KOPECKY RACING - PRESS RELEASES 2004-2005-2006-2007
Listed in reverse chronological order (we've skipped a few recently...will add them soon)
WSMC Streets of Willow Series Finale
Nov. 3-4, 2007
In winning four of his five races last Sunday, MotoForza sponsored road racer Kenny Kopecky wrapped up 5 individual WSMC Expert Class Championships at the clubs' inaugural "Streets of Willow" series in Rosamond, CA.
The former Willow Springs Overall Champion left his Ducati parked for the four race series, and rode a nearly stock 2006 Husqvarna SMR-510 to class titles in 500 Super Stock, 500 Singles, Formula Singles, BOTT Lightweight (which allows the 500 Singles machines to participate), and the SuperMoto Open classes. While his record in the four event series saw him win 17 of 19 race starts (with two 2nd place finishes and no mechanical problems) Kenny wasn't as pleased as some would think.
"This little track is great fun, and the SMR-510 is an ideal bike for this race series. The SMR is eligible in so many classes and we had fun, but each month it was sad to see so few racers participating in the program. We really appreciate WSMC putting out the effort to let us race at the Streets, and really hope to see more participation in 2008!"
The club announced at the event that they will again run a four race series at Streets of Willow with their first round in early April of next year.
"In addition to thanking WSMC, big thanks go to the guys at MotoForza in Escondido for their prep work. They put a slip-on race exhaust and some minor tuning on our Husky, and it ran great! In just over three years with them, we've now won 8 WSMC class titles, with over 80 race wins, and the Willow Springs Overall. And between the Ducatis and the Husky they prepared for us, not one mechanical dnf! Also, with the bike being so light and with such a gentle power delivery, we ended up using only two sets of Dunlop D209's for the entire four weekend series."
The San Diego based racer is tentativly planning on running the Husqvarna with MotoForza sponsorship again in 2008 at the Streets series, but is not contesting the full WSMC main track series any longer. Kenny added "We may run a few WSMC or TrackDaz events for fun on our 2005 WSMC Championship winning Ducati, but our focus these days is on family and flying. This month we're completing a phase of our flight training, and next year we'll take some trips and maybe give aerobatics a go!"
WSMC Round 4 - April 14-15, 2007
Willow Springs International Raceway
Moto Forza Ducati supported roadracer Kenny Kopecky won a pair of races at Willow Springs Sunday, taking the holeshot in both Formula Twins Heavyweight and BOTT Heavyweight from his second row grid positions, and leading both races to their conclusion. The victories bring the San Diego racers' WSMC sprint race record in 2007 to 8 wins in 8 starts in the past month, with his next planned race appearance at the Streets of Willow race on May 6th.
The wind conditions were "miserable" as described by Kenny throughout the weekend, and after skipping the entire Saturday practice day Kenny rode the clubs' opening Saturday Solo series race, a 20-lap 50 mile event. Running on the same set of Dunlop tires used in two race wins at the March WSMC meet, Kenny took a quick but brief lead as Robbie Dowie warmed up slowly and toyed with Kenny for several laps. With an admitted "complete lack of training" Kopecky could not continue his typical sprint race pace after 25 miles, and was demoted to third by Mitchell Wissner. Kenny gamely hung as close as he could for the remaining 10 laps, finishing 2.1 seconds behind 2nd place after 50 miles. After the race Kenny stated "...with the high winds and a bit too much arm pump I was cooked! It was fun to have Robbie mess with me for a few laps, and I was reasonably pleased as those were my first laps on our Ducati 999R-05 in four weeks. Robbie didn't really go much faster as he went ahead to win, and after I slowed just hanging onto Mitch was a huge chore. They both rode really well in the wind, and we're sure to have some more fun racing together at the upcoming Solo meets!"
For the sprint racing on Sunday, Kopecky again skipped the practice sessions and had mounted fresh Dunlop race slicks. He added "The races were extremely difficult with these changing wind conditions! Our first race early in the day was completly different than the second win late in the afternoon, and it was truly a day to just get through and look forward to some harder, faster riding at a future event. My family and I would also like to extend our sincerest best wishes and our prayers are with those who fell and were injured over the weekend".
Kopecky, who turned 48 on Saturday at the track (and is celebrating his 25th year as a competitor in roadracing at Willow Springs) isn't competing for series awards at the main course any longer after his dominating 2005 WSMC Championship season. However, he has decided to attempt a few more WSMC Class Championship title runs! "Yep, we had so much fun over at that first WSMC Streets of Willow race two weeks ago! We'll be back for their remaining Streets races with our Moto Forza Husqvarna SMR Single, and we'll see if we can bring a couple more class titles back to the shop for the guys!"
The next WSMC Streets of Willow race is May 5-6, 2007 and the next WSMC main track event is May 18-20, 2007.
April 2, 2007
Riding a MotoForza prepared 2006 Husqvarna SMR-510 racer Kenny Kopecky won all four races he started at the Willow Springs Motorcycle Club's first ever race at the Streets of Willow on Sunday, April 1st.
