It’s right around this time of year that we here at TST start to feel a bit restless. The hustle and bustle of the holidays are long behind us, the relative cold of the winter is beginning to scale back, and race season is almost upon us. Thank goodness.
This past weekend, after a long (way too long, in our humble opinion) winter break, we met up with our sponsored SuperStock 1000 Westby Racing Team to put tread to track. These three days gave our team riders a chance to become reacquainted with their bikes before CSS, ASRA, WERA, and MotoAmerica. Not only were these three days fundamentally beneficial, they were also a phenomenally fun bonding experience.
Meet the TST Fleet
Bart and his 2015 Yamaha R1: Bart is TST’s main man with a plan. A seasoned rider, he reps us in the CCS Southeast Unlimited Series Expert Class. Bart’s bike served him well last season, and received a killer suspension refresh over the winter break, courtesy of the amazing John Cornwell. Bart reports back that the new suspension setup is a success. After a few laps, the TST team worked with Bart, adjusting the geometry and wheelbase of his bike. The end result of these changes left our Bart feeling confident, and absolutely ready to make this season his best yet.
Gabe and his 2008 Yamaha R6: Gabe, like Bart, returned to the track after an extended break, and quickly got his groove back. Gabe’s bike needed a few tweaks to perfect the suspension, and those, paired with a series of auto tuning, culminated in a smooth ride. Post-adjustments, Gabe was stoked to find his lap time improved significantly. He ended the weekend with a smile on his face, happy to be back where he belongs, ready for his first expert season, and equipped to place in the CCS Southeast Middleweight series.
Alex and his 2016 Yamaha R3: Psycho’s got a brand-new ride! Alex is a skydiving, snowboarding, road racing maniac who lives by the “drive it like you stole it” philosophy. This brand new 320CC TST Factory Yamaha R3 build proved to be the perfect vessel for his fearless racing approach. When we test and tune a new bike, the first thing we do is establish a baseline setup for all of its equipment and collect data, aiming to create a perfect harmony between motorcycle and rider. We knew the mission had been accomplished this weekend; watching Alex ride was pure magic. Look out for this guy in the CCS Southeast 500 class.
Weekend With Westby
The TST Trio met up with team Westby and the other riders Friday afternoon. We caught up with old friends, became acquainted with some new ones, and headed to bed, eager for the morning ahead. On Saturday, we were up with the sunshine, and the rain. The TST Trio spent the day riding laps and making the aforementioned adjustments needed to be race ready.
Saturday was an awesome opportunity to watch the riders from our sponsored Westby team flex their skills. Man, is this team full of talent. Watching newcomer Mathew Scholtz navigate his Yamaha R1 around the track was a spectacular sight. The man is a champion, and talking to him throughout the day was a pretty epic experience. He’s a super nice and personable guy, making it easy to root for him.
Another Westby rider on the scene, Nolan Lamkin, showed some serious promise on his Yamaha R6. You may have seen him last year, training for the RC390 Cup. In talking with Nolan and watching him ride, we gained total confidence that his decision to step up to the Supersport series was the right one. One thing both these guys have going for them is a seamless, machine like team of bike engineers and techs behind them. Westby knows their stuff.
Winding Down and Wrapping Up
On Sunday, every rider got in a couple practice laps before the two class races at noon. Though off record, we were looking forward to seeing how our boys would place. Sadly, a bike crash abruptly ended the friendly competition, and there were no results. Guess we’ll have to wait ‘til our first official race on March 17-19, the CCS Series Opener at the Daytona International Raceway.
As the weekend came to a close, we decided to have a just-for-fun pit bike race. With a Le Mans style start, everyone did two laps on their mini-bikes, nothing over 150cc. Guess who took first place? TST’s own Alex, killing it at 60MPH the whole way ‘round. What an amazing way to end an incredible weekend!
Photo credit to Ray Bradlau & TST Industries.