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Middletown Cycle Racing #612 #612 Rob Hancock

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Old 06-25-2009   #1
RJH_5150
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Grattan, Nelson, Beaver Oh My!

I have to apologize to all my Localrider friends for not having the time to get my race reports up and for this being so long to catch up with everything. The last month and half has been absolutely crazy. I had 3 races, 2 long business trips and a lot of late nights working on bike(s). Put it this way, I am really looking forward to sleeping in this weekend.

Lets go back to Grattan. Wow, that was all the way back in May. Time has been flying by. So many things have happened between now and then. I will try and stick with the highlights. Most of which were Jeff’s. He was on fire that weekend. He got five 2nd place finishes and one 4th. Most of which he was second to Robert Jenson. We were running counter clockwise and his best time was 1:21.784. My weekend wasn’t as great as Jeff’s. The best finish I was able to do was 9th with a personal best time of 1:24.944. I remember talking to Jeff and saying, ”Man, I am almost 3 seconds faster from last year and it was only good enough for 9th place!” People are flying this year that is for sure. I have to say thanks to Keith from Middletown Cycle for driving all the way up to Michigan to hang out with us on Saturday.





On the way home Jeff and I got just south of Dayton and the idler pulley froze up and we lost the serpentine belt. Luckily Duramax engines have a gear driven water pump and we were able to limp it home with little to no brakes and no power steering. I think I got home around 2:30am and had a 9:00 am flight to New York. I wasn’t worth a crap when I got there.

When I got back from San Francisco (the following week) Jeff and I were getting our equipment ready and he handed me a set of the new Power One Michelin take-offs he had from Grattan and said, “Here, you are running these.” He really didn’t give me much of a choice. You wouldn’t think that a tire would make that big of difference. Wow, those new tires were awesome, read on. Big thanks to Fast Eddie for letting me use his tire changer. That sure made my life easier.

Jeff and I went up Thursday evening to Nelson so we could ride the track day on Friday. We had more problems with the diesel but that is a totally different story. I rode the first half of the day on my Bridgestone take-offs from Grattan and then switch to the Michelins Jeff gave me after lunch. After taking a couple of turns of preload out of the rear shock to compensate for the harder carcass and I dropped 2 seconds off my lap times. On Saturday I ended up with 4th place in the solo. On Sunday I got a 5th two 6th’s and an 8th. I had a personal best lap time of 1:09.054. I really wanted to see 8’s on the timing sheet, maybe next time. Jeff had a bit of bad luck in practice Sunday morning and threw it down in turn one. How he and the bike came away with that little of damage I have no idea because that is FAASSTT through there. A foot peg, clip-on and a brake lever later he was out doing his warm up lap for the first race. I think the wreck made him faster. He got a 2nd two 3rd's and two 4th's with a personal best lap time of 1:08.108. We had a great weekend racing and hanging out with everyone. I drug my buddy Bill up with us. My wife, Lisa and my parents showed up Friday night. It was great having all that support at the track. All I had to was worry about the race. Lisa and Bill took care of the rest. Not to mention the Toy Hauler to sleep in. That is always a plus when the folks come. I didn’t know Mark and Bob were up there until they caught Bill mooning Jeff when he crashed in turn 1. It was good seeing you guys again.





Jeff and I were thinking of leaving our trailer with the Kelly’s (Amanda and Blake) because of the truck “issues”. Their parents live 30 minutes from Beaver Run and that was were our next race was, in four days. After Jeff crashed and discovering some of the issues I was having we decided to limp everything home so we could go over the bikes real well. I spent the next several nights going through both of our forks, my brakes and several other things that would have been impossible to do if we would have left everything up there. Luckily my dad’s truck was available so I went to pick it up Wednesday night and loaded everything back into the trailer. We can almost do it blind folded.

Off to Beaver. Would you believe it took us almost 8 hours to get there? I thought we had Mike Baker with us. We stopped by Middletown Cycle to pick up some parts and ended up hanging out for a while. Of course we had the usual fuel, food and gas stops, which got us to the track around midnight Thursday.