Having last raced a Single with WSMC in 1997, Kopecky quickly adapted and rode to uncontested wins in the Formula Singles and 500 Singles classes, but enjoyed rousing battles in 500 SuperStock and BOTT Lightweight classes on another warm and windy day at Willow. The 500 SuperStock contest ran nearly the entire length of the 8 lap race, with Kopecky getting a quick start and early lead, but was demoted to 2nd at the end of the 1st lap by hard-charging Eric Angel on his Yamaha FZr400. Kopecky stayed extremely close for several laps and seeing Angel fade a bit on lap 6 went for a pass in the esses heading to the Streets famous bowl turn. Running into the bowl faster then usual after the pass, Kopecky checked up a bit and inadvertantly caused Angel on his FZr to narrowly miss the Husqvarnas' rear tire. The next lap would be Kopeckys' fastest of the race, and with Angel unable to respond Kenny went on to win by 4.25 seconds. The battling pair had put nearly 30 seconds on 3rd place finisher (and multi-time WSMC 500 Class Champion) J.C. Gibbs at the end of the race.
Afterwards Kenny said "I know a number of the riders on Super-Moto type bikes run specific race tires or slicks, but we used one set of D.O.T. street-legal Dunlop D209's throughout the whole weekend. The tires were great all weekend, and late in that race with Eric I think our combination of Dunlops and the awesome Husky suspension just made the track a little more comfortable for us."
The bike was surprisingly stock, with the only performance changes by MotoForza being a gearing change for more top speed and a slip-on exhaust cannister with slight re-jetting. The WSMC rules allow a street-legal Single in a variety of classes, and Kopecky took advantage of this by also running the Husqvarna in B.O.T.T. Lightweight. "We had a good start and at the end of the first lap saw Chris Speights right on our tail at the skid-pad. We'd been really lazy there all day and figured we better try to ride a little harder to stay in front...following Eric in SuperStock was fun but I'd rather lead into the traffic than be 2nd." While Kopecky ran his fastest lap of the weekend the pursuing Speights on his EX-500 lost the rear end coming out of turn 3 and crashed out of the race un-hurt. Kenny added "I'm really glad Chris was okay, I hate to see that happen. This Single is really well suited to the Streets of Willow course, and we had a ton of fun on the MotoForza Husqvarna SMR today! I hope more racers will come out to the next Streets meet...WSMC did a great job this weekend."
Kopecky is planning to attend both the upcoming WSMC meet on the main Willow track April 13-15 and the next WSMC Streets of Willow meet on May 5-6.
March 18, 2007
WSMC Willow Springs Round 3
San Diego racer Kenny Kopecky returned to WSMC racing after a layoff of seven months to win a pair of twins based classes at the club's monthly meet at Willow Springs Raceway Sunday. Riding his 2005 WSMC Championship winning Ducati 999R-05 Kopecky overcame 3rd and 4th row grid positions to lead both of his events by the exit of turn 1 and led every lap in both Formula Twins Heavyweight and BOTT Heavyweight on a warm and windy day in the Southern California desert.
"I'm really happy with the results, but more importantly pleased to be close to my full race pace after so much time away from the racing." Kenny said after the event. "We've only ridden the bike twice the last half year at some TrackDaz events, and in my first race start to be within a second of some of our class lap record times from 2005...the Moto Forza prepped Ducati is strong as ever, and the good feelings around the track came back within my first few laps of practice on Saturday. We put some new Dunlops on for the races, and off we went!"
Kopecky has been spending time in family pursuits for a number of months, as well as recently soloing a small Cessna while taking private pilot flying lessons in San Diego. "Ya, we're having a great time! David (Kenny's step-son) had a great season with his high-school marching band and we went to many fine performances, and everything is going really well at home. We'll be back for several more WSMC events this season, in similar fashion to our limited schedule last year".
Asked many times over the event weekend if he'll be switching to the new Ducati 1098, Kenny replied "If we were racing full-time that would for sure be our choice, but as a part-time participant and with the fine set-up we have the 999R-05 is plenty of machine for me, and still a proven race winner. We are going to try something different though! We'll be giving our little Husqvarna SMR-510 single a run over at the new Streets of Willow series that WSMC is starting in two weeks, and are looking forward to some good relaxing fun with it."
With the 2006 WSMC season reaching it's mid-point on Fathers Day, current #1 WSMC plate holder Kenny Kopecky won all three races he started on Sunday, and has moved into class championship title contention in two classes. With temperatures hovering around 105 in the shade and the infamous Willow winds gusting from the West, many of the racers lap times were off from the previous month throughout the event weekend. Kopecky led 19 of the 20 laps he raced in Formula Twins Heavyweight, Formula 40 Heavyweight, and B.O.T.T. Heavyweight on his Dunlop-shod Ducati 999R-05.
After the event Kenny said, "The day went as well as we could expect given these tough conditions. We were very happy with the performance of our Ducati, and wish to again thank the guys at Moto Forza for great prep work along with thanks to Ducati North America for the contingency support program! Our tires held up great in the heat, and my wife Dana was awesome yet again in her assistance this weekend."
