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Waiting for godot

Ottawa Safety Counsil


Will the real Guisseppe please step forward? Mosport 2005

Thursday Practise:   

Arriving early means you have your pick of the spots.  And the spots are all taken so we pit on the lower section of tarmac with absolutely no neighbours.  Yves and I are treating this weekend as his last big bang.  I've sort of talked Yves into coming racing this weekend but I only did it because I really knew he wanted to come racing.  Finances and time for him mean this will likely be the last weekend on the racebike.  Of course, it didn't help any that three weeks prior to this weekend he smashed his bike up pretty good in Turn 3 here at Mosport.  But, hey, who am I to point out his faults?


I'm also shaking off some gremlins as it's only my second weekend back into racing since I crashed bad at the Labour Day Nationals in Sept 2004.  This is my first national weekend but I'm keen to take it easy and relax at this fast, flowing track.  I love Mosport and I'll leave here much happier knowing that the worst thing that ever happened to me was running out of gas a few years ago and walking back to the pits from Turn 4.  Today, I'm happy just to sweat buckets in the 33 C heat and humidity.

They Call Me Guisseppe:

In the morning we got out for a dry practise session but I have no times whatsoever from my new transponder.  I'm concerned because knowing how botched these Amateur weekends go, I know tomorrow (Friday) may very well be qualifying.  The weather is hot and humid and threatening rain.  Just prior to afternoon practise, it does rain.  It rains pretty hard but stops before our Am 600 session.  It's wet enough that Yves decides to skip practise and I desperately change to rain tires so I can at least circulate and check my transponder. 

I'm the only one to show up for practise.  I enter the track alone after the photographer promises to take some good shots of me.  Ha!  How often do you get Mosport all to yourself?  Well, that lasts only about one lap.  Soon enough word spreads that it's a dry track and I'm getting passed by three, now four riders.  It's a dry track and I'm the only idiot with rain tires on.  I can't even find puddles for my rain tires.  I'm going to ruin this set of rain tires if I stay out so I pull in and check the time display board.  Still no luck.  However, Guisseppe sure is one slow rider with his time way on the bottom of the page.

The officials confirm that Guisseppe is me and they change the name on the transponder.  I suck.

Friday Practise:

The best part about Friday is that neighbours finally start to show up.  In our isolated pavement heaven we are soon greeted by the BMW Ride Day truck, Yamaha Canada Ride Day truck and the friendly guys from the Honda Canada Ride Day rig.  I cheerfully say hello to all of them and eagerly sign us up for a rides.  We have chosen a good place to pit.

Yves' wife Michelle arrived last night in the dark driving my car and towing her R6.  She'll be racing in the Women's Cup race to be held on Saturday.  This arrangement let Yves and I take in Thursday while she toiled away at work.  She was a little disappointed to find out my car didn't have air conditioning.  Well, not all cars are born with power windows, either.

Between practises, Yves, Michelle and I have a great time test riding the Hondas.  The GoldWing looked like the perfect bike for Yves and Michelle until Michelle scooted off on a Suzuki scooter for her next demo ride. 


Clint McBain was running in third racing against Jordan Szoke when he crashed at great speed at the end of the back straight.  He didn't suffer any injury.  His bike, on the other hand, cartwheeled through the gravel trap and right over the tire wall through someone's canopy.  The spectators on the other side of the wall were still holding their beers but their jaws were on the ground as this previously immaculate GSX-R 1000 somersaulted through their sunshade at 100 km/hr.  I saw it all happen because Yves and Michelle were having tense togetherness moments so I thought it would be a good idea if I rode my bicycle to the backstraight and watch the racing alone.  Glad Clint was okay.  Didn't know how Yves was faring, though.

Michelle was tense before her Women's race.  It was Saturday and her final was today.  I thought my job sucked but she was particularly miserable at her new job and a weekend away at the track didn't seem to have the same healing effect on her as it did on me.  The race was held and she did a great job.  She finished somewhere around 12th but she felt a whole lot better about everything after it was over.  Hmm, twelfth against the women, eh?  No, I don't think I could manage it...


