From Maki Racing:
June 4, 2012
Moose Lake, MN.
The O’Reilly’s Moose Lake Grand Prix served as the IWA watercross opener June 2-3. Warm temperatures and sunny skies brought large crowds to see the annual event. New drivers and equipment filled the pits as the crowds and racers alike were eager to see what this season of watercross racing had in store. Maki Maki was very excited to defend his 2011 points title against a very fast group of Pro Open riders.
The Mod Drags class went well for Maki on Saturday. Despite running a trail mod set up, the Trygstad-powered no. 413 sled was able to win two heats and finish second in another. Maki won his semi and quarter finals, making him the second qualifier. In the final, a rough launch set Maki back, but the sled was able to catch back up and finish third in a very close race.
After finishing second place in season points last year in Pro Stock, Maki was hungry to start the season off with a win. In Saturday’s qualifiers, Maki won all of his heats by a comfortable margin. One other driver, Dale Lindbeck, also went undefeated so they tied as the top qualifiers. Maki lost the draw for lane 1 and started from lane 2. In the first corner, he tried to cut under Lindbeck to pass for the lead and it looked as though the move was going to work until the sled went up over the bouy marking the corner, lost momentum and sank. Maki finished with a 5th place for the weekend. Despite the error, the rest of the season looks good, as Maki was consistently putting down some of the top lap times in the class.
Just as in Pro Stock, the very fast 413 sled went undefeated in the Pro Open class on Saturday. The sled looked to handle better than many of the other competitors in the field. Maki was the top qualifier going into Sunday, and remained that way until the final, winning his quarter and semi-finals. Starting from lane 1, Maki was able to quickly distance himself from the rest of the pack and cruise to comfortable win in the IWA’s premier class.
A reporter from the Wall Street Journal was at the race on Saturday, and did a great report on the sport that was featured on the front page of June 8th’s paper. Click here to read the story.
June 11, 2012
On June 9th and 10th, the IWA travelled to Brainerd International Raceway for the second race of the 2012 season. After a disappointing Pro Stock finish Maki racing was determined to be at the front of the pack at the end of Sunday. A small pond made for tight racing, lots of passes, and very rough water.
Saturday went very well, with Maki winning all of his pro stock heats. Despite the rough water, the 413 Ski-doo looked very smooth and fast as it carved corners on it’s way to the top qualifying position. Things appeared to be going similarly in Pro Open until a suspension bolt fell out causing Maki to sink while leading his third heat. After replacing the bolt and ensuring it would not come loose again, Maki took to the water and won his last heat, leaving him with 3 first place finishes and one third. The showing was good enough to get him into Sunday’s show.
On Sunday, Maki raced his way through the quarter and semi finals and earned lane one for the final. When the field took off, Maki took the lead and didn’t hesitate as he rode through the waves on his way to his first Pro Stock win of the season. In Pro Open, Maki drew lane three in a very tough quarter final but managed to come from behind and finish in a close second. He won his semi final, which earned him lane one for the final. Off the line, Maki took the early lead and held it for half of the race. However, while taking the mandatory, longer “equalizer” lap, Maki was passed by IWA veteran Shawn Zurn. The two appeared to be set for a four lap battle to the finish. However, on the next lap, Zurn turned too tight in the corner while attempting to block a pass by Maki and sank in rough water. Maki reclaimed the lead and went on to win the race.
After the first two races of the season, Maki is currently in second place in Pro Stock Points, and is leading Pro Open. The IWA has a few weeks off before the 36th Annual World Championship Watercross on July 20-22.