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marcus mcbain

Kelsey takes msrh with 4 aces

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FEBRUARY 17, 2013 - KELSEY TAKES MSRH WITH 4 ACES lead rider Danny Kelsey started the 2013 season with 4 big wins during CMRA Sprint Championship Series action at MSRH in Angleton, Texas. The team and Kelsey faced some formidable obstacles to achieve this outstanding result.

Friday practice was used to focus on the big Suzuki 1000 as crew chief Marcus McBain installed the GP Suspension 25mm cartridges to replace the “big piston fork” technology in the Showa forks and compliment the JRi shock that easily bolted in. The work was completed at 5:00am Friday morning, and the team went “on-track” within just a few hours of completing the last component installations.

Extremely heavy traffic on the track resembled Beijing rush hour, and Kelsey was really concerned that both of the team’s GSXR’s were not properly working and he would not be up to pace as the team was only able to measure a fast lap of 1:36.8. Historically, the deterioration of the surface at MSRH has shown that lap times have been mostly “stagnant” over the last 3 years. Crew chief McBain was confident that the pace they were running would be up to the competition as there wasn’t any meaningful track time was available with the traffic. The Diablo Supercorsa (DOT) tires had over 60 laps on them and the Diablo Superbike tires now had over 50 laps. Although Kelsey specifically commented that the tires had not begun to “fall off”, McBain felt that with an open track and new tires, Kelsey would be at least 3 seconds a lap faster. In addition, the tires the team were using for setup were SC2 rears (medium) rather than the preferred SC1 (soft).

As the team made final preparations on Saturday for Sunday’s races, both Kelsey and McBain were second and third guessing the setup and bike performance. With only two and half weeks since the purchase of the GSXR-1000, the team had no spare wheels for the team’s GSXR-1000 and this was somewhat problematic with the busy morning practice sessions. With Formula One qualifying up immediately after the Sunday morning practice session(s), the team decided to use the SC2 Diablo slicks that had 62 laps on them entering qualifying.

Qualifying was really an eye opener for the team as Kelsey was able to qualify 3rd in front of 27 other entries with a 1:35.359 lap time. That was the “good news”. The “bad news” was that Kelsey was over 3 seconds a lap in arrears of the pole sitter Ty Howard. The team and Kelsey were really frustrated as the lack of a set of spare wheels really made the first “measurable performance” of the season very disappointing. The team decided to have faith and be very happy with the 3rd place in qualifying and realize that when “new tires” were put on, Kelsey to run with Howard.

The first race of the weekend was 750 Superstock and Kelsey wasted no time in posting his first win of the season for the team and its sponsors. Using a Diablo SC2 front and SC1 rear for the first time, Kelsey used the race as practice to get the feel of the new tire he had never used before. Leaning on the stopping power of the DP Brakes RDP X-Race Titanium brake pads to compensate for the lack of tire familiarity to ensure success, Kelsey took the point early and managed the race until the checkered flag waived.

The second race of the weekend was the Open Superstock class. Kelsey would be able to finally test the pace of the team’s GSXR-1000 with the new SC1 Diablo Superbike slick. Again for Kelsey this would be the first time he used the SC1 compound rear. Danny wasted no time and put the big Dynojet and M4 exhausts equipped Suzuki into the lead as lap one completed, but a red flag quickly erased the effort. On the restart Kelsey was third, with Brandt Dillon putting a small gap on Kelsey and second place. Kelsey took full advantage of his Diablo Superbike Slicks and DP Brakes and took the point on lap 2 and on lap three turned in the fastest lap of the race (1:34.221) as again he used this race for practice. Kelsey held off an impressive onslaught from Dillon and took his second win of the day.

