Once again we had a blast at Thursday Night racing! Getting close to 20 bikes in each race, and lots of great battles on the track! I’ve had some of my most memorable experiences at Club races and events, which is why I feel so good seeing the friendships and camaraderie growing on Thursday nights. I’m going to tell you a club racing story, whether you like it or not Harold! Every Wednesday evening Jim Kelly used to put on a formal practice in conjunction with the ‘Steel City Riders’ in Hamiltion, Ontario. We usually got 20-25 riders out, often including Alan Logue (#2 in Canada at the time), the Bastedo Brothers, and John Scott. We would do drills and skills building exercises, then always a reverse order race at the end of the evening (starting the slowest rider first, then each in order of speed, until the fastest rider is sent away last. This builds passing and defending skills, as well as just being more fun!). I’ve mentioned my friend John Scott in other articles, but in short he may be the best all round motorcycle rider I’ve ever known, and he was an MX Pro within 2 years of starting to race. He was also my primary riding buddy for a few years, which may explain many of my self-esteem issues! One night, just before the start of what I can barely call my ‘break-out’ Jr. season, I was at Jim Kelly’s Wednesday night practice with John Scott. We were doing an oval around some barrels on a greasy track. John started right behind me as usual, but he got by within a few laps. I did what Jim Kelly was teaching us and started matching my brake and acceleration points to John’s. Soon, I realized I could do it, and if I really concentrated, I could get my smaller, lighter 125 braking even later, and turning quicker. After about 4 corners I realized I could pass John Scott! I set it up by poking my front wheel inside of him over and over, forcing him tighter and tighter to the inside of the corner, until he was riding the tightest, slowest arc available to him. Then, one time, I switched up my turning arc, came in wide, turned just behind him and accelerated up the inside of him as he moved off the post. I passed John Scott! There was only a couple of laps left and he resigned himself to second. I know guys like Ryan Gauld have stories of great finishes at the Nationals and stuff like that, but I have moments from club races! In the reverse order race that night I knew I couldn’t keep John behind me for the full moto, but I managed to do it for several laps until John eventually rode me right off the track into a thorn bush! He laughed so hard at the sight of me wedged head first, and inextricably, into the thick thorny bush, that he had to drop his bike and sit down! He did stop though…that was nice! Good times! This week at the club races it was Tanner’s turn to create a lasting memory. After months and months of pouring over diagrams, making simulations with cups on the table, and watching countless hours of Supercross in slow motion, Tanner finally pulled off a perfect block pass this week! I saw him setting up for it, and I thought ‘No, is he actually setting up to do what I think he’s setting up to do?!’ He was, and he did. Perfectly done! He talked about it all the way home. I’ve never been so proud!
Here’s the NMA Thusday Night Race results and standings as of July 19th.
See you next Thursday! This is my wedding week, so if anyone could swing by an hour or so early (4-6ish) we could get a bit more watering done in less time. Thanks to everyone who’s chipped in to make this do-able!