Mikey Avila SDI-Bisha Racing Recap
NEWS August 24, 2012
Photo by Dave Hoenig
Courtesy of Pattie Frost:
(August 27, 2012) - As the SDI-Bisha Racing XR750 Harley Davidson was unloaded from the Serra Monte Ford Van, Madera California’s first year Expert racer Mikey Avila was in hopes that the second-leg of the AMA Pro Harley-Davidson Insurance Grand National Championship Tour would finally show-case his ability that’s warranted a step to the big-bikes.
Settling for a sophomore slump, the second year racer is just trying to get the monkey-off his back. Add to that, Avila is racing his own Honda in the AMA Pro Races for Short Track and TT’s this has added additional pressure. Bouncing back and forth between the two types of bikes may be one of the reasons for the frustration.
Recently, Mikey Avila spoke to Marketing Partners at a Dinner in South San Francisco’s at Bertolucci’s Restaurant. “It’s not like we have had time to practice with the XR 750, these bikes are strong but, they are so different from what I have been use to” state Avila.
Mikey Avila at eighteen is on his-own and away from home. His comfort level has changed. Avila chose to load up and move to Michigan to work with Joe Bisha and that meant Mikey has had to tend to the Honda when racing the TT and Short Track events on the AMA Pro Flat Track Tour.
“We struggled at the Castle Rock, (Washington) at the TT Race” stated Avila. “The Track was less than stellar (no passing-single groove) when we rode the Honda, then it was off to the Midwest.” “When we got back I decided that I’d load up a few days early to get some practice” stated Avila. Jumping in with Jared Mees, (fellow AMA Pro GNC competitor) Mikey was headed to a couple of extra Races in order to get much needed track time and practice as he would be riding the Honda CRF 450 with Boughner Suspension and Mack Daddy massaged engine.
“Around Michigan I’ve been able to train on my TREK Bicycle and ride my practice bike (supplied by Dickel Enterprises) but that’s been on a weekly Moto Cross track.” “Mees and I were headed to the AMA All Stars Race promoted at Peoria Motorcycle Club on their Short Track”.
Mikey, was happy to get to hang-out with Jared, riding and sharing ideas were the plus he was hoping for. The next night they head off to the 17th Annual Bob Walters Memorial at the Galesburg Motorcycle Club grounds in Galesburg Illinois for another Short Track. Mikey entered the Semi-Pro event and finished 8th.
Sunday, it was the AMA Pro Budweiser Grand National Championship TT. “Practice session saw the Track in cloud cover which kept the track-wet” Mikey stated. “I won this event a year ago (in the Pro Single Class) so I was looking forward to race” Mike said going to the track. Mikey had qualified 12th. “I was on the front row in the 5th starting spot, sandwiched between JD Beach and Mikey Rush”. Both of which he had raced with over the season. As the Green light came on, it was Jake Johnson in the lead followed by Brad Baker and Bryan Smith. Mikey ran two laps and had mechanical problems forcing him to pull into the Pit Area. It later turned out they had to replace the head-pipe to the exhaust system. That put him in the Semi and he missed the transfer spot by one. Mikey Avila had a very frustrating experience from winning the year before.
“As we rolled into the Indiana State Fairgrounds it was cool to see packed grounds with fair goers, tents pitched, trailers with campers and who-knows how many Street Bikes parked all-over” Mikey really was excited as he talked on the phone to a couple of Sponsors that couldn’t make the trip. “I was really looking forward to the Indy mile on my SDI-Bisha Racing Tuned XR 750. I had good results there in 2010 as a Pro Sport Rider where I finished 4th”. “It's one of the biggest races of the year as the FIM AMA Moto Grand Prix is in-town just about 5 miles away, at famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway”. “It’s cool to see all the GP guys come out and watch and have respect for what we do”.
“The weather was awesome at a high of 82 degrees, you really can't ask for any better than that for the middle of August out here in the Mid-west” stated Avila. Practice sessions were underway Mikey was running in the top 20 in the first session and you could tell he wanted changes. By the next session the heat of the day was at its max and he was up to 16th after 3 laps. In the second set he pushed it and qualified 15th, at the end of both sessions he was officially locked in at 17th position at an average of 92.8 mph and that put him in the 2nd Heat front row outside in 6th on the starting line.
