BMW Motorcycles National Racing Series
Canadian Thunder

Photo Gallery
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The Bike

The Pits

Norm & Doug

Dan working away

My Sister Kate

Kate & I

Kate & Shawn

Surrounded by my bosses.. :o)

Crash sequence

I think I can save this!...

...Maybe not!

Race Report Round 2

The following are the daily updates posted to my blog on During any race weekend you can visit the series website for daily updates as each race weekend progresses.

June 1, 2006
Round 2 - Canadian Thunder
Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant

The trip over...
Different flight, same movie, same "frustrated with their work" flight attendant and I'm quite positive this is the very same $7.99 Air Canada sandwich I had two weeks ago. Almost like my own personal "groundhog day". Despite this airline nutrition/roughage program I'm on Dan & I have arrived at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant for round two of the series.

To be honest, I am quite excited about this weekend and look forward to riding this track as I've heard so many good things about it. It's touted as the best track in Canada and I have even heard it being compared to tracks like Laguna Seca, which happens to be one of my favorites. Bodes well. Since the last round the team has been working many long hours and late nights in preparation for the weekend. I'm really impressed with the efforts from Norm, Bill, Dan and the whole team and I think things are starting to "gel". Anyway, it's late so I'm going to get some much needed sleep for tomorrow's activities. Here's hoping the three hour time change won't affect me too much come tomorrow morning.

June 2, 2006
Day 2

This track certainly lives up to its reputation and then some. My first session left me feeling somewhat displaced. Was I actually in Canada, or was I testing somewhere in Europe? The layout is fast and flowing and very much like the European tracks I've been lucky enough to experience. Obviously I LOVE it!

My first session was again a feeble attempt to figure out which way the corners went and to also get some mental reference for braking and shift points. Essentially, you could have measured my first session lap times with a sun dial. :o) My second session went much better as with a more clear mental picture of the track I was able to get in and out of the corners more effectively. Dan has been "slavin away" working on the front end of the bike and how it provides feedback. Ultimately, we're looking to make the bike handle in a way that I'm more accustomed to and today we made huge progress. That's racing, ride till the bike does something to slow down your progress and then systematically look to improve the whole platform from there. Tomorrow brings us to qualifying so here's hoping it stays dry.

June 3, 2006
Day 3 - Qualifying

Sure enough it was raining as we entered the track this morning. It appears that rain is a mandatory aspect of racing in Canada. Not that I'm complaining, because I love riding in the rain, but I honestly have not had a dry race weekend since Daytona earlier this year. I'm certainly not tanned and might be starting to rust. :o)

Anyway, with some time to think things thru last night I went out with a clearer picture of where I could make up some time around the track. Unfortunately, with the wet conditions I wasn't able to explore the limits as I had hoped to. Qualifying came up and the conditions weren't improved. It was just raining hard enough to keep the surface damp and wet, although not enough to really be wet. This caused some concern with tire selection as it was too wet for DOTs and almost too dry for full rain tires. AHH racing.

I went out in qualifying and immediately felt comfortable although it all ended in tears when I exited the final turn on lap two as the rear end just went out from under me. Yep, I suddenly found myself sliding down the road and into the grass runoff. Thankfully my Joe Rocket leathers and Arai helmet made it possible for me to walk away unhurt. Despite the team's best efforts the spare bike wasn't immediately available and I had to unfortunately miss the remainder of qualifying. I'll find out later today where we ended up. At this moment we might be on the fourth or fifth row which leaves us with a lot of work to do tomorrow. We take it as it goes.

June 4, 2006
Day 4 - Pre-race Report

At last sunshine! Well for this morning anyway. With yesterdays crash behind us I need to thank the whole team for all their efforts in getting the bike back together and running for practice this morning. Unfortunately, when I set out for practice it became immediately apparent that all was not good. The bike had developed a "miss" in the higher rpms forcing me to pull in after a few laps.

Frustrating to say the least as I desperately wanted some seat time around the track to get settled and comfortable. As I type this the team is preparing the spare bike for today's race. It's going to be interesting as I haven't ridden the spare bike and we're back on the grid so I'm going to have to get a great start and adapt quickly. Like always, it's going to be interesting.

The Race.

Well I certainly didn’t help my situation with the start. I managed to completely mess it up and went into turn two in about tenth place. I pushed as hard as I could in the next two laps and managed to work my way past several riders, although three things were hindering that progress. One was that the bike seemed to be fighting me on down shifts causing me to get into some corners a gear too high effectively destroying my drive on the exit. Second was that the spare bike’s geometry was somehow different (despite our measurements) and the bike was having difficulty finishing the turns. As a result, my third issue was that I had developed extreme arm pump in my right arm by the third lap. Regardless, I pushed as hard as I could and managed to come across the line in fifth place. Certainly not where I wanted us to be, but no excuses - we were behind the curve all weekend and our competition had things in control. We keep getting better each weekend but we need to pull things out in the next round or two if we are to have any chance against Darren and his very well prepared Buells. So, it’s of to work we go. With all this weekend’s activity I’m absolutely exhausted and so is the team. They put in a very long weekend’s work and my crashing the bike only made things more difficult. Thanks to everyone for all they did. From here I’m off to the US for some other racing with Dan’s personal race team, Zlock Racing, and then I actually think I have a day or two off before the next Canadian round in Calgary.

Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted.