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Waiting for godot


Ottawa Safety Counsil


What a fun weekend!  
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”. 


  I was really unsure what to do, as I said before I really hate these in between conditions. I chatting with some of the other racers and decided to stay on DOT tires.  Just prior to the five minute horn it started to rain harder.  I told the crew, Alan and Yves to make the change!  They were awesome!  Alan worked on the rear and Yves took care of the front.  They were able to work quickly because Pat took the time to lay out all the tools that would be required prior to making the covert trip to the Pro 6 Cycle Dunlop man.


With the tires changed Pat returned in time to get the battery in the transponder and the video camera rolling.  Just as I was putting my helmet, the PA announcer started to tell us that it was not raining out in turn 5!  According to him, there had not even been a drop of rain out on that side of the track.  Great, I made the wrong tire choice!  Almost half the track is dry and it has almost stopped raining. 




When I head out for the sighting lap, I soon find out that not only has it not rained out in turn 5, but the track is bone dry from the bottom of turn 2 all the way to turn 7.  The first think that went through my mind was, I will over heat these wet tires and ruin them.  The second thought was to pull off and not even take the start.  When I found water on the back straight my thinking changed to that of, I may be able to be competitive on half of the track while all those on DOT’s would be fast on the other half.  I will not pull into the pits; I will take the start and see how the first lap goes.


I take my spot on the right side of Row 6, and the grid is looking thin.  I would later find out that some rider chose to not take the start because of the uncertain weather and the speed of the Mosport race track.    



When the race stated I got a reasonable start, but I do not think I made up too many positions before turn 1.I was unsure how hard I could run on the very soft rain tires, so my plan was to just hold position until I got to the wet portion of the track. I am not sure what position I was in, but as I got to turn 4 I could feel the rain hit my visor, I may have even yelled in my helmet “come on rain!”. The rest of the field started to slow and I was able to pass. The rain tires gave me great traction, I was able to accelerate harder on the exit of the corners and go deeper into the corners than most of the other riders.  It was quite fun!


On lap 3 it really started to rain, there was a puddle of standing water in turn 4 that was about 6 to 8 inches deep.  This puddle was running across the track and caused some hydro planning when I road through it.  When I got on the Mario Andretti back straight I could not see anything because the rain was so heavy.  I saw the red flag come out as I reached the end of the back straight. I slowed and rather than stopping at the turn 9 marshal stand I road into the pits and took cover under Pascal Picotte’s pit canopy. It was then that Alan told me I was in 3 rd position!  When I found this out, I was ready to get the race going again.  Unfortunately this could not happen as there was too much water on the track, and lightning in the area.  Who cares I thought, I was in 3 rd place lets get this race restarted, but the PMP and Can/AM staff  erred on the side of safety, as they should.  As the clock approached 3pm the race was called.


The Superbike races always start at 3pm so the Diablo SV 650 Cup got bumped.  This meant we would not be allowed to finish our race.  We would have a new race later in the day.  I would get no credit for being in 3 rd place and we would be gridded in our original positions.  That would send me back to 19 th.  I was reasonably happy with this, but I could not help but telling anyone that would listen “I was in 3 rd place!”  Most people replied with something similar to “Yah good job, but that’s racing” I started to feel worse when I was told about the 3 rd place points, I had forgotten about those. I had also forgotten about the payout! I was in the money! My mood slowly changes from elation to it just sucks!


Unfortunately due to constant changing weather and multiple red flags during the AM600 even number qualifying the track was closed at 5:30pm and the day was over. 

There were many ideas and suggestions on how to solve the problems of the day but none of them seemed to be giving me credit for being in third place!  I even began to accept this as a “Just racing” issue.


With the day over it was time for a shower and I needed to get away from the track.  We decided to grab a shower and then head into town for dinner.  While we were waiting at the showers, Alan made the trek from turn 1 to turn 8 on a bicycle to tell me that they made a decision.  The race will stand! I am in 3 rd place.  Some might call this the second looser, but I was happy as hell to be in the 3 rd place.  I have never been that far forward and this is the first time I will be on the podium.  For all those that were upset with the decision, well I guess all I can say is; That’s Racing!

They held a podium ceremony for us at the end of day Sunday, after the round #4 race. Congratulations to Pascal, and Gilles. Also thanks to Pascal Anctil, and CMG Online because I stole this photo from them. Thanks to Richard Seck for taking this photo!


Sunday’s race

Sunday’s race was a much harder challenge.  I again took my spot on the 6 th row.  On the first few laps I had a hard battle with the number 30 rider and in the final 3 or 4 laps I was swapping positions with the number 112 rider.  Both of these little battles were quite a bit of fun.  I did not get a chance to drop by and speak to the riders, but I had a great time, so thanks!  Fun, safe racing what more could you ask for?



With the racing done, it was time to go congratulate the winners of round #4.  Once their celebration was completed and Gilles Biron Am#6 had been found, they held a podium presentation for the round #3 winners.  This was my chance, and all I can say is; I was very happy even if there was associated controversy.  I had no idea where to go, thankfully Frank pointed out where the third place rider should stand.  When it came time to speak, well I do not know what I said, I just tried to sound intelligent.  I did however make the error of forgetting to thank my team!  So again; Yves, Alan, Dave and Pat thanks for the help getting me out for the race.  Michelle and Dominique thanks for all the help with the pack up.  Cathy thanks for the great food.




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