS Racing, DPBrakes, AGV Helmets, Dianese, Monster Energy, K&N filters, Spectro Oil, Saddlemen, Bravo Condoms, Boughner Racing, Spider grips, Motion Pro, D&D Performance , Engine Ice, Utopia Optics, West Coast Hot shoes, Coolskunk Racing, Hollinks Motorsports, Newman Racing, RHC, raceimage.net, VESRAH , Race Tech , Vortex, DeJarnette Research Systems and Dad.
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