Devon McDonough (center) is eighth in overall points in AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com Supersport West.
Many emotions run through me as I sit here reflecting on this weekend’s AMA SuperSport races at Barber. Most of all I am just thankful for all of the support of my team, sponsors, friends and competitors in the paddock after my crash on Saturday in Race 1. Starting at the beginning of the weekend I was really excited to get back on the bike after the way things went at Road America. My confidence was really good and I am starting to feel more comfortable with the pace and processes of the AMA weekend.
Practice was a major step backwards in some ways, as we have never been to Barber and our setup was way off. The one thing about the AMA is you only get one practice and then you go straight to Q1. I was off the pace and put in the slower Q1 group. My crew really stepped up and with some awesome advice for the RSRacecraft guys we made some big changes. Time to go! I don’t like where I am and now it’s up to me.
I was so jacked after the first lap in Q1 I could feel all of the changes where in the right direction and my confidence was back. I put my head down from there on through the end of the session. I was never out of P1 for the whole session and ended the time with a lap over 1.4 seconds faster than the next rider. Now to wait for the faster group to see where I would land overall. Group 2 is all of the fastest guys from morning practice, but my time held up good and I ended up 12th overall out of 40+ riders. Let’s go racing.
Races are always different, as you might be with different people you have not ridden with before. But Race 1 at Barber started right where we left of at Road America – me chasing Ryan Matter and Tyler Linders. I didn’t get the best of starts and was back in 15th on Lap 1. My bike was amazing and I knew if I didn’t make mistakes I could catch up to the group I wanted to be in. By Lap 3 I had done just that and was in 10th, right on the back of the group and ready to battle.
The next 10 laps the three of us traded places here and there, but for the most part I just couldn’t get by both of them. Barber is a very busy track, each of had our strong points and as things got slippery toward the end there just wasn’t a lot of space to make a pass. As we came down the straight with three laps to go I knew I needed to get by and felt I was just a bit faster overall then Tyler and Ryan. As we came down the straight leading to Charlotte’s Web I had a great draft on both of them and moved to the outside to take a wider line in to the slower left hander.
This is where things did not go my way!!!
Things were looking good for McDonough in Race 1 until he and Ryan Matter clipped one another during a pass attempt.
Right as I was starting to pass Ryan, he had the same idea on Tyler and moved over to try and pass him. I hit Ryan’s exhaust with my footpeg sending me off track and into the sand trap at 100-plus mph. Next thing I remember is getting into the ambulance. I am so glad Ryan didn’t go down, it was just racing and no one’s fault, but I still have to get by safely and would have felt really bad for he was riding awesome.
After X-rays and probing, the doctors at the medical facility released me with no broken bones but my weekend was done. It was hard to watch on Sunday, but I sat on my bike in the morning and I could not even hold the clutch in (not that my dad was going to let me ride anyway).
The good thing is I am already feeling better and get to start a fun three weeks traveling with the RSR Racecraft/Latus Motorsports team. We are headed to the NOLA test for two days of riding on the new track, which will give me a chance to get back on the bike. Then we are going to the Pikes Peak races in Colorado where Dustin Dominguez and Joe Kopp will be racing their Triumph 675 race bikes up the legendary hill. From there we head to Mid-Ohio for the next AMA round. I know by then I will be healed up and ready to challenge for those top spots I want so bad.
I can’t express how lucky I am for having such a great group of sponsors who allow me to follow my dream of racing in the AMA. These are the folks who make it happen: Motorcycle-Superstore.com, Alpinestars, FMF Exhaust, SDS Performance, Bell Helmets, RSR Racecraft, Evol Technologies, RAW-NRG, Silkolene, Galfer Brakes, Sharkskins body work, Lyons machine, Dunlop tires, HTMoto, Loudart Graphics, and my parents for letting me ride!