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25 06 2004 RACE Round #4
This was a pretty good race weekend, I was able to get everything packed and the trailer was loaded on Thursday evening, so all that was required was hooking up the trailer and depart for Shannonville. I was able to sneak out of work early and the only stop required prior to my departure was at the local grocery store. With all that done, I was on my way.
 
It was nice to be able to unload my bike and set up my tent with some fading daylight. This is much better than a 4am drive. Also chatting with Yves and Michelle before bed was nice also.

My goal for the weekend was to finish in the points, this was going to take some effort on my part, but I was hoping that some of the faster riders would stay away for the weekend and save everything for the Calgary Nationals on the July long weekend. With this in mind I entered the SV 650 class and the Middleweight Sportsman classes.

I was quite shocked at the riders meeting, my name was not called! What? Did Chris get a new list? How am I going to win another Bear Chair if my name is not called? The SV class was first up after the riders meeting, this seems to be a customary time for the SV class. Wow warm tires stick! This was my first weekend with tire warmers, the differences are amazing! I would like to thank Bickle Racing for the warmers. The only down side of tire warmers is the need for a $1200 generator to run your $600 warmers.
Even thought I did not officially enter the classes, I was able to sneak into the Heavyweight Sportsman practice and the 250GP practice. This was great as it gave me twice the amount of practice time. I was able to drop about 7 seconds off my time from the National Round in late May.

With all the practice out of the way it was time for lunch. We got hit with the customary Shannonville rain. While doing my race budget in March Pat Boyd told me to bother purchasing rain tires, as he was able to race for 3 years and never needed them. So far I have not attended a Race weekend that did not have some rain to speak about. Luckily the rain ended just after lunch and the track was pretty much dry by the time I was ready to qualify. I was able to get a good start in my SV 650 qualifying race, and this helped me out for the rest of the race. For the first time I was able to pass people going forward and gain positions, racing is more fun when you go forward. I qualified 10 th and that put me on the 3 rd row!

Qualifying for the Middleweight sportsman class did not go as well. I was trying to keep the tire warmers on for as long as possible. Well I kept them on too long! There were many medium sized groups of oblivious people strolling around the pits and I had to yell at the different groups to get out of the way. I would like to blame them for what happened, but it is really my fault, but I missed the start of the race, the riders were just going into turn 2 when I arrived in pit lane. I was a little upset that I could not start at the back of the grid, or from pit lane but again it is my fault. Oh and all you oblivious people, I still blame you! Not being allowed to start, the only thing I could do is return to the Team Shouldercheck pits and park the bike.

 

I got my suit off went to cheer on Pat Boyd, there was nothing else I could do!
I am not sure why or how, but even without the qualifying race I was on row 5, a step up from my normal row 7 spot.

27 06 2004 - Sunday Morning and the Riders Meeting

Sunday’s riders meeting, still no call from Chris Chapelle. With no call from Chris on Saturday, I thought for sure there would be one Sunday. I took part in the first practice of the day, and I was able to do some faster laps and continue to drop my lap times. I decided to sit out the middleweight sportsman practice to save the tires for the afternoon races.

 

After a relaxing lunch with some time to read the news paper it was time for the SV 650 race. I was determined to make the start of the race, so I did not leave anything chance. When my neighbour started to head for the grid I was with him. As it turns out we were on the same row of the grid.

 

This is where the weekend gets a little weird. After the warm up lap, I took my spot second from the left on row 3 and I was ready for the start! When the light went green I was off, I made a pretty good start, I think I passed 2 or 3 people before we got to turn 1. While riding with the pack [something I am not used to] on the way to turn 2, I saw a red bike on my right side, and had no real problem with it. After all he was on my right and turn 2 is a left turn. I really don’t know what happened next, but I have some ideas.

 

Here are some of my thoughts:
  • I don’t know if I had some really odd line through turn 2.
  • I was trying to stay away from the pot hole at the apex.
  • Maybe it was because I was riding with the rest of the pack and I could not make a move yet.

 

Anyhow the rider on my right hit me! He turned left, and I was still going straight. The hit scared the crap out of me, but that was not the end. When I got hit on the right side it caused the bike to go left and I leaned right. Leaning to the right caused me to put pressure on the right bar, guess what? I started going to the right. The other rider must have been unsure he had my attention because he hit me again! This caused the same thing to happen and I was going to the right even more. By this time I was out of race track and it was time to go OFF ROADING! For those that have not done this, the SV 650 is not suited to off road use. To top it off, I was worried that I had just soiled my new Alpinestars suit. One other point the infield grass at Shannonville is NOT smooth! I was bouncing around just trying to keep the bike upright. On more than one occasion I was sitting on the tank and my feet were off the pegs! I was able to get back onto the track at Nelson turn 2. My only option was to turn to the left and go the wrong way on track and get back in the race. When you are going the wrong way on the Nelson circuit, the Pro track turn 2 is a right turn and it is pretty difficult. I was second last and trying to catch up.

 

I think it took about a lap to get my thoughts focused on the race at hand, but I was able to see another rider out in front of me. I tried to push as hard as I could just to catch up. I think it was lap 4 or 5 and I was able to catch the rider in front of me. I was able to make the pass on the front straight and that put me into 13 th place. When the race was over I was happy to have finished in the points, I knocked 2 seconds off my best time of the weekend, but I can not say I wasn’t just a little pissed and being hit by the other rider.

 

When I got my helmet off it was time to survey the damage, and it was not too bad. There is a crack in the upper fairing, and scar on my Hindle exhaust can but the bike is still ridable and there is no work required. I decide to walk over to the other SV riders and try to figure out what happened. I spoke to Mike Cean AM#134, and he was looking for the scuffs on my leathers. When I told him that I did not go down he told me he almost did just watching me.

 

To race or not to race, that was the question after the SV race. My plan was to sit out the middleweight sportsman race there was no damage to the bike, but I was pretty frazzled after the off road experience. Having had some time to sit down a get a drink I chose to head out for the second race.

 

Pat and I headed for the grid; I took my spot on row 5. I was ready for the start, but after the SV race, I was more than a little apprehensive. When the light went green I did not care how many people passed me, but only 2 or 3 did. This was not an issue as I was passed them by turn 5. I then set my sights on the only rider I could see. It turned out to be my pit neighbour Paul Robbins. After about two laps I was close enough to try a pass, but where? I was faster through turn 6 off the back straight and faster through turn 2. I really did not want to try the inside pass at turn 6 or the outside pass at turn 2, so I stayed close hoping for a mistake. Paul did not make one. I finished just behind Paul, I could not get the drive out of 9 to make the run to the checker, but it was a fun race all the same. I was happy with a 9th place finish.

Who Hoo, Top ten!

 

 

 

Special thanks go out to:

  • My girlfriend Megan for taking all the great photos during the weekend, and putting up with a weekend at the track.
  • Pat for the grand idea of hosting a movie night in the pits. Little more work on the technical side will be needed for next time.
  • Yves and Michelle for supplying the movie for Pat to show, and being all around great people to pit with.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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