Kopecky ran several fast laps in both Formula Twins Heavyweight and B.O.T.T. Heavyweight to get a quick lead and win convincingly over Claudio Szyszkowski (Duc 999R) and Marlon Ibarra (Duc 749R) who finished 2nd and 3rd in both events. In the Formula 40 Heavyweight class, Kopecky had not run in the class in 2006 and by WSMC rules was gridded at the back of the field. Starting from the inside of the 5th row, Kenny was 4th into turn 1, 2nd by turn 4 and gained the lead in turn 2 on the second lap from quick-starting front row man Dave Conger (Suz GSX-R1000). Conger ran a strong 2nd, however was demoted to 3rd by class point leader Jeff Stern (Suz GSX-R750) late in the sprint race. While Kopecky slowly eased away to win by just over 1.7 seconds Conger ended up just under two-tenths of a second behind Stern in a fine battle.
Kenny added, "The Formula 40 race was the most fun of the day...we've proven we can start the 999R quickly and using our faster entry and mid-corner speed in turn two were able to ease past Dave early in the second lap. We considered trying to ride around him in turn 8 and 9 on the first lap, but the gusting winds made it easier for me to wait a bit. Passing the fast 1000s is never easy, but we used this same race tactic in the Toyota 200 last year and our Ducati really works well over in turn 2!"
With the victories Kopecky has moved into the class championship point lead in Formula Twins Heavyweight, and is just 3 points behind Szyszkowski in B.O.T.T. Heavyweight despite missing a third of the 2006 WSMC season to date. "We took some time off during my mothers recovery from some surgeries, but she's doing well now and we're looking at running rest of the season with WSMC. We greatly appreciate the kind words and prayers from our friends. It's still so much fun to get out on the track with the Ducati and we enjoy the racing very much."
Kopecky is sponsored by Moto Forza, Ducati North America, Dunlop Tires, Maxima Racing Oil, TrackDaz, Suomy USA, and Z Custom Leathers.
The next WSMC race is July 14-16, 2006 at Willow Springs International Raceway.
WSMC Round 5
May 21, 2006
At the fifth round of Southern Californias' WSMC roadrace series at Willow Springs, San Diego resident and current WSMC #1 plateholder Kenny Kopecky had a day of mixed results. Kopecky led all three of his races on the day but the final results were a 3rd (750 Superbike), a 2nd (Formula Twins Heavyweight), and a 1st (BOTT Heavyweight).
Kopecky holeshot the first race of the day, 750 Superbike, from the third row and led for a lap until being overtaken by class points leader Karl Lowry, Jr. at the end of the front straight. Shortly thereafter Dale Keifer powered past on the back straight, and the finishing order was set though Keifer challenged and briefly led Lowry before settling for a strong 2nd at the end of the 8 lap sprint race. Running back-to-back races, Kopecky immediatly returned for Formula Twins Heavyweight...where he again led for a lap and was quickly demoted to 2nd position by former class champion Claudio Szyszkowski (Duc 999R) on the first run down the front straight. This race saw several of the top Willow Springs twins class competitors crash out, including 2006 WSMC race winners Ademar Nunes and Norman Roy in separate accidents. Kopecky rode at a reduced pace and encountered a charging from behind Marlon Ibarra (Duc 749R) on the final two laps. Kenny responded with his fastest two laps of this sprint to narrowly take 2nd from Ibarra by 0.412 of a second. Szyszkowski dominated the race, winning by 18.5 seconds.
After making some changes to the Moto Forza prepped 999R-05, Kopecky returned for his final race late in the day, where the third holeshot of the day turned into a dominant performance by the #1 overall rider at Willow Springs from 2005. In two successive laps Kopecky broke his own class lap record, running as much as 3 to 5 seconds a lap faster then the riders who challenged and beat him early in the day. The final margin of victory was 21.8 seconds over class point leader Szyszkowski, who in turn beat Ibarra on his middleweight bike by another 4 seconds.
At the end of the day Kenny said, "Well, it's always a learning process and we left our 2005 set-up and tried a couple different settings for those first two combined races. We were able to put in a couple of 1:24's early in 750 Superbike, but as soon as Karl and Dale dipped into 23's we knew we weren't going with them. Being well clear of the rest of the field was comforting as we were concerned about the race immediatly after, and wow big surprise! Being comfortable on the bike is very important to me, and this second race was, in a word, un-comfortable! We ran our slowest race laps ever on the 999R in Formula Twins and after 20 miles of gritting our teeth ended up less then half a second ahead of third. Our hats off to Claudio, he was dialed in on his 999R and rode really well...it only took about half a lap after he passed us to realize this was his race and we just wanted to get through this one so we could re-group and challenge later in the Ducati contingency event. We sure hope the guys who fell will be okay! The last we heard there was nothing too serious and Ademar and Norman should be back out racing soon. We send our best wishes for a quick and speedy recovery to all the riders who fell over this weekend."
Kenny and his family changed some front end settings, as well as mounting a new rear Dunlop slick for the final event of the day. He added "The final race was what we enjoy doing the most, which is riding fast on the Ducati on the racetrack! The setting changes worked, the new Dunlop was great and we carved around the place really well. The wind was up a little, and of course we wish we could have run so strong early in the day. We've learned yet again, and we'll give it another try at the next race. Thanks to Ducati North America for their contingency support again this season...we're very pleased to have won another race in their program! A big thanks also to TrackDaz, as we've reached 100% booking with our coaching program with them and are looking forward to continuing this into the future."
