Tony Read

Hey FTW Co,
Here's a few pictures and a little story...
On a last minute decision, I figured I'd ride down to New Orleans to the AHRMA season opener to watch since I still haven't finished my Triumph.  Talked to my buddy Carl Anderson down in Decatur, AL and he said, just ride with us.  Bring your leathers in case someone wants to let you race their bike.  Deal.  Ended up racing Carl's little Trackmaster Yamaha CT175 in the 250GP class on Saturday. Then Sunday Jack Parker, a 200GP champion, let me use his custom made tiny framed version of the same bike in that class.  Both bikes were a blast to ride.  Really lightweight, especially Jack's at 180lbs. 

Had to get used to racing a 2 stroke, which wasn't exactly easy, but I got some decent lap times.  The hardest part was getting them off the line at the start.  Normally on my Triumph, I've been the holeshot king for the last several races I entered it in.  Not the case with a 2 stroke unfortunately.  I bogged out on Carl's and got swallowed, then Sunday on Jack's, I wheelied like a bastard and almost lost it at the line.  Thankfully, no one hit me. 

Ended up taking 2nd on Saturday on Carl's bike...lonely 2nd I might add.  Sunday after almost looping Jack's tiny bike, I got swallowed up again by everyone in 250GP and about everyone in the class behind us, Classic 60's 650.  I got going and passed about half of them into turn one, but then got sort of stuck behind a BSA that had the drive out of the turns, but was slow in the mostly fast sweeping corners killing the much needed momentum I had to have to get around the track on the little giant killer. 

Had a few laps of trying to get enough speed in the slow turns to make a pass while also fighting off a pretty quick CB160 that was in my class.  He was able to motor past us in the fast "esses" section, but I lost my momentum.  I finally was able to get some good drive out of the last few turns to get enough of a gap so he couldn't pass down the very long front straight.  I tried to gain some ground on the CB160 and was closing in until I almost collected a Harley in the Classic 60's class in a section of about a 4 apex right hand turn.  He was having some mechanical issues and I tried to pass on the inside and he didn't see me coming.  Had to get on the brakes and yell, "SHIT, SHIT, SHIT!"  Then drop a gear and take off.  By that time, the little Honda was too far away to catch up to before the end of the race.
I figured I had last place at that point, but I ended up in 4th.  All in all, pretty pleased with my first time roadracing stink wheels.  Going to do it again this weekend in Talladega on Carl's 250 Yamaha.  We'll see what happens.  Hopefully this one is easier to get off the line than the 175s.

Tony Read