Saturday 2nd June - Day Two at Road America
2 Jun 2012
|Saturday 2nd June over here in the USA seems a long way away from Queen’s Birthday Weekend back in New Zealand!
We breakfasted at the hotel, once again the Speed TV guys were there and we passed the time of day. After breakfast we went to see our new-found friends Jeff and Travis at the Z Spot café, and had our flat whites – bliss!!
Out to the track, arrived there before the VIP suites opened at 9.00am so we went for a wander in the pits. I’d done a reasonable job of videoing the crash of the M4 rider yesterday. It was Robertino Pietri, who is in his first season on a Superbike. We called into the M4 pits and they were very keen to see the video. They got Robertino over to meet us and hooked the video camera up to their laptop. Robertino couldn’t remember the crash, so he was very pleased to see what had happened. He’s got some broken ribs and a very sore hand. We left them a copy of the video and carried on walking around the pits.
We got talking with Jake Zemke’s team – nice guys. They are struggling for cash, so I gave them a small donation. They told us to come back tomorrow and they’d have a team shirt for us, signed by Jake and all the team. I was very surprised and said that I didn’t need anything for my money, but they insisted. So looks like you’ll see a photo of it tomorrow. They were working on Jake’s bike – see photo for stripped down Ducati 848.
After leaving Jake’s pit we went to Jordan Burgess’s pit. He’s an Australian guy that we know, who’s been doing AMA racing for a couple of seasons now. There was a guy standing outside the pit who had an Australian Superbike cap on, so I got chatting. Turns out it was Jordan’s Dad Peter. Nice guy.
The weather was fine and quite windy, it was very pleasant temperature. We went up to our VIP suite, up above the start/finish line. The same ladies who were the hostesses last year were there again, it was nice to see them again as they were delightful. We chose our seats and settled in for the racing to start, after the race fan ride-around (they must have got to ride round the track about six or more times), the two-up rides (no thanks, I’d rather be in control of the throttle and brake!) and the opening ceremony where a member of the Military sang “The Star Spangled Banner” – very moving.
Then it was on to the main event – the races. The Daytona SportBike race was very good. Jake Zemke on the Ducati came in 4th but it was still great to see him out there. A few minutes before the Superbike race was due to start (the last race of the day) all of a sudden it started to rain so they declared it a wet race and delayed the race start to give the guys time to decide what tyres to use. The wind got up very strong too, and all of a sudden the Yoshimura Suzuki tent, which was anchored to one side of their huge transporter, blew up and inside-out over the roof of the transporter. They had some big buckets of water to hold it down, and they literally went flying and ended up about 50 metres away. It was really scary.
Josh Hayes won the Superbike race by about 10 seconds, followed by Blake Young who was about seven seconds ahead of third place. The race was red flagged as it started to rain again.
When the Superbike riders came to the podium, I went down with our big New Zealand flag. The Speed cameras filmed me when they came past, very exciting!!
After the racing was over we got chatting to some local guys in the VIP suite, then we met some other local guys on the way back to the car, and got nattering to them. We stayed in the carpark yakking for about 45 minutes.
Back at Sheboygan we got McDonalds and came back to the hotel. As we were driving in, all the Speed TV guys were there unpacking their cars…they told us I’d been on the TV!!
One more day of racing to go….