Photography by Gold & Goose
AUSTIN, TEXAS, FEB. 20 – Attack Performance Racing’s Blake Young went quicker this morning than he’d ever gone before at the Circuit of The Americas, the three-time runner-up in the AMA Superbike Series getting to grips with the CRT bike in what is his MotoGP debut.
The weekend started a bit rough for Young and the team as mechanical problems kept them in the pits for the majority of the first session, but they’ve made gains since then and look to be on track now to allow him to mix it up with the other CRT bikes.
“We are only about six-tenths of a second quicker than we were at the test so it’s a little bit discouraging, but we lost a lot of time in the first session,” Young said. “We almost lost the whole first session. I made about four circulated laps with a lot of in and outs. It was just mechanicals with the bike and I had to keep bringing it in and fixing it. Thank God we got a three-day test around here so at least I know where I’m going compared to a lot of the other guys. But here on the second day and they’ve obviously found their way around this racetrack. Yesterday, in the second session, the bike was good and we tried some things with different transmission ratios that we thought would be a positive, but it ended up being a negative and we ended up going back to what we had at the test. And it was a lot better.’
Young came into the weekend a bit under the weather, but that too seems to be getting better.
“This morning was the best I’ve gone and I think there’s a lot more in it for us for sure,” Young said. “I’m a little bit under the weather, but I’m getting over it and feeling pretty strong on the bike and getting more and more comfortable with the thing. Being able to ride around with other CRT guys is nice instead of being out here with the top prototype guys at the test and getting my doors blown off. This morning’s session went really well. The track has been a bit iffy and pretty green, but it’s coming around and this afternoon’s session should be good.”
So what’s it like being on the track with the likes of Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi?
“It’s pretty crazy,” Young said. “You just have to make sure you’re not getting in anybody’s way out there, but we’re at the back of the pack and they’re going quite a bit quicker than us. They really get the things stopped hard in the middle of the turn and fire the thing out hard; they really take advantage of the acceleration their bikes have. I don’t know if we can ride our bike like that since we are underpowered. I’m still learning the tires, but I think I have the track pretty dialed. We’d like to be going a lot quicker, but we’re going in the right direction.”