is always the case, I need to thank some specific people for
their effort this past weekend. A big thanks to Kevin Graham
from Pirelli Canada for getting some super sticky tires to us.
Also, a huge thank you to Jim Ellison and the crew from Clearbrook
Motorsports for their continued faith and support of me. Thank
you to Scott and Christine Ponuick for their hospitality over
the weekend and thanks to Marc Burgess for coming over Saturday
to help out.
Coming from a safe venue like Laguna and being suddenly transported
to Mission raceway made me feel a little displaced. I went
from thinking about brake markers and optimum lines to cringing
every time I went through turn 6 staring at the opposing concrete
Thankfully the development of the 600 we achieved working
with Dan at the US National had paid off in spades as it was
allowing me to ride comfortably and still be on the pace.
As a rule I simply won't push very hard at Mission. A mistake
here would most likely be career ending and I'm in this game
for the long haul.
Notes on races:
Superbike leg 1
Steve Dick goes exceptionally well at Mission. In fact, I
would have to say he is the man to beat when it comes to this
and other tight tracks. So when I found myself tucked right
in behind him from flag to flag in this race running quite
comfortably, I knew we were about to have a very successful
I got a decent start in this one and by the 2nd lap I was
in the lead with Steve right in tow. We proceeded to set quick
times as the laps wore down, but I was still holding him off
with a small gap. On the last lap I came up on a back marker
and had to check up for a second as we went through the kink
(another high danger area). Sure enough, Steve had used his
years of experience to use the lapped rider to put on a pass.
He timed it just right and made it stick and I wasn't able
to get by before the checkered flag. A great race.
Superbike leg 2
The temperature has reached a sauna-like 34 degrees. People
were staggering around, most suffering from heat exhaustion.
I on the other hand was cool and calm in the Clearbrook pits
with 3 industrial fans blowing an obscene amount of air on
me. They do take care of me don't they.
I got a decent start and was in second by lap 3. On lap four
I made my move for the lead in turn 5 diving underneath the
lead rider. From here I just set out to do consistent, smooth
laps and took it all the way to the checkered. I have to admit
it felt really good to deliver the win for the team. They
were stoked and I'll never forget Jim Ellison (Owner of Clearbrook)
giving me a big hug and saying that I made his day. Awesome
Superbike leg 1
I got a horrible start in this one and was in 5th going into
turn two. By the time I had worked my way to third, Steve
and another rider had pulled a gap that I simply wasn't able
I got a better start in this one and was in third going into
turn two. Steve had gotten an absolutely blinding start and
had pulled a 3 second gap in the first lap. I put my head
down, but the rider in front of me was slowing me down in
certain sections. We were closing in on Steve, but it simply
wasn't enough and all three of us finished within two seconds
of each other.
Superbike leg 2
I was quite determined to win this race. I had the package
for a win, all I needed to do was to put it all together.
Our race start was delayed for about 30 minutes due to a severe
incident in turn 1 where a bike had emptied its crankcase
all through the entry. OH BOY. The officials did what they
could, even allowing us two sighting laps, however, there
was oil dry right through the entry line to turn one. I decided
to test the conditions on one of the sighting laps to gain
some perspective on just how much traction was actually available.
I came into the turn at speed and applied the brakes accordingly.
With no evidence of a slide or loss of traction I was confident
that I could put the oil out of my mind and run it in as usual.
Well I got another good start and was up to second by turn
three. I set-up the lead rider for a draft pass into turn
one and made it stick, that was until I went for the brakes
entering turn one. The front wheel locked for an instant upsetting
the chassis and forcing me to compensate with less lever pressure.
By the time things had calmed down I was running out of racetrack
fast. I managed to get the bike down to walking speed before
I had to stand it up to enter the gravel. Not a big deal really,
I thought, as my focus was now turned to getting the bike
back onto the track. However, in my haste to get back onto
the pavement I managed to tip the bike over in the gravel.
Aargh. According to WMRC rules, once a handlebar touches the
ground you're out of the race. The good news is that my only
injuries are a bruised ego and a sore calf muscle. I'm also
upset with myself and feel as though I let the down the team
with such a small mistake.
From here I get to spend a couple days with Karla and Kodi
before I fly to Germany to test the BMW K1200S. I'm really
looking forward to both.
Please click on image to enlarge