AFM Buttonwillow Race Weekend #1

“Running in the Front”

Well the season started with some testing at Buttonwillow Raceway on March 13th to prepare for the first race weekend of the year.  First year expert Nik Thompson Racing  was excited to jump onto his Spears Racing prepped 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400cc  and take its maiden voyage around the 3.0 mile clockwise course.

There is always an excitement/nervousness of the first time being on the track and also working with a new young rider. We were able to get in 3 full sessions and had a few changes made to the Suspension from  Mike Canfield @ MC Technologies and from there it was all forward with a great amount of confidence.

400 Supersport: Saturday afternoon is the first of many races for the weekend and the start to a new year, the bike was solid and Nik was ready to get the show going! The AFM field is a very stacked field, lots of fast guys and gals, and we just knew it would be a great result to finish and get the first race of the season behind us. Nik was very  comfortable from the start and made several good decisions to move to the middle of the pack and come home with a 6th place finish and a best time of a 2:02.862

350 Superbike: Sunday morning FIRST RACE OF THE DAY , these are always the more challenging than the rest of the day, cooler track conditions and just being the first race. After a solid Friday testing and a Saturday race Nik was very eager to continue on his quest to move to the front of the pack.

The thing that is an unknown is the start of the race, Nik got a Great start was soon to have to play follow the leader into turn one, this was the first of many learning curves for the first year Expert rider. Nik’s lap times were very consistent and he just kept chipping the tenths, seconds off, as we all learn to stay focused and keep charging forward. Nik got caught up in a few battles and back markers from the other races on the track. Nik was able to finish the race in 12th place with a best time of the weekend @ a 2:02.008

After the first race , Nik was very hard on himself, he believed that he got a BAD Start, one of the things you learn very quickly working with the youth, is that they are driven and want to be the best…Gregg was able to listen to his words and from there the two of them had a new plan for the rest of the weekend.

Lightweight twins: Amazing start and Nik put into play what the two of them had talked about, he was able to take off 6 seconds on his opening lap and now he was able to keep the rest of the experts in sight, and a lot of great passes and battles, and an 8th place finish out of 13 riders and the highest finishing first year expert. Amazing ride and new fastest lap time of 2:01.122

Formula III: This is a good size grid of experts, a lot of MotoAmerica racers testing for their opening round in a few weeks, once again Nik was able to get a faster opening lap and was feeling more comfortable on the bike, his body position and his ability to get the passes done showed in his results in this race, he was able to bring it home in 8th place out of 13 experts and a new fast time of 2:00.769 . Meeting with Nik at the Spears Racing Pits, he was able to convey to Gregg that his Kawasaki Ninja 400cc was having shifting issues, he was struggling with the bike not shifting and also  inadvertently back shifting to a lower gear, after talking to the team we all felt it was an easier decision to call it a weekend and to get the issues at hand fixed.

Spears Racing is looking forward to the quick recovery of Christjan Larsen’s recent Shoulder injury, we are hoping to see him back at round 2 on his 2019 Yamaha R3.

 

This is a start to an amazing season, Nik will be working his way to the front of what Spears Racing believes is the fastest racers in the country.

We will be ready for the next chapter in what we call “Running in the Front”

 

Thank you to all of the supporting cast of this years efforts:

Spears Racing 

Dunlop Tires

Carters@theTrack

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