Motoette -in forward motion

Day Three ~ WSBK At Miller Motorsports Park


The 2010 American Flags at turn 15 representing our troops

Today was to be an early start, arising at 6am to be at the track by 7:30am! Ann and I rolled out of bed, absently throwing on our mandatory khaki pants, white medic shirt a baseball hat and a lot of sunscreen. We met our medic crew downstairs in the hotel for a quick breakfast and some much-needed java! We drove the few miles back to Miller and on to the medic building, which was located near the racers paddocks, where the rest of the medical volunteer staff was gathering to get our announcements for the day.

Ann and I were stationed at turn 1, a tight left banking turn right after the strait. This would have been a great location if wasn’t for the fact that our post was almost 100 yards away from the track! We couldn’t believe this idiotic arrangement. Not only were we way the hell off what was soon to be a hot track, but Ann had to carry a 6ft back board while I heaved a good 10lb medical pack! This was a FIM standard and it didn’t matter if the rider was up and okay, we still had to schlep all our gear every time a rider went down at our turn. This is my second year in my volunteer efforts as a track side medic, and I have to say, the respect for us and what we do and how we put our time, not to mention lives on the line, leaves me very disillusioned lately. We receive very little money (Miller was none) and other than our perpetual pat on the back at the end of each day, I don’t feel we are treated as well as we should.

I was growing more and more frustrated after arriving at our turn. I had to fulfill my commitment to my duties as a track marshal, but my real interest was trying to get to garage E5, where I assumed Paul was to be conducting his podcast,  interviewing Jason Disalvo at 8:30am. The positive aspect of the situation; we were at the first turn out of the strait and I was able to park my rental car right at our turn, which is rare, and I still had time to make it to the interview.

Max Biaggi coming in from his first successful race of the day

With my growing impatience and obvious irritation over the situation, Ann just told me to go and she would “cover” me.  At first, I didn’t want to leave her, but knew it was only going to be about 30 minutes at the most and my desire to experience Paul doing a pod cast interview was killing me! At 8:20am, I jumped in the car and raced over towards the garages, desperately trying to get as close as possible. I ran for what seemed like a mile over to E5, passing Melissa Paris’s garage where I had been the day before. Out of breath and a little sweaty, I arrived at my destination only to find it occupied by a few mechanics. I looked inside and paced back and forth trying to find Paul; he was nowhere to be found. I asked one of the mechanics and they didn’t know a thing.

I should have been upset and disappointed, but after arriving back at my turn 1 post, I realized it was really about me following through with a commitment I had made. After I did, I was able to let it go and enjoyed the rest of my day at the track! In truth, I wasn’t surprised how it went. With Paul’s vague intructions on when I was to meet him and the way he initially acted towards me the day before, I felt it went the way is was destined to be.

It was a beautiful crisp day out and with the picturesque snow-capped mountains surrounding the over 4 miles of track, it was easy just to sit back and enjoy the moment. We also shared the turn with three young guys from Flagstaff, AZ, who drove up together to experience being trackside workers at Miller. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and to me, it helped to make the day a lot more fun.  The boys had worked the day before at the same turn 1 and had been complaining about the lack of action the day before. They weren’t expecting much for the day until I assured them from my experience, that it’s not about the turn you work at, but the day. The strange phenomena about working trackside is you can work a turn one day and the next day at the same turn it can be a completely different experience. I have not been able to decipher if it’s the riders or some strange universal alignment of the stars. Whatever it is, it makes it more interesting and proved to be more exciting for the boys!

Charles, Brian and Keith, "the boys" manning their post

We had several low side’s, which helped to validate my point, but the real thrill of the day was when Troy Corser low sided at our turn during the first of three Superpole rounds. It was towards the end of the afternoon and with the help of the boys, the headset and my Press Kit, we were keeping tabs on who was rallying for grid position. Watching the racers from our distant post, we immediately noticed a rider go down. Ann and I always hesitate to see if the rider jumps up or not before running out. There is no need for us to go if the rider is in visibly good condition. Usually, when rider low sides, they always try to get back on the bike and re-enter the race. And of course, this would be another one of those moments given it was the Superpole.  But this rider jumped back up, went to pick up the 50 thousand dollar + bike, looked at it and promptly dropped it like it was a cheap bicycle and ran for the nearest turn exit!

The boys ran out to retrieve the bike and as they picked it up I could see it was one of the two BMW S1000RR’s in the provisional line up. As they pushed the featherweight bike towards me and our post I could see the number 11 on the front, it was Troy Corser’s bike and the smiles beaming from the boys was just priceless! Within a minute, the transport wagon arrived. Shit, I still had my telephoto lens on my camera! By the time I got the right lens on, I managed a few shots of Troy’s bike on the trailer before it was hauled away.

Troy Corser's downed BMW S1000RR

What made the experience more fun was we had heard when the moto-taxi came to pick up Troy; he grabbed the handlebars from the moto-taxi guy and basically high jacked it from him so he could get back to the pits and into the race ASAP. We later found out he blew the engine on the little 125cc dirt bike and was fined by the FIM! He also, ended up getting a poor grid position as a result! It was the talk of the track that day!

The moto-taxi was something I had not witnessed before while volunteering on the track until Miller. There is a dirt by-road that encompasses the track enabling the little 125’s to retrieve a downed rider and get them back to the pits in lightening speed. Being that our post was right on the by-road, we had several visits from Peter, one of the two moto-taxi volunteers. On one of his visits he asked Ann if she wanted a ride around the track. I could tell she wasn’t really interested and I was chomping at the bit waiting for her to go ahead and say no, so I could jump in and say yes!!

Peter gave me the 15 minute tour around the track and it was great, because I was able to really see all the turns from the extensive and winding track. Weaving through workers, and some spectators, Peter got me back to my post just before the next practice session was to begin; he soon became my moto buddy! Later, Peter turned out to be very instrumental in the remainder of my weekend.

This is my favorite shot I took of #3's Aprilia RSv4

That evening Jordan, Ann and me decided to take a ride into Salt Lake City and check out this hole in the wall pizza place called The Pie. This cute girl who Jordan had his eye on at the track told him about this place and if it wasn’t for the fact that the girl was married with two kids, I think Ann and I would have been left in the dust!

We had some great pizza and good conversation about our day. We decided to drive around Salt Lake City to see some of the sights. I was so impressed with the architecture of the buildings. I had forgotten how beautiful it was when I came here to ski one winter several years back. Incredibly ornate brick and stone structures that gave a historic impression, yet the city seemed relatively modern. The dramatic mountain ranges that surrounded the intimate city just added to the visual pulchritude. I liked this city, even though it was painfully silent.


June 9, 2010 - Posted by | American Motorcycle Association, Aprilia RSV4, BMW motorcycles, BMW S1000RR, melissa paris, miller sports park, Moto Race Reports, motorcycle racing, motorcycles, Ruben Xaus, Salt Lake City, superbike, supersport, Superstock, Troy Corser, Utah

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