Andrew's first race and win on the SV650!

WERA West Race #7 November 6-7, 2010

It was an awesome finish to an already great 2010 season. Having wrapped up the 3rd place in the SCminiGP Pro Extreme class, Andrew was ready to head for Las Vegas for the last race of the WERA West Series. The team made the decision to leave the RS150R at home and focus on Andrew's newest ride, a Superstock legal 2007 Suzuki SV650. This would be Andrew's first race on a full size race bike. The team goal was to gain experience racing the new SV in preparation for the start of the 2011 season, but Andrew had other ideas.

During the 2 Saturday practices Andrew was quickly dropping time. The team was working with CT Racing on the Pirelli tires as Andrew was shredding the soft rear Pirelli through the high speed turn 5. With the 20 lap solo race in the afternoon they decided to flip the rear tire as the left side had no wear problems. Andrew also met Josh Bartnik of JB suspension and was working with him on suspension adjustments throughout the morning. Josh quickly realized that the very stock front end was causing most of the handling problems. The front end needed to be stiffened up, but there wasn't time to get the oil changed before the Solo 20.

Andrew started the Solo 20 in the second wave with the rest of the novices. Being his first start on the SV getting through turn 1 in third wasn't bad. The race was fairly uneventful as Andrew put his head down and kept clicking off the laps until around lap 11 when the second place rider went down. This moved Andrew up to second where he would finish the race and win $60. Immediately following the race the team tore down the front end and replaced the stock fork oil with 15 weight oil. This wasn't ideal as they wanted 20 weight, but it was all that was available so it would have to do.

Sunday morning practices started again with Andrew shredding the soft rear Pirelli and dragging the bodywork through several of the turns. The guys at CT Racing suggested changing to a medium rear for the afternoon races. The 15 weight oil clearly wasn't good enough to give Andrew the control he needed, but time had ran out and it was time for racing.

The first race for Andrew was Formula 2. This was planned as more of a practice race since Andrew would be going up against many of his friends that had been riding 125s for a few seasons. He did well finishing 4th in class, but the big news was he dropped 1 second off his lap times. This put him only a tenth off where he needed to be for the LWT Superstock class.

It seemed like hours as Andrew's next race was race #15, Lightweight Twins Superstock Novice. Andrew was pumped up for this race. Gridded in 3rd on his Pirelli shod Superstock SV650, Andrew knew the start would be important. When the green flag dropped he got a great start, but was just behind the leader as they headed down to the tight turn 1. Andrew late braked the turn and came out in the lead. He started chasing the expert group in the hopes he could keep the rest of the novices behind. It was a close battle as 2nd place was right on Andrew's tail, but around lap 3 the other rider made a critical braking mistake into turn 1 and ended running onto the exit road instead of crashing. Andrew had no idea he had the race in the bag and continued chasing the win and even setting his fastest lap on the last lap and dropping his times by another tenth.

With only 1 race break Andrew gridded up 2nd and ready for another chance at a win in Lightweight Twins Superbike Novice. This time Andrew got through turn 1 in 2nd and was chasing the leader. Unfortunately he got hung up by one of the expert riders and lost about a second, but he made a charge in the closing laps to drop the gap to less than a second finishing in 2nd place.

After the races Andrew had this to say, "What an awesome weekend. I had so much fun and can't believe how the weekend went. In Superstock I got the holeshot and just ran for all 6 laps. I didn't realize that by lap 3 the other rider went off and I had a huge gap. In Superbike I missed out on the holeshot and then got hung up behind another rider and wasted some time there, but overall I'm really happy for the weekend and ready for the 2011 season! I want to thank my dad and mom for their hard work and support this weekend. I also want to thank Chris Maguire and Corey Taylor with CT Racing for putting me on those awesome Pirelli's and Josh Bartnik of JB Suspension for dialing in the suspension."

Andrew would also like to thank: Youth Road Racing USA, Next Moto Champion, Scorpion USA, Tayo Motors, Rooster Racing, SaferMoto, Impact Armor, Cycle Gear, Chicken Hawk Racing, Vortex Racing, Spider Grips, The Track Club, Fastrack Riders, Trackdaz, Paul & Tayo Grasham and Josiah Taulbee.

After a short break in December Andrew will kick off the 2011 season with the WERA West Series in January at Auto Club Speedway.