Gerit Callies and his crew recently rolled into Hagerstown, Maryland Half-Mile Clay Track around noon with eagerness, and high hopes of what would transpire in the hours to come.
Gerit Callie recently earned a spot atop the podium at Hagerstown, Maryland
Although the temperature had already climbed above the century mark, Callies had no intentions of letting the stifling heat adversely effect his desire to experience a great day of racing. Referring to the conditions, he said, "Temperature doesn't really bother me; hot or cold."
Racing in the AMA Pro Singles class, the rider had his 2008 Honda sitting on the back burner, and made a few last minute changes on his KTM SFX450 to get it dialed in prior to the main event. After tweaking the suspension, making a few changes to the gearing and fine tuning his air pressure, Callies was chomping at the bit for the race to be deemed underway.
"My confidence level was pretty high," recalled the rider. "I had placed second there the year before on a 2009 Honda, and I like that groove one-half mile. My season was going great, and I already had two wins under my belt."
At the waving of the green flag, fellow rider, Stephen Vanderkurr, took the holeshot, and in turn had the early lead. Callies didn't let up though, and continued his pursuit for the front position until a red flag came out in lap six, calling for a stagger start. As soon as the race resumed, Callies made his move and took the lead position. For the final ten laps the rider went uncontended, earning his third victory of the season and his rightful spot atop the podium.
Riding professionally for three years, Gerit Callies has determined that hole shots are an essential element of success, as a rider simply races differently when they start out with the lead. That said, experience has also taught him that one can still walk away victorious without being first out of the gate.
"When I didn't get the holes hot, I was shocked," recalled Callies. "But I still had a lot of confidence that I could win it. I just stayed calm and rode my race. I knew I was catching up with the lead rider before the restart."
"After I took the lead, I was confident that I could win it, because my team had my KTM SFX450 dialed in" he continued. "Once I got around Stephen Vanderkurr, I was not really challenged by anyone for the remainder of the race. It felt really good, but now I would like to win a one-mile race."
In spite of a recent serious accident, Gerit Callies is already anticipating a successful season in 2013
Gerit Callies' record is a testimony to his riding skills, but he is quick to credit his team for a portion of his success. "I couldn't do it without them," he explained. My brother, Nick, is the main mechanic, and does everything I need. My dad kicks in and helps a little bit too."
"Maintenance on the bike is key," he explained. "You got to take care of your bike if you want it to run right. If you respect your bike, it will respect you back." The rigors of his sport are demanding on his equipment, to say the least. That in mind, Gerit Callies and his crew depends upon K&N products to keep the internal components of his engines running at peak performance and contaminant free.
"We've been using K&N's universal filters for five years," he shared. They work really good at keeping and adding horsepower to the engine. They also help the bike breath better.
With a victory at Hagerstown under his belt, Callies moved on with confidence and an anticipation of success throughout the remainder of the season on his side. But a stroke of bad luck followed at Peoria TT Track, in Peoria, Illinois when the rider was involved in a serious accident, not only putting him out of the chase, but taking him out of competition for the remainder of the year. Although 2012 ended on a sour note, Gerit Callies is on the mend and already anxious to get the 2013 season underway.
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