G2 Bikes Look for Raceday Consistency to Match Qualifying Speed Things couldn't have looked better for the G-Squared team following Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying at the NHRA event in Joliet, Illinois. Chip Ellis became the second PSM driver...
G2 Bikes Look for Raceday Consistency to Match Qualifying Speed
Things couldn't have looked better for the G-Squared team following Pro Stock Motorcycle qualifying at the NHRA event in Joliet, Illinois. Chip Ellis became the second PSM driver ever to record an official 6-second lap with a 6.988, good enough for number 1 on the Drag Specialties bike. Teammate Matt Smith was right behind Ellis with a 7.02 on the Torco/Skull Gear Buell, the best looking bike on the track. Both bikes were nailing consistent numbers on Friday and Saturday, but both dropped off enough on Sunday to thwart the desired all-G2 final.
"We've just gotta get a little more consistent," said Ellis, who lost to Joliet runner-up Matt Guidera on a holeshot in the semis. "I had everybody covered by .04, so I was just trying to go green. But then we fell off (to a 7.149). I just have to go for it every time.
"We checked it out and the motor was perfect, we just missed the tune-up, that's all it was. We're gonna run the same motor again this weekend. It seems these things are really, really sensitive to fuel changes. A half a percent here and a half of percent there throws the whole thing off. We're using the new Magneti-Marelli engine management system and we're still developing new maps for different air conditions."
Ellis then spoke about the class, which is seeing unprecedented parity despite a fascinating and incredibly diverse engineering mix. "It's crazy competitive. Now if you qualify on the pole, everybody else is almost as fast as you are. It's almost as tight as Pro Stock Car. If you can get in you can win.
"The last race overall went really good. We had a good time, and we've been having a lot of fun and that's what’s getting us through being on the road a lot and stuff. I've only raced at Englishtown once, but I don't like New Jersey because you can't turn left anywhere! But the track's nice and I want to get out there and redeem myself and try and be consistent."
Smith's bike had the same race day drop off in performance as Ellis's, but Matt doesn't blame the tune-up for his round 2 loss to eventual winner Ryan Schnitz. "We have fast motorcycles in qualifying, but for some reason we slow down on Sunday," said Smith. "But the air-fuel reading doesn't look like we missed the tune-up, that's what's funny. I'm puzzled. But it's happened to us every race this year. We had good enough lights to win and the #2 bike, but we just slowed down."
Matt has been in the other lane both times that the NHRA has overruled the timing system when video evidence showed that the other bike actually crossed the finishline first. A few internet forum conspiracy theorists have pointed fingers at the Torco/Skull Buell, as if it magically tripped the beams in its favor. "We're doing our job," laughed Smith. "The timing system's picking up our bike, it's just not picking up the other guys.
"I'm looking forward to going out to Englishtown and qualifying and running good. I'm ready race!"
"Chip's 6.98 motor is serial number 007," said George Smith of S&S Cycle and G-Squared. "It was built in 2004. That motor's got a lot of runs on it, so many runs that the valves sunk in the heads so deep that we had to redo the heads completely. We ran that same motor all weekend. We did a leakdown after the race to check the valvesprings and the motor looked good.”
"We'd like to dedicate this weekend's race to Greg Guarinello. Greg was a great friend of ours and to everybody in the sport, and he passed away a few weeks ago. Greg did our team reports and he lived in New Jersey and was really looking forward to seeing the bikes run at Englishtown. We'll all miss Greg greatly."