SMITH IS RINGERS GLOVES BIKE BATTLE SEMIFINALIST AT U.S. NATIONALS INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki to his fourth straight semifinal appearance in the Ringers Gloves Bike Battle, a special event...
SMITH IS RINGERS GLOVES BIKE BATTLE SEMIFINALIST AT U.S. NATIONALS
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5, 2009) - Matt Smith rode the Nitro Fish Ultimate Gear Suzuki to his fourth straight semifinal appearance in the Ringers Gloves Bike Battle, a special event held at the U.S. Nationals at Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
At the same time during today's eliminations rounds, he qualified No. 3 in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class for the U.S. Nationals after three of five qualifying sessions, posting a 6.968-second elapsed time at 190.57 mph to win the opening round of the Battle against Karen Stoffer.
In his first pass on Friday, Smith recorded a 7.018/190.65 (No. 4). He then faced Hector Arana in the semifinal round of the Battle (and the third qualifying pass), posting a solid 7.015/189.18, which was disqualified for the bonus event because of a red-light start.
Two more rounds of qualifying on Sunday will determine the 16-bike field for Monday's eliminations.
"We go rounds and sometimes we get these little monkeys on our back, as we call them, and you just can't get over that little hurdle. And it's those little hurdles that keep plaguing us," said Smith. "We had a really good bike today. I feel like I let my team down by going up there and turning the red light on.
"I look at it two ways: If I would've been really late, that would've been bad, but I was going for it. I was trying to beat Hector. I knew he had the best bike out here and I tried, but I came up -.008 red. It was really close. It could've gone either way. We're talking two centimeters of rolling in (to the lights) different and it could've been .008 the other way.
"Our bike is just running fabulous. I had to try to push it because I wanted to win it. I wanted to win for our Nitro Fish team and sometimes the rider just has to step up and do it when the other bike has a couple of hundredths' advantage. I take all the blame, but we'll be back Monday and try to win this thing. Monday is the big day. We want to win it. I've been to the finals here three times and I've won it once, so we'll see if we can win it twice.
"We're happy, everyone is happy, that we're No. 3.
"I have my fiancee Angie McBride running this weekend for my personal team (Matt Smith Racing) and she's doing a good job in the Buell. We're going to stick a better motor in it for tomorrow. I've also got L.E. Tonglet riding for us and he's doing an awesome job. You've got to give the kid credit. That's three times on the Buell and he's qualified fifth. We're going to try to get Angie up there just as high as he is tomorrow." Angie is No. 13 after three sessions.