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American Frank Camillieri returns to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park VRRA to Celebrate Grand Prix Success

One of the pioneers of road racing in North America, Frank Camillieri, was among the invited former road racing stars who took to the track at the Vintage Road Racing Association’s 50th Grand Prix Anniversary event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.  American Camillieri, aboard a Yamaha in the 32 Lap Grand Prix final on September 30, 1967, placed a strong fifth overall in the World Championship round in conjunction with the Canadian Centenary.

Camillieri was one of the few racers from the original event who took part in this morning’s five lap tribute to the sole C.G.P. fifty years ago.  Back in the day, Camillieri faced an uphill struggle against the works racers from Europe on his early production Yamaha.

Winner fifty years ago in the 250cc class was era-hero Mike “the bike” Hailwood on the exotic four-stroke, six cylinder Honda RC166.  Second went to the equally unique two-stroke, four-cylinder Yamaha RD56 of Phil Read, who rode in demonstration laps aboard a more modern Yamaha this morning at “old Mosport.”  Hailwood, who died in a car accident in 1981, as well as Read are British legends and multi-time World Champions.

Third overall, fifty years ago in the 250 G.P. counter, was the second works Honda of Ireland’s Ralph Bryans.  Top Canadian was the production Yamaha TD1C of Yvon Duhamel in fourth, with Camillieri’s similar bike fifth at the finish.  Duhamel would go on to a top-flight career as a Kawasaki racer during the 1970s, and raced in the top echelon at C.T.M.P. into the early 1980s.  Ever-popular Duhamel was busy signing autographs at lunch in the VRRA Display set-up at C.T.M.P.

Camillieri was from the Boston area, and one of a group of Yank front runner who raced regularly in Canada during the early development days of the sport of motorcycle road racing.  A machinist, Camillieri was one of the early adopters of disc brakes and slick tires.  Among his rivals of the period were Duhamel, Mike Duff, Gary Nixon and Canadian up-and-comer Jim Allen, also on hand for the Anniversary Events.  

Saturday, 12 August 2017 17:03 Published in News


SPOILER ALERT! Results from MotoGP Argentina

MotoGP™ has a tendency to keep making history of late, and the Gran Premio Motul de la Republica Argentina was no different - as Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) became the first Yamaha rider since Wayne Rainey in 1990 to win the first two races of the year, taking a stunning win as drama hit the grid behind. Teammate Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) created another miracle in P2, with LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow completing the podium in style as top Independent Team rider.

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It was reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team) who leapt into the lead from pole, with Rossi another electric starter from seventh on the grid. In the rush for Turn 1, it was Marquez leading Crutchlow as the pack shuffled behind, with the reigning champion then making a stunning break for it as the Brit backed up the chasing Movistar Yamaha MotoGP pairing of Viñales and Rossi.

Viñales soon attacked Crutchlow to take P2, before the first of the high drama hit up ahead and Marquez suddenly hit the floor at Turn 2 – having been almost two seconds clear.

That left Viñales in P1, with Crutchlow and Rossi on the chase and the gap holding steady just above half a second - before the man of the moment began to pull away. The ‘Doctor’ was left to hunt down Crutchlow, with the two holding station until Rossi struck with 7 laps to go, getting past the Brit in style at Turn 5 and pulling away for a second consecutive podium – in his 350th World Championship start.

There was all-out war for P4 as Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda Team) battled to get past Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing), with Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), Alvaro Bautista (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) getting in the mix. After a short and spectacular duel between Pedrosa and Zarco, the Spaniard broke free to set the fastest lap – before disaster struck for the ‘Baby Samurai’ as he crashed out of the race in the same place as teammate Marquez had done a handful of laps earlier.

Even then, the drama wasn’t done as ‘DesmoDovi’ went wide at Turn 5 soon after, with Aleix Espargaro (Aprilia Racing Team Gresini) taking the inside line and then losing the front – sliding helplessly into the Italian and both out the race.

Behind and including Crutchlow, it was another fantastic day for the Independent Teams as the dust settled, with Bautista taking fourth and Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Zarco and Jonas Folger taking fifth and sixth. Petrucci, after running out of rear grip, crossed the line in a solid P7 – ahead of a good fight back from his teammate Scott Redding at the head of the next group.

