The End Where I Begin...

The End Where I Begin...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Good-bye Euro Trip!

Good-bye Euro trip!

Well the long awaited final GP here in Fermo, Italy. After a few disappointing weekends I was ready to put myself on the line fore my one last shot at proving something to myself here in Europe. So the week leading up into Fermo here in Italy I finally got 2 days of training on the bike in which has not happened in a month or 2. My trainer Jacky Vimond and I felt good about the work we have done and were ready to give it one last shot, hoping nothing failed that was out of our control. We arrived to the track Friday afternoon and found out it has been raining all day long. It is not a secret that us California people are not the greatest in mud… and sand for that matter. LOL. Regardless, rain or shine I was going to accomplish what I set out to do this last weekend. This weekend was also the first time I have seen my parents in 3 and a half months and I was very happy to see them.

Saturday morning we arrived to the track at 9am for a 10am practice and were relieved to see a decently dry track and were ready to go. First practice I believe I was 5th fastest on the lap time and was enjoying playing around and throwing my bike around. Really the first time I have been very comfortable on the bike and the weekend started just the way I had wanted. In the chrono practice I had the 7th fastest time and also the first time I have even been into the top 10 in the lap times witch was really good for my confidence seeming as though I haven’t had so much after the past few months. Going into the Qualifying race I just wanted to go do the best I could. I got out of the gate and got squeezed out 10 feet out of the gate leaving me close to last. Just settled into a pace and at the end of the race I finished in at 9th place. Once again I have never been into the top 10 with gate pick on Sunday so Saturday for me was a success. We left the track early and got to have a nice dinner with my mom and dad along with my girl Haley. It was very relaxing and just what I needed for Sunday.

Sunday morning I woke up feeling like I got hit by a train. After the problems the past few months I have not had much seat time on the bike at all and really was not feeling so strong. This was very different for me seeming as though I am always in very good riding shape and always confident in the time I have put in on the bike. This weekend my goal was to let nothing stand in my way and I was not going to let that up. First Moto came and this was the time for me to make it happen. Feeling weak, low confidence, and a nearly stock engine it was go time. Gate dropped and about 20 feet out of the gate I looked to the right and I was in front. Came out of the first turn in 12th and put my head down. I did not have much energy but I was going to hang it out there with what I had. Worked my way up into 7th and finished there. I had matched my best finish in Sweden with a 7th so I was somewhat satisfied. Second moto, I wanted more. Honestly was the first time I was dead tired going into any race I have ever been in but I had one last shot. Got out to a horrible start and one last time I put my head down. Went into the second turn in 23rd and started to pick people off. Worked my way back into 7th and just couldn’t catch the riders in front of me. I was drained, seeing double, and still had 15 minutes of racing, longest 15 minutes I have ever had. LOL. So I finished the weekend 7-7 for 7th overall. I wanted top 5 but it is what it is. Given the circumstances I am happy with what I accomplished.

So I guess that is it for my rookie year here in Europe. It has been a hell of a ride, but something I will never forget. My mission here was to come here and get into the top 5 and yes… I did fail. Although, I learned things so far beyond just a result on a piece of paper, or what people think. This last weekend in Italy was more then just a race. It was a weekend for me to prove to myself who I am. After broken bones, broken bikes, living on my own, and pretty much finding ground zero I have rebounded. I fell down and I got back up from something I didn’t think was possible. Sure my results are not what they could be, and sure my capability as a rider is a question for many people, but for the first time I know what I can do. I know that if you take the first step in faith the rest will unfold before you. You may never know the reason for what you are going through, or why you feel you always get things the hard way… but there will always be something to learn at the end of the trail. Even if my results and finishes aren’t what I wanted… I learned things people wouldn’t in a lifetime. I met amazing people and traveled the world at 19 years old, vacationed in some of the greatest places of Europe with my girlfriend Haley, got to race a dirt bike all over the world and become myself. 

Good things or bad I want to thank everyone for the opportunity given to me from Bud Racing, my trainer Jacky Vimond, my mechanic Ludo, and everyone that has supported me through all of this. So with that said I am “somewhere in Italy” with my Mom, my Dad, and my girlfriend Haley on vacation loving life. I return home to the US September 22nd and as far as plans for next year?  Unknown. It will work itself out and whatever I am handed I know there is not much I can’t work though. I will continue to post more blogs. 

Thank you for following me and we will see you around! Ciao!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One Last Shot...

This weekend we raced the Holland GP in the sand of Leirop. I have once again left another sand GP a little bit disappointed in myself and other things that have gotten in the way. We arrived to the track Friday night and I was well ready for the sand and another chance to score some points and prove to myself I can adapt no matter the circumstances. Saturday was pretty tough and the first practice I saw that it was going to be much tougher then I had anticipated. First practice I had 18th fastest time and I couldn’t understand where I was going slow and off pace but I was determined to go to school once again. In the timed practice the track changed completely and with a small bike problem I had 31st gate pick leading into the qualifying race. I was not such a happy camper but I also know that a race is a race and a lap time is a lap time. As the gate dropped in the qualifying race I had another rider crash into me half way down the line leaving me in 27th in the second turn. Slowly I settled in and made my way to 18th by half way as my bike started to have some troubles and forced me into slowing down leaving me 22nd. Just glad I was able to finish and Sunday was a new day.
Sunday morning practice I was starting to feel a little better on an already beaten track from the day before. I don’t get it… Why leave a track with 4ft high sand whoops? Haha. Not so sure that would happen in the states but is what it is. After practice I was happy to have my girlfiend Haley back with me, as well as some of her family she has been staying with in Holland. With that said it was already off to a better then Saturday. First race I did not have such a great jump and was in around 18th with a few mistakes. For the first time in the sand I had a few decent sand riders in front of me and was able to learn from them and gain a little confidence up until about 5 laps in, had an electrical issue that lead to a DNF. For second race I went out with a smile on my face and was looking forward to just going to do my best. Got out to a really good start from the far outside and came around in 10th place. Made a small mistake in the first lap leaving me in 12th place but still miles better then any other sand race. I tucked in behind some riders and finally was feeling good and enjoying myself. As I began to close the gap between the riders in front of me I was beginning to hear a noise in the motor and decided to not risk something to happen at the wrong time.
So with 2 DNF’s and some mechanical problems I ended my weekend with exactly what I did not want to happen. As we go into the final GP in Italy next weekend I am going in and planning on leaving nothing on the table. As the Euro-trip is winding down, I have still yet to do what I am very well capable of doing. Definitely many things have been out of my control and have taken away some chances that I could have had, but I have to say I don’t regret a second of it. This weekend I have not only my girlfriend Haley back with me but I also my mom and dad at the races for the first time in 4 months. So with “one last shot” I am excited and motivated to have a successful weekend in Italy and leave here on a good note. As of now I am in a sprinter van with my trainer Jacky Vimond ,his girlfriend Manola and my girlfriend Haley for 15 hours on route to Italy. So check in for my final race here in Europe this coming weekend… Cheers!