Team Solitare/Kingdom/FLY Race Report - Las Vegas - Dirt Rider Magazine

Team Solitaire/Kingdom/FLY Racing Honda Event UpdateLas Vegas, NVMay 5th, 2007Las Vegas is the destination of Supercross. For as long as I can remember, Sam Boyd Stadium has played host to the final round of both the AMA and World Supercross Series. This year's event was televised live across the world on Speed Vision and had a definite "Vegas Vibe". In front of a sold-out stadium, the Supercross Series made its last hurrah for 2007. Here is how it went down."Lites" ClassFor the "Lites" riders, Las Vegas is more for bragging rights than anything else. Only the top twenty from each coast are invited, and the race does not count for points. There are two separate heat races (East riders in one, West in the other) so that the first time they will meet is in the main event. This makes the heat races just as competitive as each regional main event. Ricky struggled in practice with the extremely hard-packed track. He looked a little more comfortable in the second practice, but he would have to pick it up in the race with the extremely deep field in the East/West Shootout.Ricky started far outside in his heat due to seeding from timed practice. He picked up his pace in the heat, but was so far back from the beginning that he couldn't work into a qualifying position. He would finish 16th in the heat race and have to go on to the LCQ. The LCQ was more of the same, as his lap times were good, just not good enough to pass through the field with the level of riders on the track. He would have to retire from the evening and watch the East/West shootout from the stands."Supercross" ClassBeing from the West Coast, I am pretty familiar with the hard-pack conditions and felt right at home from the first practice. My lap times were decent, but I wasn't really able to get a full unobstructed lap in since I was in the "non-seeded" practice. In the second round I set out to do fast laps right away, but had a minor bike problem and had to pull in early and head back to the truck. I wasn't as high as I had hoped on the qualification list, but I was in the show and excited for the night.The gate dropped on Heat One and I was on the far inside. I snuck around the corner inside and managed to emerge inside the top 15. I passed a few riders right away and felt pretty comfortable and smooth on the challenging course. On lap four I moved into ninth position, where I would ultimately finish and secure a transfer to the main event.For the main I was on the outside of the gate, but with a pretty long start anything could happen. I had a poor jump and rounded the first turn near the tail end of the pack. I made a few mistakes early and was riding extremely tight and nervous. I think at one point I was dead last. I started to settle myself down and pick up the pace a few laps into the main. I began to move forward again and really began to have fun on the track. I was making aggressive passes and really thinking forward and not worrying about anything but putting in fast laps. By the end of the 20-lap main I was up to 14th. I was happy with the way I rode after my early mistakes and just had a great time on the track. My bike was working great and I left the track satisfied with my performance, but extremely happy that the Supercross Series was over and that I have a clean slate heading into outdoors.SummaryRicky had a rough weekend, but he is riding great and really excited for Hangtown. I felt that Las Vegas was a good race to help me get back on track and build my confidence heading in to the national series. I rode like my old-self again in the main event and am looking forward to the challenge of the outdoor series. In two short weeks we will start the second half of our season.Other notesJiri has been riding quite a bit and will be in Phoenix testing this week. He is planning on racing the "Prequel" at Glen Helen next weekend to prepare for Hangtown the following weekend.Ricky Renner's girlfriend, Leah Cantrell, is a top racer in the WMA. They have both been in Phoenix for the past week and she will be riding and training for the WMA series opener at Glen Helen next weekend while Ricky is getting some tire and suspension testing done this week.The Supercross Award's Banquet took place on Sunday night at the Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino. It was a fun event and gave the whole team a reason to get all dressed up. There were some funny moments, like when Erick Vallejo stole the microphone and thanked all his sponsors much to the dismay of Live Nation. We all got a good laugh out of that. There were also many memorable events, such as the honoring of Ricky Carmichael and the presentation of the Supercross Championship Trophies to Ryan Villipoto, Ben Townley and James Stewart. Congratulation to all of the riders of Supercross for another fantastic year.It has been a tough Supercross season for me. I would be lying if I said I wasn't extremely disappointed with my results and performance. That being said, I am really excited to move on to a new series and start out fresh at Hangtown. I love riding my motorcycle, running the race team and representing all of our wonderful sponsors. I love riding my motorcycle a lot more when I am doing it to the best of my ability, and I believe that I will pick things up and have a great outdoor season. I look forward to sharing it with all of you through these reports and hopefully in person at the races. Thanks to everyone for your continued support and encouragement.All the best,
Ryan Clark
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,, Ohlins by Coppersmith,, Michelin, Vortex, Team Hawg Racing, ASV,, 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.