The guys over at Foothills Triumph/BMW have helped me out for 3 years now and there support has been tremendous in keeping me going. When I won the AmU championship this year they passed the good news on to Triumph USA and what do you know, they put me in there newsletter that goes out to all the dealerships and everyone else on there mailing list. Unfortunately they used a picture from the last round when the bike and all my gear was all wrecked from the Pueblo crash, but oh well. Check it out: Triumph News Thanks Foothills!!
First off, riding injured SUCKS! Last round of the season, HPR Oct. 8-9. My fingers are still fully broken. The bones in the tips of my ring and index finger as well as my thumb on my right hand (throttle and brake, great) are in pieces still. I managed to cobble the bike together with a shitload of help from Dave over at SpeedMetal. He had a hell of a time straightening the sub-frame that folded up in the crash at Pueblo, but the guy's a fucking metal wizard and made straight again! Thanks Dave! I owe Swift a big thank you too for letting me use his shop to rebuild and helping when my sausage fingers wouldn't work. Thanks Swift! Anyway, I get the bike together and rideable to make the weekend. I skip Friday practice wanting to just save any finger strength I'm gonna have and spend the day trying on everyone's spare gloves! Jason Curdy had a pair of XL A* gloves that worked great, just big enough for my swollen fingers to fit in, thanks Jason! So I practice 2 of the 3 sessions on Saturday morning and start figuring out how to ride with my fingers jacked up. I went out in Heavyweight Endurance and just used it as practice because I had a pretty comfortable 3rd place in the championship. I ended up finishing in 8th knowing I was off pace because of my hand. When I got up Sunday morning it was raining and cold, great. I miss all of morning practice because of the rain and getting my rain tires mounted to late. I didn't sign up for Middlewieght superbike because I wanted to only do what I needed to for AmU. So, the first lap I turned on Sunday was the warm up lap for the AmU race. I got a so-so start and ended in 5th at turn 1. I knew I had to beat Wyeth and at least stay with Grubbs if I wanted the championship, and the both were ahead of me. I watched Grubbs eek out a lead and Wyeth fell back, but by the time I got around her Grubbs had checked out, and I physically couldn't run the pace. I had a good battle with Scarberry that he ended up winning. I ended up in 6th place at the end, but got the championship win by 1 point. 1 POINT!! Thank you goes out to: Lacy, Fish, Swift and Chris (Wolf Bigade!!!), all the sponsors, friends and family that made it out, and the whole MRA crew! Thank You!!! More pics to come later!!
The track was super dirty and bumpier than ever. It's falling apart. It was really difficult all weekend. I made it through Friday practice, Heavyweight Endurance on sat with a 6th place. Sunday I made it through Middleweight Superbike in 12th, and crashed during the first lap of AmU, resulting in a 17th place finish, cutting my points lead from 15 to 5. Ended up in the ER with 2 broken fingers, and a broke and dislocated thumb. Fuck.
Back at HPR for round 6, August 28th and 29th. So after seeing me pretty frustrated by my performance and lap times the previous weekend, Lacy as and anniversary/very early Xmas gift got me 2 hours of coaching on the Friday practice day before the race weekend by Shane Turpin! Stoked! He followed me around and shot video of me fucking up and then we wend into the pits and watched it and he showed me the things I was doing really wrong and were I could improve. Now I had a mission! I started working on things and it was beginning to show, I ran 1:55s in practice which was the fastest I'd run in the race the last weekend and I was on shot tires! Then in the endurance race I think my brain got the best of me. I was super tense trying to get everything right and was making more mistakes than ever. The lap times were slower than in practice! Super disappointed! So for Sunday I knew I had to relax and just smooth things out and the times would be there. Practice felt good. Middleweight Superbike came and after a so-so start I ended up chasing Cromer and Rick Gross (and having to catch them at that). I ended up finishing in 11th, but I ran a 1:52.9!! WAY faster than ever before! So now I'm stoked! I got ready for AmU by just relaxing and stretching. I got to start from pole position because I'm first in the points (only by 1 point). I knew I need a really good start because getting around guys like Cromer and Tony Ross is REALLY FUCKING HARD! I got the hole shot and was the first one through turn 1. Best start I've ever had! I was able to stretch out a decent lead and let the guys behind fight for position. I ran 1:55 from a dead stop! I led the first 5 laps and then Tony Ross caught me... FUCK! I kept the pressure on him and stayed right on his rear wheel so I could capitalize on any mistake he made. God he's fast! But he looked a little squirly in places, so I just stayed on him. On the last lap we got to the top of the hill entering the chicane before the line and Tony went in really hot, he totally rushed the entrance, I was ready to try my hardest to get him coming out because my line in was right on, then he pushed the front and crashed. I had the win! Tony wasn't hurt and I just landed my first victory! God it felt so good! It still does! And to top it off I'm now 14 points ahead in the championship! Anyway, I want to thank first and foremost Lacy for the awesome gift, I don't think I'd have won without it. Second Shane for the awesome coaching and advice worth it's weight in gold! Fish, Swift, and the Wolf Brigade, Rob and the Lithium guys for the tire and suspension help, and Applehans for being a grouch, THANK YOU!!! I can't wait for Pueblo on the 18th and 19th!!
