Devon McDonough is currently 10th in points in the AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport West Division.
This year is my first year racing professionally and so far it has been insane! The travel, tracks I have never seen, and 50 bike grids where everyone is a rockstar! Having only ever raced on the West Coast, it was awesome to be able to go all the way to Daytona for my first race!
When I first got to Daytona you could just feel this presence that you’re at a magical place. The first time you go around the banking you feel like you’re being pressed against your bike, and it was kind of weird to be going full throttle around a turn like that! I had a lot of nerves going into my first race. I didn’t really know what to expect, but after the first lap I realized it was just like racing back home! The total experience was amazing and was a great way to start the season.
Next up was Road Atlanta, where it wasn’t quite as hot as Daytona but it was still pretty humid! Having never being to any of these tracks before, I have had to learn each of the tracks on the first practice session out. This was an awesome track that had some really technical sections to it that made it a lot of fun.
Infineon was next and it was nice to not have to take a plane to the races for once! I also got to see a lot of people from down in California that I know from racing at AFM last year. It was a windy weekend but that didn’t slow anybody down. Having been there once before, I automatically started going faster than I ever had. I rode well and received my first top 15 result.
Miller and Road America were back-to-back weekends making for some good racing. Miller was very cold all weekend and we also had to share it with the World Superbike guys as they diced it out. It rained some of the time but we lucked out and got to race in the dry. It was cool knowing that that Carlos Checa and all the rest of the WSBK guys were racing on the same track as you! I was able to stay in the top 15 but could feel I was getting closer to the riders in front.
Road America the next weekend was awesome. RA is a very fast track where you reach the top of 6th gear in three places. It was a lot of fun and reminded me of our tracks back home in the Northwest. With only a one-week break since Miller most everybody was on their A game, and so was I getting my best results here with two 10th-place finishes. Great battles in both races.
Barber a few weeks later was a whole different story with the weather. It was insanely hot and unbearably humid! But the track was awesome and I was feeling good now that I was out of school and didn’t have to worry about that anymore! I had a good weekend backing up what I did in Road America by qualifying 12th. A bad start didn’t slow me down and I had moved up to 10th and was battling for eighth. Then in the closing stages of the first race I came together with one of the riders and I had a major crash that unfortunately ended my weekend, but this track is still my favorite thus far!
A couple days after Barber I got to travel with the RSRacecraft crew to NOLA for the test there. Somehow it was even hotter and more humid than Barber! The NOLA track was good but it wasn’t very nice to tires, as it would just shred them to bits in only a couple of laps! It was great to get to see the track and I am sure it will pay off when we get back here for the final. The RSR crew took me to Bourbon Street for dinner the first night… I am not sure I’ll ever be the same, at least I didn’t have to do homework all the way home.
Next race was Mid-Ohio where they laid down brand new patches all over the track making the course super slippery, and with some iffy conditions at times this place was very hard to get a hold of. But we found some traction by the end of the weekend and made some baby steps getting down to some pretty good times. The best part about Ohio was getting to see my Uncle and his family, who I have not seen in a while. Motorcycle Superstore was awesome and hooked them up with some pit passes so they were able to see me ride for the first time and check out what an AMA weekend is all about.
Then there’s Laguna, shared with MotoGP it is by far the biggest race of the season! Thousands of people from all over the World. The atmosphere couldn’t have been any better! The track was awesome, even with the fog. We had some set up issues in first qualifying but sorted them out for Q2 and dropped over a second to finish 16th out of 50 riders. Problems prior to grid for the race required us to start from the back of the grid. That set us back a little bit, but we got back to it and worked our way up to 21st overall. It was an awesome experience!
The next three weeks are a great chance for me and all the people who help me to take a quick breather before the final run of six races in three states over a five-week span. I am very lucky to have such great companies behind me. One of the biggest things I didn’t know going into this year was how much work and time away from the track we would spend keeping things going. I owe a huge thank you to all of my sponsors and people like Sage at SDS Performance, Chuck, Garrett, Zack, Steve and my Dad for all of the time and efforts to help me live the dream. Along with all of my sponsors:
Motorcycle Superstores: You guys are the best, top shelf all the way!
Alpinestars: Would not be riding without you! Keeping me safe like no other!
Bell Helmets: What can I say; I put on your helmets on with pride!
FMF Exhaust: Are you kidding me, all the cool kids want them! Topping the speed charts!
SDS Performance: Always at the top of the speed charts!
Evol Technoligies: Rockin’ the rear set world!
Galfer Brakes: Making stopping easy!
RAW-NRG: Real food for athletes!
RSRacecraft: Would not be where we are today without you.
Silkolene fluids: Nothing else goes inside our bikes.
Cox Racing: Guarding our bikes at all times!