View Full Version : Plastrick @ Loudon 8/7-8
08-10-2004, 08:33 AM
This should be brief, as there actually is no race to report.
After lots of determined preparation, expense and spousal pacifying I arrived at the track Friday afternoon. I got my pit area nicely set-up and ready for the weekend - all was good, I had everything I needed.
I got to sleep at 9:30, had an excellent sleep and awoke at 5:30 for coffee and a track-walk. Practice started at 8:00 and I was ready, I was in a great frame of mind and ready to kick ass. I was to be in the second practice group, Jr/Ex red.
I got caught up talking to someone in the pits and got out after my group had one lap in, but no big deal - I figured I'll just take it slow and let them by on my first lap. I took it easy that 1st lap and all was good. I crossed start/finish to begin my first hot lap and was really focused on my lines. Passed two guys before T1, thru T2 clean and down the chute towards T3. Passed two guys on SV650's going into T3 - nice & smooth - things were feeling great.
I came through the bowl perfectly - man, this was gonna be a great weekend! Exiting the bowl & into the crest of T7, I was hard on the gas and noticed a dust cloud & two tumbling bikes off to the right peripheral view. I had that milli-second of thought "sucks for those guys, but stay focused on where you're going". Just as I had that thought, I realized I was sliding on my back - head first towards the tire wall.
Luckily, I slid to an eventual stop just short of the wall. The impact I was bracing for never occured. My first reaction was to attempt to pick up my bike, it was scraped up but did'nt look too bad. Just then, I saw another bike coming at me, so I jumped up on the wall with the two riders that crashed ahead of me. There were no corner workers in our area and no warning of the oil on the track that took us out.
As it turns out, Four more bikes crashed behind me before a red flag was thrown. We stood on that wall waving off the oncoming riders to no avail. My bike, which was'nt so badly damaged, ended up getting drilled by two more bikes - and it's now severely thrashed. The first bike that hit it flattened the tank, flipped my bike over and allowed the second bike to finish off the other side.
I certainly don't have the budget to make the repairs to continue this year, so it looks like my season is over before it began.
So, for the weekend, I got a total of 1.5 laps in. I did'nt even get a chance to see what I could do, which sucks, because I was really in the right frame of mind & feeling pretty aggressive.
Oh well, there's always next year.
08-10-2004, 09:12 AM
Not much can be said except, that really sucks. I got a pit in my stomach when I saw your bike. I am glad you came out okay, but man it was a real bummer seeing your bike like that....
08-10-2004, 09:32 AM
I guess the situation with all the carnage has turned into a bit of a controversy. i copied the following post off of the North East area racers list (NEAR):
From: "Matthew F. Guilbault" <matthew@m...> Date: Mon Aug 9, 2004 10:06 am Subject: Crashes? Try seven bikes down in turn seven with no red flag.
Don't believe the headline? Then watch the tape (seriously I havethe entire thing on tape from an onboard camera from one of thevictim's bikes). Now before you get started defending thecorner workers on this one, know that the corner workers agree with meand the theme of the thread (at least the ones I spoke to). Thepoint of this post is to point out a serious problem and to makesure that it never happens again. It should have never happened inthe first place.First the incident: A total of (at least) seven bikes crashed inturn seven in the first Jr/Ex red practice session Saturday morning(3 from the Team Speedbike garage alone). Now as bizarre as thissounds, know that they all didn't crash at once...they went in oneor two or three at a time over a span of at least 3 laps. (Again Ihave it ALL on tape, which will be downloaded and sent to Jerry Woodfor his review)Why did this happen? Because the practice was run with NOcorner workers that could see turn seven and flag the practice to letthe riders know that there was a problem (crashed bikes ahead andoil on the track). Therefore the riders had no warning that a rider(or five or six riders) had crashed there a lap or two before andspilled oil at the apex of turn 7...only to come along seeing noyellow flags, no debris flags, nothing until they crested the riseat turn seven and instantly found themselves sliding on the groundtowards a mess of bikes that had crashed there the lap before (oreven two laps before!). Even some of the crashed riders had to getthemselves up off the ground, run to the side of the track and tryto warn racers to slow down. (On the tape you can see them wavingat the other riders to slow down and then briskly run behind thetires when the next rider who can't see them over the rise comes tojoin them after hitting the oil and crashing themselves).What finally stopped it? Get this...a rider in the practice sessionhad to pull off the track at a corner worker station and TELL themthat seven bikes had crashed (no one knew!) Only then was the redflag thrown and the carnage finally stopped. I was amazed that itwasn't even raised in the riders meeting..Don didn't even know thishappened until I told him after the riders meeting!The result: Thousands of dollars in broken bikes, mostly minorinjuries and one potentially seriously injured rider that will nowbe forced to sit out the rest of the season and maybe be done racingforever. And the injured rider waited between 10 and 15 minutesfor the ambulance to be dispatched and arrive. The ambulance sitsin Turn 4!The cause: