Ryan Waldo #76 – Pala Raceway Race Report

My summer break from racing finally ended and we were back at it for Round 6 of the WORCS Series at Pala Raceway in Pala, CA. It was nice being greeted with cooler temperatures in the mid 80’s coming from the 115 degree temperatures in Arizona! Finally we had a track that I was very motocross based with big technical jumps and fast turns. Practice on Friday went smoothly and I felt very fast on the motocross section. The desert section was short, narrow and extremely rocky. Overall, I enjoyed the track and was ready to race!

Production A (Sautrday)

DSC_0140I came to the line early and got a good starting line to the first hairpin right hand corner. When the flag flew I got a great jump and came out of the first corner in third. I held third through the motocross section and as we entered the desert, I picked a bad line through a multi-lined section and dropped to fourth. As soon as we got out of the dusty desert we dropped down into a flat quarry section where I made my pass back for third immediately and gained fast on second. As soon as we entered the motocross section, which I felt like was my strongest section of the track, I was all over second and ended up making a pass through the air to take the position. From then on I put down consistent laps and even clocked the fastest lap of the race on lap two! I held second until the checkers and finished 18 seconds behind first. I was extremely happy to be back on the podium for my first time since round one, but unfortunately both of my hands had painful sores on them and I had to figure out how to fix them for the Pro-Am race the next day.

Pro-Am (Sunday)

We were the last race of the weekend when the track was at its roughest and the sun was the hottest. I ended up getting fifth gate pick because I’m currently sitting fifth in points. As far as my hand sores, I bandaged and taped them up as best as I could, and I hoped they wouldn’t effect me. Once again, we had a dead engine start, and when the flag flew it took my quad two kicks to start, and I was almost dead last off of the line. I made a few quick passes and by the end of lap one I made my way up to fifth. By the third lap I made my way up to fourth and the track was very rough with more and more rocks popping up in all the ruts. When I dropped down into the quarry I took a different line that had a huge hidden bump in the middle of it and went over the bars. I got up as quick as I could and the bike took ahwile to start which made me drop down to 6th. I got right back into my old pace and got fifth back when my blisters started getting to me. The sweat made the bandages come off and it was just raw skin touching the grips. This forced me to have to ride with just finger tips, which was near impossible in the rough rocks and slowed me down quite a bit. I was in a battle with third and fourth place at the time, and now I just had to try and stay consistent and finish in the top 5. I ended up crossing the line in fifth place! I was a little bit disappointed that my hands kind of put a dampener on my race, but its all part of the sport, and I was happy to finish in the top 5. I try to look on the positive, and many positive things happened during that weekend. The biggest thing for me was after all the motor troubles I’ve been having, I had both of my quads at the track, and they both performed flawlessly. Also, I am still holding down fifth in Pro-Am points and I came back with some hardware in Production A! Overall, I think I had a great weekend and I cant wait for Round 7 at Glen Helen. Thank you for your continued support, I couldnt do it without you guys!