Posts Tagged ‘Yamaha’

My First World Title at the 2011 IJSBA World Finals

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Mark Gomez Practicing in Mission Bay, CAEarlier last year I attended the Marc Hahn endurance race in Lake Havasu, AZ to support some fellow Liquid Militia sponsored riders who were racing. It was there where I was approached by David Fekete of KMG Racing. He had a lot of great things to say about me especially how he had seen me race and podium in Parker just months before. He made an incredible offer that would ignite my competitive racing career. David and his wife Dawn Fekete support their Racing team called “KMG Racing“. Their out look on racing is not just being another race team.. they are the other guys. KMG Racing has a few race skis which they have someone who shares the same positive outlook on racing, race their skis free of charge. Also at the end of every race despite the out come they are always the first ones to pass around some drinks and celebrate their motto of having a good time. I rode a stock class KMG racing ski this year at the APBA Race in Parker, AZ. I qualified for the world finals placing 3rd overall in Novice ski stock and 1st in Novice ski Limited. From there I rode the KMG Stock Class blue ski at the Hydro -Turf Sponsored Las Vegas indoor race event at the South Point Arena.

With a few training sessions between Mission bay and Granada street beach in Long beach I was ready to race at the 30th annual IJSBA World Finals in Lake Havasu. Dawn and Dave also Mark Gomez Racing KMG Stock ski at the Vegas Indoorsponsored Toshi, a killer racer from Japan. Toshi and I shared the stock spec ski for our individual stock spec classes so his crew modified the ski to get every stock class legal advantage out it. This was killer because I knew I was riding one the fastest most competitive handling stock spec skis on the track. It took a little bit to learn how to ride like Toshi but in the end it worked out great because despite my back being on fire from riding so low, my lap times and track rhythm improved greatly.

Havasu Bound

I Left my house late Friday night to arrive in Havasu at the Liquid Militia rental house around 4 in the morning. Being completely wired from too many energy drinks I decided to un pack a little and do sHavasu Bound for the world finalsome finishing touches to the new freestyle ski I was potentially going to ride in the amateur freestyle class. Within an hour Pro Rider Magazine photographer and my good friend Ronny Mac showed up at the house. Within a few hours I met with the KMG Racing crew at Body Beach to practice racing and try to promote “Jr’s with the Pros Day”. Dawn and David are a big supporter of the “Jr. Stars” program which each year sponsors 1-2 international Jr. Class racers. These are kids who show great devotion and progress in racing as well as having a good personality and good grades. Its a super positive program which is how Dawn and Dave found Toshi who came up from the Jr. class all the way to the pro class and won motos at last year’s world finals! Unfortunately the message did not spread about the day with the pros event, but a few kids did come by who got spoiled with cool gear from Bomber Eyewear, Mystik Lubricants, Liquid Militia, and KMG Racing. I signed a few posters for the little guys and they were really stoked. The rest of the day Toshi and I practiced riding buoys. I spent over half the day diagnosing a completely fried MSD total loss ignition system in the freestyle ski. This would be the deciding factor in why I did not compete in amateur freestyle later in the week. Toward the end of the day, the KMG Racing team and I made our way over to Action Sports Clothing store in upper Lake Havasu City. We set up the Mystik and KMG Easy ups, set out all the race skis including my Freeride superjeKMG Team Autograph Meet n' Greet at Action Sports Clothing storet, and had a 2 hour autograph/meet and greet for all Action Sports customers. It was a great way to give back to the Lake Havasu city small businesses and build a little local exposure for the World Finals race event. The next few days we continued to test and modify the race skis all while getting as much riding in as we could all day. Monday was the official practice day where Toshi and I got to practice on the official World Finals race coarse. I did not have any races until Wednesday so I utilized Tuesday to practice at crazy beach to mentally and physically prepare myself for Wednesdays races. I was as ready as any freerider gone racer could be, so I got to bed early to be fresh for the big day.

