Well, after just a two week break to wash all the nasty Canyon mud off our quads and fix any problems, we were back at it again for Round Two in Primm, NV. Primm is a sand track, and is notorious for getting very whooped out and square edged. On top of that, a cold front rolled in over the weekend, along with a little bit of rain Friday night to make for a cold and windy weekend. Last year at Primm, it was my first ever Pro-Am, and I definitely struggled getting used to the longer race, and I was hoping to turn things around this year. Unfortunately, I was plagued with a little bit of bad luck, but I did the best I could with what I had!
Production A (Saturday)
With 22 riders on the asphalt starting gate that bottle necked into a very narrow first turn, a good start would be nessecary to avoid any pile-ups. When the green flag flew, I came out with a mid-pack start and headed out into the rough desert for 50 minutes. I felt great through the whoops, my Lonestar/Elka suspension made the track feel flat! The track was super one-lined and it was hard to make passes, if you got out of the rut, the deep sand would bog you down. I sat in ninth place for the first two laps, and I was all over the guys in front of me, but I could only pass when they made a bobble or mistake. About a lap and a half into the race, I noticed white smoke bellowing out of my engine, and realized that wasnt good, but kept pushing. Just as I was starting to make passes, I came around a turn and hit the throttle, but my quad bogged down almost to a stop. I saved it from stalling, but whenever I hit the throttle hard it would bog badly. I could only cruise around the track in first gear at half throttle to keep going. When I made it to the pits, I stopped to get it checked out, and found that a rock shot up and busted a hole in my radiator, causing me to lose all of my coolant. I limped it around the track one more time to get as many points as I could, and I ended up crossing the line in 19th place. I did not qualify for the Pro-Am and the only way I could get in is if the 24 man gate didn’t fill up. The only way I could know if it was full or not was about 3 hours before the race on Sunday morning. So I had to wait and hope I could get a spot!
Thankfully, the race did not fill up and I got a spot in the main! I was very relieved, but I had another problem, my bike was not ready to ride. My new race bike’s motor blew up a week before Round 1, so I had been riding my practice bike for the past two rounds. I only had one bike, with me, and it had some major damage. To my suprise, and out of great generousity, my good friend and sponsor, Adam Barnes from Lonestar offered to let me use his quad! I switched my shocks and tires over to it, and got it as ready as possible. I got 4th gate pick because I was sitting fourth in Pro-Am points and found a good line to the first turn. Once again, it was a dead engine start, which I seem to be pretty good at, and as the flag dropped, my quad fired first kick, my Maxxis tires hooked up and pulled me to a third place start! This was my first test on Adam’s bike, and I was feeling good on it! As we got out into the desert the track was even rougher than yesterday, and square-edges were popping up everywhere. Thankfully, I had my Flexx Handlebars to take the jolt away when I hit them! In the middle of the first lap, my throttle side grip was slowly sliding off, and soon enough it fell completely off. I now had an hour and forty-five minutes of riding to look forward to with no grip… A combiniation of the rough track and slippery metal handlebar slowed me down quite a bit, and at one point, I dropped back to ninth. Halfway into the race, I dug deep, and picked up my laptimes to try and gain some positions back. In the last 30 minutes of the race, I gained two spots back and crossed the line in 7th place out of 22 riders. Considering my circumstances, I was happy with my finish, and proud that I didnt give up. My finish also boosted me up to third place in Pro-Am points! I am expecting a much better weekend at Lake Havasu for Round 3 and I’ll be training hard over the break.
Thank you for your continued support, I couldnt do it without you!
Ryan Waldo #76