TUF Honda AX Race Report

October 31, 2011 4:35pm
The opening round of the series is always a challenge. There always seems to be some doubt if you are 100% ready or not.  This year it seemed we were as prepared as we have ever been, so we expected to do well.  The day started out well with Cole and Jeff qualifying 3rd and 4th

in the afternoon time practices.  Both riders decided on a lower gear change for the night show and that may have been a mistake.

Starts have been a strong point for us over the last few seasons, but in Des Moines it was just not there.  With the short start into the whoop section they had, if you didn’t get there with the first few riders a lot could go wrong.

Jeff was in the first heat and was caught up in the first turn and came down the first whoop section in about eighth and slowly picked off riders until he got up to fourth.  He caught up to third but need another lap to get by and he didn’t have one.  Cole was in the second heat and chose to start a little more to the outside than Jeff thinking he could carry some more speed into the whoop section.  This was good in theory, but when someone on the inside decides to go straight instead of turning it screws this theory up.  Cole ended up picking up his bike 10 feet off the track and joined the race almost a lap down.  This mistake forced Cole into the LCQ and another tangle in the LCQ start combined with a tip over during the race had Cole in the stands for the rest of the evening.  This was a little depressing as this was the first time in 16 years one of our riders didn’t make the main on opening night.

In the main Jeff had eighth gate pick which was not great but he did the best with it as he came out of the first turn in seventh or eighth.  He slowly picked off one rider at a time until he was in fourth around the halfway point.  The two leaders, Chad Johnson and Zach Ames decided to take each other out just about then and that moved Jeff into second.  Bowers was now in front and Jeff was a few seconds behind with Demuth right on his rear fender.  A bobble in the sand by Gibson let Demuth get a inside line in the whoops and Jeff found himself in third at the finish line.  The top three riders had about a 10 second lead over 4th and actually lapped up to 7th.

I want to thank all of our sponsors for making it possible for us to go this year and we hope to see everyone in Baltimore next weekend

 

TUF Honda’s full list of supporters for 2012 are as follows:
FMF Power Beverage, Poynt, American Honda, Thor, Smith, NGK, Wiseco, Renegade, Silkolene, Bazzaz, K&N, KG Clutches, Motion Pro, DP Brakes, Hinson, RK/Excel, UFO, FMF Exhaust, Cernics, Hot Cams/Pivot Works, Wow Tickets, Vortex, Factory Connection, Works Connection, HBD, Motosport Products, Moto Tassanari, Dunlop, Sidi, and TUF performance products.