The next WSMC race is June 16-18, 2006 and will feature double points for the competitors.
April 16, 2006 - WSMC Round 4
Willow Springs International Raceway
On Easter Sunday in windy Willow conditions, Ducati Moto Forza racer Kenny Kopecky won both of the races he started, the Formula Twins Heavyweight and BOTT Heavyweight classes.
Having last been at the Willow Springs track three months ago (and missing two WSMC weekends), Kopecky wasted no time in leaping from his second row grid positions in both events to be leading by turn one, and pull away quickly from the class points leaders at WSMC.
Kenny said "I'm certainly not as comfortable in these winds as I am in the calm...we all have to face this out here, and our 2005 Championship combination and set-up continues to work well despite these poor riding conditions. I hope the racers that fell today will recover well and quickly." There were several crashes in turn 8 that destroyed machines, and caused one life-flight for a racer as previously reported on Roadracing World.com
"We're very happy to get a pair of wins under the new name of Ducati Moto Forza! This is the same group of people from Aprilia/Ducati of Oceanside that gave us fantastic support since we moved to the Ducati machines in 2004. They'll be moving to a new, larger shop (relocating from Oceanside to Escondido, CA) on May 1st and are changing their name during this celebration."
Kopecky will be concentrating on racing the Ducati 999R at the upcoming meets he attends. "We had great fun winning a heavyweight twins race with WERA at California Speedway in February, and we hope to be back at Willow running the WSMC #1 plate again soon".
The next WSMC race meet is May 19-21, 2006.
Willow Springs Motorcycle Club's new #1 plate holder Kenny Kopecky rode his pair of Ducati Oceanside/Dunlop/Maxima/Suomy/TrackDaz supported race bikes to four wins in five starts, and led 23 of the 30 laps he raced on Sunday in the southern California tracks' season opener.
The day's first race of the new year saw Kopecky holeshot the F-40 Lightweight class from the second row and lead all six laps just ahead of the 2005 class Champion and new #2 plate holder Mark Watts. The pair of top ranked racers from 2005 at Willow climbed to 3rd and 4th overall on the track, passing all but two of the F-40 Heavyweight class riders that started as a first wave.
After a one race break, he then ran back to back races in 650 Superbike and BOTT Middleweight on the teams' 749R-04, holeshotting both races. Kenny briefly led ahead of young teen charger Michael Beck, who made a pass off turn 9 to complete the first lap and pull away steadily to win 650 Superbike. Kenny was demoted to 3rd by rising WSMC talent Brant Wiwi, and the top 3 pulled away by nearly 15 seconds ahead of the nearest challengers at the finish. In BOTT Middleweight while narrowly leading class challenger Marlon Ibarra (Duc 749R), Kenny slackened his pace considerably in the increasing winds past halfway of the sprint race, and found himself in 2nd at the white flag. With a strong run into turn 1 on the brakes, Kopecky was able to re-take the lead and hold off Ibarra by just .256 of a second. After the race Kenny said "This guy (Ibarra) is really hungry and we expect him to be the favorite for the class title this season, as we'll be missing some events later on. We're sure to have some more great races with him when we make it out!"
To finish the day Kenny raced a Ducati 999R-05 to victories in both BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins classes. "The winds were getting worse, and I think most of us were just trying to get through the day without making any big mistakes. I know I was. It feels really good to put the #1 out front in these races, and into the lead in some class standings, even briefly, this year. We're tied for the overall 2006 lead, as well."
The next WSMC race day is February 19th at Willow Springs.
From Balz Renggli at ADO:
KENNY KOPECKY & DUCATI OF OCEANSIDE EXCEED EXPECTATIONS AT TOYOTA 200 ENDURANCE RACE!!
Kenny Kopecky finished the highly coveted Toyota 200 endurance race held on October 16th at Willow Springs International Raceway in a formidable13th place on the Ducati of Oceanside sponsored 999R.
Ducati of Oceanside and Kenny intended to enter this 200mi endurance race on a bone stock 999R to prove the capability and reliability of Ducati’s flagship superbike. Ducati North America quickly agreed to this undertaking and was generous enough to loan us one of their Demo bikes out of their press fleet. The bike we raced was the bike Sportrider Magazine tested a few months ago. The only performance upgrade to the bike was the standard 57mm Termignoni exhaust & ECU. Race preparation was minimal: a regular service, removal of lights & mirrors, race bodywork, a set of race slicks, and the mandatory safety wiring and off we went. Oh yeah, we also fitted the larger 749R fuel tank to increase the range. Considering the expected competition and the fact that we were going to have to do pit stops without quick change equipment Kenny predicted that he could finish between 15th and 20th place in a 40 rider field.
Qualifying left us with mixed feelings. The laptime and resulting 19th spot on the grid was a little less than we hoped for but we also new that we very limited practice time and that in subsequent practice sessions we could work more on chassis and suspension set-up to get Kenny more comfortable on the bike. So we knew there was more to come.
