Pro Diary - Team Solitaire/MB1/Kingdom Honda Daytona Supercross - Dirt Rider Magazine

Daytona International Speedway - Daytona, FLMarch 7th, 2008The 2008 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series went coastal this past Friday evening for a very muddy night of racing. Preliminary reports called for 50% chance of thunderstorms, but by Friday race time the track was literally overflowing with water. The crew did all they could to pump the water from the track surface, but the rain fall was so hard and relentless that their efforts were in vein.Kyle Partridge was in the first heat race, which provided the best track conditions of the night due to the fact that the truck had not deteriorated from all the bike traffic. He started in seventh and moved up one position quickly. Being that the track was worsening, he played it safe and kept it on two wheels to finish sixth and transfer directly to the main event.By the time the "Lites" main event left the gate, the track was so waterlogged that riders were literally submerging their bikes as they rounded the course. The laps were cut to eight from the usual 15, but with lap times at around two minutes it would be a long and treacherous race. It was difficult to keep track of any of the riders, but Kyle is so tall that he is easily deciphered from his competitors. He was near the tail end of the pack off the start and moved past several riders in the opening laps. He struggled with crashes throughout the eight lap battle and concluded in 16th position.Ryan Clark: I was looking forward to having some fun in the mud. My heat race start was good, but being on the outside I got pushed wide and ran off the track, relinquishing many positions. I was around 15th at the end of the first lap and was riding very timid. By the third lap (of six) I was finding my groove and getting the obstacles down in the now extremely rutted soil. When I came around for the white flag I was in 11th, but I could see Andrew Short about six seconds ahead in ninth. I passed a faltering Kevin Johnson and set my sights on Andrew. I closed the gap significantly, but then botched a double giving back a second or two. At the line I was in tenth, about two seconds back from the transfer.LCQ: I was far inside this time for the start and came off the gate well. I thought for a moment I would emerge with the holeshot, but the mud would not let me stop quickly enough in the first turn to stay low and sneak around the inside. I was seventh, then sixth, then fifth by the third corner. Troy Adams and Nate Ramsey were just ahead, and I battle with Troy for the entire four lap race. Unfortunately, this allowed the leaders to get away from us. I would finish fifth in the LCQ and retire for the night.Summary: It was an interesting race to say the least. It was surely in my top five of the wettest races I have competed in. The amount of standing water on the track was amazing, but our Hondas ran strong in the treacherous conditions. We now move north to Minneapolis for next weekend's event before our first off-weekend of 2008.Other notes:The Daytona Supercross by Honda was truly a Honda affair. For the second time this season, Honda swept the Supercross podium and took two of three positions in the "Lites" division. When the conditions are as tough as they were on Friday, equipment is even more crucial than in the dry. Congratulations is in order to Honda.Congratulations also to F.O.T. (Friend of team) and true privateer Jake Marsack, who used his mud-riding skills to secure the first podium of his career. Jake, and his father Jim, are great people who work very hard. Score one for the underdog!The Daytona Supercross was on Friday due to being held during Daytona Bike Week. The Daytona 200, also presented by Honda, is held on Saturday. We will be back to the normal Saturday schedule next weekend.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,, Boyesen, Hinson, Ready Filter,, 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, Cytomax, JM Collision Team Hawg Racing and Group D Manufacturing.