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MotoAmerica, Barber 2019

Discussion in 'Race Reports' started by IWANNAGOFAST15, Sep 24, 2019.



    MotoAmericas Championship of Barber Motorsports Park 2019
    Here we are at the last race of the professional season of 2019!! We hit the road Wednesday at noon and drove throughout the night to get ready for move in day Thursday. At 2AM we took a right turn into this beautiful facility called Barber Motorsports Park and were instantly revived with energy after being in zombie driving mode for 14 hrs.
    We attempted to sleep until about 0630 when we decided to call and see if we could sweet talk the hotel into letting us in early. A warm shower and opportunity to change clothes sounded amazing and to our surprise…. They were more then happy to let us check in at 0700!!! Another win for us and the weekend had begun strong and hopeful!! After we cleaned up and ate a hearty breakfast; we went to staging to wait for our name to be called and get going for this amazing weekend ahead.
    We are in and we hit the ground running! We had our paddock and bike setup in about 45mins including completing the new red/white/blue snap together flooring for the first time! We were kind of dumb founded on how everything went so fast and smooth and found ourselves back in the hurry up and wait mode ha-ha. We then started to double/triple check bike parts, bolts, clean, and do anything that would allow us to be ahead of the game. We even got the bike tech’d 10 mins before our allotted time!!! Thank you MotoAmerica!!
    Now we are waiting on fresh Dunlop race tires and our hot pit assignments which wouldn’t be out until the riders meeting (1700/5PM). We had the wagon loaded up with canopy, tables, tv, fuel, generator ready to go. As the day is winding down, I head off to the riders meeting and the team keeps scrubbing and chipping away the little details to make the weekend setup flawless. After the riders meeting, I gather up the team and head out to the track walk so they can experience the view from my eyes on the race bike. We walk the track, discuss scenarios and devise our plan of attack for the weekend. Thursday done, feeling great and team is in great spirits on 2 hours of sleep... Nothing better!
    MotoAmericas Championship of Barber Motorsports Park 2019
    Friday, Practice- Our last teammate meets us at the hotel and away we go to begin the day of
    Memories at 0630. Being my crew is all military veterans we know how to talk to one another and
    delegate operations of what needs to be done. The craziest part was, only my wife and I were familiar
    with what needed to be done. I brought on 2 Veterans that have never done anything to this sort or
    even been around this sport to have a clue. I knew with the stress factors the military offers I had no
    doubt that these guys couldn’t handle anything thrown at them. I was correct. Couldn’t have been
    prouder of how the team worked!!
    Practice time, team meeting. I had never been to Barber and now it additionally offered the
    challenge of brand-new pavement. We needed to be smart and quickly learn and adapt to get up to
    speed. We all talked about me going out and letting me get settled in and figuring out tire pressures
    and geometry and getting the guys up to speed with getting the bike on stands and warmers. Practice
    started out great, familiarization of the track and lowering my lap time every lap…. then we had a rider
    incident of another racer blowing the corner and immediately coming right back to the race line and
    practically t-boning me at 11:22am…. Bummer…. Practice over and I’m heading downtown in an
    ambulance for protocol of safety procedures for concussion. My best lap time from Practice 1 was my
    13th lap(of 14 total laps) completed with a time of 1:37.275
    MotoAmericas Championship of Barber Motorsports Park 2019
    Hospital releases me without any scans, and we are hauling the speed limit back to the track to
    make Qualifying 1 session at 2:30pm… at least that’s what we thought. Turns out MotoAmerica cares
    about there riders and the rider must do more tests just to be sure, safety first!! I passed with flying
    colors but because of protocol I had to sit the rest of the day out and watch from the side lines.
    Bummer but its racing and I was more excited that I was going to be back on the bike Saturday
    Saturday morning, Qualifying 2, Race day 1- Team is ready and so am I!! We walked into our
    pit with a great feeling of getting to work. Immediately everybody went to their assigned tasks and were
    ready for Qualifying 2 (last Chance for me to make the grid). I decided I was going to stay out and just
    push hard. It was going great, but I felt I wasn’t going any faster. Red flag, oh no!! What if I didn’t go
    fast enough to get my team on the grid, what if this is it for the weekend… I enter my pits with a gut
    check in mind and immediately start going over the track on where I know I can push harder and faster.
    Being true to form, veterans have this very hard sense of humor with kicking you while your down to
    make your mind stand back up and get in the fight. That’s exactly what happened, as I jumped off the
    bike, no smiles, no high fives, just going to work on what they had to do. My mind…. I let them down
    and I have no idea if we are making the race, within that instance they all look and yell, WERE IN!!!!!!!!!
    Wow I was jacked!! I ran a Personal best before the red flag and laid down a 1:33.550 lap time which put
    us in the big show and the team wasn’t even last on the grid!!!!!!!
    Race 1-Grid position 26 (34 entrants for Supersport; 29 made qualifying)
    Let’s get it and have some fun!!! As I was out for my sighting lap and knowing
    my team was waiting for me at my grid position, time froze, and I took in the 2
    min lap of being here and being on the grid competing in one of the most
    prestigious PROFESSIONAL road racing classes in America. I was immediately
    remembering all the Veterans names on my tail plate that have given me this
    opportunity. I was remembering all the help from complete strangers that
    believed in me and I was talking into my helmet saying names and thank you.
    MotoAmericas Championship of Barber Motorsports Park 2019
    Race 1 had a decent hole shot and held my ground, I continued to learn
    and figure out the track more and more until, I high-sided in the 2nd to
    last corner in what I almost couldn’t describe besides as a learning
    experience. I wasn’t doing anything different on entry or exit but when
    I was at apex of the corner, the rear was still sliding, until it wasn’t.
    Dammit, I ran to the bike to salvage the race, but the front brake
    reservoir was broke off and the throttle was stuck with a bent clip on. I
    immediately felt my face go white as I began thinking about my team
    and their hard work… as I stated previously about veteran humor, its
    immediately what they did to me by making me laugh and sharing how
    excited they were about being at the races. Wow, could I get any
    luckier to have these people around me? In total I completed 13 of the
    19 lap race; with my best race lap time on lap 10 with a 1:33:869. I was
    on my way to putting it all together with lap 11 having my best time in segment 4 (15.967), lap 12 having
    my best time in segment 3 (24.280) and lap 13 with my best time in segment 1 (16.441)
    We spent the rest of the night rebuilding the bike and for some odd
    reason, I had teams kicking in parts without me even asking. It was shocking. We
    had the bike back together by 8PM and was time to head back to hotel and get
    ready for race 2.
    Race 2-The middle of the night I woke up to a spasming shoulder that I couldn’t control and was
    spreading through my neck and to the other shoulder. After about 20 mins of pain it finally calmed back
    down and I returned to sleep. I woke up early to start stretching and rolling my body… that was the plan
    any ways. As I tried to put weight onto my arm to pick my upper torso out of bed, I had my shoulder
    feel like it was parting ways. I had a team discussion and said I don’t think I can safely ride the bike if
    something happens or even if everything goes right. Without hesitation they immediately told me not to
    ride and we already did what we came here to do, which was to learn, adapt, evolve, and get ready for
    next season! That’s how we ended the weekend. We went to the track and supported the rest of the
    event and traveled back home to go back to our regularly scheduled jobs with 2 hours of sleep and are
    still trading texts about the weekend as I type. I hope this is worth the read and I can get into detail of
    areas if you’d like to discuss.
    Thank you,
    Tony Blackall
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