Yuriko Nishi wins her 2nd MotoSL GP of the season
A fine day for racing on SL and a fine turnout of 25 racers to compete in Round 3 of the current season . The MotoSL calendar runs with 2 races then a week off , so there is a 2 week break before next race, meaning 2 weeks of practice leading up to race day , being round 3 , it was one of those races . Having 2 weeks to prepare, a good amount of drivers show up race day razor sharp and the anticipation for a tight race is tangable .
Qualify was fast with Holden Saunders setting a quick early pace that only landed him 5th on grid after all 25 racers finished qualification, Yuriko Nishi grabbed her first career pole position, with Annie Guffler 2nd, Jafo T. 3rd , Crippy O. 4th , Holden 5th , and Suzy Cuddihy 6th after she advanced from a Group B victory.
This was a day of good races from beggining to end, low lag... allowing the riders to put all the hard practice to work, Group D started the day with some close racing between IDK Racing's Yamaha Harley and AM Pro rider Spdx Exonar , with Yamaha prevailing in the end.
Group C was another good race, with a twist of heart break, RaceSL contributor and Racers Island team captain Raver Bellow was running away with the race by half way , with most of the action for 2nd place between Just Catteneo and ZT captain Stang Voom . On the last lap Raver came on too strong approaching traffic near the tunnel and he went down after a collision, Just made most of his chances and brought home the win .
Group B race was nothing short of exciting , especialy since it was BikerSites.com rider Motorato Ware taking to the grid for first time this season . A little messy at the start , a different person crossed the line in 1st the first 3 laps , Ram Pharoah and Suzy Cuddihy dueling in the front , but Ram crashed Lap 4 , allowing Suzy into 1st and Just Catteneo to move up to 2nd and in close pursuit of Suzy.
Generaly a pack of riders fighting it out is a blessing for riders trying to make up time and Moto made most of this with steady riding the first 8 laps allowing her to eventualy catch the lead group of 3 riders. Laps 9 and 10 the top 4 are extremely tight with lead group all within 3 seconds of leader , Just fell back , with Moto getting by into 3rd, then Ram Pharoah slips on the grass and Moto slips into 2nd, while Suzy Cuddihy starts to make a gap in the lead and run with it .
Last 2 laps were close and exciting, with 2 skilled riders... Moto Ware and Just Catteneo fighting it out for 2nd, came down to the last turn of the last lap , they were literaly exchanging paint side by side, slowing each other with contact, but Just was able to slip passed and grabbed 2nd , Moto 3rd, AM Pro rider TFOX Tommas grabbed 4th from Ram who finished 5th and Brave Ashbourne, who had even a rougher day than me =p finished 6th .
Group A , im sitting 4th on the grid remembering earlier in the day we were casualy joking about how dangerous it is to start in the middle of the pack, at front or back being preferable. staring at Annie Guflers back knowing Suzy was behind me staring at mine .
The lights go out and Yuriko jumps fast from pole and gets the hole shot into 1st. I also get a good jump at the start , while Annie doesnt get such a good one , the result is we come together at the tunnel entrance and im in 6th coming out the tunnel . Yuriko leads, with Jafo 2nd , Holden 3rd. Jafo holds 2nd place till a 3rd lap slip sends him down to the cellar with Suzy and me .
I trailed both of them as they swapped positions and paint for a few laps , untill Jafo rubbed out on the outside tunnel wall . Although I got to see most of this race from last place, opportunities did come my way, i stayed steady enough to pass the people i was chasing when they made mistakes, but i failed to capitilize.... crashing out after getting 2 big breaks , up to 4th , but back to last before much more than a lap passed.
Meanwhile a big slip by Annie in 3rd, and mistakes by Suzy and myself let Jafo work his way from last place lap back to 3rd by lap 12. At the front Yuriko ran a strong crash free race, with Holden Saunders stalking her within 4 seconds the whole race, a great performance by both riders, kudos to Holden for doing what he needed to do to win this race, but thats not a easy prospect if the person you are chasing for the win makes no mistakes.
Grats to Yuriko on her 2nd victory in 3 races, she leads the season currently, with Annie in 2nd , Jafo 3rd, Crippy 4th , Holden 5th , and unfortunately Josephina Gears of BikerSites.com team did not make the race, she fell to 6th but still also with striking distance of the top with some steady performances in upcoming races.
Next race is Saturday November 1st at Mooz on the "Iron" layout , a tough chicane that will make or break many racers day . Returning this week we have Silk Bamboo's wonderfull stat presentations hosted on Bikersites.com at http://www.bikersites.com/sl/racesl/. Also we have the SLodcast video of this race from perspective of race winner Yuriko Nishi and the other races so far this season at the Slodcast site http://www.motosl.slodcast.com/.