Today, it's raining.  It's raining a lot.  Last year, it rained so much they declared a State of Emergency for nearby Peterborough.  The damned place got so much water the town nearly floated away.  This year, however, it's just wet.  But, I brought rain tires and so did Yves.  If there's one thing we can't be accused of, it's not having enough tires.

Most of the day passes wet but not so miserable.  Watching the racing is good.  Chris Peris is unstoppable in the rain and he impresses all of us.  He takes the win in Pro 600 after he falls in the hairpin in the early laps.  An amazing pace and the bike is shaking off the backstraight from the speed and instability in the wet. 

Last year Yves and I raced here in the rain.  I took it very slow and cautious and as I rounded the corner for the start of Lap 2, I saw Yves on his hands and knees crawling from the middle to the edge of the track.  Man, I thought I had bad days...

Yves has told me he's not racing if it's wet.  Understandable, considering he made an ass of himself in the rain last year.  I don't much like the rain either but I'm not very fast in the dry so I don't have to slow down much in the rain.  As a result, I tend to go quicker than most in the rain. 

The sun comes out and the track dries right before our race.  Another stupid tire change!!!  Yves is ready to go but I'm late joining him on the grid as I spin the last of the wheel nuts to put my dry tires back on.  Who the hell invented rain tires anyhow??

The race was fun.  Sort of.  I took it easy and raced at the back with the girls.  I could stroll past them in the corners but when it came to the backstraight all I remember of them is the smell of race fuel and the scream of their engines from their underseat exhausts as their 90 lb bodies rocketed by on their late model bikes.  Nothing wrong with that but this was the first race I'd had where I didn't try more than 98%.  I've given 101% before but with disastrous results so I was trying out the 85% pace.  I think next time I'm ready for 90%.

Yves did well and placed mid-pack.  He was always backing off in Turn 3.  He wasn't thinking of the painful crash he had three weeks earlier there but rather the painful repair work he did to his bike for three straight weeks.  I didn't have the heart to tell him his bodywork was still ugly.

After a shower to wash away the heat and humidity, it was back home.  Next race for me wouldn't be till the September Labour Day Nationals at Shannonville.  A great weekend with Yves and Michelle.  Yes, I still have the appetite for racing, just not ready to throw caution to the wind.  I like finishing the weekend not having to fix any bodywork.  Or bones.  It's a good feeling.



12 06 2005 - Tragedy at the Race track
The Canadian Road Racing community has lost a rising young star, and Team Shouldercheck lost a friend.  Maxime Mercier was a great young racer.Our thoughts and prayers are with Odette, Michel and the rest of the Mercier family.


08 06 2005 - We go to FAST school.


01 05 2005 - Alan Goes Racing
Arrived at track with Aaron at 7:30 a.m.
It Rained. A lot! I practised on my new rain tires.
After the Pro and Amateur superbike guys play crash up in their heats.
The official cancelled the rest of the Day.

Sunny and Cold to start.
New Schedule.
Heat races First thing in the morning Finals in the later morning and

Middle weight heat Started 7th row Finished 10th

Am 600 Heat. Started 7th row Finished 13th

Heavy weight heat Started 2nd row Finished 4th
It started Raining. Just enough to dampen the track but not enough for
Rain tires.
Am 600 Started 8th row Damp track finished 21st.
Middleweight sportsman Started 4th row Finished 9th Dry track.
Heavyweight sportsman Started Front Row Finished 5th. Dry track

Home by 7:30 p.m.



17 04 2005 - Spring Shake Up!

TEAM SHOULDER CHECK's Pat Boyd (#48) and Alan Burns (#113) dusted the cobwebs off their racing gear and trailered their bikes to beautiful Shannonville Motorsports Park on an unusually sunny
+23 C weather day.

