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Comprehensive Online Parts Manual - MC16 | MC21 | MC28
Our very own Charles Gallant gives us an insight into what a days racing is like at the famous Sears Point raceway in California. Having only recently acquired the MC28 racer, he was entering into the relatively unknown!
RACE REPORT: May 29th, and 30th. Infinion Raceway (Sears Point)
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Saturday started out pretty early; 4:00 AM to be exact. Since the van was loaded, I just had to take a shower and put the cooler in the van with me. I got out on the road, and found the traffic was light at this time of the morning. Within a record 2 hours, I was at the track.
I found a good spot for my pits, and started to unload all of my equipment. Got the pits setup, and started getting the bike ready for tech (scrutineering to those in the UK!) The MC28 went through tech with the no problems except for the disappointment of being assigned to practice group 1! I guess since last month I was running just at the cut off time, it meant I was still in the lower group. The AFM didn't have the records of the day after the last months' race where I dropped another five seconds, putting me into the second groups time by that five seconds.
Practice seemed to get a little late start this weekend. Didn't seem to get out onto the track until 9:00 AM. Session one sucked! It seemed like a lot of the people in group 1 were actually just learning how to ride motorcycles. The lack of clean lines, and slow riders really made it fun though. By the second session of the morning, I had enough practice passing riders - I figured passing the majority of the group more then once during a practice session meant I was doing just fine.
I brought my time sheets to tech, showed them 2:02's, and asked to be moved to group 2. They gave me a new sticker, and I was happy again. Since the morning started slow, and kept up the same pace, we got only two sessions in before lunch. I grabbed a nap while it wasn't that loud.
After lunch, things went as slow as they did prior to lunch. Only two more sessions for a total of four practice sessions for each group all day. Can't figure it out, as I swear we used to get at least six on a full practice day. I ran the same times for the remainder of the day. At least I felt confident in my times, and the bike felt comfortable. I figured I was just letting myself get used to the new constant times, and make sure I was comfortable there before I started to move to the next level.
On the last practice session, my clutch was really slipping coming out of turns 7 and 11. They are slow corners, with straights after them. Basically, you get on it hard after the exit, and the clutch wasn't doing well. After the last session of the day, I decided to swap out the fiber plates. Since it's an SE, this took no time at all!  I got my pit area cleaned up, and headed to the hotel.
Couple of my friends needed places to stay, so I shared my hotel room with them. We added to the night by watching Torque. What a movie! When I grow up I want to ride like they do in that movie!    Yeah, we won't hold out breath Chas!! Ed.
Sunday morning was nice, the weather was looking good early on. It was warm by 7 AM with no clouds in the sky. I went through tech, and got the dreaded group 1 practice sticker again. No good in talking the tech people into a group 2 sticker this time, so I figured I would make the most of it.
Does my bum look big in this?!...
Got down to the pre grid, and went out at the end of the second wave of bikes let on the track for practice. I passed up my wave within the first four corners, then caught up and passed the first wave by the last turn! This left me with open track for a couple laps. Got in some good solid low 2's and felt really comfy. I knew this would be a good day for the bike, and myself.
Since I wasn't racing till races 9 and 13, I stripped out of my leathers, and started drinking water. It was going to be a hot and long day! Later in the morning they posted the grids. I was in shock when I found myself on the fourth row of the 250SB grid. Sixteenth position! I found out later it was because I finished seventeenth two months before. And here I thought I was near the back. That's what I get for not looking at the final results from the last race! Little did I know I am a top 20 finisher. The F4 race wasn't as good. I was on the 9th row, but still not bad when your talking about 75 bikes on the start. I was pretty much dead smack in the middle of it all.
The race day was dragging on... too many accidents, and by my first race there were already two medic helicopters called in. The 250SB race came round and I got ready for it. Went out on pre-grid, and got ready for the warm up lap. I ended up behind a friend of mine on an Aprilia RS250. Got to my grid position, and my friend was gridded just in front of me.
