James Rispoli iReport; Laguna Seca, Rock'n the Cork Screw!

NEWS August 27, 2012

James Rispoli iReport; Laguna Seca, Rock'n the Cork Screw!

James Rispoli Racing Photo

2012 Laguna Seca, WIN # 5 
Still Pissed off for Greatness!
Hi everyone! I am finally able to get out a great report on my Laguna Seca experience. It was amazing!  First of all after Mid-Ohio I reported I had a birthday and received a cool motivational video from my dad called “Pissed off for Greatness.”  I said the video added to my positive motivation to train harder and be extra prepared for the Laguna Seca round where I had a chance to rap up the Western Championship in the SuperSport category.  Well I trained my butt off and loved every minute preparing for what was to be such an important round and my team was right there supporting me 110%. In short I can say I am just a touch shy of closing the deal on the championship so I am still pissed off for greatness, LOL. http://vimeo.com/43950969 

So, check out this iReport and read what happened.......

Friday Practice and First Qualifying session
I was a little nervous going into this round since in 2011 I had to miss the Laguna Seca round because my team did not have the budget to race west coast rounds. So while I did have an opportunity to race Laguna in 2010 on a roadracingworld.com motorcycle that John Ulrich helped coordinate, I had no other west coast track experience which makes 2012 even more challenging since I elected this year to go for the West Coast Championship. I totally forgot how close to the ocean the track is, and how much fog and dampness could roll in, especially in the morning sessions.  I knew I had to make qualifying count because qualifying was going to count for points as is the race and I needed a good qualifying result to maximize point for the championship that I was leading. 

Friday’s early morning practice had me sitting in the third qualifying position when the session was over a little over a half a second off the pole.  I wasn’t too happy because I never got a clean lap on the track with 50+ riders on the track.  I was however feeling confident we could do better and was looking forward to the next session.  In the afternoon session the track was dry and in good shape with a little more rubber on it and I was really hoping to find some space and crank out a good lap.  I knew I had to do something since we had western championship points to collect for qualifying at this round.  I never got that clear lap I wanted and ended up in the third spot again, one tenth behind Gillim my closest rival.  I wasn’t happy but I still felt confident if the morning wasn’t too foggy and damp I had one more chance to make it happen.

In the morning it initial wasn’t clear I was going to be able to go faster, but as the session progressed I thought differently and went at it early in the session with my last set of tire allocation.  It was a gamble to use a tire early but it was only a 20 minute session and if we had a red flag the session could be over.  The team felt we had to give it a shot early in the session.  I got up to second position with around 6 minutes to go and then all hec broke loose.  A few guys held out to throw on a new rear and laid down some times that bumped me back to 5th position and what would turn out to be my first, second row start of the season.  Fortunately Gillim also lost a spot so the points loss to him wasn’t that great, but is still was not where I wanted to be.  It meant I had no choice but to win the race, lead the most laps and have the fastest lap time in order to still clinch the championship.  I knew what I had to do and sat with my team to discuss the track and where we could make adjustments so I could be even more competitive later that day in the race.  I was determined and for sure was pissed off for greatness!

The race was scheduled for later Saturday afternoon after all the MotoGP practice was completed. Weather was a bit iffy, but in the end turned out sunny and perfect for our race.  Just before I went out on the grid I met with my mentor and race coach Jason Pridmore who instructed me that if I went to the outside on the start from the second row, I would have enough room to come down and get the hole shot.  I gridded up and on the green light nailed the start, pushed to the outside and just rode right to the head of the pack.  While everyone put on the brakes to tip-toe through the first corner, I was charging and working to gap the field right from the beginning.  What happened is I pulled Gillim along for the ride and the two of us broke away from the pack by 7 to 10 seconds.  I led every lap and pushed beyond my qualifying times into the low 29’s.  Gillim was dogging me the whole time but I ran my pace and kept him behind me by braking later and not giving up an inside line.  Gillim made two short passes on me during the race. The first one I countered quickly and out braked him going onto the cork screw.  The other was on the last lap where he rolled around me on the outside as I pinched off a one corner a little too much.  We only had a few turns left and while I was right on his rear wheel I didn’t think I was going to have a clear enough shot at making a pass to regain the lead by the checkers. Then, on the last turn I guess my pressure caused Gillim to make a small mistake and go off line just a little.  I yelled inside my helmet to get it turned and get on the gas before Gillim could point his bike back to an upright position.  It became a drag race to the checkers and my Suzuki GSX-R600 just motored by him to win by 0.035 seconds.  It was so cool and the biggest and best win of my AMA Pro career to date.  I was walking on cloud nine after the race and took in all of the atmosphere, signed autographs and took pictures with fans all over the paddock.  It was just awesome!  Here is a link to AMA Pro Racing’s interview of me at Laguna Seca.  This video is presented by Cardo Scala Rider.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WlIbQ3XTMA

