M2.Shocks customers shine at IDBL Finals
October 9, 2016
The IDBL completed its 2016 season with the 24th Fall Nationals which featured the Pro Street Battle Royale. For M2.Shocks it was also a completion of a season that represented an incredible start up effort that exceeded the expectations of anyone that has witnessed the company's,growth and current status in the marketplace. With the Pingel Spring Nationals in April being the first event that M2.Shocks customers competed in, it was only fitting that the Fall Nationals were one of the pinnacle events that the company will close out the 2016 season with. To help make sure this happened, New Pro Street customers Rudy Sanzottera, Ryan Hable, and Jeremy St Julien joined the regular M2.Shocks equipped riders like Rickey Gadson, Boo Brown, Richard Diggs, Johnn Martin, Brian Guarino, Kevin Johnson, and Brandon Bachmeier.
“When we started building the prototypes in January and February…I was excited, but felt it would take a year to even get a model that worked well enough to compete in IDBL competition. Although I spent many, many, many hours just getting the dyno curves to a point that I felt we could offer a competent product, you never know how something will work until you actually run it. When we ran 6.94 in Pro Street and 7.79 in Real Street the first time we ever tested the shock…I realized that we crushed the development timeline…so after the first test in March…we produced the first five shocks. They all worked perfect…we produced 10 more…and they worked perfect. Around July, we went into regular production and we still can’t find anything the S1 or S2 won’t do. We are on schedule to deliver over 100 shocks to drag racers this year…and that is beyond anything I ever dreamed of,” noted M2.Shocks designer and company owner Marcus McBain.
With Hurricane Matthew causing a lot of uncertainty, M2.Shocks headed to Maryland International Raceway for a Thursday Test-N-Tune to conduct testing with new Pro Street riders Rudy Sanzottera and Ryan Hable. In the simplest terms…it was the most frustrating day M2.Shocks ever experienced. Out of 14 passes by Sanzottera and Hable…they ONLY MADE IT PAST THE 60’ MARK WITHOUT SPINNING THREE TIMES. Despite this, Sanzottera felt pretty good about the day as he realized something was not right with the track. Hable on the only good pass he had was very happy with the feel of the M2.Shocks for Pro Street. On Friday morning, the issue was confirmed as Pro Street regulars lined up and only two bikes made it without spinning the first 10 feet. The issue was contaminated or badly mixed chemical’s for the starting box.
After the track was prepped and corrected…Sanzottera and Hable were able to get down the track with solid 60’ times and Sanzottera running a 7.05 on his first full run of the week. Since Thursday and Friday morning were a complete waste of time and no usable data was gathered…the team and M2.Shocks scrambled to quickly put data together. It was realized that Saturday would be out as a practice day due to rain and Sunday would be questionable to get any prep information. It was go or go home time by Sunday.
In the meantime, new riders like Ben Knight were putting their M2.Shocks to the test with amazing results. “I didn’t know what was going on when I left…I thought the tire must have been spinning, because it felt like I got shot out of a cannon,” reflected Knight. Knight quickly found out that his 60’ times improved and it was not his imagination to how fast it felt. Rickey Gadson and Boo Brown were also making their mark in racing and qualifying.
In Real Street Richard Diggs and Johnn Martin were fine tuning their ZX-14’s while Brian Guarino and Brandon Bachmeier readied for their Pro and Street ET efforts. It was very rewarding for M2.Shocks owner Marcus McBain to see the span of competitors that use M2.Shocks in the
As Sunday qualifying and racing started, it was decided that the events would be cut to 1/8th mile due to the winds that Hurricane Matthew was still leaving behind despite the crystal clear fall skies that dominated the Sunday afternoon.
As ProStreet Qualifying resumed, M2.Shocks was feeling great with all three new customers (Sanzottera, Hable,and St. Julien) in the top 16. There was still one round left of qualifying though and they knew the competition would “step it up”. This realization came true when Hable and St. Julien ended up less than .05 seconds outside the cutoff for the “A Squad”. It was disappointing for them, but at the same time…their times were solid and they stood in a good spot to compete for the “B Squad” win which also paid $2000.00 for the win. Sanzottera however was sitting well with a 4.62 and ready to go to eliminations.
As Pro Street settled the qualifying field, Rickey Gadson and Boo Brown battled for 1-2 in Crazy 8 qualifying (which had been changed to 5.70 in the 1/8th mile) with both riders turning in 5.70 runs. Gadson edged out Brown and these riders looked ready to go against the IDBL competitors.
Richard Diggs and Johnn Martin found themselves in a struggle in Real Street. With the 1/8th mile now the layout they would race on, it did them no good as the Nitrous ZX-14’s they piloted need the back half to allow the nitrous to “kick in”. No Nitrous ZX-14’s made it to the finals and that is the first time in a long time that has happened…which only underscored the situation at hand.
Rickey Gadson, Boo Brown, and Ben Knight were looking great in their classes and all finished well with Gadson to the final in 5.60.
Back in Pro Street, Sanzottera and Hable found themselves out early. St. Julien on the other hand was on a mission. As he put his Hayabusa on the line…it was very apparent that his fast and consistent 60’ times were giving him an advantage in the field and his bike was one of the few that was staying “hooked up”. By late Sunday, it was apparent that Jeremy was going to be one of the favorites in the “B Squad” and this was proven when the final featured St. Julien and World Champion Joey Gladstone. As the tree set the riders off, St. Julien got a good drop on Gladstone, but as he shifted to 2nd, the cool dry air provided too much power and Jeremy fought to keep the front end down. At the line, St. Julien found himself less than .05 seconds behind Gladstone. It was both frustrating and rewarding for Jeremy St. Julien as he reflected on the weekend, “Yeah…I was really happy with the solid 60’ times I was getting. I think I put down three 1.20’s in a row and I haven’t done that before. The bike was really predictable with the M2.Shocks and the down track feel and traction were definitely something I like.”
Rudy Sanzottera also summed up his weekend, “Yeah, it was frustrating. Thursday and Friday morning were just a waste of time and engines. At the same time, I am really pleased with the data and performance we got with the M2.Shocks. I definitely could tell the difference and am really happy about how we can move forward.”
M2.Shocks can’t thank our customers enough. It was a really rewarding event despite the issues its riders faced. M2.shocks will close out the 2016 season with 3 more events including the Man Cup Finals which will feature Rudy Sanzottera, Ryan Hable, Joey Jobbe, and Jeremy St. Julien in Pro Street. Also expect M2.Shocks sponsored Rickey Gadson to compete in several classes.
Jeremy St. Julien rolls up to the line during eliminations at Maryland International Raceway Copyright 2016 - RPS Manufactuing/M2.Shocks/Marcus McBain
Rudy Sanzottera waits to pull over 2 G's at Maryland International Raceway. Copyright 2016 - RPS Manufacturing/M2.Shocks/Marcus McBain