2015 Tsukuba CBR Dream Cup Race 3 Report

Race result




Practice on Friday was a bit hectic.  5 minutes before my first session it started raining, but I still had my dry tires on.  So I tried a couple laps and gave up after my front started slipping.

Then the second session was only partially wet so I went out on dry tires again and just as it started to seem dry and I was picking up the pace a MASSIVE downpour came for about 5 minutes.  They restarted the session but I didn't have enough energy or time to put on my rain tires.  

All in all a bad day.


I've been going over some of my issues with Iobe-san from i-factory and he has been recommending a tank pad to help me use my lower body better.  I gave it a try during the qualifiers but the new position it put me in made it harder to ride forward on the bike, so I decided to take it off for the race.  I'll give it a try during practice some other time.

Was 33rd in qualifiers and was worried for a second that I might not pass qualifiers.  I knew my time wasn't good and I had a bad feeling on the bike.  The last time I seriously rode was the TT race 3 weeks ago and I couldn't get back into the grove well.


 I was able to get a good start!

Starting from last position I gained a couple spots right off the bat and was able to hold most of them off for the rest of the race!

It was a great battle experience and I constantly put out low 1:12s so I'm happy with the race overall.

During the race I kept understeering in the first hairpin and I think I might be riding too far back on the bike.  I'm going to try a new spring setting later, but I have another track day event tomorrow.  So for now I'll just try riding more forward

Thank you to Mako and Key for always being there for me!


2015 Tsukuba Dream Cup Race 2 Report

Race result




I've been pretty nervous about this race since a couple weeks ago I did not qualify for race 1 and had to watch the whole race from the stands.  That shock gave me the motivation to push harder and try new things to get my time up.

It was pretty difficult to get to this point but on Friday I had a breakthrough!  I fixed my body positioning and my riding line and jumped into 1:12 zone!  Only going up from here.

Race day: Qualifers

A little nervous but excited for qualifiers.  Just yesterday I put out my best time of 12.76 and was able to consistently get under 13 seconds, so I felt confident that everything would be alright.

I pushed and pushed slowly working my way up in time until I got a 12.3! Looked down at my lap timer and thought, now I can get a 11 second lap time "let's do this!". 

Approached the first hairpin with more confidence, let go of the brake early and..... lowside!

I have a feeling my suspension bottomed out and I carried too much speed at the apex.  Need to work on my suspension settings now that I can ride at this new pace.

So I had to replace some parts and build a new windscreen. 
Mako and Key -> お疲れさまです Thank you for your hard work.

Key hard at work to fix things.  We concentrating too much on fixing the bike that I forgot about the race briefing...... which came with a $50/¥5000 fine.  Need to be careful next time because it is a pretty serious offence to miss the race briefing.  In some cases they can disqualify you from the race....

Race day: Race

The race went well in my mind.  I was able to maintain a good pace, have a close battle with another rider, and I finished safely.  I know that my racing career is only moving up from here, and I learned a lot this weekend.

Thank you to my sponsors and to everyone who encouraged me and helped me get through this!


2015 Tsukuba Championship Race 1

Day before the race:

During practice on the day before the race I was able to get two consistent laps of my new best time.  I tested A LOT of new suspension settings and collected data on what feels right for me and what helps me put out a good time. I rode 5 sessions so by the end of the day was pretty beat and couldn't get consitent laps in the last session.


Then just before my last session I realise my brake line has air in it and attempt to bleed the line.  When putting back on the reservoir cap it seems like there has been a gap letting air in and fluid out! So at the end of the day I try changing my master cylinder and hose to a new one.

....and  I end up braking both the old brake hose and new the one, when trying to tighten the hose to the banjo.... T_T

I talked to Iobe-san from I-factory and he told me that the aluminum banjo I was using are weak and can easily break when you try to torque them... 

Luckily for me Iobe-san was generous enough to let me work on my bike at the I-factory shop, and went out of his way to bring me a stainless steel hose/banjo from his garage.

Thank you for always looking out for me Iobe-san! いつもお世話になります。本当に助かりました。 m( _ _)m

Race day:

It looks like qualifiers are going to be in the wet so we put rain tires on my spare wheels, and prepped the bike for wet conditions.

Checking out the session before mine, and see that the ground is almost dry.... what should we do!

By the time qualifiers came up, the ground was about 98% dry, but everyone was already on their rain tires, except one guy.  So... at least the playing field was level to some extent.  By the end of qualifiers almost everyone burned through the right side of their rear tire, including myself... there goes 2万円 ($200).... (泣

Sadly, I dropped out in qualifiers by about 0.8 seconds.  The qualifiers were split into two groups and since the first group had different conditions than us, the grid was chosen in an alternating pattern (group 2 then group 1) rather than absolute time. 

It was my first time using rain tires in a dry condition like that, so I feel it was a good experience.  You cannot have success without failure and this experience will help give me more motivation to move forward!  Can't wait until next race!


Tsukuba TT March 2015!

I decided to concentrate on only racing at Tsukuba this year, so I signed up for all 4 championship races and the Tsukuba TT in March.  Lately I've been crashing too much so it was a little rough getting back into the flow of things and I couldn't put out a good time during practice on Friday.  Was still 3 seconds away from my best time and struggling with the stiffness from resting my collarbone for so long.

Every time my pit neighbor Chihiro passed me on the track I tried to keep up to pick up pointers from her line and turn in point but it's always hard to keep up.  These kids are really amazing out here...


I came here today to practice mainly one thing, body positioning.  I have trouble turning properly because of poor line of sight and poor upper body movement, leaving too much pressure on my hands.  Made some notes and stuck them to the bike to remember what I need to do.

Come Saturday, time for qualifiers.  I got a lot of comments about my new bike design and it seems like everyone thinks its cool.

Glad it wasn't just me... かっこいいデザインだねと言われた、僕だけがそれ思うじゃなくてよかった (汗

My first hairpin speed is painstakingly slow and the timing where I open the acceleration is a good 5m too late.  I tried to keep that in mind during the race and was able to shave a little bit of time here.  Still a long way to go. Video is from qualifiers.  ビデオは予選から〜


Just before the race!  いつもドキドキしてるね

As always I got a good start, passing several people fairly easily moving up from 21st to around 14th.  I was able to hold onto 17th place until the final lap, but finished 18th total and 16th in my class.  I've come a long way from my riding last year, no longer at the tail end of the race, moving up to the front!

This race was a good experience and I think really helped me get back into the groove of things after my recent crashes.  I came very close to my best time during the race, and I know I can push harder next practice!



Optimised Nissan Caravan

I finally upgraded my Kei-van to a Nissan caravan and then while resting my collarbone decked it out with a wood floor and shelving.  I guess you could say I didn't rest as much as I should've been?  Anyway, it's space saving, optimised, and awesome!