Jack Miller (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) enjoyed another top ten result in ninth behind Redding, with front row starter Karel Abraham (Pull&Bear Aspar Team) completing the top ten only tenths ahead of Loris Baz (Reale Avintia Racing) after the Frenchman was forced wide early on.

Tito Rabat (EG 0,0 Marc VDS) was P12 in front of Hector Barbera (Reale Avintia Racing), with Red Bull KTM Factory Racing pairing Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith incredibly close to the two men ahead in P14 and P15 respectively. The Austrian manufacturer is now a points scorer with both riders, opening their account early in only round two.

After a great start from a difficult grid position, it was disaster for Ducati Team’s Jorge Lorenzo on the first lap as the five-time World Champion crashed out early after contact with old nemesis Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) – the ‘Spartan’ thankfully escaping unhurt, and Iannone continuing. The ‘Maniac’ was also given a ride through penalty soon after for a jump start, dropping him down the order and out of contention to cross the line as the final finisher.

For full results, click here.

Austin, Texas now awaits – a chance for Marquez to strike back at a venue he has always ruled, and a chance for Viñales to change that statistic as we head into round three.

Monday, 10 April 2017 10:29 Published in Reports, Results & Points


SPOILER ALERT: MotoGP Qatar Race Report!

Rain, delays, uncertainty and a decision for a slightly shortened race distance prefaced the 20 laps that then blew the drama out the water: MotoGP is back for 2017, and in some style.

Monday, 27 March 2017 10:45 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Vinales tops Friday MotoGP qualifying; surprises abound in top five

Maverick Viñales (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) kept his top spot on the combined timesheets after FP3 at Losail International Circuit, with his Friday best unchallenged by the grid. The Spaniard also suffered his first crash on the Yamaha in an official session earlier in the day, escaping unscathed. Andrea Iannone (Team Suzuki Ecstar) was the late superstar of the session, moving up from P17 to second and just beating reigning Champion Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda Team).

Behind Marquez was an impressive dash from reigning Moto2™ Champion Johann Zarco (Monster Yamaha Tech 3), who took over from his teammate Jonas Folger as fastest rookie.  Folger is eighth on combined times, and also goes safely through to the Q2 qualifying session.

Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati Team) completed the top five overall after the three sessions, ahead of FP2’s fastest man Scott Redding (Octo Pramac Racing). Redding also suffered two incidents in FP3 – with damage to his fairing followed by a late crash. Repsol Honda Team’s Dani Pedrosa was seventh fastest, only 0.028 off the Brit.

Behind Folger was fellow crasher LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow, who took ninth despite the late incident. Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) just completed the top ten by 0.021 - the last of those graduating automatically to Q2.

Jorge Lorenzo (Ducati Team) had a tougher second day, ending twelfth on combined times and missing the cut by only half a tenth. The 'Spartan' will be a big threat in Q1 as he looks to fight at the front in his first weekend in red.

The grid head out for FP4 at 19:55 local time (GMT + 3) on Saturday evening, before Q1 chooses two more graduates for Q2 – and the first grid of the year gets decided.

Friday, 24 March 2017 19:05 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Exclusive MotoGP Season Preview: Is Vinales Ready?

The 2017 racing season gets fully underway this weekend under the lights, in the desert at the Losail Circuit in Qatar, at the first of 18 scheduled MotoGP rounds. After a crazy 2016 season with an unprecedented nine race winners, attention at the top tier of motorcycle racing is steadily building.

Friday, 24 March 2017 11:51 Published in Feature Stories


Rossi gets first win of 2016 in commanding fashion in Spain

The Gran Premio Red Bull de España saw Valentino Rossi lead from start to finish, winning from Lorenzo and Marquez with ease.

Monday, 25 April 2016 09:43 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Grand Prix de Mud - this weekend in Campbellville, ON!

@LHOverland • @themohawkinn • Grand Prix de Mud Media Release - June 23, 2015 - Final preparations for Saturday’s first ever Grand Prix de Mud, sponsored by Husqvarna Canada, are nearing completion. Stakes have been pounded into the soft turf of the Mohawk Inn lawn, snow fencing rolled out and trophies, t-shirts and caps have been delivered.

