Posted by: Jessie | July 21, 2010

Superbike Sunday


Sunday morning we slept in a little, packed up, checked out of the hotel and took a leisurely ride to the track.  We wandered around the paddock a bit, and then headed over to the autograph session.  Usually I don’t care about getting rider’s autographs, but this year I definitely wanted to get Melissa Paris’ and Elena Myers autographed posters.  It’s Elena Myer’s rookie year… if she turns out to be the next Niki Hayden then having her rookie poster will be extra cool.  

The autograph session had a long line already.  They had tables set up under a picnic shelter, and it was very crowded.  I hate crowds.  I did manage to squeeze in and get Elena’s autograph.  She’s totally a kid.  She didn’t know what to say to fans.  I also got to talk to Melissa Paris.  I asked her what happened on the track.  Apparently she is on some medications from her surgery last month.  With the heat and the medications she got sick, so sick she had to pull off.  She’s never pulled off the track during a race before, and she was feeling really bad about it.  Today she was taking it easy, drinking a lot of water, and getting ready to go back out again.  She was determined not to pull off during the race today.  She thanked me for “scoring a shirt” and told her I wore it whenever I was watching a race.  She really seemed to appreciate the support.  Josh Hayes was sitting next to her.  He seemed to appreciate that I was supporting her as well.  I wanted stay and chat some more, but the crowd was getting to me, and I felt like I had already taken up more than my share of their time, so I went ahead and got out of there.  

After the autograph session Eric and I wandered through the paddock some more.  We stopped to look at gear at the Moto Liberty booth.  I’m totally sold on RS Taichi gear, especially the air bag suits.  If I ever need a new jacket or race suit, I’m getting one.  Right now I have all the gear I need.  

Eric and I went up to the Mid Ohio Deck to watch the races.  Usually it’s reserved for private parties.  This year it was open to the public for $5.00 admission, another sign of the recession.  The Mid Ohio Deck is located on top of the hill by the esses.  It’s a two-story structure.  The bottom part is a concessions stand.  The second floor is a balcony with a roof over it.  The woman at the entrance made sure that everyone paid their admission fees and she sold beverages too.  The deck had a great view.  We could see the esses, a small part of thunder valley, and part of the front straight.  We could also see the score board that displayed the order and the lap times.   

We had a great view from the Mid Ohio Deck

There is a sand trap by the esses, right after the back straight.  If someone is going too fast coming off the front straight to make the turn into the esses, they will run off into the sand.  Several people did run off into the sand and got right back on track.  We saw one spectacular wreck.  He was going too fast coming off the back straight and lost it.  When I looked over his bike was tumbling end over end and he was getting up and chasing it in a big cloud of sand.  He picked up his bike, started it, and rode off.  Poor bike was too damaged to finish the race, but the rider was fine.  One guy rode off into the sand, leaned his bike against the tire wall, stepped over the wall, took off his leathers and sat down.  A corner worker brought him a bottle of water.  We don’t know if he had to pull over because he was sick from the heat or if there was something wrong with his bike. Elena Myers rocked SuperSport.  She really battled it out, she made several passes and got passed.  She ended up finishing 8th.  Awesome. 

Melissa Paris finished the race.  She didn’t wreck, she didn’t pull off.  She didn’t pass anyone either, and she did not have her usual edge, but it’s only been 4 weeks since she had her leg cut open.  She had the metal rod and scar tissue removed from her leg.  I’m impressed she was racing already after that.  She’s had a rough season.  She was close to having a top ten finish at Daytona, the first and toughest race of the season, and she wrecked and ground off the tip of her little finger.  She’s been struggling to get back on her game ever since.  

Josh Hayes, Larry Pegram, and Tommy Hayden really battled it out.  Josh finished second.  

The next race was a brand new class. It’s sponsored by Vance & Hines and Harley Davidson. Harley Davidson came out with a new bike this year, the XR 1200.  It looks kind of like a vintage flat tracker, with a really big engine.  It has a very upright seating position.  It’s loud.  It rumbles.  It thunders.  And it’s pretty fast.  There were only 8 bikes racing in this class.  Very fun.

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