More Images from CMRA Endurance Race

More images from Genesta Racing’s maiden foray into CMRA Endurance Racing.  M2TX was part of the team.  It seems that the team members also earned some nicknames over the weekend so we’ll see if they stick:

Cap’n Bill (a.k.a.  Cap’n Crunch) gets an aggressive start and immediately makes a couple of passes in the first lap (we started from last on the grid since we were the latest entrants)

Rockstar taking his turn (wearing his Safermoto.com MV-2 airbag vest)…

…and entering Turn 7  at the end of the back straight with eventual winner #35 Ridesmart/RPM Cycle piloted by CMRA top  rider and AMA pro, Ty Howard

Coast shows some aggressive lean angle entering a right-hander

and GRRRvich – the team’s fastest rider on Saturday (and literally the brightest guy on thet rack) , attacks an uphill right-hander…

and GRRRvich continues to set up the team for a great finish,with the #35 Ridesmart/RPM Cycle bike right behind…

…and Cap’n Bill brings us home – successfully completing our first endurance race!

First 2010 Trackday and Race

It’s been a long, wet, and cold winter season in Texas and we finally made it to the track this past weekend for the Practice/Test session on Friday and the CMRA Endurance Race at Eagles Canyon Raceway in Slidell, TX.   The main sprint bike is still waiting to complete an engine rebuild so Carlo decided to focus on Saturday’s endurance race – where he is part of Genesta Racing’s Endurance Team.  Genesta is a new team, along with new members so there was a lot of learning experiences for this first weekend – including getting the bike sorted out (it finally came together the evening prior to the first practice day) – so cosmetics were not part of the plan for this round.

Friday was Carlo’s first time on a motorcycle since early December so he had to get the cobwebs cleaned out after the 3-month layoff.  The good news is that the off-season conditioning program and weight loss (he came in 1 lb. below target at 174 lbs) didn’t get him tired – but that doesn’t mean that the bike-specific muscles were going to be ready.    It will take a few more weekends to get bike-fit and he hopes it will all come together by the next Endurance round at TWS in April.

Some images courtesy of Lesan from |mist| photography :

Sunday’s pit area – for a first time team, Genesta was well supported (we also had a covered garage leased from ECR for the weekend).

A pit-stop

Bikes line hot pit just prior to the race

Genesta Racing- Carlo, Paul, Sean, and Bill (Team Captain)

Bill leaves the pit

Bill at speed during the race

Carlo coming down the front straight on the #37 Genesta Racing SV650

The team finished 19th overall (out of 34) beating out some very fast teams by focusing on this weekend’s goal – to finish the 6-hr Endurance race.  The team had to overcome a few slight mechanical issues (brake reservoir mount came off  during the race, and the motor was running hot during practice), as well as a low-speed crash during the last 2 hrs of the race.  We were all pretty happy with 5th place in the Formula 2 Class as well – even revising our rider stint strategy to help keep our place.

We look forward to the next round on April 10th at Texas World Speedway in College Station, TX.

Thanks to the CMRA for hosting a great event, Maggie and the Eagles Canyon Raceway staff for their hospitality (the table worked out great), and Lesan for helping us with our pit-stops by being in-charge of the fire extinguisher!

We also thank our sponsors – SaferMoto.com, Woodcraft-CFM, Sharkskinz, Bridgestone Tires – South Central Race Center, Motopia, Cycle Gear, Chicken Hawk Tire Warmers, and Lockhart-Philips.

Off-Season Conditioning

Since the season ended in October, I’ve noticed that I wasn’t as good with my diet and noticed that my weight started creeping up. Nothing too major, 2-4 lbs over my ‘race weight’ , and I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal losing it again.  Of course, the holidays followed, and then a vacation and when I got back, I was now 184 lbs – 9lbs over where I wanted to be.  I decided right there that I was going to be back down to 175 lbs by the end of Feb.  With my first race in mid March, I wanted to not only get back to weight, but also increase my fitness level and get rid of that excess fat (it is also a bit cheaper than replacing parts on the bike with titanium, or carbon fiber).

First, I started getting to the gym more regularly and increased the cardio time per session.  My workouts would consist of alternating days of ‘long’ sessions on the stationary bike (intervals of 1:30 followed by 30 seconds of rest lasting about 25-30 minutes) and ‘short’ sessions (about 15 minutes -which was just warm-up).  I would pair up the ‘long’ sessions with less taxing weight training such as abs or shoulders, or upper back, and pair up the ‘short’ sessions with leg training like squats or chest.  I would make it a point to do an ab work-out every session though I would vary volume and intensity depending on the day – since a strong core is critical to being able to ride fast for a whole endurance race stint.  I kept the weight training pretty heavy so I can try to keep my muscle mass while losing fat and I kept to efficient exercises – full squats for legs, bench press and dips for chest, weighted pull-ups for backs, and every other week, I’d also insert a clean-and-press routine.  If I felt tired, I would avoid the big lifts and just do abs or lower back or shoulders.

