Battle by the Beach

CSBK Round 2 from Grand Bend Motorplex Race Report We arrived at the track on late Thursday night. Parking was at a premium and the paddock was already rammed. Thankfully our good friend and competitor Neil from 187 Racing had saved us some space and we would be pitted together for the remainder of the weekend. Friday morning came and we got ready for practice. Having the wealth of previous track experience from years of SOAR racing I opted to sit out the morning Amateur Sport Bike session to make sure everything was ready, and to see what kind of times the other competitors could lay down. Ready to roll I went out for the morning Amateur Superbike session and starting turning laps. I came off second fastest in the session(1:09.2) and a few tenths quicker than I had gone at SOAR the previous round. I had started to run into suspension issues the harder I tried to push and the tires, the same ones I had been running all year, were really going off. We missed the afternoon Sport Bike session trying to dial in the suspension on both my bike and Neil’s. Back out for the afternoon Superbike session and while the suspension had improved the tires were far past their prime and I could not even replicate my times from the morning, while the competition had already cracked the 1:07s. The plan was to mount a new set of tires and go hard in qualifying on Saturday. After witnesses the absolute destruction of the soft rear by most of the paddock on Friday I elected to...

R.A.C.E to win!

A great way to end the season at RACE Superseries! Due to the Round 1 cancellation, inconsistency in rider turnout, and Burns Racing consistently breaking all of their bikes I found myself second in points after winning the Lost Era Lightweight race at Round 4. With Alan Burns only 3 points ahead and Colin Duncan one point behind coming into the weekend it was anyone’s game for the championship! It was only my second time ever riding at Shannonville and my first time running the Pro Track configuration. I really enjoyed the pro layout and found it a lot easier to push myself and use more of the track compared to the long track configuration. D ue to the cancellation of racing at Round 1, there was a makeup race at the final round so it was a double round for many classes. Burns Racing once again succeeded in throwing in the towel on both of their machine’s before the racing even got going. Determined to give us a run for our money Alan Burns managed to grease some palms and borrow an SV650 off of David Walker. A mediocre start in the heat race put me third into turn one but I quickly got by Burns before the hairpin and set my sights on reeling in Colin. I made the pass into T2 around half way and set sail figuring I would get to the flag unchallenged. To my surprise Colin came flying past on the back straight on the last lap just as we caught a lapper so I rolled out of it and followed him in...

Lets go R.A.C.Eing!

I’d like to give a BIG thank you to both the Burns Racing and 3 Walker Racing families for inviting us out to RACE. Their mentoring, and hospitality over the entire weekend was amazing and made for a great first Shannonville racing experience! Having never turned a wheel at Shannonville before, this weekend was definitely an uphill battle from the outset. The track is very different to anything I have ever ridden and has a steep learning curve to get it right. I have to thank Giancarlo De Luca, Viv Ian, and Dylan Black for giving me a tow in Friday practice to help me getting up to speed. I lost a few sessions due to a faulty hose clamp but felt pretty comfortable with the track by the end of Friday. Saturday didn’t start great for me as I had a minor headache in the morning that progressively got worse and worse by the time the heat races were up. Not being used to the start procedure I was totally asleep on the light and Colin Duncan sprinted out to an early lead in the Lost Era heat. As he darted off my race brain kicked in and I immediately turned my fastest lap of the weekend to catch and pass him for the lead into Allen’s corner. I put my head down and concentrated on hitting my marks and brought home the heat race win. Pulling into the pits to grab some water and head right back out for timed qualifying for Am600 my head was absolutely pounding. At that point all I wanted was to set...

Round 1, Fight!

The preparations have been made, testing has been completed, it is now time to go. It is time to put up or shut up, run what you brung, and see where you stack up. It is Round 1 of the SOAR Superbike series. It’s time to fight! I decided to use my free friday practice day right away at Round 1. This would give me some time to try a few last minute changes to the suspension settings, and try out the new to me quickshifter. Leaving Thursday evening we arrived at the track around 12:30am and got set up. There were still plenty of people sitting around their respective pits partaking in the age old activity of bench racing. We’d be on the track tomorrow but dammit if some riders couldn’t get in some last minute shit talking to psych out their opponents. I somehow ended up moving to different camp fires as people called it a night and before I knew it 3 AM came calling and I needed to hit the hay. This night’s sleep was MUCH better than the last thanks to a new air mattress. I arose in the morning to the realization that four hours of sleep probably wasn’t the best course of action, but it was too late now. I was in no hurry to get ready as I had all day to get on the track. I found my old street riding buddy Ken looking for pit space and we made some room to accommodate him. This will be his rookie season and he needed to complete the SOAR racing school...

Testing, testing, 123

It’s been 217 days since I’ve been on the track, or as I told the Americans, a Canadian weekend. After injury put me on the sideline to success in 2015 I was keen to fix some of the issues with my racing program to hedge my bets for 2016. There were a few developments over the off season, and the main one was violating my own cardinal rule. I kept a bike. Since I started riding in 2010 I have never kept a bike for more than a season. As a street rider I always wanted to try something different. As a racer I always want something better. It turns out better costs money. My dear 2003 Yamaha R6 has not been the “best” bike. She can be temperamental. She can flat out refuse to work sometimes. She isn’t the fastest down the straight, quite the contrary. She oft decides that third gear is not the gear you want, even if it is. However, when she works, she is a hell of a ride. She handles like a dream and can brake with the best of them. As mentioned, third gear has been a constant problem since I got the bike. If you upshift with the utmost authority it is generally not a problem. However, in the midst of a battle if you take any liberties with the shifter it will pop back to 2nd gear or go into a false neutral. Going down the box was not much better. At the end of the long straights going down three gears, fifth to second, it would often not shift...

Round V: Return of the Racer

“You aren’t planning on racing are you?” I was asked that question several times over the course of the weekend. Yes, I am planning on racing I said. I probably shouldn’t have been but I was. Only six weeks after braking my femur in spectacular fashion I was once again preparing to throw my leg over a bike to get out and do what I love to do. I had seen the doctor only a few days prior and was told my leg was healing well and I would be OK to ride, his exact words being “I wouldn’t recommend it but I can’t really stop you”, I was anxious to get back out there. We showed up for the Friday practice to work on Melanie’s bike setup after I test rode it and realized how terribly it had been handling all season. We went to the riders meeting in the morning, where many of the riders were both parts surprised and happy to see me back at the track. “You aren’t planning on racing are you?” asked Ken. It was then, I knew I should have left my cane in the car. I was fine for the Friday practice as I was not going to be riding. However, I would be required to be cleared by Kevin, the track side EMT, if I was going to be allowed to race. Kevin was first on scene when I broke my leg and his advice was, in my opinion, instrumental in my speedy recovery. Luckily for me Kevin, a racer himself, understands why we do what we do and didn’t...