February 18th, 2007
The seventh round of the 2007 AMA Supercross Series landed in sunny San Diego, California for beautiful weather and a great night of racing action. In the final event on the West coast until round fifteen in Seattle, the fans turned out in droves and the action in the pit area was non-stop. I would be competing in the 450cc “Supercross” Class while 18-year-old Brady Sheren was holding up the team colors in the 250cc “Lites” division. Brady has done an excellent job filling in for the injured Jiri Dostal, and he was hungry to make his first ever AMA Supercross Main Event.Practice: The track was a bit on the fast side this weekend, but I was having a blast out there and felt pretty comfortable from the get-go. My second practice went especially well, as I posted a quick time but just felt really good and was having a great time riding the track. Brady also posted one of his best times thus far this year, easily advancing to the program with a solid gate pick for his heat.“Lites” Heat Two: Brady shot out of the gate well and rounded the first turn inside the top five. He held his position and rode the race of his life, holding guys like Josh Hill and Jason Lawrence in sight for several laps. When all was said and done, Brady finished an impressive seventh place, thus qualifying him for his first ever AMA Supercross Main Event.“Supercross” Heat One: Following Brady’s lead, I too had a good jump off the gate and came out of the first corner inside the top five. After a couple of turns feeling like I was inside a pinball machine I had dropped back to seventh. I held the position well for about four or five laps when I made a mistake in the corner after crossing the start straightaway and missed a gear. I was unable to jump the rhythm section and quickly went from seventh to tenth. With two laps to go I made a pass back into ninth where I rode for the final two laps to capture a qualification to the main event.“Lites” Main Event: Brady’s start in the main event wasn’t quite as good as his heat, but he was still able to duck to the inside in the first turn and come out around 15th. He rode aggressive for the first seven or eight laps, battling with a handful of riders and swapping passes several times each lap. By halfway into the 15-lap race, the nerves of being in his first main event caught up with and he made a few mistakes which dropped him back from the pack he was battling in. When the checkers flew, he crossed in 21st position.“Supercross” Main Event: This race, as most are, was chaotic from the drop of the gate. I started around 15th and moved up a little on the opening laps. Several crashes took place around me, one slowing me momentarily and allowing two riders to go by. I settled into a pretty good pace and was in a battle for 12th-17th for what seemed like the entire race. On the last lap I was in 13th when Jeff Gibson came in and took my line in the corner after the finish. At the same time, the rider behind, Manuel Rivas, took his line and it was and all out sprint to the next turn. I squeezed back by Rivas, but Gibson held the inside. I finished out the race in 14th position and was pretty pleased with my riding and my lap times with the exception of a few mistakes.Summary: Congratulations to Brady on making his first main. He has shown a great deal of improvement in a very short period of time since joining the team three weeks ago. His lap times have dropped from the high 30′s to the low 20′s in timed qualification practice. He is riding with much more confidence now and really showing the speed that he is capable of running. I wish the best of luck to Brady as he now heads back to Canada to prepare for the Canadian National Series this summer. I am also pleased with my progress this weekend, as I felt much better than I have all year. The bike is working great and I am beginning to feel like my old self. A special thank you to Thom Smith from Coppersmith/Ohlins for all of his hard work in getting my suspension dialed in every weekend.Next weekend we will be in Atlanta for the first round of the East Region “Lites” Series. Ricky Renner will be making his debut with the team next week, which will also mark his first professional Supercross event.Thank you to everyone for your continued support!All the best,
Ryan ClarkTeam Solitaire/Kingdom/FLY Racing Honda is an independently owned and operated professional Supercross and Motocross race team based in Phoenix, AZ. Our 2007 marketing partners include: FLY Racing, Kingdom Clothing, American Honda, Dragon Optical, WPS, Dubach Racing Exhaust, RideNow.com, Ohlins by Coppersmith, HoyFox.com, Michelin, Vortex, Team Hawg Racing, ASV, Coachseiji.com, Dirt Pro, Polisport Plastics, Enjoy Mfg., Ride Engineering, Boyesen, Pivot Works, Ready Filter, Sano Systems, Twenty20, Pro Honda Oils & Chemicals, RK Chain, Excel, Group D, DC Auto Wraps, Champion Tool Storage, Motion Pro, OGIO, Ron Davis Radiators, Crank Works, Hot Rods, CP Pistons, Barnett Clutches, Sidi Boots, RPM Science, NGK Spark Plugs, QTM/Brembo, Pro Grip, Hammerhead, IMS Products, USA Sport, Cytosport, Cometic, Lakai and Fletcher Chiropractic.