Infineon AMA Sportbike: PPR Qualifying

AMA SportBike Privateer: Infineon Report III

The Peak Performance Kawasaki Team did its best to get Paddy McCord to relax at Infineon Raceway following the practice session. And he seemed to loosen up a bit by the afternoon qualifying session as he was able to drop three seconds from his lap times in a single 20-minute session -fantastic!

AMA Daytona Sportbike qualifying is relatively short due to the longevity of the tires, which may only last 7 or 8 laps. There would be another qualifying session the following morning which would be broken into A & B groups depending on the lap times recorded in the first session.

Not that it made much difference for Paddy, but it was interesting to note that the AMA Pro Racing organization used the recorded practice times of Friday morning rather than the recorded qualifying times to determine the A & B groups.

Crew Chief Neil Freeman and I noticed there were problems with the live feeds into the pit monitors around the same time so that may have had something to with their decision to disregard the AMA SportBike qualifying times.

It would be desirable for Paddy to chase the faster guys in A group. However, his lap times put him squarely in the B group no matter which recorded times were utilized. Without much more to do for the day, we broke down the staging area then buttoned up the trailer.

After a hearty dinner and good night’s sleep back at the hotel, the Peak Performance Kawasaki Team reconvened at the track for the early Saturday morning qualifying. Freeman instructed Alan McCord (Paddy’s father) to have a soft rear qualifier mounted and a fresh medium front.

The tire bill was quickly escalating, which bears mentioning because of the arcane mandate imposed by the AMA that requires racers to purchase tires at the event to be used only during the event. The tires are labeled and tracked so forget about saving a tire for another sanctioned event or using a tire from a prior sanctioned event.

Hopefully, the barely used tires will be of some value to a shop customer so we can recover a portion of the costs.

Out on the cold early morning Infineon track, the softer compound rear didn’t yield any benefit and the tire experienced some cold-tearing. Meanwhile, the quickshifter suddenly quit working halfway through the qualifying session.

The unexpected distractions kept Paddy from dropping his times from the day before. He would be gridded based on his relatively slow practice times.

These articles report on Peak Performance Racing’s journey as the team competes in the AMA Daytona SportBike series with pilot Patrick “Paddy” McCord of California. The article, written by Peak Performance Motorcycles’ owner Danny DiNardo, chronicles what it takes to get started and compete in AMA Pro Racing competition. When Ultimate Motorcycling heard about the project, we immediately got involved.

AMA SportBike Privateer: Infineon Report I
AMA SportBike Privateer: Infineon Report II