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Middletown Cycle Racing #612 #612 Rob Hancock

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Old 09-16-2009   #1
RJH_5150
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Beaver Run September 5-6

What an awesome weekend. It was great having my family at the track and watching all the racing that was going on that weekend. Lisa came up with Jeff and I Thursday night and my folks showed up later Friday night. Big thanks to John Peters for helping me find them when they got lost on the way there. Since they brought the toy hauler we did not have access to my dad’s truck. So we had a very big challenge right off the bat. Try to fit everything we had in the 8.5X18 trailer into a 6X12 so we can use Jeff’s dad’s truck. We did it and somehow managed not to scratch the bikes. Jeff joked, “I bet you can toss a quarter in there and it wouldn’t hit the floor.” I was afraid to check the max weight rating on the trailer. I sure we were close.

Friday was a track day run by Apex 2 Apex. After setting up our pit and running the bikes through tech I grabbed the scooter and took Lisa around and showed her the facility. Beaver run is a great place to watch racing. You have the big track we were on, go-cart/motard track and a skid pad they were have a drifting competition that weekend. The track day went great. I gathered a lot of good data for the rest of the weekend and had a ball running around the track with everyone. That night I replaced the fluid in the brake system. This track is brutal on the brakes and I wanted to make sure everything is perfect for the rest of the weekend. With all the brake issues with Suzuki’s I didn’t want to take any chances.

Saturday I had the usual 2 practices and a solo 20. I skipped out on the first practice to let the track warm up a bit. I got a great start and ran some very consistent laps in the 1:00 range. About 3 quarters through the race I noticed I was catching Mike Cerone. It was real close the last lap and I really threw some coals on the fire and ran a 59.842. The carrot was dangling there for me and I was reaching. I ultimately ran out of laps and finished 6th. Mike joked with me later on asking me not to do that to him again. I guess he didn’t like the pressure. Mike is a great guy and I enjoyed racing with him. I decided to bleed the brakes one more time after the race just to make sure there were no issues in my 4 races on Sunday.

Sunday morning was the usual routine. 2 rounds of practice, riders meeting then lunch. Since I race 2 “up” (750cc) classes WERA lets me practice in the middleweight and heavyweight classes. It makes things nice when you are trying to get something dialed in because you get 4 practice sessions. I ended up skipping the first one again and knocked the morning cobwebs out with the other 3. Sometimes it is a little difficult for my brain to handle those speeds in the morning.

Race one had some crazy things going on. I launched my bike and got a clean line through one. By turn 3 I already got pushed back to fifth behind Jensen, Gaige, Kraft, and Spector. When we got to turn 10 I noticed Eddie slowed way down with his hand up and off the race line. I remember thinking to myself, “that never happens”. Luckily for them it was just a simple connector that came loose and he was back out in the next race. I held onto 4th for the first couple of laps and Drew overtakes me. Unfortunately I don’t remember where I just know is around the first part of the race. Towards the end I had a nice little battle with John. He out broke me into 10 and I remember being a little confused because I expected it to be Jeff. I stayed with him all the way to the end and missed out of 5th place by .174 of a second. After we crossed the finish line I looked back and didn’t see anyone. The question, “Where in the hell is everyone?”, flashed through my head. It turns out on the first lap 7 riders tried to out beak each other into 10 and failed miserably. Every one of them (including Jeff) went off the track. No one wrecked thankfully. They all got a chuckle out of it later on.

My second race I had some brake issues. I battling with John and Justin for 3rd and my brake lever kept getting closer and closer to the bar. I had to brake early just so I would have enough distant to get the bike slowed down to make the turn. I started off with one finger on the brake lever, switch to two fingers halfway and on the last lap I had to curl up my ring and pinking finger up so I could pull the lever in further. It was a bit scary. Miraculously I held onto 5th place.

After running my bike threw post tech I head back to the pits and grabbed all the tools to bleed the brakes again. Thankfully Travis from Trackside Racers Supply jumped in and helped because I only had 15 minutes to get things back to “normal” before my next race. We went through the same routine I did the last couple of nights. Empty the reservoir, put fresh fluid in (I just opened the bottle Friday night), tap on the master cylinder, bleed it, tap on it some more, bleed it then do the same for the calipers. We finally got pressure back into the lines in plenty on time to wash the shit off my hands and get my gear back on. The brakes always fade a little towards the end of a race but never that bad. Thankfully it wasn’t a back-to-back race.