Again....NO corner workers that could see the crash andwarn other riders (if not throw a red flag and stop the mess untilit could be cleaned up).The problem: Easy. The practice should have never been startedwith not enough corner workers to at least see the entire track. Ican't believe that any practice is allowed to start with not enoughcorner workers, but the corner workers tell me themselves that theorders from our Safety Director is to start practices on timeregardless of whether we have adequate corner coverage (Jerry ifthis isn't the case I invite you to respond publicly and correctthis).When riders are given the green flag to start the practice sessionthey rely on the track being safe. If it isn't they should be atleast warned, not set loose when something like this could (and did)happen. This isn't a Thursday practice where you know you're takingyour chances with coverage.The solution: Again, easy. Don't start a practice session untilthere are enough corner workers to cover the entire track. If thisisn't a rule, it should be. Some riders I spoke to remember sittingon the grid until enough volunteers came along to cover the track.That's the price you have to pay sometimes ...and talk to any of theriders that crashed in seven and they'll tell you they would haverather waited and run a shorter session then go through what theywent through in the crash.You saw it work effectively on Sunday when Laura Cole spentconsiderable time on the PA system telling us that unless we findsome volunteers to corner work, the track would not be adequatelycovered. (Thank you to the 5 volunteers who stepped up and madesure that the riders got the protection and coverage theydeserved.)We hear it every weekend, so maybe we start to disregard the pleafor more volunteers. But the fact remains that if I have to sit onpregrid waiting for enough corner workers to staff the track, I'mgoing to work like hell to find someone to volunteer so that I canpractice and race. And I'm sure you would too. We've talked aboutthis time and time again, but when it comes to rider safety I see nocredible excuse for running a session with less than adequatecorner worker coverage.Now lets try not to let this thread turn into the same old "more payfor corner workers" crap. It isn't going to happen. We have thesolution and we've seen it work. Don't start practice until we haveenough corner workers, period.As riders, we need to agree that this should be an unbending rule atthe track and refuse to ride until it's enforced. (Donít agree? putyourselves in the shoes of one of the seven riders for amoment..Preferably the one who was back boarded with a C-spine collarand sent to the E.R.) The solution is so easy we can't afford notto correct it immediately. And again, we saw it work already onSunday! Stick with me on this one.MattyG#94(on a mission to get this changed for the benefit of all riders)
Replies Name/Email Yahoo! ID Date
4869 Re: Crashes? Try seven bikes down in turn seven with no red flag. bjshredder@A... bjshredder Mon 8/9/2004
4870 Re: Crashes? and cornerworkers
08-10-2004, 09:41 AM
Sorry about that MASSIVE paragraph, I guess it got a little compressed in the copy/paste.
I hope it was some what read-able.
08-10-2004, 10:26 AM
dude that sucks!
do you have a link to the North East area racers list, wouldnt mind checking it out.
if there is anything i can do let me know.
08-10-2004, 11:09 AM
Clarkie, you can sign up for NEAR at www.lrrsracing.com. Open a yahoo account or something though because your mail box will fill up rather quickly.
Patrick that rally sucks! I was really hoping that you would have great week end of racing. Glad you came out of it unhurt at least. If there is any way I can help get your bike back in working order just give me a shout. I have no spare parts for a Mille but I can help search some out if you would like.
It was great to meet you there on Friday though. I was really looking forward to seeing you there in Sept. Like you said though there is always next year. Let me know when you make the trip to Maine.
08-10-2004, 03:56 PM
<sigh> I was very sorry to hear that you were one of the riders in the malay. I am glad you managed to make it out of there in one piece, but its very unfortunate your Mille did not.
08-11-2004, 03:11 PM
Patrick, this may be a good source for parts
08-11-2004, 08:43 PM
Thanks for all the words of support - both here & in private. You guys are awesome!
I dove right back into 70 hour work-week mode, so I have'nt had much time for replies.
I just started looking at the bike more closely this evening, it's pretty depressing. I'm feeling pretty motivated to get it back on the track before the season is over. I'll try my best to pull it off. looks like I'll be doing some side jobs on Sunday's.
As soon as I have the cash together, I'll be spending lots of time on E-bay (thanks for looking out for me Joe).
I took some photos of the bike & added them to an online album that's mixed with old photos of parts I sold off that crashed Mille I bought last year. There's some parts in there I wish I still had now. I do still have a small collection of parts that I'll be able to use.
I'll be putting together a list of all wasted parts as soon as I can.
08-11-2004, 09:10 PM
Alright, somebody just e-mailed me a link to the video. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of my bike, it turns out me & my Mille are center frame for the whole clip (after the crash scene).
you can see us checking on the injured rider as you hear him groaning in pain - pretty sickening.
I'm in the yellow/black leathers. My Mille is lying on the ground right in front of the camera.
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