“On the Green, I got a good jump from the start, on the outside but the inside had the advantage carrying the momentum and I was 5th going down the back stretch.” “I was close to Rob Pearson and Sammy Halbert; I knew I really needed to make a pass right away to get a direct transfer into the main; but I charged in too deep on the entrance of turn 3 and blew the groove (slide up out of the groove), dropping to seventh with two laps to go”. Bottom line at this point, Mikey was going to the GNC Semi and would have to race the XR750 Dickel Enterprise Joe Bisha tuned SDI-Insulation Harley into the Main Event.
As the GNC Semi lined up for the start of the 18 riders took their positions – Mikey locked in to 4th starting position on the 6 rider front row. Mikey was excited at the end of the Semi, “I made the transfer taking a 3rd place finish and was interview.” Joe took the SDI-Bisha Racing XR750 Harley to the Pit area to ready for the Main.
“With all the hype on the on the newer bikes, (the) Ducati, Kawasaki and Triumph, there are a lot more people who are exploring potential of these new bikes”. The break-down on the Twins Class was 47 Bikes entered and the breakdown was 26 were the HD’s, 12 Kawasaki’s 2 KTM’s, 1 Ducati, and one Triumph they attempted Qualifying for the National by the Introductions of the Main the break-down was 9 HD’s 7 Kawasaki’s, 1 Triumph and 1 Ducati. Mikey went on to say “We seem to be at a disadvantage (with the Harley's) with our restrictor and weight rule.” “Those other bikes are able to blow by us down the straight away with little or no draft at all; then they roll off the throttle and park it in the corners.” “It makes for exciting racing to watch.” “It also makes it very hairy to make a pass stick; you've got to be very smart on when and where you'll execute the pass and do it.” Can you say 130 MPH Checkmate?
“At the start of the Main I lined up in 17th starting spot (3rd row-outside).” “As the Green came out I was struggling, and after the 10th lap I was running in 15th.” The Red Flag stopped the race as Medics tended to downed rider, Jake Johnson on his low-sided (slide-out). Joe Bisha came on the Track, we were able to talked about what was going on and I knew the combination of cooling my tires and having less fuel was going to help once we went back to racing.” “On the re-start I began making some passes but soon the track rubbered-up and got very slick.” “I worked my way up to 9th at one point, but made a couple rookie mistakes and fell back to 12th at the finish.”
“I'm learning a lot every weekend and wanting to get in the lead pack very soon!” stated Avila.
“We had our SDI-Bisha Racing XR tuned and running great all night, I've just got to get myself in a better position during the heat races to get that direct transfer to the main.” “It's been a big learning curve for me so I can't thank everyone who is behind me enough for supporting me through my rookie season!”
Avila will get frustrated, he will make those mistakes but at the end of the day as long as he feels he’s learning that’s the only thing the SDI Team can ask for.
Steve DeLorenzi the CEO of SDI-Insulation chose Mikey Avila to ride the SDI-Bisha mount as he brought youth, a good racing background and ability that would lend it’s self to long-time Race Tuner Joe Bisha. “Bisha is Flat Track Racing” stated DeLorenzi at the Contractor’s Race Crew dinner held before the Sacramento Mile. “Joe Bisha has managed and mentored Jay Springsteen, Bostrom Brothers (Ben and Eric), and worked with a several others in his 40 plus years of Flat Track Racing. “With Mikey’s clean-cut look we knew he would represent your Company in the Winners Circle in connection with the Contractor’s Race Crew,” DeLorenzi stated.
Partners in Marketing Include:
SDI-Insulation; Joe Bisha Racing; Circle Bell Enterprises; Serra Monte Ford; Boughner Suspension; Mack Daddy Racing; Dickel Ent.; Galvin Precision Machining; Allwood Construction; Moroso Construction; Arai Helmets; Alpinestars; EBC Brakes; Fox Gear; Helix; Hooper Motorsports; Kal-Gard; K&N Filters; Motion Pro; Moto Concepts; West Coast Hot Shoe; Works Connection (Note: For more information on becoming a Marketing Partner contact Nancy Pennington at SDI-Insulationat 650-685-5500)