Daytona was finally here along with the 2010 motorcycle-racing season. Day one, we got to the track around 7 a.m, the first thing I did was look at the track. There were huge rocks in it, and it seemed they didn’t know what to do with the track leave it fluffy or flatten it out.
I went back to the van and started to think about suspension changes, not knowing how the track was going to end up for practice. I was in the fourth group out so I went to watch my teammate Mike LaBelle, to see how he was doing, as the basic set up of our bikes was similar.
The track developed ruts and was very rocky. I was kind of nervous when I went out to get a feel for the track. I liked how the track was setting up, with the huge ruts coming out of turns 2 and 4; I thought I could use them to my advantage.
My feeling was that the gearing was a tooth off, as I was hitting the rev limiter to early. So we removed a tooth, the bike handled really well so we left the suspension alone. I wanted to get a good lap in for qualifying; I was getting nervous as the horn went off for round two. I went to watch and could see the track was still changing.
My teammate Mike Labelle was struggling with his set-up, as was everyone else. He came in and told me about what he was feeling and that made me more nervous. I went out and gave it my all; I hit the same ruts every time. For my efforts I ended up qualifying 19th. That put me third row in the 2nd heat race.
Time for my heat race and as the light goes green; we all drop the clutch and fight for the top 7 transfer spots. I come out of the first turn in 11th, and have 6 laps to get top 7 or go straight to the semi. I started picking them off one by one. I went into turn 3 on the last lap and got one more, but it wasn’t enough as I ended up 8th.
Disappointed but focused on making the main event through the LCQ. I’m in semi #1 and top 4 make the main event. I am starting on the back row, were on the line, green!!! We take off; I’m on the charge and in about 6th the first lap. I started pushing really hard and was riding a great race. I passed one rider every lap and by the white flag I was in 3rd. I was so happy, and so was the entire WeirBach Racing team, as I had made the main event in my first pro race.
We had a 2-hour intermission that felt like it took forever. The horn went off, and I went up to staging. Dick and Ted Weirbach (the team owners) and I pushed the bike out to the starting line. We were all excited. The 10-second board went up and the light goes green, we take off and I’m in 13th. I push and push to try to keep gaining positions; I got up to 8th and then ran it in to deep and fell back to 11th. I kept trying different lines as the track was changing so much.
The top 5 weren’t pulling away from us but there was just no passing, as the track was getting really slick. On the white flag lap I was in 11th and I got a good drive out of turn 2 and was able to gain a spot going down the back straight entering turn 3.
I was so happy to finish in the top 10. I felt like I could have done better, but I was happy to get a top 10 and some points.
March 3, 2010 Daytona Beach, Florida Pro Singles Grand National – Round 1 – WeirBach Racing -91Y – Mikey Martin
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