Keeping with the Red, Silver, and Black theme from the racebikes…

I also tried to motivate myself since I don’t do well when I didn’t know what I was training for.  During my vacation, I got roped into doing a 10k ‘easy’ run without training and while I completed the run, I was pretty sore the next few days (though I did get to recover on the long plane flight on the way back home).  After my first week of working out, I decided to sign up for a local YMCA 5k run to get a ‘baseline’ on my fitness level.  I’ve had problems with my foot last year so I was a little apprehensive but I tested myself out with a 3 mile run at the treadmill and seem to hold up ok.  On race day last Sunday, I completed the race and while the course was hilly and the weather was windy and chilly, I still completed the 5k in 26:07.  Not too bad for a baseline!  In fact, it was good enough for 25th (out of 139) and took 1st in my age group (among 10 runners – who were probably in worst holiday shape than me…but hey – the medal was nice).  I did know that I had to keep my cardio levels up as my weight started slowly dipping down again, but I was also aware that I couldn’t get all my cardio from running.  During the summer last year, I would swim in the mornings but the 40F degree water temp with the current Texas winter, wouldn’t be any fun at all.  Seeing that some of the top pro motorcycle racers were turning to cycling as an off-season cross-training sport – I thought I’d give it a try.  I picked up some gear and decided to pick up a road bicycle and I’m looking forward to adding that to my fitness routine.

It’s been 2 weeks since getting back from vacation and I’m now at a little below 180lbs.  Just 5 more lbs to go and 5 weeks to do it!  Our first trackday test session will be on 2/28/2010 (if the weather cooperates) and it would be great to get back into motorcycle racing at a fairly high level of fitness.  First race weekend with CMRA will be in mid-March and I can’t wait! – Carlo #185

Hello 2010!

It’s still the ‘off-season’ with our first race scheduled for mid March, so we’ve been spending time on maintenance – both on the bike and the rider!  The 2 SV racebikes will be the main bikes for the 2010 CMRA Race Season and so far, we’ve done the following:

Superstock SV650

  1. Motor replaced with a fresher 2006 motor.  In addition, hoses and thermostat were cleaned out.  The new motor was also safety-wired to meet CMRA tech inspection.
  2. New battery: the old battery was starting to struggle so a new battery should keep it firing up with a push of a button.

The new motor and transmission works much better than the previous 2004 motor and the bike is almost ready to go with just a few ergonomic adjustments to the shifter.

Superbike SV650

  1. Rebuilt motor: The motor is in the process of getting refreshed/rebuilt.  Nothing too fancy since we still have a lot of room to grow with respect to skills so the priority is reliability.  All work will still conform to Superstock rules so that we have the option to move this motor to the superstock bike in the future
  2. Suspension refresh: This bike’s suspension was never set-up for our rider so Jim Cambora from Raceworx has worked his magic and it now sports .925 springs in the stock forks, along with Traxxion Dynamics emulators and damping rod.  The two-way Ohlin shock in the rear has also been refreshed and the weak spring replaced with a 500# spring that suits Carlo’s weight better.
  3. Adding quick turn throttle
  4. Replacing Air Filter with BMC filter

Nothing too crazy right now but we may go for a more aggressive build next year when we have more expeirience under our belt!

As for rider maintenance – it’s similar to a lot of people – offseason and holiday weight gain!  Race weight is targeted to be 175lbs and coming back from vacation, it was 184lbs.  Carlo is working pretty hard between now and March to get back to 175lbs using a combination of cardio and resistance training.  For cardio, he’s been alternating between the treadmill and the stationary bike though he’s preparing to do a 5K race to help him get motivated (it’s easier for a racer to get motivated when he’s preparing for a race!).  As an endurance stint will probalby be about an hour at the most, he’ll be training up to 10K distances for running, and also will be including cycling in the mix. When the weather starts cooperating, swimming will also be included in the cross-training rotation. Who knows, maybe even something like a duathlon or triathlon to go for next offseason? The goal is to get leaner so he can retain his strength on the bike.

