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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

Round 4 of the AFM racing season was this past weekend at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. While I was off working in China between rounds, Spears Racing was busy getting the bike ready. Turns out we had to swap motors due to a blown base gasket (we'll keep folks updated on that as we learn more), so that ended up being a bunch of last-minute work for Gregg. While he was at it, we installed a Yoshimura exhaust in an effort to cure the ground clearance problems we had with the stock system. This is a temporary solution as Gregg is working on developing an exhaust that we think will be a much better long term solution. Thanks Gregg for all the hard work getting the bike ready to race!!

Saturday afternoon and the 350 Production race rolled around and I was super comfortable with how the bike was handling and running. I was gridded on the outside of the front row, and when the green flag dropped I got a pretty good launch and was second going into T1. The lead rider had minor moment about 2/3 of the way through the first lap which allowed me to get by. I then led for the remainder of the race, which was a new experience for me. I can't believe how mental it is trying to lead a race...wondering who's behind you, how close they are, maintaining concentration, trying not to think about the fact that you might be about to win your first race ever! Fortunately Gregg from Spears Racing was there to give me some signals that let me know I had a decent lead, so I kept my head down and ultimately finished a little over 8 seconds up on the rest of the field. Phew! The icing on the cake is that Yamaha pays contingency for this class, so I also won a little money. Woohoo!

Sundays races were also quite good. I had some great battles aboard the R3 in 500 Twins, 250 Superbike where I took second place finishes. I even got to have a podium ceremony for 250SB and got to thoroughly douse my competitors with Champagne. :)

I finished off the weekend with another 2nd place in 250 Production aboard my Spears Racing Ninja 250, which is still a rad little bike but feels so outclassed after the pleasure of racing the Yamaha!

All in all, a great weekend, and I can't be happier with the R3. For the next round we'll finally have bodywork, some mild production-legal engine work, and hopefully a better exhaust system. Should make for some great racing at Sonoma!

Special thanks to Spears Racing, Yamaha, Dunlop Tires, EBC, Motorex, Oxymoron Photography, and my amazing wife Rachael.

Cheers,
Sean
 

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Great job, Sean!!! Congrats on your win and your slough of 2nd place finishes! Thanx for the race update.
 

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You de man! It is harder to lead, especially those last couple of laps - the sweet taste of vic-toe-ree. Finally got my race build finished, but don't get to run until end of July with the WERA boys (with maybe one day of set-up time). Should be interesting.......
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Congrats man.

I'm curious, what other bikes give it a run for its money on the grid?
Well, currently only a Ninja 300 with a built motor has been giving me trouble from a bike performance standpoint. I think the R3 out-handles that bike a little, but right now we are down on power. Hopefully we will have that solved by the next race.

A well set up KTM RC390 with the right rider could be really hard to beat.
 

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That's awesome buddy!!! I don't think I'll be anywhere near that for awhile, so I'm happy to revel in your glory :D
 

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Congratulations, sir. Did anyone take video?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice! Next time video footage would be awesome of the R3 so far there isn't much at all of the r3 on YouTube
Congratulations, sir. Did anyone take video?
I do have some onboard video. Hopefully I'll have a chance to do a bit of editing and upload this weekend.

In the meantime, you can check out the onboard from one of my competitors in the 500 Twins race: here

(This link might only work for folks with Facebook access). I'm the bike who gets the holeshot, has a horrible first lap, and battles for a bit. What you don't see in this video is me chasing him down and just falling short of catching the draft for the win on the last lap. Oh well...you win some, you lose some. :)
 

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Well this is exciting! Does AFM have a lot of R3's on the grid?
here with WMRRA, small grid to begin with, have 3 KTMs and me with a lonely R3 haha while there's still 5+ ninja 250s still
 

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Nice, well done with the R3.
What track was this at?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well this is exciting! Does AFM have a lot of R3's on the grid?
here with WMRRA, small grid to begin with, have 3 KTMs and me with a lonely R3 haha while there's still 5+ ninja 250s still
Well, 350 production class had 20 starters. 12 expert, 8 novice. There were 2 other R3s in expert, one in novice. There were 2 KTMs (one wasn't prod legal, unfortunately due to some weirdness with the rules). The rest of the bikes are a mix of EX250s and 300s.

I suspect we'll start seeing more and more Yamahas on the grid. :)

Nice, well done with the R3.
What track was this at?
Thunderhill in northern Cali. In the middle of nowhere, but it is a really fun track.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
How is the R3 against the KTM?
That's a tough one to answer...haven't really been up against enough of the KTMs yet to say for sure. So far, my best race lap at Thunderhill is slightly faster than the best race lap of an RC390 at that track, but my best lap was on a different day with different conditions than the KTM best lap. Realistically, I think with similarly well set up bikes with similar rider skill it would be a pretty close battle between the R3 and KTM.
 

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I thought in that class you could not modify the bikes engine? Great job anyway Im currently setting up my R3 to race here at Willow springs I hope hook some race wins also!
 
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