Kelsey would be somewhat “caught out” with the Formula One race just 15 minutes after Open Superstock and no spare wheels. With five laps of racing familiarity with the SC1 rear though, Kelsey was ready to take full advantage of the tire despite the hard laps on the Pirelli tires during Open Superstock race. As the green flag dropped, Kelsey dropped a 1:36.7 from a standing start and was second to Ty Howard as lap one completed. On lap two, Kelsey posted a 1:33.529 (his fastest lap of the day up to this point), but Howard was not relenting and lead by 2.3 seconds as lap two completed. Kelsey did not give up, but was unable to make any progress on Howard as his rear tire overheated a bit from the crew chief’s unfamiliarity of the tire (pressure). At the checkered flag, Kelsey and crew chief McBain were really excited despite the second place finish. “We still did not know what the bike and tires would do at that pace, but I was really pleasantly surprised that we ran the pace we did on the first weekend riding this new Suzuki”, reflected Kelsey. The cash and prizes provided during the Formula One podium celebration were icing on the cake for the team.

Kelsey enjoyed the lunch break and immediately after posted his third win of the weekend in 750 Superbike while battling Derek Wagnon. This would mark the first race that Kelsey would start with familiarity of the SC1 Diablo Supercorsa (DOT) rear tire. Taking advantage of the Diablo Supercorsa tire(s) and DP Brakes that were allowing Kelsey to brake extremely deep in the turns, Danny turned a 1:35.8 on lap three provide some breathing room from a tremendous effort by Derek Wagnon. The two riders continued to distance themselves from the field with Kelsey leading the entire distance despite the constant pressure. Kelsey posted the fastest lap of the race with a 1:35.392 on the final lap to win by nearly one second with both Kelsey and Wagnon 12 seconds clear of third place.

The final race of the day for Kelsey would be a rematch with Formula One race winner Ty Howard in the Open Superbike race. The team was able to mount a new rear tire for this race. Kelsey’s strategy for the race was simple, get out early and run as hard as possible. As the green flag dropped Kelsey executed his plan to perfection posting a 1:36.806 from a standing start. Kelsey cleared the field on his M4 Exhaust equipped GSXR-1000 as Howard worked through the pack. At the end of lap two, Kelsey held a 3.7 second lead over Howard. With Howard clear of the pack, he posted a 1:33.349 to start to close. Kelsey responded with a 1:33.487 on lap four to put the race on ice and take the win by 2.5 seconds.

“This was an incredibly tough and rewarding weekend. I can’t remember working this hard for some time, but the Pirelli tires were incredible and all of our sponsors helped out so much to make sure we had “top notch” equipment. I can’t thank my team enough and special thanks go to John Hutchinson with South Central Race Center helping us get the Pirelli tires to work their best on our first weekend of use. Lastly, thank you to my crew chief Marcus McBain for putting all the machines together. He stayed up until 5:00am Friday morning finishing the last build outs of my GSXR-1000 right before the CMRA practice started. I pushed him really hard this event, but he as usual responded with what I needed to win”, reflected Danny Kelsey.

Kelsey will contest the entire CMRA series in his efforts to regain the number one plate. The team would not be able to compete at this level without the special efforts of KMC Controls, RS Taichi, Pirelli, Dynojet, Vortex, Motoliberty, South Central Race Center, Motopia, M4 Exhausts, DP Brakes, K’s Motorsports, GP Suspension, JRi Shocks, Lone Star Track Days, Shoei Helmets, Hotbodies Racing, Silkolene, and Chicken Hawk Racing. Kelsey will resume racing action at Texas World Speedway March 23rd during the second round of CMRA Sprint Championship Action.

Associated Links

CMRA Press Release on RRW

RPS "OFFICIAL" Press Release on RRW

Pirelli Tire press release

Photos Blair Harsfield/Hart Photograhy

Press Release by JRi Shocks video presentation 1 video presentation 2 Formula One award ceremony (courtesy Joseph McBain)

Prelude to the weekend

Updated 02-26-2013 at 12:52 AM by marcus mcbain

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  1. Paul Coste's Avatar

    As usual, very fun from a fan viewing perspective.