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Tom Anderson

Smokin'! Solo 30 Two-Smokers Give Exciting Performance!

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I don't know if there was anything more interesting going on during this Solo 30 race last Saturday, and neither should anyone else. While we're keenly aware that there are more racers on the grid in various classes during this competition, the top three in F5 and overall put out effort that resulted in a race worthy of comparison to Moto2 or Moto3!
During the 30 minute race the lead was swapped and bandied about by the trio of Doolan, Warren, and Myers several times. The start was something other than a shared event however; Nick Doolan got a rocketing start and had a considerable lead over Myers and Warren. Friday's LSTD practice showed Doolan with a 2-second per lap advantage over Myers and that confidence clearly shown through as the young racer cleared the course with a sizable lead on the first lap. This all changed when the race reached approximately the 5th or 6th lap on the 1.3 mile Cresson "short" course though as lapped riders came in to the picture. A small mistake, a hesitation during overtaking, or slight line corrections caused the gap to diminish and allowed Warren and Myers to begin the battle for the front of the pack.
Warren showed his strength right away by making strong moves to gain the lead and then begin a disappearing act when lappers came in to the picture. Ryan made some nice passes in traffic and eventually on Doolan to gain the lead. It seemed that once he reached the front, the deal was done and it left Myers and Doolan alone to deal with second place. This was not to be the conclusion however as once again traffic and small mistakes brought the trio together about 20 minutes in to the 30 minute race. Overtaking and regaining positions between Warren, Myers, and Doolan was the order of the moment and there was little doubt that the excitement was nowhere near the end.
While Ryan shucked and jived to stay up front, Nick and Taylor pieced together fast lap after fast lap to make his life difficult in the lead. As Warren ran defensive lines, Myers would make sure he knew who was sticking a wheel in at almost every corner by running his red RS fender up to Ryan's inside leg as Warren shut the door to mid corner and corner exit. While that was going on, Doolan was attempting to take Jorge Lorenzo's nickname away from him by making several nice passes and pass attempts 'round the outside of the pair in front of him.
These three racers are incredible. Myers is the consummate humble competitor. Quiet, polite, and a very intelligent racer, who is smooth as glass with the senses of a winning racer. He's the racer who looks slow on track until he passes you or trips the clock for lap times; that's the point when you realize exactly how fast this kid is moving, he is smooth as glass. Nick "Nicky D" Doolan has really come along this season as he learned how to win races and run up front with his RS. Many remarked how smooth he looked and fast on track. Nick is learning quickly how to brake late and carry speed while finding that throttle sweet spot to exit the corner. Then there's Ryan Warren. This young man has honed this craft of racing to a fine edge. Finding the clean passes and protecting his position makes this young man an incredibly competent racer who will not be beaten easily. With Doolan aboard Mark and Ryan Andrews' old RS125 now and damn nearly winning his first race this past weekend, one can surmise that if Warren and Myers join that series with Doolan next season that it would be the race of the weekend to watch for the "big" bikes!
It isn't hard to imagine, even if you have never witnessed, the scene along hot pit as the three Fathers of the top three riders nervously pace and "pit race" for their sons on track. Anyone can see Mr Warren, standing with his arms crossed and a wry smile under his mustache as Ryan zing'd by in front. Mike Myers along side Mr Warren muttering with his English accent, "C'mon Tayla..." as Taylor shows a wheel at the exit of the last turn to Ryan. Of Course Macman, with the other two, proudly willing Nicky D along as he lead the first few laps with nervous anticipation of what will surely be an epic completion to the Solo 30 overall finish. But the best thing to witness with all three of these role models to their progeny; is the end of the race, with engines off, bikes on stands, and helmets doffed, the hugs (no matter how the teenagers and twenty-somthings may resist) and words of, "Hey, I'm proud of you, good job, I love you" agree so naturally.
With that, does it really matter who won the race? Well, yeah! In a nail biter finish, as Taylor Myers pressed forward to within a half bike length to Ryan Warren and Nick Doolan looming to overtake them both, Warren crossed the finish line in position 1 as the checkered flag waved. The flag came as somewhat of a surprise to the racers it seemed; I'm sure with all of the action and back-n-forth overtaking for the lead that it didn't feel like 30 minutes. I'm sure it felt like 5.
After a quick look back to make sure it was he in the lead, Ryan Warren began fist pumps of joy and a bow of the helmet during post race exuberance. Warren took his first win of the season over the younger two racers whom he'd been chasing and battling so far this season, and the other two made him earn it.
So it stands, Doolan and Warren with one win, and Myers with three. Now the fun begins. If anyone (but the three racers) can predict the outcome of this class by the end of the season it would be magic, or ESP, or something.
Below photo of Nick Doolan aboard Taylor Myers' RS during the mini endurance race, courtesy of Linz Leard of Nine- Seven Images. Thank you Linz!
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