2016 LRRS Round 1 - Savvas Kosmidis #88

Discussion in 'Race Reports' started by Olympus Racing, May 2, 2016.

  1. Olympus Racing

    Olympus Racing Well-Known Member

    2016 the Beginning of New Chapters
    Loudon Road Race Series 2016 Round 1

    This year has a lot planned for me in many aspects. From taking over a whole new job to the year of racing the Isle of Man and everything in between. On top of that I have been invited by Penguin Road Racing School (the oldest racing school in USA) to be an instructor with them. This is my greatest way of giving back, from the beginning of my racing career until now numerous people have been helping in different forms. This first weekend of 2016 Penguin gave me the ability to work with the Basic School students which includes all riders who want to obtain their CCS racing license. It was full day of turning several laps in various speeds, helping students overcome issues and increase performance while teaching them about safety. I also got to work with people who have over 10+ years of instructing experience so I got to learn a lot myself. On top of that add my regular practice and you can understand how Friday was an intense workout. I don’t think I have ever been in my leathers for 8+ hours before until that day. The night closed with a great dinner, the celebration of my friend’s and teammate Stephanie Miscall, the arrival of my brother Panos at the track and an early bed time.

    Saturday
    Woke up very early because I had some work to do on the bikes, as well as prep one of the bikes for a Rookie that I decided to assist with his first weekend and let him borrow my bike for it as well, Keith Johnson. It was a bit of challenge because we had some back to back races so we had to create removable number plates (fancy wording for painters and duct tape). Keith did excellent this weekend and got his racing license and finished very well in both his races.
    For me this was my first time on the 2009 Yamaha R6 Supersport. It has been a while since I was on one of those since my focus the recent years has been on the Lightweight classes. Testing the weekend before had shown that I was clicking very well with the R6 and the set up and everything was exactly as I wanted thanks to Peter Kates from Computrack Boston. This was also the last shake down for the Kawasaki ER6 MiniTwin before it ships to the Isle of Man for this year’s Manx Grand Prix.
    Went out for practice on each bike and I immediately could tell I wasnt myself, my shifting points were all over the place, I was missing shifts and brake markers, my lines were unsteady. A quick look at lap times confirmed terrible riding (not that I needed the confirmation). I figured I will just keep hydrating and I would be fine by time my races start.

    Race #5 Heavy Weight SuperSport
    I was gridded dead last (3D aka 12th), I got a terrible start and found out the hard way that the R6 makes no power below 8000rpm (later I found out that it needs even more than that). Trying to shake off my terrible start and possible the worst one of my entire racing career, I continued to ride in the worst way that I have in a long time time. Bad shifting and braking continued, I was supper stiff on the bike, I was adding too much bar input mid corner, my body position was bad. I pretty much was doing everything wrong.
    I finished totally exhausted in 9th Place and a best lap of 1:21.3

    there was number plate swaps immediately for Keith to go out for his race and after that I had two back to back races between the R6 and the ER6. We got permission to keep the ER6 on the warmers near the pit lane to make the swap easier. Huge thank you to Gino for arranging and managing everything and of course Pano and Steph for all the help. Plan was to come in from the Unlimited race on the R6, jump immediately on the ER6 and go out for Ultra Superbike…

    Race #8 Unlimited Grand Prix
    I was gridded 22nd and got another equal start. Bad riding continued and half way through the race I decided that I was a hazard to myself and my fellow racers so I decided to lift my left hand up and bring it in the pits making this my first time to ever quit race and get a DNF (Did Not Finish). Best lap was 1:20.8 which may sound like improvement but really is terrible for what I was expecting.

    Quick prep talk by coaches Gino and Pano, relax grab some water and jump on the Kawasaki for my last race of the day.

    Race #9 Ultralight SuperBike
    I was gridded 21st for this one. Huge grid with various bikes, twins, motards, gp bikes, i don’t even know what else it was out there. In my head I had already two bad starts and starts usually are my strongest point and I was gridded 5 rows deep on top of riding like crap all day so I didn’t have very high expectations for this race.
    I got a decent start (finally) and cleared half the field, going into T1 in 12th place. I stayed there for a while trying to find a good rhythm and remember how to ride the inline twin again. Things started clicking, I was able to relax myself and have some fun. I made a few passes, stayed safe and didn’t push too hard.
    Ended up in 8th place and best lap of 1:19.3

    finally a decent result with a better lap time and some good riding. Evening followed with going to the T6 stands to watch my friends Steph, Cole, Dave, and others compete in the Dash (MWGP). Long night with Greek Orthodox Easter traditions, good friends, the AWARD CEREMONY OF COURSE (packed this time and i was glad to see that) lots of laughing and fire that used all the lighter fluid in the world. Also I found out that the hardest item to obtain in the Paddock during an LRRS weekend is a lemon (LOL), nearly impossible to find it, shoutout to Chris Dove for coming through with one already cut out too lol.

    Sunday
    Woke up already cold, temperature was low and it was only going to get colder and wet, very wet. Skipped practice (tradition) and did oil changes in both bikes. Some quick touches on the bikes with Gino and Pano and we were ready to start the day.
    My mom was coming to see and celebrate my birthday (getting older) and bring food for like 242983 people at the track. For those of you who don’t know my mom is my lucky charm and I never had a bad race day with her there :) As expected the skies opened and we got a pretty solid rain. Which is much better than the on and off we were getting last year which was destroying our rain tires and caused several last minute tire swaps. So with the awesome help of Mike & Tony from MTAG Pirelli (thank you for not only getting me awesome tires, but providing the best possible service I could ask for) we threw the rain tires on the R6 and decided to sit out the Kawasaki, too much to lose with nothing to gain since I am not racing any LightWeight classes in the USA for the rest of the year and the bike is shipping in a few weeks.
     