Race Day / Qualifying

Wednesday morning started with one more practice session which was then followed by my first qualifying moto in Amateur Ski lites. That class is 2-stroke stand ups only at stock racing class specifiOn the line with my holder Jeff Decoitecations. My racing class was so big there was 2 almost full qualifying motos. With the help of my holder and great friend Jeffery DeCoite, I was the first off the line with the hole shot on the outside starting line. Unfortunately in the confusion of practice and not following anybody, I made a wrong turn off last buoy of the first sweeping turn. I lead half of the race around the first split buoy we did not need to go around. After that bad start the rest of the moto started to fall apart. I got into a battle behind one guy and tried to cut in on him to pass during a turn but got caught in his jet wash. The nose of my ski dove and I went completely under the water. This caused my race ski to die and take what seemed for ever to get started again. It wasn’t until the 1st place guy came to lap me when the ski groaned back to life and I continued the rest of the moto. Somehow I finished 11th out of 15, which did not qualify for the main heat right away. I still had my shot to do so at the Last Change Qualifier (LCQ) round later that day. At the starting line for the LCQ round I was ready. I studied the track and was pissed from the last crappy moto so I was ready for vengeance. Jeff helped me with another killer start as I hit the throttle and accelerated toward the gate I watched the starting line ban snap across the nose of my ski and I was gone. I got the hole shot coming around starting merge buoy and never looked back placing 1st to be 1 of the top 2 that qualified back into the main.

Main Moto 1

Within another 6 motos the first main heat of amateur lites was up. Back on the starting line I chose the outside starting position again because I knew that line and how to take it the fastest. At the band snap, I got the hole shot on my outside starting position but the guys on the inside got around quicker so I was about 6th or 7th coming around the starting merge Moto 1buoy. The 2 main heats were 6 lap motos, and by lap 3 I had battled my way to 3rd place behind fellow Kommander Industries sponsored racer Kody Copenhaver. Kody has been racing for years and is really fast. We battled all the way through the last 3 laps as I tried bobbing and weaving around his tight racing lines. This gave me nothing but dirty jet wash water to try and accelerate and pass through. We came around the back side sweeper turn with about 7-8 ski lengths between us. Kody went for the outside split and I dove for the inside split hauling ass through clean water. It was so exciting because I came around my last split buoy back into the merge with Kody now literally only half a ski length ahead, with the nose of my ski at the side of his tray. Kody, being the experienced racer he is, set a tight rail into the final turn as I set up from the outside to try and swoop in tight to pass. As soon as he was engaged in the turn his jet unloaded a bit blasting me, which caused me to loose my balance and slide out a bit loosing most of my turn speed. 1o feet away was the finish line as Kody flew through getting second and I came just a second behind him in 3rd, that was an epic race!

Main Moto 2

For the final moto I chose the outside starting position yet again to feel confident with my start course. At card flip, I accelerated and watched the band snap across the nose of my ski and Making the passI left the line ahead of everyone else. However as I came 10 yards from the first turn I noticed another ski coming in hot on my right peripheral. It was a rider who rented a very fast ski and got ahead of  me through the opening sweeper turn. As we came into first hard turn buoy I swore I saw the rider in front of me look back at me as I got a huge pump roost in the face from his jet pump. It almost knocked me over as I was committed to the turn. Now thinking he did it intentionally from the alleged look back, I felt like he had just unleashed the hulk out of me. My adrenaline spiked and my muscled tensed up as pure rage felt like it was seeping from my eyes with him being my target for vengeance. I came around the first merge turn in about 8th place behind that rider. I battled this guy the entire first lap until we came back into the splits. He dove in the outside split and I booked it for the inside split absolutely hauling ass. I came into the merger buoy 6 ski lengths ahead of him looking back across the back stretch shouting in a warriors rage tone as if I just fist fought a bear and won. That adrenaline sure lit a fire under me because it helped me keep the momentum up to fight my way from7th to 4th right behind Kody again. We battled for a lap until I was finally able to make a pass on him and keep charging for the last 2 laps. 1st and 2nd place were half a lap ahead of the me having clear water ahead of the pack the whole race. I finished that moto 3rd again but being that I beat Kody who placed lower. My good friend and KMG mechanic, Bobby Kerns met me at the tech inspection area immediately after the race. My holder Jeff DeCoite was there to give me a big hug and tell me that I had the 2nd place over all points. Bobby and I wheeled the ski out of the water and Into a tech tear down booth. This was new to me being a first time world finals racer, but the top 5Local Havasu Newspaper sports page shot from Moto 2 of every class get broken down per request of the tech officials to make sure every ski is within class spec. We tore down and checked everything the tech officials wanted to see and got the green light. The racer who won the first overall was still stuck in tech for over 45 min of us leaving. That whole night I was on edge not knowing if the rumors of  a possible disqualification were true of not. The next morning I awoke with a voice mail of Dawn Fekete and friends screaming “Congratulations World Champion Wooooooo!” The rider who came in first was disqualified for having after market carbon fiber reeds, making me the Amateur Ski Lites World Champion at the 30th annual IJSBA World Finals!