The GPdM volunteer crew has made Herculean efforts to re-create an old school motorcycle event down to the smallest detail.

The news of the special guest is now confirmed: Eight–time AMA National Enduro Champion Dick Burleson will be the guest of honour. Dick is a long time Husqvarna rider who holds eight consecutive US national titles! Alongside Dick, many other luminaries in the off-road racing world will attend the event in order to celebrate Canada’s rich history in the motocross, scrambles, trials and enduro competition realm.

One of the most notable Canadian competitors who will be at the GPdM is former World Champion hill climber John Williams. John will also have his one-off, hand-built hill climb bike on display.

One can expect ISDT Gold Medal winner Helmut Classen to not only ride in the various events but display many of his beautiful and rare collector motorcycles.

The Legends of Canadian Motocross: LOCMX (website: www.locmx.com) is an initiative celebrating the past glory of Canadian motocross. LOCMX is founded by renowned photographer Bill Petro. Bill has shot photos of the stars of Canadian motorcycle racing since 1972. His photographs and photo presentation will be one of the highlights of the GPdM.

Many past champions will be attending the GPdM either as a spectator or a racer. Former Ontario provincial motocross champion Glen Nicholson is scheduled to make an appearance as well as past 125cc national motocross champion Doug Hoover. Former Kawasaki factory rider Jay Kimber will also be in attendance.

Other racers who have indicated they will attend include Jorma Rautanien, Pat Bastedo, Jim Bryne, Jeff Sutherland and many others.

The efforts of the Sasquatch Vintage Racing crew and the Southwestern Ontario Vintage Trials Association have been instrumental in realizing this significant event. Various riding events will include a grass track scrambles, trials, and a cross country race featuring vintage and modern bikes in all disciplines.

The rider’s meeting starts at 9:45 am. Sign-up opens at 8:00 am. Spectators are admitted free of charge.

There are many prizes to be won including the grand prize of a set of Mefo knobby tires donated by Motonation Canada.

42 winner’s plaques are up for grabs including some special achievement awards and the concours d’elegance awards for the many exotic off-road motorcycles that will be on display.

This is a unique opportunity to see and hear some of the most iconic & rare motorcycles of our time.

Visit the Sasquatch Cycle site for details on the GPdM.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015 13:05 Published in Industry News


Lorenzo takes Italian GP victory at Mugello

Jorge Lorenzo was simply untouchable at the #ItalianGP, taking his 36th MotoGP™ victory and reducing Rossi’s championship lead to 6 points.

The picturesque setting of the Tuscan hills played host to a spectacular MotoGP™ race at the Gran Premio d’Italia TIM. With the sun shining and track temperatures at the Autodromo del Mugello hitting 50 degrees, the Italian fans were treated to a dominant performance from Jorge Lorenzo as he stormed away to the win the race by over 5.5s.

As Lorenzo disappeared off into the distance, the real battle would be for second place. This fight was originally between the Factory Ducati’s of Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone, and the Repsol Honda’s of Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, although Valentino Rossi would join in the fun before the end of the race.

Marquez had enjoyed an amazing start, moving up from 13th on the grid into sixth at the very first corner. In contrast, Valentino Rossi suffered a disastrous opening lap that would see him down drop down to tenth, before mounting an incredible charge through the field to join the podium fight with eight laps to go.

There was even more drama to come though, as Dovizioso was forced to retire with a damaged rear sprocket and then Marc Marquez, who was once more involved in an excellent scrap with Iannone for second, crashed out of the race with 6 laps remaining leaving the Italian to take second ahead of an inspired Rossi in third to send the partisan crowd into raptures.

It was Lorenzo’s third victory in a row and he has now closed the gap to Rossi at the top of the World Championship standings to six points. After a start to the season plagued with troubles, the Spaniard has responded brilliantly to answer any critics, and even surprised himself with his pace: “I‘m very happy, because I didn‘t expect to escape with such a big margin, but sometimes it happens that you feel great on the bike. I was the only rider to ride multiple 1‘47s, so luckily for me I was gaining six or seven-tenths per lap, this was key to the win of the race.” When asked about his chances of taking a third MotoGP™ title this season he replied: “It seems that this year could be our year, so we have to take advantage of it.”