  2. Olympus Racing

    Olympus Racing Well-Known Member

    Sunday
    Woke up already cold, temperature was low and it was only going to get colder and wet, very wet. Skipped practice (tradition) and did oil changes in both bikes. Some quick touches on the bikes with Gino and Pano and we were ready to start the day.
    My mom was coming to see and celebrate my birthday (getting older) and bring food for like 242983 people at the track. For those of you who don’t know my mom is my lucky charm and I never had a bad race day with her there :) As expected the skies opened and we got a pretty solid rain. Which is much better than the on and off we were getting last year which was destroying our rain tires and caused several last minute tire swaps. So with the awesome help of Mike & Tony from MTAG Pirelli (thank you for not only getting me awesome tires, but providing the best possible service I could ask for) we threw the rain tires on the R6 and decided to sit out the Kawasaki, too much to lose with nothing to gain since I am not racing any LightWeight classes in the USA for the rest of the year and the bike is shipping in a few weeks.

    Race #2 Heavy Weight SuperBike
    I was gridded in 4B. I got a decent start and was heading into T1 in 3rd place but Cole went around me, immediately on the flip for 1A he slid and hit the ground. Red Flag and restart and Cole is there so I know he was fine, we look at each other laugh a bit and focus on the restart. I got another good start and went into T1 in 4th. Rider ahead crashed and left me and #59 Norman Pomerleau battle for 3rd place. I kept trying different ways to pass him in T3, T6 and T9 but i wasnt able to make anything stuck. With two laps to go I knew I had him on the brakes in T3 so I changed my line to stick a pass but as we approached my visor completely fogged out to the point that the cones looked like a long orange line. I figured the smartest thing to do was to play it safe and bring it so I toned in down. I unfortunately did a rookie mistake and toned it too much allowed #69 John van Lenten to pass me on the last lap and drop me in 5th Place.
    So I ended up 5th with a Best Lap of 1:32.1 and happy confirmation that I can ride the R6 in the rain

    Race #4 Light Weight SuperBike Decision was already made to not race the Kawasaki in the rain, so I sat this one out - DNS

    Race #6 Unlimited SuperSport
    I was gridded in 2B. We attempted to fix my foggy visor by covering my nose and part of my mouth with duct tape (lol). I got a good start and went into T1 in 3rd place behind David Hemstreet and Eric Wood. I stayed with them for a while but my visor gave up on me again. I tried wiping it down on the straights, cracking it up every chance I could but it kept fogging up immediately. #242 Declan Fitzpatrick did a very clean and smooth pass on me and I battled him for a while but he was simply better so he kept me off the podium.
    Finished 4th

    Race #8 Middle Weight SuperSport
    I was completely exhausted, cold and shaking at this point. Been in wet leathers all day isn’t exactly the greatest feeling, especially when temps are below 40F. Plan was simple, just bring the bike back in the same shape it went out, finish safe. I was gridded in 3B and what I didn’t know is that I was about to have the worst launch of my career by far. 1 Board goes up, I rev the bike, drop the clutch and I am not moving…. I am still in Neutral, gah, quick click in first and trying to catch everyone which was not going to happen until 3 riders went down causing red flags and a restart. This time I was more prepared of course. I got a decent start and went into T1 in 6th place behind Tim Barber. I followed him for a lap or two got a good pace and made my pass. Tried to unsuccessfully catch Norman Pomerlau but another rider went down moving me one spot up by the finish of the race.
    Finished 4th


    All in all it was a good weekend. Yeah I had higher expectations, yes I should have been faster but honestly bad round 1s is pretty much a tradition for me at this point. I am either fighting mechanical or myself. This time it was all me. But I kept my bikes looking pretty, i got a couple top 5s and all my testing was completed and successful.
    I learned a lot about myself and my bikes this weekend and although I spent most of Saturday very frustrated I need to look at the positive and good things and return just better next time.

    I have to give it up first to all the track stuff for the amazing work they did this weekend. Kept us all safe and we unfortunately kept them very busy. Corner workers suffered terrible conditions but were there to smile at us, give us a high and pick our bikes up all weekend. The officials did a fantastic job regulating the event and keeping everything smooth. The new announcer (Andy Hall) is AWESOME! dude has so much passion about what he does and I’m glad he joined our community. Cannot thank you all enough for all you do for us and keeping the series growing and going.

    Now for the awesome people and companies who have decided to be part of my madness and support me in various ways. Scott Mullin from Souhegan Valley Motorsports built me an incredible motor for the Kawasaki and the Isle of Man. the A bike is 100% good to and I have full confidence in Scott’s work. Watch out European Builders, we are coming! Peter Kates - Computrack Boston for setting up both bikes exceptionally well, for the constant support and availability with trackside services that you provide us with. What can I say PK, you know your stuff and always give me a good laugh, very glad to have you in my corner. Central Mass PowerSports got us going all year around, started at the off season and of course continuing to last minute orders and great service. Our awesome Bros from ChainWheel Moto, the guys are just so passionate and talented with photography and have great pricing (I believe the best I have ever seen at LRRS) and also compete themselves in racing! Alexander Academy, Alessandor Ristorante, Ace Cafe, Woodcraft, Armour Bodies, Penguin, Spears Racing, Bell Helmets. Of course my awesome teammates, friends and family <3

    Last but not least, all of you who keep supporting, loving, encouraging, observing (and some of you hating’ but you don’t matter anyways) this journey. I am so thankful that you have decided to be part of this and I appreciate each one of you. Many updates coming soon with the announcements of Isle of Man MGP entries and of course Loudon Road Race Series Round 2 May 21-22.

    Stay tuned, stay safe.
    Thank you,
    Sav

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