Andy DiBrino is ready even if the road to Atlanta has been a bit bumpy.
The first season of the retooled MotoAmerica series started last weekend in Austin at the Circuit of the Americas but this weekend Round 1 for the Superstock 600 class in that series gets underway in Georgia at Road Atlanta.
An Oregon native and a MotoSport-sponsored rider, DiBrino has been, of course, training for the start of the racing season which consists of gym days, road biking and even the Motocross track on a dirt bike. But he also spent time getting ready for the long trip east.
"Things seem to always come up to throw us off track," DiBrino said last week two days before he and his dad, Keith DiBrino, were scheduled to leave. But their motor home was still in the shop for repairs. "I can't explain how crazy and stressful it's been at times. Once we hit the road, a huge weight will lift off our shoulders."
Well, they hit the road on time and on Friday DiBrino puts weeks of testing and preparation on the line when he throws a leg over his 2015 Yamaha R6 and races Road Atlanta for the first time in his young career. He's clocked just one day of riding on the bike which is enough to break in the engine. It's built to the Superstock 600 specifications which is similar to what he's raced the last few years. He's put in a lot of practice time including a race at Buttonwillow Raceway in California so he's ready for the start of the season.
As for Atlanta, DiBrino expects a fast track with hard braking zones, an aspect of road racing he excels in so he's expecting good results, though it looks like he'll have quite a bit of rain as the forecast calls for rain all weekend and thunderstorms on Sunday. Road Atlanta is a 2.54 mile 12-turn layout (five left-hand and seven right-hand).
"That track hasn't been on the roster for pro road racing since 2012," he said. "It levels the playing field a little bit being that most guys I'm racing haven't been there before."
DiBrino said a soaker is no fun but he doesn't mind a wet track with light sprinkle. He expressed confidence in the rain tires used on his bike but said hydroplaning remains a factor.
"Traction is a lot harder to gauge," he said.
DiBrino finished 10th for the 2013 AMA Pro Road Racing Supersport West series but this year marks his first time tackling an entire season's worth of races which for his class is seven rounds this year instead of nine for the other MotoAmerica classes. A conflict with MotoGP forced the Superstock 600 class to miss the opening round last weekend in Austin and the Indianapolis round in August.
"It would have been awesome to race Round 1 at Circuit of the America's. My Dad's business manufactured all that amazing track paint you see on the circuit," he said. "It's not the end of the world though. We get an extra week to prepare, and it's a big financial saver with one less round for us privateers."
MotoAmerica is the new home for the AMA Superbike Series and is sanctioned by the AMA and FIM North America.
Superstock 600 qualifying races start on Friday, continue on Saturday and the first Superstock 600 race of the season is at 3:30 p.m. (EST) Saturday. The second race is at 2:10 p.m. (EST) Sunday. Additional road racing includes Supersport, Superbike and Superstock 1000.