Pro Weekend & Awards

The Bomber Crew on wheelsThe rest of the week was great, I hung out at the event site meeting tons of people, I signed posters for fans at the Liquid Militia booth, and partied our socks off with the Liquid Militia crew at Kokomos night club every night. It was great to see all of my fellow freeriders show up like Zack Bright, Tanner Thomas, Chris Rosner, Taylor Curtis, John Howe, Jared Ajlouny, Christian Young and many more. I got to wake surf with Tommy Bonacci of  Bomber Eyewear, his wife, and Chris Fischetti. The awards ceremony was great, I was surprised to see how cool the trophies looked! Announcer Mike Young gave me a killer podium introduction and while I was on the podium I shouted a big “UP!” toward all my friends at KMG Racing who raised their arms and drinks and yelled back our team chant “UP!” Chris MacClugage came up to snag a last minute photo before I got down, it was really cool to see how stoked he was for me being a freerider showing up to my first world finals and leaving with a world title. I feel super accomplished winning this title because I worked my ass off fighting from a terrible start in qualifying, to winning the LCQ and battling with some solid racers to the top.

KMG Factory Mechanic Bobby KernsKMG Support CrewTeam KMG 2011 World Finals

The people I have surrounded myself with in the race industry are the most positive people. I am really happy to be supported by such a great family at KMG Racing. I cant not thank my Mom and my brother Philip at Patty’s Cakes & Desserts, Kevin Collins at Led Drag, and Larry Sarinana at QuickStyle Motorsports enough for making the entire trip financially possible for me.

Big thanks also to Bomber Eyewear, Mystik Lubricants for supporting Team KMG Racing.

This is a huge achievement and I sincerely can not thank all of you guys for your support along the way.

First Racing World Title!
GO KMG Racing….UP!!!Mark Gomez 2011 Amatuer Lites Racing World Champion!

Thank you again for your support,

-Mark Gomez

My First Race in Parker, Arizona March 2010

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

In march I attended the ABPA Race tour stop in Parker, Arizona. I drove out with my good friend Eric Garcia who works for my fiberglass sponsor Performance Fiberglass and was also there to Race an open class Kawasaki Ultra 250. Liquid Militia team racer and one of the most generous guys I know Pete Zernik was there  to race 3 classes himself. Back at the Pimso freeride in March I spoke to Pete about the idea of racing but needed a ski to race. He had just had his back up limited class ski rebuilt and offered to let me race it there. With a about an hour of practice on the ski, I felt comfortable enough to hit the track and also practice some hole shots. Pete was not only super generous to let me race his ski but was also a great race mentor giving me some great pointers on how to have a great start and how to handle the boat around the track.

The entire event was great fun. I Ended up placing 3rd place overall both days racing the ski in novice ski limited class. I felt great with the results for being my first race. It was almost safe to say the thrill of racing a stand up with other people gunning for your position in rough waters and with a bunch of friends screaming at you to keep going was an incredible experience. The gnarliest thing about racing  a stand up is that hole shot. The hole shot is the beginning of a race where all the racers line up in waist high water with one other person they call their holder. The line woman signals us to start our skis which the holder helps the racer lift the back of the ski out of the water so the racer can rev out the ski to clear the exhaust system of water. They drop the ski into the water and keep the ski running at a high idle which is when the holder does or doesn’t do his or her job of holding the ski back and keeping it aimed straight. The Line woman tilts the flag and blows a whistle to signal the start of the race where all the racers leave the beach full throttle holding their line all for the first buoy.  That hole shot is crazy! I had a racer loose their line and come swaying over 4 lines over into me which i turned into them and made them bounce off me so i could keep my line. It was just the craziest part of racing becuase you can only see whats in front of you, its fast, and you cant see anything that isnt 3 feet in front of you.

