The fourth race of the year for RIM racing’s Mike Morgan took place at mid-Ohio sports car course. Going into the weekend’s race everything seemed to be in order but unfortunately it was not.
“After the Barber round I noticed a small oil leak coming from somewhere in the motor and I thought it was a simple fix. Unfortunately after the first round of practice I noticed that there was still oil coming from an unknown area of the engine. So that sidelined most of the first practice and al of Q1. After making an assessment and actually finding where the oil was coming from the team tried to repair the engine but we were unsuccessful and the weekend seem to be done before it even began. But a couple of things fell into place and we were able to race both races on a Triumph Daytona 675. So a special thanks has to go out to Richard and Teddy from Apex Manufacturing for letting me use their B bike! The weekend was also made possible by Gene from ZipLine and my mechanic Jeff! ”
After missing the first qualifying session and trying to repair the damaged motor before Saturday mornings second qualifying session I had my work cut out for me. Unfortunately the repaired did not fix the motor and it again continued to leak oil. I was able to post a good enough time to make the field but it was far off the pace that I had expected to run. This resulted in starting from the last row on the starting grid. The problem wasn’t so much starting from the back but to actually find a new motor or a loaner bike. After asking every other team that ran Suzuki in my class with no success the generous people at Apex offered to let me ride a Triumph. Once the decision was made to ride the Triumph I had absolutely no seat time on the bike before Saturday afternoon’s race. I had two laps to get accustomed to the bike before the start of the race and at this level that was very difficult to do. The only adjustment made the bike was the clutch lever position and I pretty much used the race as a practice session. Once the race was underway I lost touch with the riders in front of me and the race was fairly boring for me because I was essentially in last place. But by finishing the race and other rider’s misfortune I finished 19th, to my complete amazement.
Once I knew what other adjustments needed to be made to the bike, the simplest thing like the shift lever was way out of position for me and it was very hard to get the bike into the correct gear during the first race. But once we were able to change that stuff Sunday morning’s practice session went much better and I was able to get comfortable on the motorcycle and make some small suspension adjustments. I was also running on used tires for the first race and Sunday morning’s practice session. I figured there’s no reason changing to new tires when I was probably not going to be competitive.
Race two had a much different tone to it and I was able to push a whole lot harder than I did in race one. For being a mainly stock bike it performed extremely well. I was able to lap mid-Ohio in the 1:32-33 range and that was about as quick as I went on my Suzuki the previous year! That speaks volumes for the potential for this motorcycle. There was easily another second in lap time with some more adjustments made to the motorcycle to suit me better which would’ve put me at an all time best lap time around mid-Ohio. Now the race was a lot more fun because I actually got to race and I put several riders behind me in the opening laps. The race was red flagged but that was not a problem for me as I was still learning the bike and every lap I gained more confidence in. The restart of the race was pretty much the same and I was able to navigate by several riders in the opening laps. Unfortunately I was not able to stay with the other two riders in front of me who gradually pulled away. But not knowing what type of lap times I was running and using somebody else’s motorcycle I did not want to push too much harder. The race went really well and the bike was phenomenal as testament to finishing 18th in race two on a bike I had never ever ridden before!
Thanks to all the sponsors, fans, and the people who made the weekend possible!
RIM Racing is sponsored by ZipLine, Barnett clutches, Autolite spark plugs, Fram oil filters, Motul oil, TCX boots, Yoshimura R&D, EBC brake pads, World Wide Bearings, Kenwood, NEXX helmets, Superior Body Works, SRP Graphics, Vortex components, Zola acai drinks, Spider Grips, Advanced Auto Parts, Pilot leathers, Held gloves, Hotbodies, Lockhart Phillips
Catch RIM Racing at New Jersey for round 10 of the AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike series.
For more on RIM Racing’s Mike Morgan please visit www.mikemorganracing.com
ZipLine RIM Racing