National Motorcycle Racer -

Location: Calgary AB
Parts Canada Superbike Series Round 2

Events raced - Finish
Pro 600 Sportbike - 17th



They say you never know what you've got until it's gone…. That is the absolute truth, and a realization I made early into my weekend. But before I get into the adventure that was the Canadian National in Calgary, I would like to thank some specific people for their tremendous support. Thank you to Mike and Rhonda Smith for their hospitality and friendship. Also, a thank you to Jeff Johnston from Pirelli North America for getting tires shipped to us specifically for this weekend. A big thanks to Rick Botting with Techlusion Performance group for his assistance with fuel management systems. And last but not least, thanks to Dan Zlock and Zlock Racing for all their support. Believe it or not, this weekend has made me genuinely appreciate what they do for me.

Earlier this year I had promised Tim Mass, with Kawasaki Canada, that I would attend the Canadian National in Calgary. So with that said I worked on getting the team and myself up to Calgary so that we could put our best foot forward. Everything was lined up and Dan was going to let us (me and one of the crew) take the race truck and trailer so that we could have everything we needed. Dan couldn't attend as he already had obligations with Corona Suzuki to attend the AMA National that weekend. Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned. The first "speed bump" came via a phone call from my crew member just days before we had to leave. He had broken his thumb and would not be able to help out. Bummer. With all other sources of crew help exhausted I decided to change my strategy. I would only take the 600 with me and would attempt to do everything by myself. Naïve = Oliver at this point :o). So I headed down to the teams' headquarters in Spanaway, WA and crammed the bike and anything else I could into my van. I can't believe how much gear I loaded into that poor van. It must have looked like the Beverly Hillbillies were going racing. Eighteen arduous hours later I arrived in Calgary and set-up my pit.

Day 1 - Practice
Although I have only been to Calgary a few times, my memory of the track and its conditions weren't far off. It's a very rough racing surface that combined with the wildlife (Gophers) running across the track make it challenging to say the least. But before I could ride the track, I had my hands full just getting the bike ready, dealing with pit-set-up, tire pressures, fuel, technical inspection, etc. So back to the "never know what you've got until it's gone" thing. I missed my crew damn it. Over the past season I have been so fortunate to have people taking care of all the prep work on the bikes. All I had to do was focus on riding and communicating with the team. I appreciated it before, but this past weekend has made me come to a whole new level of appreciation for what the team does for me. And in this respect, I am thankful I went on this trip.

The race
As though my prayers were answered, the weather forecast was calling for rain! As you may or may not know, I love racing in the wet and generally have my best results in mixed or wet conditions. We mounted up the Pirelli Rains and went out for a few "test" laps. The bike felt good, but more importantly, my mindset had changed. I was going to put the crappy qualifying results behind me and go out and do what I know how to do - ride this bike! I absolutely nailed the first start passing most of the field going into turn one. People were crashing everywhere and I got a birds eye view of Matt McBride high siding coming out of turn three. Ugly :( As I came out of the last turn I saw the red flag waving bringing an end to that race. Onto start two. Well apparently my earlier start got the attention of Steve Dick who now moved directly in front of me in an attempt to find the traction I did, and here is where I made a huge mistake. Instead of moving over a few feet so that I could squeeze by, I just stayed right behind him thinking, "It's Steve. He'll get a good start, no problem". Unfortunately, for both Steve and myself, his bike bogged on the start and I almost rear-ended him on the re-start. By the time I got things back under control the field was disappearing down the straight. Not good. I just relaxed and rode as smoothly as possible, only getting out of shape a few times.

Well that about sums it up. I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to do better, but I'll just chalk this one up to a learning experience and look forward to getting things back to normal.

Thanks again to all the sponsors and people that make all of this possible.


Please click on image to enlarge

The 600RR

The 600RR

The Hindle pipe

Mike Smith

Packed Van


Picotte's rig

Packed Van 2

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