1 Step Forward and 2 Steps Back @ Summit Point
The FAST Motosports team ventured out to Summit, West Virginia to compete in the Championship Cup Series. This was the first time Bettis and FAST has been on the track at Summit so the entire weekend was a learning process. FAST was able to get on the track Friday before the racing started on Saturday to get the layout, fine tune gearing and make suspension adjustments. It was slow going on Friday morning turning very modest times as Bettis made laps trying to figure out the best racing lines and braking points. Going out initially on the FAST R6 Bettis switched over to the 1,000cc machine after lunch. The R1 seems to be where Bettis feels comfortable and the lap times quickly showed that as times continued to fall lap after lap.
Saturday morning was sunny and warm and the smell of race gas quickly filled the air. Bettis went out for just 2 of the 3 rounds of practice. The FAST Motosports chief Michael Bettis thought it would be best to use the time from the last practice to make last minute adjustments to the bike and to also get the new set of wheels installed and up to temperature. Bettis was set to compete in the 25 min GTO race and 2 - 7 lap sprints.
Grids were packed and Bettis was starting in the 17th position. The race went off without an issue and Bettis quickly moved up corner after corner. After just 2 laps the FAST R1 was sitting in 7th position. Things seemed to be going well but on the 3rd lap things came to a quick halt. Entering the 1st corner after a very hard braking zone the FAST R1 was struck on the side from a rider who blew through the corner. Bettis was hit just behind the leg and the impact from the rider flipped the bike over and drove it off the track. Bettis rushed to see if the bike was ridable but after inspection he realized the race was over after the clip on was broken.
After the bike arrived back to the FAST paddock Michael Bettis got to work assessing the damage. After reviewing the bike it seemed to be mostly cosmetic damage. Replacing the handlebar, electronic assembly and foot peg allowed the bike to be track ready. Because races are only 7 laps Bettis missed the grid for his second race but was able to make it back out for race number 3.
Gridding up Bettis started in the 20th position and he certainly had his work cut out for him. Being a little cautious on the start he settled in and tried to pick riders off 1 at a time. With the grids full and the track being tight passing can be difficult and challenging especially with only 7 laps to do it in. Bettis finished up 9th in race 3. Bettis said "All and all it was a little disappointing the way things turned out but hey that's racing." Each experience is still that "experience." The FAST Motosports team is now prepping the bikes and preparing for the WERA round at Barber Motorsports Park.
FAST would like to thank Dunlop, GB Racing, Motovation USA, Arrow, SBS Brakes, and Vortex for their continued support this season.
Pic courtesy of Vae Veng @ Noiseless Productions
Bettis entering turn 3 in an early morning practice at Summit Point Motorsports Park