The Pikes Peak hill climb is my big race of the year. With my win last year I felt some pressure this year. Lack of funding left me with my used take off tires that were handed down to me last year. All week in early morning practice I was having issues with my front end, I crashed once in a tight corner in a section called the "W's" and on the final day of practice during my fastest qualifying run I lost the front on a fast corner and with some weird luck I got it back and kept it on the road. I ended up qualifying 5th way off pace of the leader. I went through two front bake rotors before Saturday, the day before race day I figured out my stock brake set up was dragging on the rotor because the pads were warped causing heat, more drag and eventually trying to lock my front wheel when I was turning hard needing front end grip most. I was glad to get that figured before race day (the only time a full course run is ever made).
With the added media coverage this year for the french rally guy and red bull and all the pit row was a cluster fuck on race day. The race has lost a lot of it's romantic grass roots luster along with the gravel surface in the last few years. Now that the course is all paved a lot of big sport bikes showed up and despite having over twice as much horsepower the 450cc bikes are still finishing in the top ten over all. 3 of the first 5 bikes (big sport bikes) that left the line crashed hard. Two of them required flight for life. There were many bad bike crashes this year and they were all bigger displacement bikes. I worry about the future of this great race.
I finished 4th in class and 14th over all bike, 2 seconds slower than last year. The factory Honda team took my class record by over 30 seconds and their CBR1000 rider took a helicopter ride. His condition did not sound promising the last I heard.
I am very motivated for next year. This race brings such amazing emotions after crossing the finish line. It is just magic. I recommend entry to anyone who loves to go fast on a road course. I am going to start saving for new tires and a front brake and get my record back. Peace!
P.S. This video makes me laugh. black sheep. FTWco patches on my leathers got a lot of international camera love. Much!