Friday we were greeted by some rainy weather. I was temped to put my rain tires on and ride but thought better of it. Everything dried out after lunch which let Jeff and I get some good sessions in. We worked a little with the Michelin guy trying different tire pressures and really pushed each other to go faster. The last session we switched bikes. That helped me see what I needed to change on mine to make the Michelins work a little better. Unfortunately the session was cut short by Blake high-siding and burning his bike to the ground.

We were greeted again by rain on Saturday and I decided not to go out for practice. By the time our Solo came the track was mostly dry except for a stream running across the track in the front and back straights and a big wet patch in turn 3. Jeff got second in that race and I got 5th. It was some crazy 20 laps. I think I ran into 3 different people. Someone tried to push me off the track in turn 2, I tried to get around another person and they a little wider that expected and we came together, then I snuck up inside of a lapped rider and we touched a little there as well. I thought I had enough room but he turned in sooner than expected. I found him later and apologized. If you count when Blake hit me on Sunday I am up to 4 for the weekend. Crazy.

Sunday was awesome. I changed a few things over night that made a huge difference. The first race (CSB) I got 6th and somehow managed to beat Jeff. Later I found out he got together with another rider about 100mph and hit hard enough to move his clip on. How he stayed up I will never know. Needless to say it shook him up a bit. The next race (BSB) I got 4th and Jeff got 2nd. I decided to change my gearing after that race and somehow managed to screw up my quick shifter. I ended up with 9th in the next race. That was the first time I rode my bike having to manually shift it and I threw my timing way off. That and it didn’t seem to like shifting that way. Jeff finished in 4th. For the last race I screwed around with the wiring and I thought I had the quick shifter working in the pits. I found out pretty quickly on the warm up lap that it wasn’t. They threw the green flag and Jeff, Eddie and I got great starts. We were 3 wide into turn one. I was the one in the worst spot and had to roll off. I hopped on their heals and tried to run their pace. On the third lap I watch Jeff go for the lead and loose the front in turn nine. “Holy shit, I am in second!” I thought to myself. I held on to it for 3 more laps and got passed. On lap 7 I got passed again and had a great battle to try and take it back. I ended up losing 3rd place by .106 of a second. Jeff actually picked his bike up ran through tech and finished the race. I got a personal best time of 59.992 as well did Jeff with a 59.116.

Big thanks to my sponsors. Middletown Cycle, World Wide Bearings, NKY Signs, Buff Enterprises, Sharkskins and Localriders.com. Race weekends like these would be absolutely impossible without the help I get from them. I also can’t forget my wife. She has been very understanding and extremely helpful these past couple of months keeping me pointed in the right direction. I sure didn’t know which way was up there for a while. I am thankful that the races are more spread out from here on out.

We will be in Grattan for the national race July 10-12. It should be an awesome weekend with a lot of great racing and I am planning on being right in the middle of it.
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Old 06-25-2009   #2
ped
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Re: Grattan, Nelson, Beaver Oh My!

holy shit a .59 ehh, wow! glad to see the bike is working out for you. but maybe jeff is on to something with that yamaha
so going to michelins messed up your contigency for both of you, no?
man you should let me help pit bitch sometime so i can get my feet wet.

thanks for the write up and congrats
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Old 06-25-2009   #3
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Re: Grattan, Nelson, Beaver Oh My!

Rob--that's a great post, and a great run for you guys! Some great pics, too! Congrats, man!

Jeff
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Old 06-25-2009   #4
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Re: Grattan, Nelson, Beaver Oh My!

I can vouch for them, Rob and Jeff were rolling! Hell I was happy with 30's at Grattan, 13's at Nelsons, and 6's at Beaver. I guess it is obvious I am 6 or 7 seconds off their pace. Good thing I am not in that class.

I definitely has been a busy several weeks, I too am glad for a break. maybe I can catch up on race reports also.

Great job Rob, see ya at Grattan!
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Old 06-26-2009   #5
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Re: Grattan, Nelson, Beaver Oh My!

Nice report, Rob...tks for sharing...congrats to both of ya on the laptimes
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Old 06-27-2009   #6
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Re: Grattan, Nelson, Beaver Oh My!

Great write-up!

I hope you continue the racing reports all season, in all your spare time.
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Old 06-28-2009   #7
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Re: Grattan, Nelson, Beaver Oh My!

good job guys!!
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