HODGSON SIXTH, HOLDEN SEVENTH IN AMA LAGUNA SUPERBIKE
Monterey, California July 5th, 2009
Race day at Laguna Seca was to be another series of ups and downs (quite literally for Hodgson) but in the end both Corona Extra Honda riders put in strong efforts with Neil Hodgson finishing sixth and Jake Holden right behind in seventh. Morning warm-up saw Hodgson on top of the leader-board for quite a while and Holden close behind.
The bad luck of Saturday again struck Jake and after half a dozen laps his bike started misfiring and his session finished without his crew getting it fixed and Jake getting back on track. Still, his short time on the bike showed his pace was still hot! Afterwards the crew found an electrical fault which they were able to correct.
The Superbike race turned out to be an exercise in confusion and mishaps with a bizarre miss-start by a number of riders and then the flag never dropping! After they all lined up again the start went off but saw Neil getting taken out by a crashing Bostrom on the second turn. After what seemed an age the red flag came out but not before the “Safety Car” almost caused a major pile-up by driving on the race line in the blind turn one corner as the bikes came round at full speed.
The red flag allowed Neil to get back to the pits and his crew to fix the bike, making the restart. This time the start went off OK and both Neil and Jake were in the hunt with the front pack. The race became a bit of a procession after Hodgson and Holden each took a position and held them to the end of the race. Neil almost caught Hayes on the last lap for fifth but his effort came up a bike-length short by the flag. Jake had been able to dispatch May for seventh but was not able to close significantly on Hodgson by the flag in the turn two crash-shortened race.
Still both riders were able to show pace to run at the front and give notice that they will be a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming races!
HODGSON SEVENTH, HOLDEN TWELFTH IN SUPERBIKE QUALIFYING
Monterey, CA July 4th, 2009
Neil Hodgson had the good luck and Jake Holden the bad in qualifying for the Laguna Seca AMA Superbike event. Hodgson immediately got down to speed and for a good part of the session sat atop the leaderboard, improving his time over a couple of laps. At the end of the session he was in seventh, saying it was one of his best rides since coming back from injury..
Jake’s fortunes took a turn for the worse however as he kept coming in because of wildly varying engine water temperature. Eventually a hole in the radiator was found and the crew frantically tried to repair it in the remains of the thirty minute qualifying session. Unfortunately they ran out of time and Jake had to settle for twelfth with his three-lap best time of 1 27.7, almost 1.3 seconds slower than his first practice! Both riders have quite good positions on the grid so come race time they should be able to get in the mix for the front!
HOLDEN EIGHTH, HODGSON ELEVENTH IN SATURDAY SUPERBIKE PRACTICE
Monterey, CA July 4th, 2009
Jake Holden was not able to keep his top slot in Saturday morning practice – the crew had changed gearing trying to get some more performance but had the bike hitting the rev limiter on the front straight limiting Jakes times and he was not able to match his times of yesterday. The very short practice session meant there was no time to make any changes so Jake soldiered on but still managed less than half a second behind the leader with 1 25.788. Neil Hodgson was able to improve over half a second from Friday’s practice, posting a best time of 1 26.316, netting him eleventh position. Neil’s injury was limiting his transitions in the twisty Laguna Seca track. His crew worked on getting the set-up to allow easier transition changes and are hoping that qualifying will show more improvement in times.
HOLDEN TOP OF LEADERBOARD IN OPENING LAGUNA SUPERBIKE PRACTICE
Monterey, CA July 3rd, 2009
Jake Holden stunned the assembled racing community in the first practice at the World Moto-GP event at Laguna Seca Raceway, Monterey, California by topping the leaderboard with a pair of quick laps that left the field almost half a second behind. The field had all been circulating in the 1 minute 26’s when Jake put in a lap of 1 minute 25.727 towards the end of practice. He came in to check on the bike and went out and immediately backed up the time with a 1 25.525. The session ended without anyone getting closer than three tenths of a second. Jake said he had trouble putting in a really good lap because of a number of slow riders that kept blocking his line. He felt that he had another half second or more if the track was clear. Neil Hodgson, struggled with set-up and finished the session in tenth just getting into the ‘26’s.
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