Riding on the Shannonville Nelson circuit, named after famed the original track owner John Nelson who recently passed away, the two amateur racers found the practise was necessary. Pat Boyd, having spent the winter recovering from a terrible crash at the end of last season, was circulating at a pace much slower than normal but was pleased just to be able to ride the bike properly. "The weather is great, the bike feels good but I'm not interested in pushing things right now. The thoughts of spending months in aquatic physiotherapy last winter are still fresh in my mind."

Click on image for large version

Alan Burns was feeling comfortable on his Honda almost immediately and by the afternoon his Middleweight Sportsman bike was dicing it up nicely with the modern Amateur 600 racers. Burns is preparing for the first regional on the Nelson track in two weeks time but was puzzled by a few
items today. "My shift pattern was erroneously reversed which cut my first session to only one lap. With that corrected, things went better but I need to burn off the rest of last year's gas to get a more crisp power delivery. Also, my leathers seem to have shrunk over the winter."

Stay tuned for more updates as TEAM SHOUDLER CHECK reports from their racing school experience on April 28/05.


14 04 2005 - Spring is here!

Spring has arrived and the team is getting ready for the 2005 season.  Word on the street is that Alan has been out burning up his racing budget with supplies to do some oil changes.  I don’t know why, I never changed the oil when I owned the bike.  Why should he? 

Rich’s commitment level is still undetermined; he has just purchased a house and realized he has nothing.  Maybe the racing budget could be better used on home furnishings?  Oh yah and he has that job that paid for the racing budget, and it will have him out of town for the majority of the summer. 

Pat once said that you should be able to toss everything you bring to the racetrack in the garbage and not worry about the financial loss!  By wrecking everything he owned in the Labour Day race he accomplished this.  Luckily there is still has one race bike left in the Boyd arsenal, sadly there is a need for new leathers, and a helmet.  As always sponsorship opportunities exist.

We have not yet heard what Mr. Fong will be doing this year, but it will likely revolve around how much he is required to carry his pager. 

Dan has been conspicuous in his silence, but rumor has him heading off to Bora Bora to take the position of “House Boy” at the OTEMANU, Hotel Bora Bora Lagoon Resort. 

That just leaves the old man. John Dunlop will be on a Team shoulder Check sabbatical for the 2005 season.



13 09 2004 - This just in from Johnny Vintage!

John went off to North Bay, and it’s a good thing.  There was some racing to do.  John secured a 2nd place finish in the PL350, and a 3rd place finish in the P2 Lightweight.  This has given John a lock on the 3rd place in the overall standings in both classes.

Congratulations John!



12 09 2004 - The Long Forgoten Update

Well I has been a while, sorry for the lack of updates.  Alan, Dan, Dave, Pat and John have all been racing, while Rich has been out of the country working.  Rich’s new motto “The Job funds the hobby”.

Dan, Dave, and Pat all went to Le Circuit Mont Tremblant for round 7 of the Parts Canada Superbike championship. Dan finished 18th in his first Pro Superbike race, he followed this up with a very good run in the Pro 600, but finished with a last lap crash.  He was unhurt, in the incident.  Dave and Pat competed in the Amateur 600; Pat was able to turn a 26th place start into a 17th place finish.  Dave was still working on setup after the crash earlier in the season.

While all this was happening John was participating in the VRRA events at Mosport International Raceway.  He had a very good outing bringing home a 7th place in the P1 350cc Final, and a 16th in the P3 Lightweight.  Congratulations John.

With August over everyone was looking forward to Round 8 also known as the Labour Day Final at the Shannonville Motors Park.   Team Shouldercheck was to represented by Alan, Dave, Dan, Pat, and Rich.  Rich was again out of the country business, Dan had some other issues come up and was unable to race.  So that left Alan, Dave, and Pat to carry the flag for the team.

