Through qualifying and into the heat race, I started eighth on the grid. Surrounded by large-displacement, liquid-cooled bikes, I was certain the DR200S had its work cut out for it. As the flag flew, I dumped the clutch and gave the 200 everything it had. To my surprise, I came out of the first corner in eighth, as I started. Unfortunately, due to the relatively low power of the Suzuki, I didn’t stand a chance on the straights. However, maintaining corner speed and finding time in the braking zones, I was able to keep all but one rider behind me from my original position. Finishing ninth in my heat race, I was sent to the run-what-ya-brung B main, where I would start third on the gate. Now having a handful of laps under my belt throughout qualifying and heat races, I had greater confidence going into the main event.