by: jimmy leslie
Round 2 of the 2015 ProGRT series is in the books and the Billy Goat Bikes/Mountain Khakis squad had a blast riding and racing at Mountain Creek, NJ. For some of us, the weekend started off with a course walk on Thursday, while the rest of the crew was still in North Carolina and set to arrive on Friday morning. An unusual dry spell at Mountain Creek made for a fast, loose track that I couldn’t wait to ride. After a refreshing sleep (a whole hour for those that drove through the night), it was time to let ‘er rip in Friday’s practice. It didn’t take long to realize the track’s roughness at high speeds, but our Scott Gambler race rigs ate up everything in their paths. The course was pretty straightforward without much line choice necessary so we were all able to get up to speed by the end of the day.
Saturday brought an even rougher track after the amateur practice session. After dialing in our lines in afternoon practice, it was time to make one count and qualify for Sunday’s main event. Unfortunately, Dylan’s shoulder wasn’t feeling healed enough to race on, so he decided to opt out of qualifiers. I had some issues in the loose turns near the middle of the track and toned it down to a conservative pace for a 41st place qualification. Brandon ended up 37th, and Max rode a solid run to a top 15 qualification in 13th place.
The rain that avoided Mountain Creek all weekend finally came Sunday morning, and it seemed like we would be dealing with a sloppy day of racing. However, with how dusty the track was all weekend, the much-needed precipitation made for absolutely perfect dirt conditions come practice time. We had a less-than-ideal practice with hard crashes by Max (in front of his mother, of course) and myself, but we shook it off and got prepped to lay down the run that counts. I had an uneventful 32nd place run with minor mistakes up top and in the critical turns where I know I could have made up the time to place where I was expecting, but sometimes that’s the way she goes. The rest of the team had worse luck. Brandon came down with a tweaked knee after sliding out, and ended up partially tearing his MCL. Max was unable to back up his top 15 qualifier with a crash in his run as well. After all was said and done, the Billy Goat Bikes/Mountain Khakis team didn’t have the race we were looking for, but it was a productive weekend for everyone and certainly another positive learning experience for myself. Looking forward to send it west for Round 3 in New Mexico!
A big thanks goes out to mechanic extraordinaire Erik for keeping my bike dialed and running smooth after pounding it through rocks and dust every day.
All the results can be found HERE.