WERA Motorcycle Roadracing – 2010 & 2011

Everyone who watches motorcycle roadracing has heard of AMA Pro Roadracing, MotoGP, and World Superbike but unfortunately many of us have not heard of WERA.  It’s unfortunate because WERA is one of the older sanctioning bodies having been formed in 1974.  According to their web site they currently have 3,000 members with competition licenses.

2011 Fall Race – September 24-25, 2011

Sadly this will be the last WERA race at the Nashville Superspeedway.  As a matter of fact it will probably be the last race of any kind at this facility, at least for a while.  It was announced a couple of months ago that the speedway would be closing after the 2011 season and I understand that the season ends for them in October.  So until some other organization decides to purchase the facility it has flown its last checkered flag.

I decided to take a few shots of the facility itself, just so I could remember it ;)


I hate to see it close down but I guess all good things come to an end sooner or later.  But today is still today and I’m here to see motorcycles.

OK, let’s try that again … I’m here to see motorcycles RACE.

First up were the “WERA Minis …”


Sorry, that’s the only class I know ;)  All I know is that next up was something a lot faster!

I took the photos below from the end of the front straight, going into turn 1.  It is the fastest spot on the track because the riders are just starting to get on the brakes to go into the infield section.


Between races I moved over to the infield.  The bikes aren’t going nearly as fast but they are a lot closer when they come by me.


The weather gods were kind today and the rain that was to the west stayed away.  It got cloudy after a while but other than that and a bit of breeze it was a beautiful early fall day.

Another couple of site photos just because it was such a nice day.


And now a bunch of race photos.  The classes aren’t separated, sorry about that, but they should be in the correct order.


And that’s the end of WERA Motorcycle Roadracing at the Nashville Superspeedway since the track will shut down for good in a month or so.  I really enjoyed watching, and I wish it weren’t coming to an end.  Let me know where you guys move this race to.  I may make it there as well!

2011 Spring Race – April 16-17, 2011

I went to the WERA race here last fall and had a great time.  When I found out that they were running a spring race as well, I had to go.  The weather was perfect, the racing was great, and I’m ready for the fall race!

These were taken on the infield section.  This is a slow part of the track, the bikes were probably running 50 or 60 miles per hour in the corner, accelerating quickly through 70 or so coming out of it:


After a while we moved over to the end of the front straight, right where the riders start to get on the brakes.

The track is a 1.5 mile banked tri-oval with an infield section at each end of the track.  Total length is 1.8 miles.  The front straight is about 1/2 mile long.  The riders blaze down it and then get hard on the brakes to make a 180 degree hairpin into the infield section.  Take a close look at the first photograph.  Notice that the rear wheel of the bike is a couple of inches off the ground … in a curve at probably 150 miles per hour!


If you think that the riders were just out there going around in circles by themselves, here are a few that might change your mind.  They were also taken right at the end of the front straight, the fastest spot on the track!

2010 Fall Race – September, 2010

The races began at noon but before that each class had a practice session.  The practice sessions began at 8:00 and ran until 11:00 when there was a lunch break.  I got there about 10:15 so I got to see the last two or three groups practice.


The last four photographs are of a couple of the WERA “Minis”.  There were three of them in the race to come but only two of them chose to use the practice session.

Having never been inside the Nashville Superspeedway I decided to roam around and take a few photographs during the lunch break.


I started making my back to the infield where I planned to watch the races a few minutes before noon.  Promptly at 12:00 the race coordinator began getting things underway.

Race 1A – WERA Minis


Race 1 – V5, V3


This was the only “Getoff” that I actually saw.  According to what I heard on the radio there were a couple of others during the day but this is the only one I actually saw.

I’m not exactly sure what happened, the first photo shows the rider going into the corner normally.  I guess he got it a little too far over and jacked the rear wheel off the ground or the front end stepped-out or something.  The next thing I saw he was coming unglued from his bike in a classic lowside fall.

Look closely though.  In a highside fall, when the rider gets flipped over the bike, the important thing to do is get away from the bike because as the rider is sliding the bike is sliding right behind him.  When he stops sliding the bike doesn’t and it piles into him.

This was a classic “Lowside” where the rider is following the bike as he slides, but everything started spinning and he wound up on the wrong side of the bike.  Instinct tells a rider to get the hell away from the bike in cases like this since, as in a highside, the bike is fixing to pile into him.  This rider had the presence of mind to hang onto the bike because that yellow #33 was coming right around the outside.  He used the leverage of the bike to yank his feet and legs up against the bike and probably saved himself from getting run over by the other bike.  Very well done!

These things happen fast!  From the first photograph of him going into the corner normally to the last one showing the #33 in front of his bike three seconds elapsed (check the EXIF data in the photographs!).  By the time the corner worker got there (and he was running!) the rider had already gotten his bike up and pushed off the track.  He got it refired, the corner worker helped him get it turned around in the gravel, and he rejoined and finished his race.

His day wasn’t over either; if you look at some of the photos in the other races below you’ll see him back out there.  I have to admire people like that.  I had my share of getoffs when I was a kid and I didn’t enjoy them at all.  My hat is off to him.  These things happen and he handled it well.


Race 2 & 3 – Mediumweight Novice Solo and Mediumweight Expert Solo


Race 4 – V2, 500 GP, 250 GP


Race 5 – Lightweight Expert & Novice Solo


Race 6 – Formula 500, V1, 350 GP


Race 7 & 8 – Heavyweight Novice Solo / Heavyweight Expert Solo

Race 9 – V6 LW, Formula 2-Stroke, V4

I love the face shield reflection on this one!