Mikey Martin: Springfield and Beyond

NEWS June 17, 2011

Hey everyone, here are my race reports for the Springfield Mile, Springfield TT, Dairyland Classic, Wilmot Wisconsin, and Sun Prairie Wisconsin. Sorry for the delay in getting these published, but as you can see I have been doing a lot of traveling.

Sunday morning, the day of the Springfield Mile I woke up around 7am and had been in the pits for a few hours before my team got there, my dad called me earlier that morning and told me that something bad had happened, the Weirbach Racing Team van with all of our race bikes had caught on fire about 4am while parked in the parking lot of the motel. My dad and the rest of the team were at the motel where the van caught fire were waiting for the fire marshal to complete his investigation and release the van to us so we could see what was salvageable, if anything, since all the teams mile bikes were loaded and ready to go inside the van.

My dad said that it looked bad and suggested that I start asking around and see if someone would be willing to help me out with a bike. I started making calls for a bike, fuel, and tires. The only thing I did not need to borrow was my riding gear because I had that with me.

Due to all the rain the night before, the mile program was delayed, this was the break we needed, because if the program had been on schedule there would have been a slim chance I could have made it to qualifying. We called the AMA to let them know what we were up against and requested some extra time because we would be late for tech inspection. The AMA granted us the extra time.

After contemplating many different scenarios the team decided that I would ride Jesse Janish’s bike, since he is Weirbach Racing’s expert rider and he would not be competing on the singles bike on the mile because the experts run the twins on half-mile and larger tracks. If something were to happen to Jessie’s bike it would have been a team sacrifice since all riders needed their singles bike for the TT the very next day.We changed tires, pipes and number plates and worked our butts off. We only had about ten minutes before the first practice when we finished my bike. It wasn’t as fast as my “A” bike but at that point we were just wanting to make the main event to get some points.

The first practice went well. The track was really rough because of the rain the day before. I made some suspension changes before the next qualifying practice and qualified second. We went back to the pit and made a few more changes. I went back out the next qualifying session and pushed harder yet and the track got faster. I got a fast lap in and ended up fifth overall. That was good enough for a front row start in the heat.

In my heat I had some fast riders. I got the hole-shot but got drafted right away, I tried staying with the rider in front but he was pulling away. I tried a new line and caught the rider in front and passed him I lead it till the last lap then got drafted at the line, I made the front row for the main. We had no intermission because they started late, so right after the experts we were up. Before I knew it the horn went off.

I got the hole-shot again and lead for a few laps. Me and Palmer were drafting back and forth, till the end and I tried getting a draft on him the last lap and my bike just wasn’t fast enough. I got second and was very happy for doing so well on a borrowed bike.

The next day was Monday on the Springfield TT. The TT is my favorite track. It was a hot day and an early start to the day. The Pro’s were on the track first. They changed the track a lot compared to last year so I had to check it out the first couple laps of the first practice. The first practice I qualified third and that was the first time on the track in a year, my gearing was off so I went to our pit area and we changed the gearing then waited for the next qualifying practice, I went out the first qualifying practice and ended up qualifying fourth, We changed some suspension settings but my bike set up was fighting me all day, I was in the first heat.

I came off the line in about fifth and into the first corner, I started working my way up, picking a rider off every lap, I ended up second in the heat. And that’s a good starting spot for the main. I watched the experts to see where the fast lines around the track were. The horn went off for the main. I came off the line in fourth but there was a restart. We all lined back up then took off again. I was in third this time and about two laps later there was another restart. We line up again and I finally get a good start, I was in second and over the jump I passed a rider in the right-hander, I was in front and was pulling away I started making mistakes and the bike threw me around and I made a big mistake I almost high sided and second place passed me, I ended up second and was happy I got two second place finishes in a row.

The next weekend was a race in Plymouth Wisconsin called the Dairyland Classic. The track almost looked like my home track. I was pretty excited to ride it. In practice I felt really good but I was riding my stock “07” and the track was pretty big. I qualified sixth against all expert riders. My heat was stacked. I had Jared Mees and Kenny Coolbeth on the front row next to me. I was third off the line and was battling with Coolbeth the whole race and ended up third in the heat. I didn’t direct transfer, I had a semi with Chris Carr and Coolbeth, I got the hole-shot and ended up winning the semi and went straight to the main. As a matter of fact, in that semi I set a new 6-lap track record a full second faster previously held by Jake Johnson in 2008 on a framer.

In the main event I started on the back row, all the way on the outside. I was in eighth off the line and started picking my way through the pack, I got up to fifth about half way through and battled with Coolbeth the whole race again and on the last few laps he passed me and I ended up sixth. I was the only Pro Singles rider in the top ten. What a blast getting to compete against my idols I’ve been watching for the last 12 years.

The next two races are from the Steve Nace Racing - All Star National Flat Track Series. The next day was a half-mile about an hour and a half from Plymouth, in Wilmot. I was riding my stock bike on a half-mile, and I was just going to do the best that I could. In practice the track was really slippery and started getting better through the night. I won my heat race, and made a bunch of changes on my bike and Jimmy Wood let me borrow a pipe for more horse power, I got the hole shot in the main and found a really fast line on the outside and won it on a stock bike.

The next day was at Sun Prairie it was another half-mile and in practice the track was really rough and slippery, I made adjustments and changed gearing on my bike and in the heat race I got second due to a bad start and in the main I got the hole shot and pulled away for another win.

The next race report will be from Hartford, MI. I have a lot of people besides our sponsors that I need to thank. Once the word got out that we had the fire, people were and still are offering bikes and equipment. Thank you teams Carver, Baker, Hamilton, Janisch, Cassidy, Bacosa, Zanotti, Wood, Bob and Roger Weirbach, and thanks to the AMA for allowing the grace period for the late tech. inspection. I know Im forgetting a lot of people, please forgive me. The whole Weirbach team, my dad, Steve and Jesse Janish, and Dick and Ted Weirbach went well beyond what anyone could ever expect. Thank You! Mikey Martin 91Y

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