Overcoming one heck of a rough week in Italy:
Kaleb De Keyrel gets the invite of a dream by Aprilia to come to Italy and do a wild card ride at the last round of the Trofeo Cup at Vallelunga Circuit in Campagnano di Roma, Italy. Everything is booked and they are ready to go.
Monday: Kaleb and Marissa get dropped off at the Houston Airport. Their flight is from Houston to Rome, Italy with a layover in Frankfurt, Germany.
Eric Vallarta (owner of Velocity Calibrations, and Kaleb’s 2021 suspension guy) was flying from Missouri to Chicago, then to Rome, Italy. This is where the story starts to take a turn for the worst. Eric’s PCR test did not come back in time for him to board the plane so Eric was forced to take a flight the next day after his results came in.
Tuesday: Kaleb and Marissa landed on time and decided to go see tour Rome, eat lunch, then go check into the hotel. Eric boarded his plane in Missouri.
Wednesday: In the morning they went to the airport and picked Eric up and were set to head to the track. They had a few hours before they had to be to the track so Eric wanted to see Rome quick. They parked the rental car and took off. When they got back to the rental car, the window was busted out and everything they owned was gone. Clothes, gear, passports, cash, computers, iPads, camera and camera equipment, etc. Everything but what they were wearing. (The thieves did leave Kaleb’s backpack and one helmet bag)
Instead of heading to the track for track walk, they headed to the police station. The first station they went to, no one spoke English and they were busy booking an inmate. They were told to go to another station. They filed a report and were told it happens all the time and there’s nothing they can do. They then headed to the track to finish the day.
Thursday: Erik and Marissa dropped Kaleb off at the track for practice. They headed to the US Embassy to try to get temporary passports to be able to get back home. Kaleb was able to get two sessions in and had never even walked the track.
Friday: Erik and Marissa were able to get their passports but not Kaleb’s. So they headed back to the US Embassy to get Kaleb a temp passport, forcing him to miss a practice session on track. Kaleb did the final practice of the day and they headed back to the hotel. At this point you are most likely wondering where Kaleb was able to get gear and how he was even riding? Kaleb was wearing Tomasso Marcon’s back up gear and the helmet that the thieves did not steal.
Saturday: Qualifying day. Q1 was their first session on track and Aprilia had put the USA Livery on Kaleb’s bike for pictures to do the announcement Sunday. He was already trying to get the feel for the tires and now he really did not want to push and crash. He rode conservative and was in 11th after qualifying 1. Aprilia removed the USA Livery for Q2 and Kaleb was set to push. He gave it everything he had and was in 7th for the session but 9th with the overall.
Sunday: The race was at 12:15 but they were running a little behind, as in the race before a rider had dumped oil all over a section of the track. The safety crew did a quick clean up on the oil and they were ready to race. Kaleb lined up 9th and knew he needed to get a great jump on the start. The light lit up and then went out again and Kaleb launched. He rocketed up into third place and passed a rider going into second in the first turn. By the second corner he was in the lead. They were coming into the corner where the oil was laid down and Kaleb had to drive it in deep to keep the lead. He hit the oil and almost went down. This put him into 4th. He pushed straight back up into second and in the next left hand turn his rear tire let go on him, throwing him into a highside. His race was over. His rear tire had oil on it and caused it to lose traction. He was so disappointed that he could not do more with this opportunity that Aprilia gave him. They thanked everyone from Aprilia, BK Corse, and the CIV and headed to a hotel by the Airport for a flight on Monday. That night Marissa got a text that her SIM was changing phones and then lost all internet connection. After trying to reach ATT, there was nothing being done about it until she got home to the US.
Monday: They get to the airport for their first flight home. This flight took off late, due to weather at Frankfurt, making the arrival for their connection very close to the departure time from Frankfurt to Houston. They got to the gate and the attendant asked if they were flying to Moscow. They said no, Houston. She said that is back through customs and on the other end of the airport. “What are your names? You better hurry and I will call the gate and let them know you are coming.” said the gate attendant. After rushing to the front of all the lines for passport check, they get to the gate and they closed the doors behind them. With Marissa’s phone no longer working. Kaleb pays for the in flight wifi to text home and line up a ride from the airport. It lasted about a ½ hour and then it quit working. They landed on time at the Houston airport. They are going through customs and they pull Kaleb off to the side because of his temporary passport. He is questioned and then let go. They get in the car to find out the thieves are hacking into bank accounts, financial investments, etc and Marissa still does not have a phone that works. They leave the airport and head straight to AT&T to try to get Marissa’s phone working. The thieves have changed her passwords and have her SIM card still working even after she had locked the account. The first AT&T store says your account is locked and I can not access it. You need to go to a corporate AT&T store. They drive to a corporate AT&T store and they try but say we cannot do anything because you have the fraud lock on your account. Marissa asked the gentleman, “Then how are the thieves still using the SIM they accessed and stole.” The gentleman at the store had her call the fraud department back. They explained the situation and had to remove the fraud alert from the account to get her phone on another SIM. They got her phone working and the gentleman at the store told her to call and put the fraud alert back right away and put the block back on the account so they could watch for suspicious activity. Marissa called on the way home and had it put back on. They no longer pulled into the driveway and she was getting text messages that they were trying to activate a different SIM on her account. This is going to be the amazing trip of a lifetime that will never end……… But not in a good way.
All things considered. These two did an amazing job at this race. Job well done.
(Note: They were to leave for Daytona on Wednesday for that race but with all the events that have happened and things need to be taken care of. Kaleb will not be racing The Race Of Champions at Daytona this fall.)