2012 AMA SuperSport: James Rispoli iReport
Hi everyone! I have been back at it after Mid-Ohio training on my road bicycle and helping to support another STAR School in St. Louis. But I have to tell you its tough being me coming from a family of highly motivated people.
I’m surrounded with positive messages that starts with my dad who has close to 40 years as a sales and marketing executive and one of the most can do people I know. Then there is my older brother Chris who has come into his own as one of the top sales trainers and motivational speakers in the market. And I can’t forget my sister Samantha who is the creative one in the family who helps ground us all on healthy living.
That’s why the theme of this iReport is not just a report on Mid-Ohio, it’s a celebration of who I am and who I have become from the influences of my family and closest people to me. In addition, I just turned 21-years old this week and if that wasn’t celebration enough my dad forward me a video on my birthday of a motivational speech by Ray Lewis given to the Stamford Men’s basketball team titled “Pissed Off for Greatness.”
My dad sends me stuff like that once in a while and I am always blown away at the timing of them and this one is no different. This weekend I will be racing at Laguna Seca in front of tens of thousands of people because we will share the stage with the MotoGP stars of the world.
I have a shot at wrapping up my AMA Pro Motorcycle-SuperStore.com Western Divisional title if things go our teams way and this speech has helped put it all in perspective for me again. I can say without hesitation that I am Pissed Off for Greatness going into this round and will continue to leave it all out on the track until the season is complete.
I want to say thank you to my dad, family, friends, sponsors, team and trainers for always providing a positive environment for me to work. It makes such a difference. To those of you reading this iReport, thank you so much for your support as well.
Friday Practice and First Qualifying session
I was pretty excited to get back to Mid-Ohio since I felt I was is great shape to take on the challenging road course. Weather was threatening the whole weekend and we figured we were going to have to get after it right away otherwise we my not get another chance on Saturday. In the first practice I got a decent feel from the bike but I was losing grip since the track was still pretty green. I still managed to place P2 in the first session and knew I had a lot more left in me for the first qualifying session.
In the first qualifying session later that day I managed to go around 1.5 seconds faster which was good but still ended up the session in P2 position .600 off the pole. I wasn’t thrilled with the results, but knew I still had more and was hoping we might have a chance in the morning to throw down a flyer and steal the pole for the weekend.
In the morning it was clear no one was going to go any faster. We went out on some used tires and just got some warm-up laps in. I was happy with the set up and settled in for race one later in the day.
Race one started off awesome. I was running at the front right from the start until Dominguez came around and took the point. I put my head down to go with him since I had a good pace to match him and broke way from the rest of the pack. I was still having a challenge getting off the corners and suffered with a little side grip but I was able to keep it under two seconds when I crossed the checkers in second place. It was a pretty lonely race for second since my closest rival in third was almost twenty seconds off the pace. This was a points paying round and I grabbed another good handful of point toward the series championship.
The morning warm up got off to a good start. We made some changes to the bike and again tested used tires to try to make sure we had something good at the end of the race to challenge for the top step. I managed to pull off a P1 in the warm-up and was even more confident we had a bike to win with.
In race two I got a great start and started to break away almost immediately. Dominguez came up to me and we both were moving ahead of the group again until a red flag came out. We had the mandatory ten minute break and a restart. On the restart Dominguez, myself and Gillim broke away and gapped the field.
We had eleven laps and I was sticking right on Dominguez saving my tires waiting for the laps to wind down a little before I made my move. With two laps to go I went for it and put a pass on him but gave it up a few turns later making a little mistake and giving him enough room to stick it in. We went into the white flag lap and I had a pass in mind but almost had a get off which put enough of a gap between us that I couldn’t get another pass done and had to again settle for second place.
The good news was the bike handled much better at the end of the race and I lost by only .486 of a second. It was another bunch of points over my rival in the class and set me up well for the upcoming race at Laguna Seca.
To sum it all up I know I have one of the best teams in the paddock behind me. Together we are racing, over coming challenges and we’re all getting better at what we do. I want to thank my entire team, especially William, Dustin and Eric for doing everything it takes to give me the best race bikes on the planet. They are the best. To Barry, Skip and everyone else who came together to help this ride open up for me I say thank you! I will do whatever I have to do to be ready to race for every event. Next stop, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, Calif., July 27-29.
Till next time, do what I like to do, GO FASTER…
Looking to wrap up the championship at Laguna Seca,
Also, make sure you check this video of “the Rocket” at Infineon Raceway.