After the entire grid got ready, the starting process got underway. The two board went up (click it into first, drop my visor), one (start to rev the bike), sideways (rev, rev, rev!!!)... greenflag - GO!! Slip the clutch, gas, more slip, more gas see a spot on the inside open, dive for it getting a good start... then my multiprocessing mind gives up on one process, and I
dump the clutch the rest of the way out! CRAP!!!!! I lost at least ten to fifteen spots as the grids blows by me!
Turn one is a mess, turn two, a little less, I pass a group on the outside of two, grab some more going into three, a couple more before four, one or two between six and seven, and then I just put my head down, and start pushing hard!
My first lap, I look down, and see a 2:00 on my timer. Excellent!!! I keep the pushing on...
Turn 1 at Sears Point is a fast, on the gas in top gear, left hander. Up a hill, under a bridge, stand it up, drop two gears, and drop it right into a off chamber cresting turn 2... let it drift to the outside, and your on the gas from the apex, standing it up, and getting ready for turn 3. 3 is a left hander that climbs to another cresting turn, 3A, going right. You have now had your knee on the ground for what seems like more time then not since the start finish.
After turn 3A you drop down a hill, and drop a gear for turn 4. Turn 4 is a right hander; you put your knee on the inside candy stripping and drift it out to the opposite edge of the track. You're pretty much getting on the gas, and grabbing gears as you keep it leaned over for turn 5, as you climb up another hill.
At the top of the hill, you sit up, scrub off a little speed, as you decent down into the "Carousal" turn 6. This is a fast, left hander that you can drag a knee for most of the corner. Since you can't see the exit from the start, and the turn goes on for ever, you just trust your instincts, and keep on the gas. As you get to the bottom, you are shoot out onto a straight that brings you up quickly to turn 7.
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Turn 7 is a double apex right hander that puts you 180 degrees from the entrance. On the exit, you are on the gas, dragging a short distance to a couple quick jogs called turn 8, 8a. It's basically candy strip to candy strip, left, right, left. This brings you up a little hill, over a slight cresting turn 8b. You're fully on the gas, leaned over to the right, with your knee on the deck, screaming your head off cause your having the time of your life!
Flick it back to the left for turn 9, and then back to the right for a fast turn 10, still on the gas, and your knee on the ground. Stand it up, and grab some brake as you pass the tower on your right... pop out from behind the tower over looking the drag strip, and drop into turn 11. This is another hairpin right hander, where you basically drop the entire bike onto your knee, and get ready to bring it back up so you can start twisting the throttle. Slip some clutch to get the engine going, pulling the front tire off the ground on the exit, and start grabbing gears for the front straight...
As I looked down at my timer, I started seeing 1:58, 1:57, and then two 1:56's in a row! I was screaming so loud going into turn one I am sure the corner workers heard me. I had the absolute biggest grin on my face, knowing that I was going were I wanted to be for the weekend, and knowing the NSR was simple ready for more!!
Only problem was the race was coming to an end! Yep, the next lap was a checkered flag, and I was ecstatic I had just done my absolute best ever! I had made up (I am thinking) most of the spots I gave up, and had some good dicing with some other racers, passing them as I went.
Did the cool down lap, waving, and grinning my ass off. I know I didn't come in first, but I felt just as good I am sure.
So now I had four more races to go till my F4 race. The last race of the day. Something inside me told me it wasn't going to happen, as the day was still dragging on, and time was running out.
At about 5:00 PM, they gave us a first call. I geared up, got the bike warmed up, and went to pre-grid. Waited for what seemed like an hour, but was actually about 20 minutes. Still nothing... Finally I looked up to turn 7, and realized why we were waiting... there was another helicopter in the parking area on the outside of turn 7 loading up another rider from a crash the race before my race.

By 5:30, the helicopter was getting ready to take off, but this didn't help. The writing was on the wall, and the call had been made... The day was over... we ran out of time to run the track. I was pissed, but yet over all, my weekend was a success. I had made my goals, and even went beyond them. I will need to wait till next month to continue my learning racing!

Charles Gallant.
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