All three riders were able to qualify for the AM600 race.  This brought a very good close to the season, as it was he first time that all three TSC riders qualified for the race.  By all accounts the Am 600 was an exciting race to say the least.  After three red flags they were finally able to get it and Pat was the rider on the move.  Pat was able to hold off a hard charging Alan to finish 18 and 19 respectively.  Dave had a challenging day still working on setup issues, but brought his R6 home in 26th place.  With the AM 600 over, the day was not done.  Alan and Pat were also entered in the Middleweight sportsman class.  Pat was trying to challenging for 2nd in the points, but unfortunately suffered a season ending crash.  The crash was so severe, that it ended the day’s events.

Monday was the 3rd annual Ottawa Safety Council track day; it was a successful day by all accounts.  We had good weather and a good turn out.  It was however not the same without Pat being there.  Everyone was trying to make the day successful, but at the same time, thinking about Pat and his condition.

Get well soon Pat!



05 08 2004 - Alan reports after r.A.C.E. Round #5
Friday July 23rd 9:00 P.M.
I was supposed to leave 4 hours ago as Yves and Michele are saving us a large amount of real estate in the Shannonville pits. As usual I'm behind schedule and I'm just finishing the gearing change . The tighter Shannonville track  requires  different gearing from the fast and sweeping Mosport circuit. I am able to use the same chain but it leaves me with a very short wheelbase. After I get everything packed up It's nearly 10:30 so I decide to go to sleep and get up at o dark 30 on Saturday for the drive. Cathy is catering a big wedding today so I'm on my own for this race weekend and I'm really not used to it.


01 08 2004 - Congratulations Pat!!!

Team Shouldercheck racer Pat Boyd AM#48 road to a hard fought 2nd place in the Middleweight Sportsman class at round 5 of the R.A.C.E. Superseries. This finish has put Pat solidly in 3rd place in the overall standings and just 2 points out of 2nd overall! With just two rounds remaining we are all cheering for Pat!

Check back soon to hear Pat's comments from the weekend.



29 07 2004 - Pat's comments from Mosport

Is it possible for Peterborough to sink? With this much rain (about 80mm overnight) the residents of Peterborough were about to find out



26 07 2004 - Photos from Rounds 3 & 4
You can seen some photos from rounds 3 & 4 of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship. Most of the photos are of Rich in the Diablo Sv 650 Cup.


25 07 2004 - Rich's Report from Mosport

With qualifying taking place on Friday, my grid position was nailed down for the weekend.  I would start 19 th on both Saturday and Sunday.   With that said, I put fresh tires on Friday evening so I would be ready for Saturday race.  Saturday morning practice was used to scrub the new tires.  When the Pro 600 race was almost over the weather began to change, the dark clouds of SV racing began to appear. I say this because it would appear that we always have weather drama in every race. By the time the Pro 600 riders were on the podium the rain began to fall.  I was not a hard rain, and the pavement was drying as soon as the rain drops hit the ground but I hade these conditions.  The Can/Am staff came by about 25 minutes prior to the start of the race and told us that the race was being ruled an “open tire race”. 



23 07 2004 - Alan's Report From Mosport
Wednesday July 14th 10:00 p.m. Somewhere near Morrisburg Ontario Rain!!!!!!! Normally I don't mind the rain but searching for a banquet hall late at night while helping Cathy deliver a wedding cake is not the most fun thing to be doing in a Torrential downpour. Especially when we should be at home packing the van and trailer for the weekend.


19 07 2004 - Team Shouldercheck Press Release
Team Shoulder Check's Suzuki SV650 rider Rich Peillard rode to a gritty third place here in soggy Mosport, Ontario in Saturday's Diablo SV Cup. Although the race ended with some controversy, nothing can take away from the brave wet weather riding which placed the #46 bike on the podium for the first time. Rich collected a total of 41 points this weekend which makes it his largest single weekend points total ever. read the rest of the press release




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