So, I got a little slack with the blog updates... sorry. Round 4 was a Pueblo Motorsports Park on July 10th and 11th. The track was bumpy as hell and is kinda falling apart. Saturday I got 2nd in Heavyweight Endurance. And on Sunday I got 5th in AmU and 12th in Middleweight Superbike. Pretty good weekend, I definitely ran faster than I've ever run at Pueblo, so progress. Round 5 was back at HPR on July 31st and Aug 1st. Saturday we had that 4 hour Endurance race that go shortened to 3 hours from the hour long shit show that was NovU earlier in the day. Fish went over the handlebars and caused the first red flag and then there was a second red flat on the second re-start due to another pile up. That race was nuts to watch. So the Wolf Brigade entered the 4 hour, now 3, hour endurance race with a four man team, Chris, Swift, Fish and me. We came in 12th, I had some mechanical problems with my chain and rear sprocket. No big deal, I had it sorted for Sunday. Sunday came I got 12th in Middleweight Superbike and 3rd in AmU. But I was gifted that 3rd by Grubbs and Jarret taking each other out. I was pretty disappointed in my lap times and performance in general. The wife noticed and did something pretty spectacular for the next round...
Round 3 Friday practice started with a track that was being washed off with water because of the massive amounts of mud all over it from the crazy rain the night before. It was so dirty that even after they washed it and it dried I still decided not to bother riding because I knew the conditions on Sat would be completely different. So I sat it out and had Rob over at Lithium re-valve my forks. Then it rained like hell overnight. Saturday morning started with me running in the rain on the Pirelli rain tires for the first time ever! The tires had been mounted up on the rims once before but had never made it on the bike until Sat morning! I felt pretty good in the wet. Rob helped me set up the suspension to get a good rain setting and things felt pretty good in practice. When endurance practice came the damn track was dry so the dot tires went on and man it felt fast compared to the wet! But the dry track was short lived. It started raining about 10 min before the heavyweight endurance race so the rains went back on the bike. I had a pretty good run on the wet track and ended up finishing in 4th. I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to finish anywhere else in this class, it's the third 4th place finish in a row for HWEnd! Sunday morning was just like Sat morning, chilly and raining, but the bike set up felt good and I was confident that I could go ok in the wet. But, when the middleweight superbike came it was a fucking monsoon out there! There was way more standing water, along with rivers running across the track, plus super heavy rain! Basically it scared the shit out of me! The result sucked, I finished in 15th, but I just wanted to finish so I could try for a good result in AmU. About 3 minutes before AmateurGTU I (and everyone else) noticed that there were some dry spots forming in the pits and when the guys from the previous race came in they said the track was drying... FUCK! Sure enough, warm up lap the whole race line was dry and the whole grid was on rains. I got a good start from the first row and got the hole shot and made it through turn 1 first, but the bike was moving around so much underneath me that I had no confidence at all and was down in like 9th before I figured out how to ride the thing with sponges for tires! I made it back up to 5th in the 3 remaining laps even though I've never had a bike move underneath me that much ever! All in all riding in the rain is fun! The tires worked really well! I gotta send out a HUGE thank you to Rob Oliva from Lithium Motorsports for doing my forks at the track and helping me get things dialed in, it made a huge difference! Can't wait for Pueblo next month!! carl
So here's my slightly overdue write up for race 2 at Pikes Peak International Raceway on May 22 and 23. First of all PPIR is awesome in that if you sign up early enough you can rent a garage which is the best way to pit ever! We all made it down to practice on Friday and things went pretty well, Swift crashed early but not bad and didn't even miss a session. I steadily made progress all day thanks to a 45 minute lesson on how to ride a racebike from Shane Turpin where he gave me the most valuable advice that I've ever received and it changed the way I ride entirely. SLOW DOWN! He told us to slow down all the movements on the bike. Everything from changing body positioning to rolling on the throttle to grabbing the brakes. Just slow it all down to keep the bike settled and damn if it didn't work. The bike got way easier to ride since I'm not fighting an unsettled bike and lap times came down. Saturday came and I continued to work on all the things that Shane told us and ended up taking another 4th place finish in the Heavyweight Endurance race. But the most surprising thing is that at the end of the race I wasn't completely exhausted and wrecked. Slowing things down and not fighting the bike made the whole race use way less effort. Sunday rolled around and things were feeling pretty good in practice, new rubber went on for the Middleweight Superbike race and my start sucked and I ended up in 13th. The dudes in that class are fast! Then Amateur GTU. I got a really good start from the second row that put me in 3rd into turn 1. After a little battling Eric Cromer and ended up in the front and stretched out a good sized lead. I made one pass but it put me too deep on the brakes and I ran wide and Eric came right back around. So I lead the race for about 25 feet! By the end of the race I could stay right with him, but couldn't get around and finished a very close second. My first ever top 3 finish! Pretty stoked, it was a good weekend. Hopefully I can carry my momentum and confidence to HPR for round 3 on June 12 and 13. Thanks again to everyone who helped out, friends, family, sponsors and especially ST! Here's a few more pics... carl Margaret Oliver took the on track shots, and Lacy took the garage shots.
