afm round 5
shitbike, now with 100% more kawaii

shitbike, now with 100% more kawaii

Conveniently located, AFM Round 5 took place at Sonoma Raceway, just a (relatively) short, one-hour-ish drive from home base. I got home from work Friday afternoon and threw my things together, opting once again to skip the Friday practice. While packing I wondered how smart that was, considering that I’d only ridden Sonoma once two years ago, and that it was by far the most dangerous track on the AFM schedule. Would four practice sessions be enough to learn the track, get up to race pace, and then prevent myself from accidentally yeeting my ZX6R into a concrete barrier while trying to win a little plastic trophy? I guess we’ll find out!

Saturday morning’s practice sessions brought high temperatures and ideal weather conditions. Those were about the only ideal conditions though, because it seems that the pavement at Sonoma had gotten even worse since I last rode it. For a nationally-recognized raceway with close proximity to the Bay Area that hosts many high-profile events, the track surface is exceptionally bad. I was able to learn where the real sketchy spots were though, and by the end of practice I felt relatively comfortable rattling around the 2.5 miles of asphalt.

clubman middleweight

Due to some combination of intermittent GoPro thermal issues and my own stupidity (probably the latter, I have a good couple hours of pit footage because I left the camera on) I didn’t capture footage from this race. It went well though! I got a pretty good start, somehow kept up with the leaders for the rest of the race, and managed to snag second when #706 Hugo Peralta botched a pass on #869 Luis Nunes and gave me an opportunity to slip past.

600 superbike

I actually have video for this one! Grabbing third off the line, I lost one position to #927 Eric Hasserjian during the second lap. After following him for a couple laps to find a good spot to pass him back, he eventually made a mistake entering the chicane after the back straight and I was able to reclaim third. Or so I thought; as it turns out, Hugo had dropped out of the race with a DNF, so I was placed in second behind #882 Chris Stewart. The last lap I was able to pass a few trailing experts and hold off Eric, netting me another second place finish.

formula 1

I managed to get my first holeshot! And then immediately realized that I had no clue what I was doing without someone else in front of me. The entire race I was sweating bullets, wondering why nobody had passed me (or at least shown me a wheel). I was trying to haul ass, but my limited familiarity with the track limited me quite a bit, and my ass-hauling was not as smooth/fast/efficient as it should have been. Turns out it was good enough though, and I rode uncontested to a first place finish! Numero uno!

600 superstock

I don’t have video for these last two races due to above mentioned reasons (once again, mostly the latter). 600SS went well enough, and I was able to take home a bronze.

750 superstock

I’m not actually that disappointed that I didn’t capture video from this race because it was essentially a victory lap. Only one other person entered in my class, and I took home first with a whole minute gap between our finish times. Got another gold trophy though (and still ran 1:47s)!

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