Come raceday the weather had changed for the worse. The start of the race was delayed twice due to rain showers. Tire choice became a gamble. When we got called for the race start the track was wet but drying, yet there was still a good chance of more rain. Kenny had very little experience racing in the wet and was concerned. Most competitors decided to start with slicks on the still wet track, some went with rains, intermediates were not available. We decided to hand cut some grooves into both the front and rear Dunlop slicks. This gave Kenny the necessary confidence and our gamble seemed to pay off.
At the drop of the green flag, Kenny got a flier of a start and the torque of the Ducati 999R rocketed him off the start. Kenny completed the first lap of the race in 8th position, that was an improvement of 11 positions from his 19th place on the grid!! The team was ecstatic. On about the third lap, unfortunately Kenny entered turn 3 a little hot on the still wet track. He decided to not risk turning it in and losing the front end and he took the exit route, running off the track. No harm was done to man and machine but he lost a number of positions and had dropped to about 17th place. The race finally settled in and on the drying track Kenny got more confident and started to pass people one by one.
Our pit stop strategy was to bring Kenny in on laps 25 and 50 for a tire changes and re-fuel. Well, Kenny apparently did not see our pit board and kept going and going. Crew chief Balz Renggli was getting very concerned when Kenny completed 30 laps without any sign of him pitting. Balz had figured fuel consumption at about 6-7 laps per gallon. So the 5 gallons we fit in the 749R tank should be good for about 30 or so laps. Kenny finally pulled in on lap 35 for refueling and a new rear Dunlop tire.
Kenny continued to pass riders but due to the pit stop and lapped riders there was now no way of knowing Kenny’s position. His second pit stop came on about lap 57. This time the Ducati of Oceanside crew installed new Dunlops on the front and rear and topped off fuel again. The stop again went smoothly but of course due to the fact that we had no quick set up equipment it took about 1½ minutes while the top teams with quick change set-ups such as Josh Hayes’ Attack Kawasaki performed the same stop in 20 seconds flat.
Kenny continued to make up positions till the very end but unfortunately, when the checkered flag came out we did not know were we finished because the organizers timing and scoring system crashed about halfway through the race. Only days after the race did we find out that Kenny was awarded 13th place. A tired but happy Kenny commented: “The Ducati 999R once more was superb. The beginning of the race was quite sketchy in the wet but the Dunlop tires gave me the confidence I needed and worked flawlessly all the way to the end of the race. Of course a long race like that is a total team effort and the Ducati of Oceanside crew and my new wife Dana nailed the pit stops. To be the only guy on a Ducati in this 40 rider field makes this experience extra special.” The race was a complete success. The Ducati 999R again proved its reliability. So far this season Kenny already won over 30 WSMC races without a single DNF. Finishing this well in an endurance race was just another testimony to the quality of the Ducati. “Considering that most of the teams ahead of us hade some form of quick change and quick fill set-up, we are very happy with the outcome. Rider and crew did a fantastic job, and the fact that we were one of the few if not only team that had a crowd cheering and applauding our pit stops made this race an even more memorable event” added crew chief Balz Renggli.The following parties were instrumental to this effort and thanks go out to: Ducati of Oceanside, Ducati North America, Dunlop, Suomy USA, Maxima Racing Oil, Z Leathers, TrackDaz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Re: Kenny Kopecky, WSMC #27
Willow Springs Motorcycle Club Round 9 - Sept. 18, 2005
San Diego's Kenny Kopecky won three Twins based classes at Sundays 9th round of
the WSMC roadrace series at Willow Springs. With the wins Kopecky has clinched three
expert class Championship titles in BOTT Middleweight, BOTT Heavyweight and Formula
Twins classes (based on the WSMC's 15 point per win scale).
Riding a pair of Ducati Oceanside/Dunlop/Maxima/Suomy supported bikes Kenny rode
solidly throughout the race day, lowering a pair of his own previous WSMC class
lap records and setting a personal best of 31 wins in the season (to date). The
class Championship titles are the 14th, 15th and 16th of his club racing career
"We were really happy to get the wins today in the BOTT Middleweight and Heavyweight
as those are the classes Ducati North America posted their fine contingency program
in, and having clinched the class titles with three rounds remaining will make the
final events this year even more fun!" said Kenny at the end of the day. "The
conditions were just beautiful and many of the clubs' class lap records fell today.
We're glad to have maintained our overall track Championship point lead on Mark
Watts and Jason Perez who also raced well today, as they have all season".
Kopecky also rode in last Fridays first round qualifying for the Toyota 200 mile
roadrace to be held on Sunday, October 16th at the 2.5 mile high-speed road course.
His time of 1:25.811 should get him into the field after final qualifying to be
held on Oct. 14th but he expects more. "We wern't really feeling as well as
we would like to on Friday, and set that time on our 4th lap and couldn't find further
motivation in the windy session. Looking at our best time Sunday (a 1:23.847) I'm
looking for some improvement next month, for sure. The guys at Ducati Oceanside
are working to get a bike together for us specifically for the 200 mile race and
I'm looking forward to my first Toyota 200 and a strong ride on the Ducati 999".
Kopecky last raced in a 200 mile roadrace at Daytona in 1991.
