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Max's Round One Race Report, Sponsored by Darude

James Carson took this shot, thanks, brah.

Yes. Yes I did (quite vaguely, btw) refer to a 21 year old dance track by a Finnish DJ to lead of a race report. Did you expect anything less from me at this point?


Well, before I get to that, let me address why you should do your off season maintenance before showing up to the track for the first round of the season.

After the last round of the 2021 season, I had big plans to get my bike prepped and be ready for first round. My forks needed to be serviced, my shock was in the same boat, I needed new tires, and don't get me started on that once every four rounds oil spritz. Not a leak, not a weep, but like 15 barely noticeable drops on my boot every few rounds. No idea where it was coming from, but I figured redoing the clutch cover gasket would be a good start while I had the oil out for an oil change.

I had five months to do all that, which was more than enough time...Instead, I played X Box.

Judge me, I deserve it.

Anyway, I left for the track at the usual time...3 hours after I wanted to be there... giving me enough time to put off the oil/tire change for Saturday morning. What's one more day, right?

Saturday started off with perfect weather. Blue skies, no wind, and temps in the 70's. I pulled my tires as the old oil drained and ran them over to CT Racing for a fresh set of Pirelli's. For those of you that tuned in to the Daytona 200, you might remember seeing three Pirelli hats on the podium, making you wonder why Dunlop still gets a contract every year for MotoAmerica. That last bit has nothing to do with my race weekend, I just needed to get it off my chest. Anyway, with the tires being in the tender loving care of CT Racing, I returned to the pit to remove and reseal my clutch cover gasket. The whole suspension needing to be rebuilt thing would have to wait until later.

After putting the wheels back on and safety wiring everything I thumbed the starter for the first time since October, and since it is a Honda the beast fired up with the fury of a dozen sewing machines.

I finally got the bike teched just in time for lunch, meaning I would get my first practice session after the break. The weather after lunch turned into a literal sandstorm. Finally, the Darude reference makes sense. I went out for my first (and only) practice session in the worst conditions I have ever ridden in at the track. The wind was blowing me well beyond my brake markers, and contributed to me running off in turn one. The blustery conditions also made literal foot-wide dirt rivers flow over the track surface at the exit of whatever the turn is before the wheelie bump (I hate Buttonwillow's cutesy names for their corners) and also midway through riverside. Oh, yeah. There were enough tumbleweeds out there that I thought maybe I came out of light speed into the remains of Alderaan.

Then the weather got worse, somehow, when it started to rain.

The rain was off and on for a bit, and then the skies opened. A decision was made to postpone the Saturday races to Sunday morning, so I changed out of my leathers and slipped into a cold beer.

I would talk about my race on Sunday, but nobody really needs to know the details about me finishing second to last.

I only wrote this to give Darude some love.

James Carson got this shot of me bike handling too.

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