Iannone claimed his second podium of the season as he rode through the pain after fracturing his humerus at a testing crash in Mugello before the French GP. The Italian responded to the home fans support with his best ever MotoGP™ result, after getting the better of Marquez and holding off Rossi, and has not finished outside the top six all season: “I am so pleased with today’s result:! It was incredible, because today it was not easy to score a podium finish. My team did a great job, the bike worked really well and the Clinica Mobile gave me a big hand throughout the weekend. At the start I wanted to try and stay with Jorge: he didn’t have a better pace than me, but he did manage to keep that pace by taking fewer risks. When I realized that I was pushing too hard, I tried to maintain my speed, do my own race and keep one eye on my shoulder, which from mid-race onwards was showing signs of tiredness.”

Rossi showed all of his class to work his way back from tenth on the first lap to claim third, and remain the leader in the championship standings. The Italian once again saved his best for the race after having to start from eighth on the grid, and has a six-point lead over Lorenzo in the World Championship standings having not finished off the podium yet in 2015: “Mugello was very busy, because I am very competitive and all the Italian fans expected a great race from me. I wasn‘t strong enough but at the end of the race I arrived on the podium after a great recovery and a hard race. To be on the podium with whole the crowd is always magical with the track being full of people.” Rossi went on to discuss the threat posed by his teammate to his bid to win a tenth World Championship title: “I think we have to improve, especially with Jorge being very strong, he is in a great shape and to match his level we need to be more competitive.”

Dani Pedrosa rode a solid race to claim fourth as the only Honda inside the top ten, just over three seconds behind Rossi. Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Bradley Smith was the leading Satellite rider in fifth as he benefitted from Cal Crutchlow crashing out of the race with just three laps remaining while the CWM LCR Honda rider was ahead of him on track. Crutchlow, who was already suffering after a crash in the mornings Warm Up session, went to the Medical Centre where it was revealed he had dislocated his ankle and the British rider will need a medical inspection before being declared fit to race in Catalunya. Smith’s teammate Pol Espargaro was next across the line in sixth, while Maverick Viñales (Team Suzuki Ecstar), wild card Michele Pirro (Ducati Team), Danilo Petrucci (Octo Pramac Racing) and his teammate Yonny Hernandez completed the top ten.

Scott Redding again struggled on his Factory spec Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS Honda, fighting back to finish in eleventh after running wide on just the second lap and dropping down to 19th. Athina Forward Racing’s Loris Baz took his first Open class victory as he crossed the line in 12th ahead of Hector Barbera, Alvaro Bautista and Eugene Laverty, who claimed the last championship point on offer.

There were DNF’s for Stefan Bradl, Nicky Hayden, Aleix Espargaro, Jack Miller and Alex De Angelis, while Karel Abraham was guilty of a jump-start off the line and had to serve a ride through penalty before finishing in 17th.

Check out the full MotoGP™ race results, and the latest World Championship standings.

Monday, 01 June 2015 10:55 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Lorenzo wins, Yamaha goes 1-2 in France

The Monster Energy Grand Prix de France was host to another dominating Lorenzo victory while an intense battle for fourth burned.

Fortunately rain was nowhere to be seen in Le Mans, setting the stage for an exciting and eventful MotoGP™ race. The French GP comes after a post race test in Jerez and many riders arrived in France with new confidence, direction and parts. Bradley Smith was one such rider, running new front forks this weekend and leading FP2 on Friday. Marquez and Crutchlow both also had new swing arms.

Round five of the MotoGP™ World Championship also saw Repsol Honda’s Dani Pedrosa return to the grid, the Spaniard having missed three rounds after having surgery to cure arm pump issues. Returning for Jerez had been a possibility, but a test on a Supermoto bike had Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda crew air on the side of caution and wait till Le Mans.