I take my warm up lap for the third race and carefully test the brakes. Surprisingly they felt great. I must have done something wrong on the last bleed. Anyway we all get into our grid position and they throw the green flag. As I am launching my bike I notice out of the corner of my eye Jensen hitting Jeff as he comes through pushing his front end to full lock. I would have sworn up and down that Jeff got knocked off his bike. The entire first lap I kept looking for a red flag and hoping nothing bad happened to Jeff. I finished the first lap without seeing a flag or any evidence that something might have happened. I thought, “damn, I better get moving”. Between all of that and trying to get use to having brakes again I had a very lonely ride back in sixth place.

I got back to the pits and to my relief Jeff was there just a goofy as ever with only a broken brake lever. When Jensen hit him it knocked Jeff’s bike sideways and he somehow missed all the traffic behind him. Jeff told me he was basically off the bike dragging his leg and the only thing he had a hold of was the steering stabilizer. I guess those things are good for something after all. He pulled himself back on the bike and rode off into turn one. The little tab that holds his brake lever in position broke off. They still worked he just couldn’t reach the lever. So he sat there until the race was over. He joked, “That was a great place to watch the race from.”

Jeff gets his brake lever fixed and we head out for our last race. I rocket off the start and jump into second place behind Jensen. Eddie sneaks underneath of me into 4 and I did everything I could to stay with him. As the laps click by I realize that I am still in 3rd place. Greg starts showing me a wheel around the 3rd or 4th lap and we start going back and forth. Second to the last lap I get my position back and notice a lapped rider coming up. As we head into turn 5 I set myself up to go underneath of him and the guy takes different line than I expected and I had to hit my brakes. Just as I did that Jeff and Greg go around me on the outside. I think I screamed all the way down the hill. I tried to catch those guys but I lost too much momentum and one lap wasn’t enough time. Jeff got third and I held on for fifth. I was a little disappointed with the outcome but it was a lot of fun racing with Greg like that.

Big thanks to all of my sponsors! Middletown Cycle, Cinema Concepts, Worldwide Bearings, 35 Motorsports, NKY Signs, Sharkskinz and of course Localriders.com. See you at Mid Ohio!
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Last edited by RJH_5150; 09-17-2009 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Typing Error
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Old 09-16-2009   #2
Sherpadude
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Re: Berver Run September 5-6

Great write-up and trip report, Rob! Anyone taking photos up there?

Jeff
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Old 09-16-2009   #3
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Re: Berver Run September 5-6

Jeff from Viphotography was there along with the track photographers. I talked with Jeff this past weekend up at Mid-Ohio and he is waiting until the end of the season to send me everything he has shot since VIR. I am hoping the first part of October I can share a bunch of pictures.
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Old 09-16-2009   #4
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Re: Berver Run September 5-6

Very cool. Looking forward to see them. Jeff Kovack definitely has some nice Canon glass to shoot with.

Jeff
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Old 09-16-2009   #5
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Re: Berver Run September 5-6

What's a Berver?
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Old 09-17-2009   #6
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Re: Beaver Run September 5-6

A typing error. Wow, missed that one.

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Originally Posted by witttom View Post
What's a Berver?
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Old 09-17-2009   #7
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Re: Beaver Run September 5-6

Nice Play by play racing.. You've been really mixing it up lately! Sucks you got jammed on that lapped rider.. but your closing in every week and its only a matter of time now!

Congrats and thanks for the report

Did the bad luck bite Jeff? He sure has had his share.
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Old 09-18-2009   #8
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Re: Beaver Run September 5-6

Jeff came back with vengeance last weekend at Mid Ohio. That crazy hillbilly was flying. He was running 1:32’s around that place. Great stuff!
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Old 09-18-2009   #9
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Re: Beaver Run September 5-6

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJH_5150 View Post
Jeff came back with vengeance last weekend at Mid Ohio. That crazy hillbilly was flying. He was running 1:32’s around that place. Great stuff!

Alright!
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Old 09-18-2009   #10
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Re: Beaver Run September 5-6

Both of you were FLYING last weekend!!! Do u know who was taking pics at mid ohio?
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Old 09-29-2009   #11
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Re: Beaver Run September 5-6

Here are some pictures from Beaver Run. Photos from Jeff Kovac.





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Old 09-29-2009   #12
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Re: Beaver Run September 5-6

Great pics Rob and congrats for a great season!

Jeff
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(1985-1987) Suzuki GS450L
(2004-2011) Honda V45 Magna | Kawasaki 250 Super Sherpa | Suzuki DL650 VStrom | Triumph Daytona 675 | Ducati 848 | Kawasaki KLX250S
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