Friday, April 16, 2010

XDL Round 2 Recap

The following is a recap of last weekends second round of the XDL Freestyle Championship from last years champion Nick 'Apex' Brocha

There are weeks where everything that can go wrong does, and there are weeks that make those weeks feel like a vacation. Last week was the latter.  For XDL Round 2 I hosted two Japanese riders at my home in Las Vegas, loaned them competition bikes, and overall just had a good time.  That good time however was cut short about two days into their eight day stay when the first bike problem appeared.  After a marathon bike setup my teammate, Shin Kinoshita - a Japanese ninja mechanic and one of my favorite riders - couldn't accept the way his bike was running.  So we went home - pulled off everything, replaced everything with new parts and got back to it the next day.  Now four days until competition and the second day on Shin's bike the problem worsens.  So with limited resources we decide to build another bike. I've been working on a new competition bike but it still needed some serious love. We'd finish that bike and I'd let Shin use my current competition bike. I wasn't a total fan of that idea as it's critical I'm comfortable with the bike I  ride in the XDL events - but that's what friends are for.  

Three days to go,and my bike still won't idle. Visually it looks better than any of my previous bikes and I'm determined to fix it.  Shin and I tear it apart - check everything, voltmeters, vacuum tests, new coilpacks/injectors/throttle bodies and so much more.... it was a long list.  One day to go and we discover the headgasket is blown.  There isn't the tale tell water/oil/bubbles in the radiator to give it away, but it now overheats in three minutes and won't run for crap unless I'm hard on the gas.  At this point Shin's transmission decides to start jumping out of 1st gear. Note to self - get some nicer bikes.
Last minute mechanical heroics are the sign of a true champion
So we pile into my truck with two very questionable bikes and make our way to Arizona for what felt like a suicide mission.  We meet up with Icon riders Tony Carbajal and Ernie Vigil along with my other teammate, Lin Eshalom. Somehow qualifying  went well. I discovered if I went out with a fairly cold bike it would idle for the first 30-90 seconds.  With XDL's new two minute format that might be enough. The entire team qualified well. My run was good enough to qualify in the top spot earning a bonus point for the overall title.  Shin rode through the transmission problems and scared everyone that's ever wheelied a bike.  In fact, I think it was one of his best runs ever, he's a madman!  That night we ripped apart another two bikes to build him a new one thanks to Vegas local and good friend Matt Soras.
Tony Carbajal getting "in the zone" before his run
Saturday (the finals) Ernie and Tony are riding well. This is Ernie's first time back after his horrific accident and even with limited use of his right foot he's cleaning up!  My first run was a catastrophe. It had been a long time since my last crash in competition so I guess I was due.  I wadded myself, twice.  With the XDL three run format we drop the lowest score so there was still hope. I went into the next two rounds with a lot of pressure - I'd have to ride mistake free.  Thankfully, all the bad luck must have vanished  as I ended up coming out on top at days end.  It was one year to the date since a major accident had destroyed my shoulder.  I had lots of personal doubts if I was able to win again. Thankfully I can now move on and focus on fighting for the 2010 points lead.  I'm happy the whole Icon team did well and both of my Japanese friends made it through the finals safe and placing well.
Thanks everyone for the support, I love this and can't wait for round 3!


The tricks being executed were truly eye poping and  jaw dropping

Photo courtesy

Photo courtesy

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