August 26th, 2007The twelve-race AMA National Motocross Series rolled on this past weekend to the verdant Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania suburb of Delmont. Steel City Raceway is a hilly facility that pits racers against steep off-camber corners, massive jump sections and ruts that stretch from corner to corner in many sections.When we arrived to the facility on Saturday morning, it was rain soaked and soggy from precipitation earlier in the week. This forced the promoter to cancel the usual Friday “amateur day” program in order to preserve the track. Although the surface was saturated, the sun was shining and it looked like the weekend would turn out dry in the end; That is until the rain fell hard again on Saturday evening. Somehow, the track crew still managed to work some minor miracles and the race surface was much better by the time the Sunday afternoon motos took to the track. Here is a look at how the rest of the weekend played out for the entire Team Solitaire/Kingdom/FLY Racing Honda crew.Ricky Renner
Being from Florida, Ricky is accustomed to rain as well as soft conditions. He seems to perform best on tracks similar to those his home state. I was really excited when he went out and set the 13th quickest qualification time and had an excellent pick on the gate for the motos.Moto One: Ricky was off to a good start in moto one, posting a quick opening lap and getting himself inside the top twenty. On lap three, however, the bad luck continued as he lost over a minute to a crash. For the remainder of the race, Ricky rode it out on his bent up bike to finish 33rd.Moto Two: Ricky had a pretty bad start in the second moto and never really elevated his pace. He moved up slightly over the 30 minute moto, but could only manage 29th position for his efforts.Overall: Ricky’s score of 33/29 awarded him 32nd overall on the day.Jiri Dostal
Jiri has been struggling this year since experiencing early success in Supercross prior to his leg injury in January. Not for a lack of effort on his part, but the pieces to his outdoor puzzle just won’t seem to fit together. Over the past several weeks he has been riding and training with Ivan Tedesco at his ranch in Texas in hopes of finding the speed that he needs to elevate his finishes. Unfortunately, Jiri fell just short again in Saturday’s timed qualification (one second to be exact). Jiri is heading back to Texas this week to continue working with the hopes that things will come back around for him.Ryan Clark
I had both a fun and productive off-week but was looking forward to getting back on the racetrack. I struggled adapting to the track on Saturday, and my time was lackluster. I picked it up in the extremely muddy Sunday morning timed qualifier by posting the eleventh quickest time and securing a good starting position for the motos.Moto One: I was lined up far to the inside and had a good jump off the gate, rounding the first turn around 15th. I slid out a bit in the third corner and lost several positions before getting pointed back in the right direction. I promptly began passing riders and within a few laps I was up to 15th and feeling great. I was really pushing myself hard and riding aggressively in the deep ruts. As I was setting up a pass for 14th I swung wide in a turn with intention of squaring back across the inside to make my move. Unfortunately, I lost my front end just before my pivot point and headed to the dirt. My engine quit, and it took about ten kicks to restart. Looking at my lap times, I lost about 35 seconds that lap. Two laps later, after having passed several riders, I over-jumped a big tabletop entering a corner, getting out of control and running off the track. Basically, I felt that I rode very well but made several costly mistakes. Despite the setbacks, I still managed to climb back to 20th by the end of the moto.Moto Two: My start was much better second moto, rounding the turn inside the top fifteen. This time I didn’t have any hiccups at the beginning and moved into 12th place by halfway. I had Kyle Keylon ahead of me and Michael Byrne behind me as I came by to read my pit board stating that there were three laps to go. I kicked it into sprint mode and closed the gap up significantly by the next time around. Regrettably, I made another mistake, this time stalling the bike after a very muddy straightaway at the entry to a corner. This time it restarted in just a few kicks, but that was enough to allow Byrne to get by me and Keylon to slip away. I finished the second moto in 13th position.Overall: My overall moto tally of 20/13 awarded me 16th on the day. Not what I was hoping for, but considering the self-inflicted problems, it wasn’t a horrible finish. I am looking forward to re-entering the top ten next week in Texas.Summary
Ricky rode strong in qualification, but failed to back up his times in the race due to some unfortunate crashes. Jiri is continuing to improve and we are all hoping to see him back on track in the near future. I made up some points on the riders just ahead of me in the series standings this weekend, and still have a chance at top fifteen with two more solid rides to finish out the season.Other Notes
The MX Sports crew did a good job dealing with the conditions that they were dealt. The track turned out great for the motos despite ridiculous amounts of rain both earlier in the week and on Saturday night.Ricky Renner and I each ran a helmet camera this weekend for the television broadcast of both the Lites and the Motocross Class. Check www.amamotocross.com
Team Solitaire Team 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, MB1 Suspension, HoyFox.com, Michelin, Vortex, Team Hawg Racing, ASV, GoFast Sports, Coachseiji.com, Polisport Plastics, Enjoy Mfg., Ride Engineering, Boyesen, Pivot Works, Ready Filter, Sano Systems, 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, Sidi Boots, QTM/Brembo, Pro Grip, Hammerhead, USA Sport, Cytosport, Cometic, Flyin’ Kolors, IMS and Lakai.