With Toyota 200 qualifying on Friday, the WSMC Expert sprint races Saturday and
the 200 mile $150,000 purse race on Sunday the October 14-16 meet at Willow Springs
will be busy and exciting!
August 21, 2005Well, no press release here, just a quick note that we won 4 more races August 20th at WSMC/Willow Springs.Times were decent given the heat and wind, the bikes (999R and 749R) ran fantastic again and as always remain super fun to ride on the racetrack. Our overall championship lead remains the same as the guys behind me (Mark Watts and Jason Perez) also scored enough wins on the day to keep the gaps equal,but we did extend the individual class championship leads in BOTT Middleweght, BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins.Also, we broke out of a 1st place class tie in 750 Superbike with our 4th straight class win, actually managed to put 8 points the GSX-R750 racer we were tied with as he finished 3rd. I was 4th in 650 Superbike behind two teenagers and a 20 year old...or maybe it was 2 20 year olds and a teenager? I didn't ride the 749R as well as I did the last couple of months, so we'll try again next time. There are four WSMC races left at Willow this year... The next one is Sept. 16-18 weekend (and they hold a track day on Friday of the event for non-competition licensed riders). Their schedule is at http://www.willowspringsraceway.com/clubs/wsmc/Cal endar.htm Thanks for reading.
Willow Springs Motorcycle Club Round 7 - July 17, 2005
On the hottest race day of the 2005 season at Willow Springs, Ducati Oceanside's
Kenny Kopecky took four race victories along with a well fought third place to remain
atop the WSMC Overall Track Championship standings and solidify his hold on several
individual class Championships.
The wins included back-to-back races in BOTT Heavyweight and 750 Superbike early
in the schedule. Kenny said "The heat didn't seem too bad in the first couple
of races but later in the day we saw 109 in the shade at our trailer and decided
to skip the Formula Two race to wait for our next pair of consecutive events in
650 Superbike and Middleweight Twins. The 650 Superbike race went well...I had a
fun battle with Mickey Lane throughout the event and came up just a little short
at the end finishing 3rd. The wind was getting a little gnarly in turn 8, so I think
we rode a little on the conservative side." Jason Perez easily won over a field
that was somewhat thinner then usual.
Kopecky won his 3rd straight WSMC 750 Superbike event and has now moved into a tie
in the class point standings with Ritchie Thorup, who finished a close third just
behind Karl Lowry Jr. on Sunday. Kenny added "We ran hard for a few laps to
get a gap...I knew the other guys would remain strong all the way and we feel our
strategy worked out really well today. We managed to sweep the Ducati contingency
races again this month and our 749, the 999 and the Dunlops held up really well
in the desert blast furnace." Kopecky also leads the BOTT Middleweight, BOTT
Heavyweight and Formula Twins class standings and is ranked top 5 in Formula Two
and 650 Superbike.
The next WSMC roadrace is Round 8 on August 19-21, 2005.
Willow Springs Motorcycle Club Round 6 - June 19, 2005
In reaching the halfway point of the 2005 WSMC roadrace series at Willow Springs
on Sunday, San Diego's Kenny Kopecky slightly extended his overall point lead while
repeating last months winning rides in BOTT Middleweight, BOTT Heavyweight, Formula
Twins and 750 Superbike classes.
"This was the second of three important double points event the club puts on
each year, and we're very happy to have been successful on a day that I wasn't nearly
as comfortable on the track as last month. The bikes ran fine and the tires were
great. I'm probably just a little more reserved in the windy conditions then my
younger competitors." Kopecky stated at the end of the day.
While his Ducati Oceanside prepared bikes again ran flawlessly, Kenny ran into a
clearance issue with a new exhaust on his 749. "We've been working to get a
bike with more power, and Sunday it was a bit better but not yet at the level we
expect. I was really surprised in my first race on it (650 Superbike) to have some
hard part contact on the ground in a couple of the turns and my hesitation made
it a bit easier for Michael Beck and Mickey Lane to drive past. We were able to
pull back up on Mickey late in the race and nearly passed him early in the final
lap but thought the better of the move I was headed for in turn 1 with some lapped
traffic. It was a strong race and we know this bike can only get better." Kopecky
finished a close 4th to Lane in the largest expert field of the day with over 30
starters. Jason Perez won, running away from the field easily.
In the following Formula Two event Kopecky led briefly but was unable to match Mark
Watts and Michael Beck in the final laps and finished 3rd, this time ahead of Lane.
Kenny added "We wern't surprised at the winds, but the relativly cool temperatures
were unexpected. We're still looking forward to the truly hot weather out there
this summer...the heat keeps me a little looser and I feel good in it!"
The next WSMC roadrace is Round 7 on July 15-17, 2005.
Re: WSMC Round 5 / May 15, 2005 / Willow Springs International Raceway
On Sundays fifth round of the WSMC roadrace series Kenny Kopecky had a career best day with 4 race wins and his fastest laps ever at Willow Springs Raceway. Kenny posted the fastest race lap of the meet for all classes in winning his first 750 Superbike race of the year, posting a 1:22.473 on the club's new for 2005 electronic timing and scoring system. Conditions were near ideal at the time, and later in the day the top WSMC racers would be slowed by the often present desert winds, withtheir best lap times held to the 1:23 range.
