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Hayden Sets Early Superbike Pace for Suzuki at Barber MotoAmerica Finale

The opening day of the Honda Championship of Alabama presented by Genuine Broaster Chicken included the final combined Provisional Pole session for Motul Superbike and Bazzaz Superstock 1000cc machines prior to Saturday’s SuperPole session.  In a busy day in the final 2017 event of the MotoAmerica National series, Yoshimura-Suzuki’s veteran Roger Hayden was quickest with a time of 1:25.97 on the works GSX-R1000 Superbike.

Former Series Champ Josh Herrin, filling in for the injured Cameron Beaubier on the works Monster/Graves Yamaha team, has a strong second outing on the works YZF-R1, placing second best with a lap at 1:26.28.

The top Superstock entry for less-modified 1000cc machines in the second, Friday afternoon session was South African Mathew Scholtz on a Yamaha, third quickest at 1:26.408.  Scholtz has already won the Superstock title for Westby Racing outfit.  Newly crowned overall series Champ Toni Elias was sixth best on the seconds factory Yosh-Suzuki.

Kenny Riedmann made his first career entry in the Superstock category with his Sturgess Cycle/Liqui Moly Kawasaki ZX-10RR Ninja, and wound up 16th overall in the red flag-interrupted afternoon 1000cc session.   Mitch Card, another rising Canadian Pro start racer, was scheduled to compete in the same category as Riedmann with his Yamaha YZF-R1, but a last minute issue with his racing licence meant Card could not enter the MotoAmerica event.

The top 12 riders will advance to the 15-minute final session to establish the front of the Feature race grid, late tomorrow morning, using special soft Dunlop “Q” tires.  The first of the two 1000cc races is scheduled for 3:30 tomorrow, but there have been some delays due to rain seeping through the usually-pristine track surface.  There has been considerable rain in the Birmingham area recently, a left over effect of Hurricane Irma.   

Qualifying for the KTM Cup spec series for single cylinder machines was rescheduled for tomorrow due to the various water control issues with the track.  15-year-old French-Canadian class rookie Alex Dumas is riding a four race win streak in the KTM class, and has a serious shot at the Championship in the final two races this weekend.  Dumas was sixth fastest in the morning session, having run as high as first before he suffered a late crash in his first outing at the track.  He was uninjured.         

Newly crowned Liqui Moly Pro Sport Bike Canadian National Champ Tomas Casas had an encouraging first day as a MotoAmerica competitor, placing his Parts Canada/Dunlop supported Yamaha Canada R6 seventh overall in the “second tier” Supersport and Superstock 600 afternoon Practice with a lap at 1:34.6.

MotoAmerica Series regular Braeden Ortt of Alberta on a Tuned Racing Yamaha R6 was 11th quickest in the Group One session, turning a lap at 1:31.6.  Fastest overall in the combined two 600cc classes was newly crowned Champ Garrett Gerloff aboard a Monster Energy/Graves Yamaha R6 at 1:28.18.

“I’m gaining confidence with the bike on this track,” confirmed a cheerful Casas at the end of a very warm day at Barber Motorsport Park.  “The bike feels good settings wise, and the adjustments we have made so far have helped.

“I need to work more on the blind corners, and the braking areas, there is so much going on with this track,” confirmed 18-year-old Casas of the hilly, 16 turn venue.  “Some of the turns I’m still lacking confidence; that really affects your lap time on a blind section of this track.

“If I can pick up some corner speed, I know I’ll gain some confidence,” continued the 2018 Pro Middleweight Canadian number one plate holder.  “The I can really focus on riding with other people and picking up some pointers; so far I have been by myself.  That will be a focus of Qualifying tomorrow.

“Overall, it was a lot of fun for my first day.  My goal is to make it all the way through the weekend, not to crash, to ride all the time in every session and race and get the greatest opportunity to learn.  I want to stay within my limits.”

The first 600cc class race for Ortt and Casas is schedule for 2:25 tomorrow afternoon, with the initial KTM spec race including title contender Dumas slated for the end of the day Saturday at 4:35.        

Friday, 15 September 2017 18:30 Published in News


Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike National Championship Announced for Mopar CSBK in 2018

Next year’s Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship series will include a new class for small displacement production street machines, Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike.  This National series will be aimed at Amateur racers, aged 15 and above, aboard lightly modified OEM models, motorcycles and equipment approved by the CSBK Series.

The new category will use rules based on existing CSBK standards utilizing minimum weights and maximum power outputs, as measured on the official series Dynojet Dyno.  The new class will also use an Approved Equipment List, limiting competitors to racing parts permitted by the CSBK Series.  All competitors will compete with spec Dunlop tires, as do all competitors on the Mopar CSBK tour.

The purpose of this structure is to limit costs and modifications, and place the National Series emphasis on rider talent and development.  Various specific cycle parts, including engine control units, front suspension kits and rear shocks, will be mandated through the Approved Equipment List (AEL).

Details of the AEL will be released this fall, following discussions with suppliers.

The bikes expected to make up the grid for the new Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike category include the KTM 390 singles, Honda 250 and 300 CBR singles, Honda’s 500 twin, Yamaha’s 300cc R3 twin, and the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and 300 models.  This category is established in some regions of Canada and the U.S.A., including Mopar Express Lane Lightweight at the RACE SuperSeries, as well as a similar division started in Europe in support of the World Superbike Championship this year.

“We are really encouraged by the interest shown in these smaller machines,” explained Fred Benjamin, Technical Director of CSBK.  “We anticipate some teething issues with the new class, and some small adjustments might be required in the technical guidelines, but we think this category will produce some exciting racing and help develop the next generation of Canadian road racing talent.”

The new category’s structure will be based on the existing Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec Championship, as introduced at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2015.  This category, for near-stock twin-cylinder Kawasaki street machines, has run with ten races per season over the past two years. 

The Kawasaki will serve as the “index” bike for the class, establishing the relative parameters for the new rules prior to the start of the first season of Amateur Lightweight Sport Bike in 2018. 

East coast ace Brandon Pemberton took the inaugural Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec National Title in 2016, and a new Champ will be crowned in the final events of the Kawasaki National Championship at C.T.M.P. on August 20.

Currently, the class limits for the Kawasaki Ninja 300 spec series include a minimum weight of 340 pounds measured with all remaining fluids immediately post race, and a maximum output of 38 horsepower as measure on the Dynojet Dyno at each venue post race.  Officials anticipate some tweaking of the Technical Guidelines will be required during the early events with the new National category.

Thursday, 10 August 2017 18:15 Published in News