Finally, some exciting news – M2TX has a new sponsor for the 2010 season – SaferMoto.com!  We’ll be doing a feature write-up when we finally get to go on the track with their MV-2 vest – it has an airbag built into it! Stay tuned!

Wrapping up 2009!

With the weather being sunny and a high of 65, last Sunday was  a perfect way to have the last day on the track for 2009 (unless we have another REALLY nice day next weekend).  With the overnight lows in the low 30’s, we waited until the track temperature was about 60 degrees at 11am and went out for a quick session on the R6.  We started pushing a little bit more until the 4th session when we were able to run a 2:13 – still about 10 seconds off a good pace but we were having some issues with the brakes feeling spongy that didn’t help with confidence.  We later noticed that we didn’t fill up the brake reservoir past the ‘low’ mark when we bled it last time so a lesson has been learned there!

On the 5th and 6th sessions of the day, Carlo switched to the superstock SV650 (the one with the newly-installed motor) and even though it has been over 2 months since he last pushed the SVs, was able to settle into several 2:14’s.  Nothing to write home about, since that is about 6-7 sec slower than the lap times he ran in August, but given the old tires and the long lay-off, it doesn’t seem like it would take much to start dipping under the 2:10 mark again as soon as we get some testing into next season.  The time spent on the R6 helped Carlo get used to more power so the SV felt much less intimidating, especially entering the harder braking turns.

We’re now focusing on getting the Superbike SV650 ready for next season. The suspension has been refreshed and the motor is in the process of being refreshed as well.  Nothing fancy since we value reliability over power, and we have decided to leave it in superstock trim for next year.  It’ll be ready for testing by February, and fully prepped for the first race weekend in March.

Looking back over the past year, we’ve learned quite a bit, not only about riding, but also about the different motorcycles and how each feel.  We’ve also  been able to achieve some goals – such as completing the requirements and earning a CMRA Race Licence in preparation for next year’s campaign. 2009 has been an amazing year of learning and we look forward to an even more successful 2010!  Happy Holidays!

M2TX participates in successful 2nd Annual ECR Toy Run

M2TX not only participated, but Carlo was appointed Bike Coordinator for the 2nd Annual Eagles Canyon Raceway Toy Run. The event was a tremendous success with about 100 drivers and riders on the track throughout the day, and bringing canned goods and toys. The canned goods will be donated to the local food bank, while the toys will be making a lot of children happy for the holidays.  In addition, proceeds from the track day will also be used to support additional charities such as area shelters.

The weekend did not have the best start as Saturday’s rain and cold conditions (the track temperature was right at 40F ) forced the bikes to forego the track.  Sunday, which was forecasted for a high of 70F also had a miserable start with foggy conditions prevailing until about 11 am.  However, once the sun came through, the track warmed up quickly and the first bike group was out at 11:20.  Some notables included professional racer Ty Howard, doing some testing on his new #35 KTM RC8R racebike which he will be campaigning for the 2010 season, as well as several other CMRA racers.

Carlo spent most of the day coaching the newer riders, and doing some lead-and-follow sessions around the track.  However, the slower sessions provided an opportunity to get the new motor settled in on the Superstock SV650.  Save for a minor issue with the shift lever needing some adjustment, it ran very well and we’re looking forward to testing it out at full speed at the next trackday.  We will also be shifting focus back to the SV650 since we will be racing SV650’s throughout 2010, not only in the Sprint Classes but also as part of Genesta Racing’s Endurance Team.

In other news, M2TX will be announcing its newest sponsor very soon and we’re very excited!

New Sponsor for 2010 and testing notes

We’re welcoming Lockhart Phillips USA to our list of sponsors and we look forward to their support in 2010.  Lockhart Phillips is one of the largest retailers and distributors of motorcycle and ATV parts so we are looking forward to helping represent them!  In fact, we were having some difficulties with the current rearsets on the R6 due to the lack of a heel guard.  After a quick call to LP – we now have a new set on the way!

We also had a chance to get some good sessions at Eagles Canyon Raceway with the R6.  With help from Jim Cambora of Raceworx (the suspension guru!), we lowered the R6 front (4mm), raised the rear (4mm), and made some preload adjustments and was able to run a 2:12 on the bike.  We’re still working on getting comfortable on it so it definitely was not bad for the 2nd full test day on the bike and the first one at ECR.  We have another test day on Friday (which is getting more and more difficult as the weather gets colder) at Cresson so we hope to continue to learn the new bike. We’ll likely only get half a day but we hope to be out for 4 sessions.  We got much better tire wear at ECR this time so we hope the suspension changes also work at Cresson.  Just a quick oil change and the R6 should be ready for Friday.