Ok, sorry for the lack of pictures, it's my fault for forgetting the camera on Friday and Saturday. Lacy did take a few shots on Sunday and this is what I got... The weekend went really well considering the weather forecast that they were predicting all week. Friday practice was a little cool. I only ran the afternoon session because the morning temps were just too damn low, like below freezing low, so f that. Practice went ok on the shagged tires I brought with me wanting to save new rubber riding for the races. The lap times weren't really there on Friday, but I wanted to just dust the cob webs off and remember where I was going. The bike felt pretty good even thought the tires were moving all over the place. Saturday morning came and went, I didn't even practice with the morning low being like 28 degrees. Instead I spent the morning making sure Chris, Swift and Fish were set up for they're novice races (which they fucking CRUSHED in). I put on new rubber and break pads after my endurance practice and got ready for the race (and god damn I was nervous, this is the the race that a year earlier ruined half my season [cough, RayRay, cough... just kidding]). But in the end the race went really well. I picked up 4th place and ran a new low lap time for me, 1.56.2 stoked. The tire lasted and worked good, but did start to tear just a bit near the end of the 30 min race. Now it's Sunday morning and I really amped for the sprint races. I skipped the first practice because of the cold again, but did go out and run the second one, and slid all over the place on the cold track. After talking with Rob and the Lithium Motorsports guys, I decided to buy another rear tire in a softer compound for the sprint races. Wise choice. First up was middlewieght superbike. I got a really crappy start, but found my rhythm after about 2 laps. Had a good battle with Wyeth and eventually stretched out a bit of a lead. Then on the last lap right before the final chicane I made a huge mistake on the brakes that put me in the dirt and allowed Wyeth and 3 more bikes past. I ended up in 18th. A little frustrating, but still a fun race all in all. Amateur GTU was next, the class I want to chase points in. I got a good start from the 4th row and ended up going into turn 1 in 6th place. I made a few passes and got passed only by 1 other bike, unfortunately I couldn't reel in the lead that the 3 at the front had stretched out and ended up finishing in 5th. All in all it was a good weekend. It felt great to be back on the bike after the long winter. I need to thank a few people... The wolf brigade- Fish, Swift, and Chris! The Lithium Motorsports guys- Rob, Brian, and Jason. My sponsors- Th'ink Tank Tattoo, Illegal Pete's, The Walnut Room, Pirelli, Puma, Speedmetal, Foothills Triumph, EBC Brakes, and Woodcraft. Lacy for the pit help. And all my friends out at the races, fuck there's alot of you, to many to name! See you all at round 2 at PPIR on the 22nd and 23rd May!!
After going through the head and degreeing the cams she made 6 more horse power and 1 more ft.lb of torque. It brought the midrange power up and smoothed out the powerband even more. Plus with the race kit valve springs it should be even more reliable! Gotta thank Marty for use of his shop, Kevin at Foothills for doing the head, Bart over at Faster for giving me a lesson in cam timing, Brownie for helping me get the motor back in the bike, Swift for letting me use his paint booth and guns, and Fish for painting with me and making a big mess... Thanks dudes! Things are looking up! We're heading out to HPR for a couple of days of practice this weekend, I can't wait! carl
Well, since the season starts in like 2 months I guess it's time to quit stalling and get some shit done with the bike. The motor in my 06 Daytona has never been opened until now. It was running good all the way through last season, but it's got almost 12k miles on it and about 6k of those are race miles, so I need to at the very least replace valve springs. The last thing I need is to float a valve half way through the season and have the whole motor blow up. So, here's stage one, getting the motor out and getting the head off. Thanks for the help and the use of your shop Marty.
Swift, Fish, and I all did super camp this weekend. It was fucking amazing. I learned a shit load about race lines, turning a motorbike, and most of all balance and body positioning. Here's some shitty iphone pictures...
My name is Carl Sorensen, I live in Centennial Colorado. I work at the Denver shit plant and I race motorcycles. I'm into Triumphs and other British motorbikes, rock and roll, and some other cool and not so cool shit.