The gate has dropped on the opening round of Quadcross Northwest! With that comes fun, good friends, and lots to talk about. Let’s dive on in and take a closer look at this past weekend.
My week leading up to this race was actually pretty crazy. Everything had to be packed Wednesday because I’d be working almost nonstop until we left Friday afternoon. The five hour drive had everything, from I-5 traffic, to hail and snow, to double rainbows. Our camper is in for it’s annual inspection so we crashed at Casa De Fain for the night. After some chatting and Suzuki repairing we hit the hay.
Being that this is the opening round, and my first race ever, I didn’t exactly get a whole lot of sleep in. The jitters were pretty unreal, but anxiety will do that to you. It mixed nicely with my allergic reaction to mornings. Setting all of that aside, we headed out on a chilly, but stunningly beautiful morning, and arrived at Horn Rapids.
Practice definitely started out a little rough. I learned quickly that in a big practice group, you have to get a good spot and go as soon as things start or you get buried in the pack, and roost. Second practice went much better though and I was able to get a pretty good feeling for things. The conditions for the track were awesome, which was pretty great.
After that was my first moto of the day. Despite being one of the last to pick a gate, I got an inside spot with a straight shot at the inside of the first turn. My reaction to the drop was good and I grabbed third pretty quick. The person to my right lined up only six inches or so from me and made pretty good contact about ten feet out. I had to move left to get him out from under my nerf bar and once I did I hammered the throttle hard. Somehow I managed to get a great start, but through the first turn I lost a few spots and had to dodge some pileups. From there I just rode the most consistent laps I could and made a pass or two. I was definitely riding my own race at that point and didn’t know who was where. Towards the end I settled into 6th until a rider went down. He charged hard and jumped to the inside of me a few feet from the finish.
Moto number two also started out great. I was able to get the same gate again and got another good start towards the front. I had to check up big time in the first turn, then tried to go outside in the second turn. Apparently the outside had moved down the berm four feet or so and I lost a few more positions. I pushed hard and rode consistently to end up back in 6th again, making two passes around the outside of riders in the straight aways. Finding room to pass wasn’t easy as many of the inside lines were too slow. On lap four I went far outside before the final rhythm section and elected to double through for the first time. This helped me catch 5th place and on the last lap I tried to take that line again to make the pass. He wasn’t jumping the section and was in my line so I had to check up on the last jump and try to cut under. We crossed the line with my front tire at his rear wheel.
The first day really took it’s toll on me physically, and with my lack of energy going into the weekend I wasn’t able to recover at all for day two. An infected blood blister on my left palm also created a grip issue for me and I made the decision to call it a weekend in the interest of safety and longevity. Still, I stuck around for the first set of Sunday motos. There were some great battles, and unfortunately some big get-offs especially in C where I rode the day before. It felt good to rest and watch some awesome racing, and help with Pit Traffic prizes, but I’ll be looking ahead to Straddleline for some more track time!