Wednesday, 7 September 2016
Springfield and Santa Rosa
There was another great race at Springfield last weekend. If you haven't seen the result, I won't mention it. Click fanschoice.tv to watch the 25-lapper. It'll take less that 18 minutes of your life and this is one of the few mains of the season that didn't get red flagged and restarted.
Mile racing is what people think of when they think of dirt track, but there isn't often the same excitement as good short track racing. This race is an example of cat and mouse and pure racecraft. I loved it.
Also on the agenda for this post: the commentators, Chris Carr and Scotty Deubler, regularly refer to Bryan Smith's appeal. Not a lot has been said about this on public AMA channels at least, just that it happened. Here's what I know....
At the previous race, the Central NY Half-Mile on August 20, Smith came second to championship leader, and reigning champ, Jared Mees. Meanwhile, there was a protest, it seems, by Mees' Las Vegas H-D, Rogers' Racing team about Smith's Crosley Kawasaki.
READ ABOUT BRYAN SMITH'S RADICAL CROSLEY KAWASAKI TWIN IN SB26
The protest, from what I can discover, was about an overweight rear wheel. If you're not 100% embedded in flat track that may sound strange. Every other motorsport spends £1000s making their wheels lighter, right? Well, yes, but a heavier rear wheel, in some circumstances and only up to a point - you wouldn't want a lead wheel, aids traction. Because of this, there is an upper weight limit in the AMA Pro Racing rulebook, for complete wheel and tyre assembly.
Riders fit the heaviest, heavy-duty tubes to help their bikes hook up, some riders have even been known to fill tubes with water rather than air to weight a rear wheel, but no one would risk that at an AMA race. So Smith was disqualified and his team appealed. Some buzz is saying they had approval to run the wheel and tyre assembly that later led to their disqualification.
Below is the report from AMA Pro Racing's tech log. It doesn't mention any pre-approval.
Santa Rosa Mile.
Conspiracy theorists are pointing to this being the XR750's final year and H-D doing everything they can to win the title. Firstly, teams are still going to race XR750s. No private teams are going to ditch the XR for an unproven XG750 until they're forced to, and XRs are still legal as far as I'm aware. Indian have just entered with a bespoke race engine, that has no production bikes roots.
Others point out that Mees was accused and proven to use banned tyre softening chemicals last season, but didn't lose points. Other conspiracy theorists point out that Mees now does a burn out celebration to cover up his continued use of those chemicals. I don't believe he'd risk getting caught and losing a hatful of points, he's too good and is always in with a chance of a win/podium, but what do I know?
I'll tell you what I know, Santa Rosa is going to be a great, high pressure finally. Including 2016, the season has gone down to the final race, between Mees and Smith three times in a row now. Bryan Smith has been second in the championship the previous three years (to Baker is 2013, the Mees twice). But don't believe he's going to win just because it's his turn. Ask Dani Pedrosa about coming second...
Our good friends at the CFTA are involved with promoting the Mile race. CFTA head man, Randy Kremlacek, has contributed features to Sideburn for years, before he got to busy race promoting.
There is going to be racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
And it sounds like Sideburn is going to be there! G