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DATE: April 23, 1999
REA: AHRMA/AMA "Sonomafest" at Sears Point International Raceway

Trophies and controversies are the scene for the AHRMA/AMA "Sonomafest" at Sears Point Raceway last weekend!

Hello all ~ Last weekend was a blast! Sears Point can be a daunting place with all of the concrete and steel barriors but the new owners have done lots already to improve runoff with much more is on the slate for this year. I arrived on Friday morning ready to go (so I thought) and got through tech quickly. Tom had made me new arms for my leathers so I was sporting new colors. I spent the whole first day trying to figure out where to shift, where to brake, what gear to be in, where does the track go next... Oh yeah, wrong gearing choice so i changed that also...

Anyways, I just knew that SOS #1 rider Mark Hatten would be out for revenge after I beat him twice 2 weeks ago at Willow Springs. He beat me twice at Sears the last time that we raced together there so time will tell! Saturday's practice lasts up to noon so I felt a little better by race time, maybe even started feeling like I knew what I was doing out there. After lunch I go out on the grid and get a nice holeshot only to be passed somewhere along the line by a local hotshot aboard a TZ/FT bike... But no Hatten! I kept waiting for him to show me a wheel or something but all I could do was chase the local boy and settle for 2nd place. After the races I went over to check out his bike and talk to the guy.... I decided that he was more than likely running a 591 kit in his motor so filed a protest and he DQ'd himself, handing me the victory in SUPERMONO 2!

Later that day, we again went out on the grid for the SUPERMONO race and all the big boys beat me aboard their Ducati's and Spondon's etc. I was the first generic bike to cross the line in 6th place. Sunday practice went well but seeing as my front tire was on the way out and I hadn't brought any more, i just did like 10 laps in 3 sessions. In the SUPERMONO 2 race, Hatten and I had tonnes of fun swapping places a few times but he kept hogging the inside line in the important turns 4, 7 & 11, forcing me to try the outside line around. I couldn't make it stick and ended up crossing the line right on his ass for 2nd place. SUPERMONO was it's usual ho-hum with all the trick bikes taking off and leaving me with a huge gap in front and behind so I cruzed to a 7th place to end my day.

I also brought along a rare Bultaco Metralla GTS-250 to enter in the vintage motorcycle concours show held in conjunction with the races which placed 2nd in the European Division on Saturday. This bike recently won "best of Class" at the Corsa Moto Classica concours show held at Willow Springs 2 weeks ago. (I had recently completed the restoration of this bike for local enthusiast Bill Greenough, owner of Saucelito Canyon Vineyards)

I get a much needed break for several weeks until WSMC round 5 scheduled May 15 - 16. Hope to see you there!

Side note: Please notice my new E address and URL, delete the old stuff!

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