"After last month's great racing we were well prepared to ride harder this month, and with the new triple-compound Dunlop rear tire as our only change on the
Ducati 999R we were able to run faster then ever before!" stated a grinning Kopecky at the end of the day. He last won a 750 Superbike club event at Willow
In all, Kenny rode his Ducati Oceanside 749R and 999R racebikes to seven top 4 finishes, with additional wins coming in the BOTT Middleweight, BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins classes. He added "The twins class competition stepped it up to the 1:23 range this weekend, but with our combination of Ducati and Dunlop we were able to come out on top again."
Kopecky finished a season best to date 2nd in 650 Superbike racing on his stock-motored 749R, trailing the returning Jason Perez by over 3 seconds at the finish. Kopeckys' fast start and staying close to Perez for the first several laps was critical to the placing, as youngsters Mickey Lane and Michael Beck closed in late in the 8 lap sprint.
"The guys at Ducati Oceanside are still working to get a race-kitted 749R together, and we hope to have it soon for even more fun winning with Ducati. They've done a great job and these twins are so great to ride on the track...the results and lap times show it all. Thanks again to Ducati North America, Maxima, WSMC, Sport Tire Services/Dunlop, Suomy, Factory Effex, VP and Z Leathers for their support as well. Dana Jorgensen has got our pit area needs totally dialed and we're looking forward to continuing the season next month at Willow."
The next WSMC roadrace meet is June 17-19, 2005.
Monday, April 18, 2005
At the fourth round of the twelve race WSMC series held at Willow Springs International Raceway in Rosamond, CA on Sunday, April 17th, Ducati Oceanside sponsored roadracer Kenny Kopecky assumed the overall track championship points lead with three wins on the day. Trailing Yamaha racer Jason Perez by just 6 points coming into the event Kenny was saddened to hear of the young racers recent accident and injury. "We knew Jason would be missing a WSMC event this year due to his Nationals commitments but were sorry to hear of his crash. We hope he'll recover well and want to wish him the best."
Kopecky rode his Ducati 749R and 999R racebikes to six top 5 finishes at the meet, with the wins coming in the BOTT Middleweight, BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins classes.
"We rode our stock-motored 749R to some top placings, but the real excitement for me at this meet was a great battle with Aprilia mounted (and top AMA Superbike privateer) Jack Pfeifer in BOTT Heavyweight! He came out ready to race this month and in the afternoon winds he was charging...for sure this was the best challenge yet and I'm sure we'll go at it more in upcoming WSMC meets." The official margin of Kopeckys' narrowest victory so far this season was just 1.223 seconds in the 8 lap race. However, both riders were actually a bit slower in the windy conditions then in the March WSMC event.
As last month Kenny again ran in the front pack in 650 Superbike on the 749, but after repeatedly closing up between turns 1 to 6 would find he couldn't maintain the pace through the faster sections of track. "I'm really excited at the prospect of getting the race kit into a 749 and racing with these guys" said Kenny.
"I owe huge thanks to Ducati Oceanside for all their support and work, and also to Ducati North America for their contingency program. My fiancee Dana Jorgensen again did a great job in the pits this weekend, and we're both having a lot of fun racing with WSMC. We'll keep on working to keep these Ducati's at the front of the field! I'd also like to thank Suomy USA for their support and especially their tear-offs this weekend. Also big thanks to Maxima Racing Oil, TrackDaz, Sport Tire Services and Dunlop Tires, Z Custom Leathers, O'Neal and Factory Effex."
In addition to leading the Overal Willow Springs Track Championship standings, Kenny leads the individual WSMC Expert Class Championship standings in BOTT Middleweight, BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins. After 4 of 12 Willow Springs meets he also is ranked 3rd in 750 Superbike, tied for 3rd in Formula Two and 4th in 650 Superbike class standings. To date he's won 12 WSMC races in 2005, with 24 top 5 race finishes on his Ducatis.
The next WSMC roadrace meet is May 14-16, 2005.
MONDAY, MAR. 21, 2005
MONDAY, FEB. 21, 2005
Ducati Oceanside road racer Kenny Kopecky repeated his January performance by winning three Twins based classes at the second round of the twelve race WSMC series in Rosamond, CA. on Sunday.
"This month we skipped the practice days on Friday and Saturday due to the bad weather, and just ran the same set-ups we used in January".
The wins came in BOTT Middleweight (Duc 749R-04), BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins (Duc 999R-05). The Formula Twins race had to be re-started due to rain finally arrving at the track late in the day. The riders completed the final two laps during the strongest downpour of the day. Earlier, Kenny finished a very close third to Richie Thorup and Jacob West in 750 Superbike after leading twice during the contest. Additional top finishes were recorded in F-40 Heavyweight (2nd) and Formula Two (3rd).
"We're hoping to improve the bikes at the upcoming meets, but all in all they are working really well. The race in the rain was a surprise...I think it was maybe my second rain race in the last 10 or 12 years out at Willow. The Dunlop rain tires were superb, and as I gained confidence I ran my fastest wet weather time ever on the last lap to secure the win".