Indy MotoGP and Indy Mile Flat Track Race
The August break after Laguna Seca is a month long so I was back in Florida, and started my training up again.  Unfortunately I came back from California with some sort of stomach virus that knocked me out of training for over a week. After going to the doc and getting some antibiotic I was back at it.  During the month I was preparing to head to the Indy MotoGP and Indy mile flattrack races.  I was supporting Ryan Wells who is a first year pro flattracker and was also making additional contacts at the MotoGP venue to see what was happening over in Europe.  I am on the prowl for opportunities both here in the USA in the AMA Pro Sportbike  Series as well as trying to understand what opportunities there could be overseas should an opportunity over there materialize.  Just meeting all the people from Europe this year was awesome and I learned a lot.

My favorite meeting was with one of my heroes Valentino Rossi. Val46 is a Monster Energy rider and that connection makes us distant team mates. Anyway when I met him and introduced myself he remembered my SuperSport race and win at Laguna Seca and I just thought that was so cool.  Val46 also has a new Harley flattracker he purchased here in the states and its now heading off to his ranch oveseas.   Who knows, maybe one day I will get a chance to turn a few laps going left with him.   Overall Val46 is a just a great guy and fan.
Upon leaving the Indy weekend I headed straight to VIR for a Star School event where I got a chance to work with both National Guard folks on the first day and Marines on the second day.  It’s so great to work with our military guys and girls and help give back a little to them for the blanket of freedom they help provide for all of us.  It’s an honor to be part of such a cool program.  I also have been training a lot on the GSX R1000 and I am really enjoying the power, speed and the way I can play with the power of the bike.  I have been having a blast and it is really helping me on my 600 program too.

Andrea Wilson Photo

I have been home a week in Florida putting in the peddle miles with my trainer Richie all week which has been great. Sunday I flew out to Kansas to work another multi-day Star School and getting prepared for our race at New Jersey Motorsport Park September 7th – 9th. The next two rounds are East Coast rounds and will provide me some good practice to be ready for the final showdown at Nola Motorsports Park in New Orleans October 5th – 7th.
To sum it all up I know I have one of the best teams in the paddock behind me.  Together we are racing, over coming challenges and we’re all getting better at what we do. I want to thank my entire team, especially William, Dustin and Eric for doing everything it takes to give me the best race bikes on the planet.  They are the best. To Barry, Skip and everyone else who came together to help this ride open up for me I say thank you! I will do whatever I have to do to be ready to race for every event. Next stop, New Jersey Motorsports Park, September 5th – 7th.

Till next time do what I like to do, GO FASTER...
Make sure you check this video of “the Rocket” at Infineon Raceway.  Just click below! Over 176,000 views in the last (12) weeks.  Thanks for supporting me and my Celtic Orient Express Racing team.

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Celtic-Orient Express Racing is proud to partner with: Michael Jordan Motorsports, American Suzuki, Armor Bodies, Chicken Hawk Racing, DesignStar3, Dynojet, FMF Racing Exhaust, Full Spectrum Power, Hudson Valley Racing, Galfer Brakes, GB Racing, K-Tech Suspension, Maxima Oils, Motion Pro, Pit Bull, Riviera Country Club, Saddlemen, Star Motorcycle School, Vortex Racing, and Zero Gravity. 
James’ personal sponsors are AGV-Dainese (head to toe), Monster Energy, Gafler Brakes, Techmounts, Star Motorcycle School, Saddlemen, and Maverick Moto Media.


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