Clayton Roberts on the Podium at Big 6 GP, Glen Helen Raceway


AMA/BIG 6 Grand Prix Series, Round 2
Glen Helen Raceway – Devore, CA
3/4 & 3/5/17


Arguably the most fun Grand Prix of the year was right around the corner and I already had my bike all prepped and ready. We showed up early morning on Saturday so my dad could race unclassified and so I could race the Mini race. After watching unclassified I went to the line for my race. I was talking to some kids in my class about how the course probably will be. Once it was go time and the gate dropped it was all seriousness. I got a semi decent jump but got pull by the women on big bikes going into Talledega. I was running first in my class right off the bat, but coming into the REM track, my rear wheel lost traction and I slide out. I didn’t fall, but once my wheel found traction, it shot me off the bike and I hit the ground hard. Some very kind racers stopped for me to make sure I was okay. I and limped off the track then just fell over because I had really hurt my knee. Once I got the strength to get up. I was helped to my feet and decided to go ride and finish the race at least. Once I got going, I slowly started to pick up the pace. I ended up finding myself in 3rd place for my class and finished there. I was glad that I was okay after my crash, but disappointed that I had threw away a good chance at a win in that class.

I was back at the truck and realized I had hurt both my thumb and my knee. My thumb wasn’t feeling the best and nor was my knee so I iced them both before my next race, the WCGP 86cc-200cc Novice. I wasn’t sure how I would feel when riding because I was kinda sore, but I told myself, “Luckily I’m not riding…I’m racing!” and started to get my googles and bike dialed for the next race. I went to the line and tried to get focused for the race. My dad was standing next to me on the line giving me a heads up on certain lines that were good and bad or where he felt he was making up time. Once my row rolled up to the gate, I was 100% focused. The gate dropped, I popped a slight wheelie but kept the power to the ground. Although my jump was good, I didn’t get to the corner very good because all the 125cc’s pulled me to the corner. I just stayed calm since there were so many guys, and started making my passes as quickly as possible. When we got to the ridge on the first lap, it was super dusty and bad! Everyone had to go so slow and I could barely see 5 feet in front my my wheel! It was really sketchy so I took my time through there and got back on the gas once I could see again. I was in about 5th place after the first lap and pretty much stayed there for a 5th in class.

We headed home that night and chilled on the couch watching Supercross. Luckily we don’t live too far from Glen Helen, because sleeping in your own bed is really nice after two races.

My dad, brother and I all went back out on Sunday for my last race. It was the Supermini Advanced class. I was still sore from the crash I had the day before, but knew I’d be fine, especially when the adrenaline kicked in. The gate dropped for the Supermini Advanced class and I didn’t get too great of a start. I held it on going into Talledega and came out of the first turn in 3rd. I was right behind the leaders. They were already going back and fourth battling, but I couldn’t get quite close enough. The slowly gapped me just a little more and more each lap. I was able to see them in front of me for the entire race, but wasn’t ever able to stay with them and make a pass. I ended up with a solid 3rd O/A and 3rd in class. I couldn’t be to disappointed with a podium finish, but I would have liked to be able to battle with the leaders.

All in all, I had an awesome weekend of racing with my friends. There is still a lot of room to improve and get better on for the Grand Prix series, but I can’t wait for the next one! Photos by: Kato and Dean Lourenco


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