The next WSMC meet is March 18-20, 2005 at Willow Springs.
MONDAY, JAN. 17, 2005
Ducati Oceanside's Kenny Kopecky won three Twins based classes at the 2005 WSMC season opening road race meet in Rosamond, CA. on Sunday.
"After riding the bikes only one day in the last four months it felt great to get out for the entire three day event with WSMC. The track was really dirty Friday after all the storms here in California, but it cleaned up fairly well and despite the cool temperatures we ran at a comfortable pace on Sunday."
The wins came in BOTT Middleweight (Duc 749R), BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins (Duc 999R). He also finished a very close second to Jacob West in 750 Superbike after leading the first four laps until missing a shift on the front straight, and followed 2003's WSMC #1 Jeff Stern home in the F-40 Heavyweight class for another second place.
"We're still learning about these bikes each time we ride them, and made a couple small changes on each machine that allowed us to improve on our best lap times from last year. I wish I hadn't made a mistake in 750 Superbike but it was great fun racing with Jacob and we'll try again next month. It's a nice way to start off the season and we're looking forward to continued advancement in our set-up."
The next WSMC meet is Feb. 18-20, 2005 at Willow Springs and Kopecky is currently planning on racing the entire WSMC season. Kenny added: "We're still hoping to acquire a race kit for the 749R and running some other events...as yet they're not ready. We'll just keep riding the stock bike for now and hope for good developments soon."
Re: August 15, 2004 / WSMC roadrace series round #8, Rosamond CA
Continuing to learn and adapt to riding Ducati motorcycles, long-time Willow Springs racer Kenny Kopecky won all three Twins based classes at the monthly WSMC roadrace meet in Rosamond on Sunday.
"The weather was ideal on Sunday morning and we were able to run significantly faster then the our first two months on the 749R" said Kopecky. "We had a wonderful opportunity this weekend to run a new construction of the Dunlop 208GP-A rear tire and after a couple of small adjustments in practice we found the bike was superb in the race!" He won the BOTT Middleweight race by several seconds from class point leader Richy Headley (Duc 749R) and Bob Setbacken (Duc 748R).
Kopecky also had his first ever event weekend on a new 2005 Ducati 999R he just received from Ducati of Oceanside. "WOW! After reading the Roadracing World review of this bike I can understand why they like it - it's certainly the best bike I've ever ridden." With the only change from stock being gearing and addition of 17" superstock-spec race slicks, Kopecky was able to win the BOTT Heavyweight and Formula Twins classes ahead of respective class point leaders John-Mark Arechiga (Apr 1000) and Claudio Szyszkowski (Duc 996).
"I'm truly enjoying riding and racing right now, and it's always a great thrill to run at a fast track like Willow Springs. Our goal in to be in top form for 2005 and we feel great with the progress made this weekend."
Kopecky is sponsored by Aprilia/Ducati of Oceanside, Maxima Racing Oil, Suomy Helmets, Z Leathers, Dunlop, WSMC, Factory Effex, TrackDaz, VP and O'Neal USA.
June 2, 2004
KOPECKY TO RETURN TO WSMC SERIES FULL-TIME IN 2005
Multi-time Willow Springs Raceway Class Champion Kenny Kopecky will return to the WSMC series full-time in 2005 aboard Ducati motorcycles, sponsored by Aprilia / Ducati of Oceanside.
After 12 years of full-time service at Willow Springs, Kopecky resigned at the end of the 2003 WSMC season to pursue other interests in his hometown of San Diego. This has been his longest break from roadrace competition since he first raced at Willow in late 1982.
"I was back on the racetrack last Sunday at Fontana with Fastrack Riders, and it felt great! I'll be an alternate rider for one of the teams in the upcoming WERA 6-hour National Endurance race on June 12th, and am looking forward to great fun." said Kopecky. He hadn't ridden on a roadrace track since last October, though he has been riding his moto-cross bikes at local Southern California tracks.
"After the WERA endurance event, we plan to run our new Ducati 749R in selected events through the end of this year, with a goal of returning to racing full-time and going after some more club level class championships at Willow Springs next year. I can feel in my initial rides, the new Ducati is a very sweet machine. Our first proper track test with it will be Monday, June 7th on the main course at Willow during a track day with the Aprilia / Ducati Oceanside people."
Should Kopecky reach the same level of riding on his Ducati 749R that he did on his former race bike in the 2001 and 2002 WSMC series, he said he'll consider running some AMA Formula Extreme events in 2005. "We'll wait and see how quickly we can get the factory race kit and how well I can ride the bike, but with the high quality of this equipment I'm certainly looking forward to giving it the best effort I can and I'm confident we'll do well on the club level, for sure!"
Kenny adds: "I've missed the racing and comararderie with the riders and many friends, and I'm so excitied to have the opportunity to race on the beautiful Ducati motorcycles at this point of my career!"
In addition to the dealer support, Kopecky is sponsored by Maxima Racing Oil, Suomy Helmets, Dunlop Tires, Z Custom Leathers, motaliausa.com, WSMC, VP, Factory Effex and O'Neal USA.
For more information on the Aprilia / Ducati of Oceanside track day at Willow on June 7th, call 760.722.7704