AMA Flat Track Racing
Here’s a report from the winner of the 2010 Arizona Mile Flat Track event, Michael LaBelle.
It has been almost a month before I have touched a track on the AMA Pro Singles circuit. Last race we were riding was in Minnesota where Weirbach Racing had the worse day of our season by far!
However, the final round in Arizona began almost one week before the actual race for me. The loss of a close friend made Arizona more of a mission I set for myself than just a normal race day.
We arrived at the track Saturday morning and even though we had a couple of hours before we had to do anything, we quickly unloaded and rolled every bike through tech.
I did little things around the pit and on my bike just to keep my mind busy, but before I knew it I was getting dressed for the final qualifying sessions of the 2010 AMA pro singles season.
Qualifying went well for our team with Mikey Martin qualifying in the top 10 and myself sitting third with a lap time that was keeping pace with the pole sitter.
My heat had a lot of the top guys in the Pro Singles but the way I looked at it was that if I was going to win the main event, I was going to have to beat them eventually!
Off the line, I noticed how much quicker Baker was heading to the corner on the groove so I jumped in behind him and chased him down.
I made a huge mistake going into 3 a couple of laps into the heat which gave Baker a small lead but I eventually caught back up.
Coming out of the last corner I pulled up to his rear wheel and pulled out of the draft for the win but I came up short by inches. All of the other riders was over 3 seconds back. I made no changes on the bike for the main event because I knew I had a good bike under me and I could challenge for the win!
Off the line in the Main, I was in about 5th until a rider came up the inside of me and pushed me off the groove. For 6 laps I found myself trying to play catch up with the lead pack but I didn’t have enough time due to the large gap from them to me. On lap 6 the red lights came on because of a fallen rider in turn 4.
The race was half way through so the restart was a staggered start where all the riders are lined up front tire to back tire, in order of the last lap results. I quickly darted for the groove and shot up to fourth or fifth.
However, going into turn 3 the red lights came on again due to riders down at the starting line. So once again it was a staggered start and I darted for the groove but this time a lot of the other riders figured out the trick and did the same thing.
I found myself in sixth until one rider slid out in turn 2 and two more riders ran into the side of each other, knocking both of them off the groove. I drafted my way into a three way battle for the lead and it stayed that way for the rest of the race.
Coming out of turn four to the checkered flag I pulled out of the draft behind my team-mate Mikey Martin and won the Arizona Mile by only 0.012!
This race was a dream come true for me and my family. It was an extremely emotion time on the podium because I wanted to win the Arizona Mile for my friend Jesse Phibbs!
I even wrote 93T on the back of my helmet in memory of Jesse, so he could ride with me in that race. Also at the same time the win was for my team and all of our sponsors who have been VERY helpful this season for the Weirbach Racing team!
Michael LaBelle #20T
In memory of Jesse Phibbs #93T
LaBelle gives a special thanks to his sponsors:
WeirBach Racing, General Engineering, Barnett clutches, K & N filters, Motion Pro, Cheney Engineering, Spider Grips, Spectro Oil, Saddleman seats, Engine Ice, Scorpion, G2 ergonomics, Works Connection, CP Pistons, All Balls Racing, Spy Optics, Pro-Wheels, Firecoat Custom Powderworks, Foudree Graphics, Hindle Exhaust ,Web Cams, Vortex, Osris Shoes, Bob Berry Racing, Durelle Racing, Cycra Racing, Pingel, Regina chain , Supertrapp, VP fuel, Ron Bailey, , Wendell Poggie, Boyesen, Jim Grant