Pulsar Cup Race ReportOct 31, 2013
Earlier this year in July at the MotoGP/AMA event at Laguna Seca we were approached by Chicho Lorenzo (Jorge Lorenzo's dad) about a series he was promoting in Mexico. We decided to attend one of the races which took place the weekend of October 12th. We flew out of LAX Thursday evening at 11 o'clock at night, and landed in Mexico City a little after 5 am Friday morning. We were picked up by a few individuals who helped run the Pulsar Cup, and began our 3 hour drive to the track in Tuhaucan for practice that day.
All 20 or so of the women racers who were participating in this race, including myself, were on identical bikes provided by the team. We were to compete on Pulsar 200's which were completely stock, and even still had the original street tires on them. I went out for my first practice session of the day Friday morning and quickly learned I would not be able to ride this bike like I had ridden every other street bike prior. The tires were so much different that they did not allow me to lean the bike over like I am used to. Instead I had to change my riding style and figure out how to lean off the bike enough in order to complete my corners, without leaning the bike over very much. Every time I failed to do so, my front tire washed out, threatening to throw me off the bike and on the ground at any given moment. I honestly have no idea how I managed to stay on two wheels that first session, while washing out the front tire nearly every single lap. Despite this obstacle, I still managed to be the 3rd or 4th fastest rider out there my first time on the bike, even though all the other participants had experience with these bikes throughout some, if not all of the season. I dropped at least one, sometimes two seconds every time I went out on the track throughout Friday's practice.
Saturday we only got three sessions, as opposed to the 6 we received the previous day, and the last session was qualifying. I definitely had the bike more figured out on Saturday than I had the previous day. I felt like I was getting more comfortable with the bike, as well as with the tires. My times on Saturday proved it; I had the fastest times during the first two sessions of the day, and also during the qualifying session with my fastest time of the weekend which was a 1.46.41.
I was confident going into the race Sunday; however, I was only allowed one practice start and I was not sure if I could manage a holeshot since this bike was so much different than any other bike I had started on. I did end up getting the hole-shot despite my uncertainty, but on the first lap Melissa, who was running in 3rd at the time, went down pretty hard which caused a red flag. She was not able to get back up and finish the race, which made me extremely disappointed because she was the only women who had come close to matching my times that weekend. We restarted the race, I got the hole-shot again, and led the entire 10 laps. It was fantastic to get a win, but definitely not as good as it would have been battling it out with Melissa.
Overall it was an awesome experience that challenged me in many ways. I had gone to a place I had never been before, surrounded by individuals I had never met, speaking a language I could not really understand, on a bike that was much different than any other bike I had ever been on before. I had to work on correcting my riding style for the bike ever single time I threw my leg over it. It forced me to learn some new technique, and was by no means easy or natural to me. That is really what made the win that much more enjoyable for me; the fact that I was able to adapt quickly and make the changes that I needed to make.
Thank you for all of your support throughout the 2013 season! It has been a honor working with you, and we are proud to call you our sponsor! We look forward to working with you for many more seasons to come! We are in the process of making some big changes to the 2014 season, and we would love to have you on board! Our plans are not currently set in stone, but they will be finalized within the next week or so. I'll be sending out an email with all the details soon!
Danielle Diaz #86
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