Lorenzo had appeared strong again this weekend, as he had done in Jerez, despite feeling his third on the grid was one of the worst results of his career. A lightning start allowed the Spaniard to break away early, quickly able to pass Andrea Dovizioso on the Ducati and focus on riding his own race. One of Lorenzo’s strongest areas is his ability to run at the front and set incredibly consistent lap times when not having to battle with other riders. As in Jerez, Lorenzo demonstrated this incredible skill and was nearly untouchable. “I could overtake Dovizioso early and stay in the lead. I had to manage the one second gap and I had to push really hard even though the front feeling wasn’t great,” he said.

This makes it back-to-back wins for Lorenzo and reignites his championship hopes after many had begun to doubt the Spaniard. The MotoGP™ paddock heads next to Mugello, a favourite track of Lorenzo and one that has seen several outstanding rides from the Movistar Yamaha rider. On his current form he will be difficult to match.

While Lorenzo was surging ahead, Marc Marquez had a difficult start to the race, dropping as low as sixth before finding his form in the closing stages.

The Spaniard quickly caught Andrea Iannone and Bradley Smith ahead, leading to a fiery battle between Marquez and Iannone. The duo swapped positions at nearly every corner, giving spectators flashbacks of their Moto2™ days.  The performance of Iannone was particularly impressive as he dislocated his left shoulder less than a week ago at a private Ducati test at Mugello. Marquez eventually came out on top as Iannone’s lap times dropped off significantly in the final three laps, no doubt feeling the pain in his shoulder.

While the battle tore on behind, Andrea Dovizioso and Valentino Rossi had a brief battle, the Yamaha rider coming out on top. Issues in Jerez saw Dovizioso finish off the podium for the first time this year, this third at Le Mans is important for the Ducati rider’s championship as he sits in third with 83 points. “The grip after ten laps was not great, I struggled a bit. I couldn’t gain much in the braking. I didn’t have Lorenzo’s pace though. To return to the podium is important for the championship and us,” reflected Dovizioso after the race.

Charging through the field, Rossi seemed as though he may be able to catch his teammate but the gap never dropped below one and a half seconds. It had been a less than ideal start to the weekend for the Italian as he and his Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team struggled with finding a good setting. Big risks in changes to the set up of Rossi’s M1 paid off come the race as he once again extended his championship lead, now 15 points ahead of teammate Lorenzo. “We suffered a lot during practice because I couldn’t ride to the limit. We risked more with the set up for the race and I felt very good. It took a couple of laps to understand it fully,” said Rossi.

Le Mans was a difficult race for many of the British riders, both Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding fell from the race in what was an overall disappointing weekend for many of the Honda bikes. The higher track temperatures on race day having a negative impact for the Honda riders who struggled for front end feel. Bradley Smith did well to finish in sixth behind the dueling pair of Iannone and Marquez after a strong showing earlier in the week. There were also reasons to celebrate for rookie Eugene Laverty, the Irishman scoring his first MotoGP™ points as he finished in 14th and as the second Open Honda bike.

The Open category was led by Nicky Hayden, the American also qualifying as the highest Open rider. He and Jack Miller had battled during the early stages of the race, but the Australian fell as he exited Turn 4. Local rider Loris Baz also finished in the points in 12th, taking his best ever MotoGP™ finish in front of a cheering crowd.

Miller was not the only rider to fall as he exited Turn 4, returning Dani Pedrosa also took a tumble there. The Spaniard was unhurt and remounted to finish in 16th, some 15 seconds out of the points. Stefan Bradl was another early faller as he continues to adapt to the Yamaha Forward machine. Both Aleix Espargaro and Karel Abraham were forced into the pits with technical issues, ending their races early.

- From MotoGP.com

Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10:47 Published in Reports, Results & Points


Canadian Kruger to compete in renowned Macau GP

Montreal's Dan Kruger has been everywhere, riding everything, in 2014. From the Pan Delta Superbike Championship in China to the North West 200 and Isle of Man in the UK to races in Japan and Australia, and on Kawasaki, BMW and Yamaha machinery, Kruger's had a busy year. To add to this, the international traveller will enter the famous Macau Grand Prix when he partakes in the 2014 running of the dangerously entertaining road race, held November 13-16.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 16:16 Published in News


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