Rick Eaton to Debut New Motorcycle at Man Cup

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Rick Eaton to Debut New Motorcycle at Man Cup

After A Strong 2017 Season, Rick Eaton Drebuts A New, State Of The Art Bike At The Manufacturers Cup Season Opener In Georgia

This weekend, our team returns to South Georgia Motorsports Park for one of our favorite events, the 2018 Manufacturers Cup season opener. We usually do well at this track and this year, we are entering as the defending champion after a huge win against a very large field of tough bikes last year. Win or lose, this event is always a blast.

The racing surface at SGMP is always smooth and fast but we will face the challenge of a very narrow groove this week. For those unaware, we gain max traction and max performance by racing in what we call a groove. The groove is the hot, sticky, patch of rubber laid down by other race vehicles. When we race at car events, they have wide tires, the cars move around as they navigate the racing surface, and we end up with a groove that is generally 4 to 6 foot wide. It is a very forgiving surface if something goes wrong. At an all motorcycle event, the groove is usually about 12 inches at the start and narrows from there. Why is this important? Because if you drift outside of the groove handling gets dicey, instantly, and it’s almost always a loss at a National Event.

We spend a good portion of our year racing 1/8 mile but the Manufacturers Cup still races the real way, 1/4 mile. We will be hitting some big MPH this weekend with all of our bikes and, historically, we have a tremendous winning percentage on the 1/4 mile.

Racers like myself really enjoy the big speeds and I think it helps when facing an opponent. I am having so much fun on a 1/4 mile pass, the intensity is so high, I think the focus comes around through fear alone. We are flying on the back half of these runs…. and the 1/4 is my favorite type of racing by far.

We are running well as we approach the first event on the 2018 National tour. We are in 2nd place at our home track, Bradenton Motorsports Park, trailing the winningest racer in motorcycle history by just a few rounds. The big change for our team is a new bike with a Kosman Chassis and a 10 inch rear tire. We are making alot of power and our current bikes simply couldn’t handle it. I had no desire to go slower so we stepped up our program. We will be using this race as a test session for the new bike but, at the same time, we will be going for the win in Super Comp with it. Early test runs were successful. This will be a very smooth and consistently fast bike.

We will evaluate our National Touring schedule after this week’s event but, as of now, our plan is to hit most of the tour this year and possibly all of the events. Although we missed several events last year we still managed a top 10 finish in National points . Physically, mentally and logistically, the national tour is far more challenging than one would expect. A minor problem at home near the shop where repairs can be made can become a disaster hundreds of miles from home without spares and access to tools. We set the bar high … our goal is to win the 2018 World Championship. We have already finished as high as 3rd in the past, so we only need to move up 2 slots to do it. Stay tuned….

We have worked very hard to prepare for this event and it literally takes an army of good people to make everything happen. We need to thank JD and Denise Kittredge, and my brother Chuck who are ALWAYS there when I need them. I also need to thank Claude Debonis. Ralph and Thomas Hester, Wade Rich, Shannon Whitted, Dallas Council, Shawn Poneliet, Paul Anusavice, Andreas Anusavice, Leonard Tribble, Dora Sherry, Roy and Candy Hagadorn, Bryan Epps, Jay Regan, Dave Schnitz, Eric Hochstetler, and LAST BUT NEVER LEAST… OUR CREW CHIEF … LULU!!!

We also want to take a moment to encourage everyone to support these great companies; Special thanks to South County Motorcycles, 5 Day Plantation Shutters and Blinds, Pit Stop Auto Care, AAMCO of Venice, MRE Racing Transmissions, MTC Engineering, Bradenton Motorsports Park, Immokalee Regional Raceway, Hang Em High Photography, BME Photography, Buyveniceflorida.com, Dragbike.com, and Lulu’s Speed Shop … our engine builder.

Rick Eaton