After the last test we had a couple weeks off. And after my first day spent back in the saddle, it was good to get my head wrapped around just what’s going on. Processing this always takes a bit, so a short break between tests wasn’t a bad thing at all. If anything, it allowed us riders and the team so time to get things in order to make the most of our second test at Thunderhill, which took place this past Monday.
Steve-O contemplates suspension changes in the hot pits during the test.
We ran in conjunction with Z2 Trackdays once again and they did a great job. On a side note, my good buddy Cameron Beaubier made a cameo appearance and it was really good to see the kid. Not to mention congratulate him on his recent domination of the Daytona 200. Makes me feel kind of old, but at the same time very proud to see someone I’ve known since they were barely in Junior High winning the biggest race in America. I’ve been telling people for a long time now that Cam was destined for greatness, so it comes as no surprise. Well done, little buddy!
Back to the testing, though; for this round the team started development of our own traction control system, as well as working on perfecting the chassis, which has only been in place since Daytona of last year. So, like anything new, only time and hard work can get rid of all the bugs. But that said, for how new it actually is, the increased performance of the chassis over the previous edition is rather impressive, to say the least!
Turn 10 with TC enabled!
Speaking on things that are quite impressive, Parker’s GVM motor has really come a long way and is really getting quite good. The power is extremely strong, especially the low-end torque, while up top it barely loses anything down the main straight to a race-tuned 1000cc ICE machine, and when fully-charged is actually faster in a straight line than a full Daytona Sportbike-spec 600cc ICE machine. How do I know this, you ask?
Well, after two good sessions of fine-timing the chassis and working with the new TC system, all while logging a person best time in the low 2:01s, our third and final session of the day really showed a lot of promise. After getting hooked up with one of the faster Graves-tuned 600cc machines on track, I was able to string together a series of my personal best laps, all I the 1:59-range, with a best of 1:58.9. This was over two seconds faster than I’ve ever had the Team Icon Brammo Empulse RR around Thunderhill, and also enough to keep pace with the previously mentioned 600cc machine for eight-straight laps. And considering those times were done while plying a real-life game of Frogger at 150 mph, passing multiple slower bikes each lap, and that the best time came on the eighth and final lap, this was a big accomplishment for the development of our bike.
Pacing a fast club racer on a Graves Yamaha R6 gave Steve-O a good idea of how optimistic to be headed into our first ever AFM race.
Not to mention that in a couple weeks’ time, at the next AFM Round at Sonoma Raceway, we will bike taking on 600cc ICE bikes in the Formula 1 race, this showed that we should hopefully be more than competitive. And while Sonoma, with its tight and twisty nature, will play more into the strength of the lighter 600cc ICE machines, I have no doubt that our first showing will turn more than a few heads. That’s all for now folks, but stay tuned, as the electric and gas worlds are about to face off in what will undoubtedly be a memorable experience. I know I’m sure looking forward to it!
Traffic made it tough to get clear laps, but Steve still set a PR during the test.
2-time North American and Current TTXGP World Champion
How will the champ fair at Sonoma? Atlas shrugged…