March 1, 2008
RCA DomeTeam Solitaire/MB1/Kingdom Honda marched on this weekend, taking part in the final AMA Supercross to be held in the storied RCA Dome. This would be the second round of the East Region “Lites” Series, and mark the halfway point of the AMA Supercross Series in the 450cc division.Kyle Partridge was looking forward to improving on his 12th place finish at Atlanta one week earlier. He set out on the extremely soft and rutted soil for his first practice, but struggled to find a good pace. The second practice went a little better, and he was in good position to put his JR Boyd-tuned Honda CRF 250R in the top ten where it belongs.When the gate fell on the first “Lites” heat race, Kyle was just outside of the top five. He moved up into sixth, and rode a quick and steady pace, pressuring Matt Goerke for fifth to the checkered flag. KP was safely in the main event.Through the first turn of the main event Kyle was dead last. Somehow he worked his magic and by the end of the first lap had moved close to the top ten. He picked off a rider here and there until he was all the way to 8th place. On the seventh lap, approximately the halfway point of the race, Kyle was coming in hot to a tight left hand turn when the front end skated out from under him. He hit the ground hard, and limped off the track before getting hit by the riders behind him. He pulled into the mechanics area to asses the damage before going back out to finish the main. Unfortunately his efforts were only good enough for 21st place, which does not award any points.Ryan Clark: My practice session were productive, but my times were not what I had hoped. I was getting quicker as the laps went on, so I was looking forward to the night show.The heat started poor and just got worse. My start was dismal, and although I worked through some guys quickly it all ended when Cole Siebler and I collided and my foot got toe. His bike and mine just kind of crushed my foot and it immediately went numb. I don’t know what you call toes, but I broke the one next to my pinkie toe on my right foot. Anyway, not a necessary digit for riding a dirt bike, so after a little grunting, wincing and rolling two straight-aways of obstacles, I took off my skirt and rode the rest of the race. My earlier antics put me too far back to make an impact so I was headed to the LCQ.I gated decent in the LCQ, probably fifth. I moved into third on the opening lap and hounded Antonio Balbi for the next several laps. On the final lap I made the pass in the sand section and pulled out a couple of bike-lengths. In the next turn, Balbi tried a unrealistic retaliation that resulted in him on the ground and me without a clutch. I managed to keep myself moving forward, but without a clutch I was stressing on the final two corners. The next to last corner was a big berm turn, so I was able to get through it fine. Unfortunately, the final turn was a tight left-hand 180 degree corner with a small berm. Jake Marsack was right there behind me, and although I tried to ride a wide bike, with no clutch I had to enter the corner extremely slowly letting Marsack slip by. I actually ran off the track trying to keep him at bay, but crossed the finish line in third. RacerX Gas Cards are piling up here…Summary: Although we both rode well in the races, a few mistakes cost us both big. Kyle’s crash left him with a sore knee and some minor abrasions. He should be fine for Daytona this coming weekend. My toes are all black and blue, but I was able to ride the rest of the night and feel confident that I will be good to go at Daytona as well.All the best,Ryan ClarkTeam Solitaire/MB1/Kingdom Honda is a privately owned professional Supercross and Motocross race team based in Phoenix, AZ. Our 2008 marketing partners include: MB1 Suspension, Kingdom Clothing, American Honda, FLY Racing, Dragon Optical, Pro Honda Oils and Chemicals, DRD Exhaust, Vortex, Factory Effex, ASV, Dunlop, WPS, Sidi, Rockwell Watches, DUS, OGIO, Applied, QTM/Brembo, RK Chain, EXCEL Rims, HoyFox.com, Boyesen, Hinson, Ready Filter, CoachSeiji.com, Cycra Plastic, Element Sports, Sano Systems, AIMMD, Pivot Works, Hot Cams, Hot Rods, Champion Tool Storage, Crank Works, CP Pistons, Cometic Gaskets, Ron Davis Racing Radiators, DC Auto Wraps, Leatt Brace, Dirt Pro, JM Collision Team Hawg Racing and Group D Manufacturing.