Every night in between was an adventure with my good friends Kyla and Ryan of Liquid Militia. They sponsored a bed for me to sleep on for the event in their hotel room. This was super helpful of them and a ton of fun to stay with the party which we and many other friends of Liquid Militia took all over that casino/hotel those nights. Lots of shenanigans and good times the whole weekend those nights with good friends.

On the second day I ended up signing up for freestyle with permission from my friend Michael De Mauro to compete on his Yamaha Superjet he was competing on. My goal was to bring back 1990’s freestyle with old school fun tricks that no one does anymore but are still tricky and entertaining.  I went as far as writing down all the tricks i knew on my forearm to look at in the heat of my routine and remember what to do. No matter what i did I always kept fist pumping, the key to every successful freestyle entertainer’s routine. I went out there, had a great time and ended up bringing home the gold! Parts of my routine were captured by my good friends at Liquid Militia with their video from the event bellow.

It was an incredible weekend I have to thank Liquid Militia, Performance fiberglass, WORX racing components, and most of all Pete Zernik of Zernikracing.com for letting me race his ski that weekend along with all his time and support that came with it.

My overall results were:

3rd place overall Novice ski limited Rounds 1 & 2

1st Place Freestyle Round 2

New Jet Ski Solutions Electrical system!

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

My electrical sponsor John of Jet ski Solutions has really taken care of me with my new complete electrical system for 2010!
My custom sponsorship service package came in the mail today.
John’s work is top notch and he does it all:
-Stator reconditioning
-Ignition coil upgrades
-Start stop switch bullet proofing
-Electrical box reconditioning and upgrades.
– AND MUCH MUCH MORE!

My Jet ski Solutions electrical box system..
is by far my favorite part of my engine system because of its reliability, functionality, accessibility, and ease of installation.

The Jet ski Solutions electrical box contains the following services starting with my custom wired MSD Enchancer.
Jet ski Solutions Stainless pin connectors from the electrical box, stator and start stop switch for ease of diagnosis and engine removal. Jet ski Solutions also installs their custom signature external terminal system, for the ease of installation, removal, accessory wiring, and charging of battery. This part of the electrical system is one of my favorites because of how nice it makes working with my electrical system. No more fighting my battery straps and hidden tools to reach my battery terminals to charge it. The external terminals make it so nice to install my bilge and tachometer power. Diagnosis of start stop relay couldn’t be any easier now either. Jet ski Solutions also provides new Stainless coarse threaded screws with nylon washers for optimum electrical box sealing. The back of the box is not only refinished to look better than an OEM electrical box but also is backed with bumpers on the back and large nylon washers for use on electrical box brackets to keep the box protected from ware and corrosion. I am so excited to install and use this electrical system with my new motor package.

My Favorite modification from Jet ski Solutions is their Ignition Coil service. They remove your old spark plug wires and caps. Then replace them with the thickest wires available for ignition systems and finished off with crimped and sealed MSD spark plug boots for optimum corrosion protection and the most juice you can get out of your system. This Service combined with their stator service and supercharged with the MSD enchancer provides that extra boost in your motor’s powerban and throttle response that you just cant seem to get without this set up!


The Jet ski solutions system cables are also a big plus. They use beefy cables along with large welding grade crimped terminal ends for optimal amp current transfer, durability, and connection.

Jet ski Solutions Yamaha start stop switches are top notch as well! completely re built with military grade anti corrosive components, new wires, and stainless bullet terminals to connect to the external terminals from the electrical box for ease of installation and problem diagnosis. No more corroded OEM terminal problems JSS has done their homework and worked with riders like me to constantly look for new ways to combat the corrosive conditions we put these switches under.

