Saddlemen

Race Report from the Prospectors GP: Kyle Mercier

| 26 November 2016 1:00 pm

AMA/ District 37 Big 6 Grand Prix Series
Round 7: Prospectors Motorcycle Club at Quail Canyon MX

By Kyle Mercier
Photos by Kaeley Porter/kaefotography.smugmug.com
Courtesy of Blais Racing Services
GORMAN, CA, NOV. 6, 2016

Race Report by Kyle Mercier, Open A, Second Place
This was my first time heading up to Gorman, California, to race the second-to-last round of the Big 6 Series. I left my house in Corona [California] early Saturday morning (4:30 a.m.) to make my practice by 7:30.

Kyle Mercier in action at the Prospectors Grand Prix.

Kyle Mercier in action at the Prospectors Grand Prix.

The course layout was unique to me, with the track not being very wide and really rough. Throughout practice, the glare of the sun really messed with my vision, and I wasn’t able to get into my zone or find fast lines that I had confidence in.

After practice, I did a bolt check on my motorcycle, along with putting a new Kenda rear tire on for the race. I really didn’t put too much stress on myself, just had the mindset to go out there and let my training and preparation take over. By the time the race was ready to take off, all the riders were told the race would be cut 15 minutes due to some delays and wanting to finish the race before the sun set.

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As I spotted the green light to take off, my bike instantly hooked up, leading me into first place. I rode well and ended up catching the back of the pack of the Pro 2 line, where I would run into some trouble. As the rider in front of me was throwing up a lot of dust, I caught an unseen rut, forcing me to lose my front wheel and go down. This was very frustrating; almost the same thing happened to me at the last WORCS race at Buffalo Bill’s, where I was in second place and also fell on the first lap. I picked my bike up, took a deep breath, and continued the race in fourth place.

For the first three laps, I rode really stiff and was choosing bad lines. The dust was really bad, with me catching Pro 2 racers along with riders in my own class, Heavyweight Expert; I didn’t know what place I was in. I got tired of riding in people’s dust, so I decided to put my head down and try to go as fast as I could. The faster I tried to go, the smoother I felt and the more good lines I seemed to find.

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Overall, looking back at the race, the first three laps were difficult laps, but lap four and on were a lot of fun, with the track being so new to me and having some fun sections on the moto track. I was hoping for more laps. The race ended at 5:15 and I later found out I got second place by 11 seconds.

After the race, I went to my hotel and rested. I would wake up the next day to eat some eggs and bacon before heading to the track again.

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As I arrived, I did an oil change and messed with a few clickers on my rear shock. Sitting on the line for Sunday’s Open Expert race, I was very calm and wasn’t thinking of much. Once again, when the race started, I quickly got the jump, but this time I unfortunately went a little too wide in the first corner, causing me to get off the track, where I then had to let off the gas and re-enter in third place.

Kyle Mercier blasts out of the tunnel at Quail Canyon MX.

Kyle Mercier blasts out of the tunnel at Quail Canyon MX.

The first lap, I was in fourth, right behind the man that beat me the day before. I really wanted to see if I was capable of beating him, so I focused on making the pass happen. I was able to make the pass into third place at the end of lap two, where I would end up finishing for the day.

I would say I rode well but definitely need to get better in the desert sections and carry more speed. One of the riders in the 250cc A class was trying to make the pass around me on lap four, but I focused up and told myself to not let it happen. The end of the race, I had a lot of positives and was happy to hold off a few 250cc A riders that might have had a faster pace on the day than me but were unable to get around me.

I want to thank Blais Racing Services for all the great products I am able to use on my bike. I am looking forward to my next race!

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Category: Gran Prix, Off-Road, POV, Regional, Riders, Riders All, Riders' POV, Riders' Race Reports

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