Jake Dolan Race Report – Las Vegas Speedway

Viva Las Vegas!

WERA West Championship Round – Las Vegas Speedway.

About 5 hours through the desert from Los Angeles is a funny little town called Las Vegas or ‘Lost Wages’ or something similar? Lots of pretty lights, shiny things and the weekend influx of buffet feeders.

This place has everything to offer the holiday maker including a pretty reasonable motorsport precinct that caters for just about every type of popular motorsport.
We arrived late Friday for the double header round, meaning another new track with minimal setup time and then straight into the fray.

Jake said the bike was not too bad and the track was fun, a good layout, good surface and easy to learn.

The bike retained the same tires from the previous race weekend and with a few suspension alterations, the big 1125r Buell was ready to go.

The WERA Championships are held across the country and are widely regarded as second only to the AMA national series. The grids are still smaller than years past, but the competition at the pointy end of the field is as intense as ever.

Weather was fine and warm, a steady breeze and despite the warmth, there was still signs of snow in the distant hills.

Saturday Practice
During the week, repairs were made after last weekend’s crash and also Jake spent a few productive days at AIP Racing bringing the bike up to speed, including restoring the clutch, which finished the last weekend slipping.

Thanks to Chris from Pirelli, we were lucky to meet the ever accommodating ‘Zoomer’, a fellow racer that provided us with electricity for the tire warmers, seats to sit on, shade for the bike and some awesome ARMA energy drinks.
During the early laps, it was soon discovered that the clutch was not hooking up as well as possible and the brake fade (front) from the standard brake system was going to be an issue. Great EBC pads, but a poor master cylinder.

Race 1 – Heavyweight twins 6 laps
A small field greeted the start line and it looked like Jake was in for an easy start to the weekend.

I won’t bore you with details, but essentially Jake had the race all to himself. A start to finish unchallenged race, winning by close to 20 seconds.

The clutch was slipping, the brakes were fading and the tires were still from last weekend, but it was good enough to win.

Race 2 – Superbike Expert 6 laps
A quality field of 17 bikes lined up for this event, including regular fast runners JC Gibbs, AMA National Champion Andre Ochs and other local hotshoes such as Sahan Zvik.

Jake started in 12th and was up to 9th by the first corner. By lap 2, he had made his way to 7th, but brake fade caused a safe overshoot of a corner and Jake rejoined in 14th.

After a good battle, Jake crossed the line in 9th.
We definitely have an issue with the standard master cylinder and it seems to suck air, as we were able to bleed it (again) after the event. Jake was lapping in the mid 1m.20sec.

Race 3 – 600cc Superstock 6 laps
Another small but quality grid of 17 riders met the starter. Jake was also in 12th off the line, but with better brake feedback, he was able to make his way through the pack.

The performance of the 1125r Buell was on par with the leading 600cc 4 cylinder Supersport bikes, making for a great race.

Rider by rider, Jake made his way through. Some on power, some on brakes, but Jake was in a safe 3rd by the 6th lap, giving us confidence for Sunday.
If we could get better tires, fix the clutch and replace the master cylinder, we were looking good for Sunday !!

On the way back from the track, we stopped at the first bike shop we saw. This was ‘RideNow on Craig’, a major brand dealer. After hearing our story and seeing we were serious, Jeff Mackie and his staff gave us excellent service and helped cure one of our major issues.

There was a used Brembo master cylinder in a bin out the back, which we were allowed to try.

It turned out to be a success and we cannot thank Jeff and his staff enough. It was so encouraging to see complete strangers show such interest in Jake’s racing in such a noticeable way. GO Ride Now !! www.ridenowcraig.com

Sunday, Race Day.
The ‘new’ master cylinder was fitted and bled up. This allowed the excellent EBC pads to work to their fullest. More changes were made to the chassis on Sunday morning and we felt confident. The clutch was not getting worse and we fitted a set of used Pirellis that had plenty of life left in them.

The weather was again fine and warmer, peaking at around 95f.

Race 1 – Heavyweight twins 6 laps
In a repeat of Saturday, a small field started for the event, Jake blitzed the start and 6 laps later came home about 15 seconds in front.

The idea was to save the tires for the later harder events, but the SC1 compound rear was too soft to last, so we swapped it for a harder SC2 that was somewhat worn on the right side, so we flipped it around to suit the r/h circuit.

The brakes were very good for the race, making for great confidence.

Race 2 – Superbike Expert 6 laps
The race started the same as Saturday, but with better brakes and grip, Jake was able to push hard and run at the front.
He was now lapping in the 1m19s bracket, and had a great race finishing 3rd behind Zvik and Ochs.

Race 3 – 600cc Superstock 6 laps
Jake was fired up for this last event and felt like he knew how and where to make the right passing moves to win this event.

The main difference was the addition to the field of local international level veteran, Jeremy Toye.

Surely this was the race of the day, with up to 6 bikes battling in the early laps until Jake, Toye and Ochs broke away.

Toye had the better of the field, but Jake is a quick learner and tagged on behind, finishing a close 2nd after 6 laps. A good finish to a great weekend.

Many thanks,
Dale Schmidtchen
23rd April, 2013

For race videos, updates and more images, go to :


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.