With it now being 2023, this seems like a good time to take a look back at 2022. The year was its usual mixture of both excitement and disappointment. But as I look at the overall, there was far more good than bad. I also got to make some new friends, and see some old ones I haven’t seen in awhile. What I present here are some of my favorite shots from last year, in no particular order. For photographers, what constitutes a favorite is not necessarily the most technically excellent shot, but the one that speaks to us and gives us the feeling that we accomplished something a bit little special. In most cases the average viewer may not agree, but this is why I call it favorites not best shots. As usual starting a new year I have no idea what is to come. For 2023 I will do as I always have and try to improve on what I have done in the past, and become better at my trade.
So I hope you enjoy what is presented here, and here’s to new opportunities in the future.
While exciting close racing is the hallmark of MotoAmerica, in the past couple of years the SuperSport class has come to exemplify this. Yesterdays race at Road America was just another example of this. You have a 16 year old Tyler Scott in just his third SuperSport start. He puts his Suzuki on the pole next to 32 year old accomplished veteran Josh Herrin on a Ducati. At the start he takes the lead only to be passed a few laps later by the veteran after a slight mistake of running wide in a turn. As the announcers speculated when he would make a move to regain the lead, he just stayed right on Herrin’s rear. Even after the white flag was waved, he held his ground for a full lap. Then coming out of turn 14 onto the front strait, he, drafted up behind the Ducati and passed him right at the finish line. The margin of victory. 0.039 seconds.
It’s an inevitable part of what they do. Anyone who races for a living knows it can happen in a heartbeat. But you put it in the back of your mind and try to concentrate on the task at hand. While coming up through the ranks every racer has had their share of crashes, spills, and near misses. The very nature of being fast means you have to operate on that thin edge between control and disaster. You do what you can to avoid the latter, but it’s not always in your hands.
All of this brings us to todays story. We are at Road America for the 2014 AMA Subway SuperBike doubleheader. It is race (1) of the Daytona SportBike class. Joe Roberts is on his number 3 M4 Motorcycle Road Racing Honda CBR600RR. As he enters turn five he goes wide onto the rumble strip. Not sure why, maybe to avoid crowding Elena Meyers on the number 21 Triumph on the inside. Whatever the reason things began to go wrong from that point on. At first he looks to have things under control, then the back end begins to slide to the right. As he attempts to correct it, the back end slides too far left causing him to high side, and go over the the front of the bike. The photos tell the rest of the story.
After landing chest first on the rumble strip, Joe Roberts attempted to get up. He was only able to crawl to his bike, and then sit down. He was taken away in an ambulance, but was back in action at the next AMA event at Barber Motorsports Park a few weeks later.
When you shoot pro motorcycle racing, you are use to seeing shiny new bikes in pristine condition. At the pro level teams have spare parts to replace any that are damaged in practice or qualifying. At the semi pro and amateur ranks however, things are quite different. Small teams on small budgets don’t have the resources the pro’s have. Improvisation is the name of the game for them, and duct tape is there best friend. It makes for some very creative looking bikes.
This second shot is one of the most creative uses of duct tape I have ever seen. See if you can spot all the pieces applied to various parts of this bike.