Angels & Airwaves guitarist David Kennedy puts down some natural skill as he takes his first win from his first ever sportbike race.
In the balmy weather conditions of 109-plus degrees, Angels & Airwaves guitarist David Kennedy took his track day riding to the next level at the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club (WSMC) event this past weekend, dusting the field to win the very first race he has ever competed in.
Kennedy said afterwards, “I was nervous at the start, feeling just like I do before I go on stage to play for a huge crowd. There’s a lot to compare between playing on stage and racing. Once the race started I just wanted to perform as best as I possibly could. I always want to be the best at what I dedicate myself to doing. A lot of people have helped me get to this point with my riding and I couldn’t let them down. So it felt as though my riding was a lot like doing a performance.”
Kennedy started the WSMC Novice Heavyweight race on the third row, but was up to fourth place by turn one and in second by turn two. It turned into a three-rider battle for the lead throughout the early laps, with Kennedy at first dropping back a position before finally taking over the point on his Kawasaki ZX-10 fitted with Pirelli Superbike Slicks in the SC3 compound. By the end the race, Kennedy had a 2-second lead over second place.
Kennedy added, “Racing is a lot different from track-day riding. One difference is you have to give up courtesies. You have to take the opportunities presented. I made a pass coming down the hill between turns four and five and after the race the people watching said they couldn’t believe I’d try a pass there. But it just felt right, I had a better line coming out of four and didn’t hesitate and it was clean.
“I have to thank all the people who have helped, such as Joey Lombardo at Kawasaki, and Corey Neuer and Chris McGuire at CT Racing, who set up my bike with the Pirelli slicks. I felt like I had a team behind me and I didn’t want anyone to think I was just riding around burning up equipment. I wanted to show that I am dedicated to the sport and am trying to be as good as I can be at it. I plan to be racing at Infineon Raceway in a couple weeks. I want to race at as many tracks as I can.”