I got a fantastic start, pushing through both classes and diving into Turn 1 well ahead of the crowd. I rode unchallenged for several laps, when a wheel suddenly appeared inside of me in Turn 10. Although I was already leaned over the curbing, the rider forced his way past me. It was Dave Roper, the legendary American road racer, aboard his ex-Cal Rayborn factory Aermacchi. Roper worked his way forward to join me ahead of the pack, and now he wanted to race. Race we did, drafting down the front straight and barreling into Turn 1 side-by-side, rubbing elbows at the exit and swapping the lead several times a lap. My Honda had motor on Dave's Aermacchi, but his precision and smoothness enabled him to repeatedly pass me. In the end I took the win, but Dave certainly made me work for it!