The Jet ski Solutions stator service I can’t say enough about other than Quality Quality Quality! They really put their time and professional service into making these stators above and beyond OEM standards. These stators are rewound for better than OEM charging and performance. the wires are all thicker for optimal current transfer and finished with the stainless bullet connectors for ease of installation, problem diagnosis, and removal. These stators are works of art, I don’t want to put this stator in a motor because it looks like it should hold a spot on a display case!

Overall i am very excited about my new Jet ski Solutions electrical system and accessories. I am more thankful though for the support from Jet Ski Solution, one of my most generous sponsors that has really given me 100% of their support in recognition for my achievements.

Check out their website at www.Jetskisolutions.com to check out all their great parts and services for your watercraft system today!
-MG

Havasu bound for race training with Chris MacClugage

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

I am about to leave to stop by Kyla and Ryan of Liquid Militias house to drop off some parts for their skis. Soon after I will be picking up Chris MacClugage’s new triple cylinder Kawasaki Motor for his GP SXR from a great engine builder and porting guru Jeff Jensen of Top End Performance. After i pick that up I will be heading down to Skat-Trak to pick up pump system and accessories for him as well. From there its off to Havasu where I will be riding my friend Tom Suchodolski’s 2008 Yamaha Superjet at Body Beach practicing for my upcoming race in Parker AZ. Chris MacClugage will be there testing his skis as well giving me pointers and teaching me the things i need to learn about closed coarse racing. It should be a fun weekend and I look forward to learning a lot. For more information on the Race in Parker next week visit APBAracing.com

Thanks

-Mark Gomez

Eventful weekend at the Dana Point to Avalon PWC Offshore Race 2010

Friday, April 9th, 2010

It all kicked off with a BBQ at Kyla and Ryan of Liquid Militia’s house. Where almost the entire PWC Offshore community met up at as they ate great food, prepared skis, and watched the new DVD by Liquid Militia and Hypnotic Films, Rise of The Tide. Chris and his Wife Rachel MacClugage were there as well hanging out and preparing Chris’s Yamaha FZR for the next day’s sprint. We all woke up the next morning around 5 am to leave for the Dana Point harbor. After the riders meeting everyone launched their ski’s including myself with my superjet and my brother Philip Gomez and his Sea Doo RXP. We all rode just outside of the harbor to watch Chris and all of the other Offshore racer’s line up and fire off toward Avalon. After they took off Kyla, Ryan, Bryant, my brother, and I decided to go down the coast on a hunt for some surf to ride. After a little barrel roll session in a what I thought was a private cove. I was hitting these random large waves which I came to realize were there because there were random Large rocks all over this little area. I decided then that I loved the way my body was in one piece so we made our way back when I found out the local coast guard/rangers were watching but not as happy as I was about riding there. They were cool and let me go with a warning. Chris MacClugage ended up taking first overall in the race! We all flushed out the skis and walked over to the Dana point Jet Ski rental and service shop for the awards. It was a cool little ceremony Kyla’s mom and head of K38 water safety, Shawn Alladio ended up taking 9th place and first in her class! After the awards we all drove down the street to the local Chronic Tacos Mexican joint. It was there when the Liquid Militia slap on stickers came out and blew up Liquid Militia all over that Chronic Taco establishment. Just as we all got our food and stickered the entire place up, we couldn’t begin to eat without getting some proper entertainment on the Chronic Taco Flat screen. What else could we put in but the new DVD Rise of The Tide! It was a really fun and eventful day, Chris MacClugage worked hard for the gold so I am super stoked for his results.

Liquid Militia taking over Dana Point's Chronic Tacos joint

Pre-race BBQ at the Liquid Militia house watching Rise of The Tide DVD

Until the next event, Mark Gomez

Official trailer for the new DVD “Rise of the Tide”

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Bryant Lambert and my friends at Liquid Militia have been working hard to produce the newest generation of watercraft motion pictures. I am extremely excited for this to release and also to be apart of the production. Make sure to pre order your copy at www.LiquidMilitia.com and get it before everyone else and a signed DVD cover!

Thank you for your support!

-Mark G.

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