2011 Mopar CSBK Canadian National Superbike Champion Brett McCormick of Saskatoon, SK, rode on a road race track for the first time in almost four years at Le Circuit Mount Tremblant in Quebec this week. A guest of Marc-Olivier Labelle’s Tremblant Superbike Track Day group, McCormick took part in three days of on-track activity at the famed and fast 4.26 km, 15 turn facility.
25-year-old McCormick used a Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja supplied by Ross Millson Racing, and tuned at Tremblant by Scott Cameron. The BMW Motorrad Canada squad that took McCormick to the National title five years ago included Cameron among the crew. The following year, McCormick went to Europe to ride World Superbike in 2012 for the Czech-based Effenbert Liberty Ducati team.
McCormick’s final race in 2012 was at the penultimate World Round at Portimao, Portugal, where he earned a close fifth in the wet opener and ninth in dry race two. After that, the squad folded, and McCormick opted to head home to study Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan.
Now entering his fourth year of post-secondary education, closing in on his degree, McCormick attended the most recent Mopar CSBK National event August 21 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Ontario, and wanted to get back on a Superbike.
Support for the Tremblant trip came from Tremblant SBK, Ross Millson Racing, SC Motosport, Pro 6 and Shoei.
“There were two main goals with the trip,” explained McCormick following his last afternoon session on Wednesday, September 7. “One was to see if riding a fast bike on a fast track would still put a smile on my face, and two, to see if I still had a feel for the riding and tuning of a modern superbike.
“When I left the pit lane for the first time, I really felt like an alien, it took me a few laps to cruise around and get comfortable, finally get my knee on the ground after about three laps,” admitted McCormick. “But it was cool how quick it all came back.
“I have never had any trouble going from bike to bike, getting use to the handling and power delivery, then working to get the most from it,” continued McCormick. “I was impressed with the Kawasaki, sure it wasn’t a World Superbike, but it was fast and worked really well without much adjustment. Day one we were on a used front Dunlop slick and a new rear we put 40 laps on, and just trying to get comfortable. After that, we started to work through things, and it didn’t take much to get the chassis feel I prefer. Scott has worked with me before and we can get a lot done together.
“It was nice to remember the direction to go to get things working, and get the process going to make changes and evaluate them quickly. I was really happy with how much my feel came back, starting with the front end and then we got the rear working and could try some new tires and really have some fun.”
No official lap times were recorded, but observers say that McCormick was on the national Pro pace by mid-afternoon of his third day, when the pair opted to stop early and pack up.
McCormick now heads home for university, and is considering a return to Pro national-level road racing activity for the 2017 season.
Thursday, 08 September 2016 08:49 Published in News
Inside Motorcycles vintage race contributor Dave Minnett (Rockwood, ON), a regular competitor with the Vintage Road Racing Association (VRRA), stepped into the world of modern machinery when he competed as a guest media rider in the Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series doubleheader during the season-ending Canadian Superbike Championship double round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on the weekend of August 19-21.
After missing the Friday morning practice session, Minnett stepped in for the second session and slowly improved his lap times down to a best 1:47.07, sixth-best in the session. The other media reps in attendance were JP Schroeder, riding for CMG Online, and Jacob Black of Autotrader.ca. These two outlets had quite a good-natured online spitting match building up to the race weekend (thanks to CMG editor Mark Richardson), but after day one, Schroeder was the fastest of the journalists at 1:45.74, almost a second and a half ahead of Minnett. Black, whose pride far outmatches his motorcycle race experience, qualified 11th.
While the guest riders were on track to spread the word about the affordable Ninja 300 spec class to the public, there was a class full of real racers taking priority at the legendary track formerly known as Mosport. On that note, Windsor, NS teenager Brandon Pemberton was the fastest in practice with a 1:43.31.
Green machines head off after the lights drop in Saturday's race. IM rider Minnett qualified fifth.
Minnett improved to a 1:46.4 in Saturday morning's lone qualifying session, quickest of the journalists and good enough for fifth overall on the grid. Pemberton improved his time to a 1:43.04 but was outpaced by fellow teen Jared Walker (Oakville, ON), who set a new track record at 1:42.30. Eric Quintin (Ile Perot, QC) took third at 1:44.01.
During Saturday's official race (the first of two scheduled for the weekend), Minnett got a mediocre start but managed to remain in the top five for the majority of the race. He and Dartmouth, NS rider Patrick Pelletier lost ground to the top three of Walker, Pemberton and Quintin early on, but used the draft to make time back up on Quintin, and by the closing laps had caught up to the Quebec rider. After a smart pass in turn 8, Minnett held Quintin off by 0.090 seconds to earn third place, having run a best lap of 1:43.92, his best lap of the weekend. Walker reset his own track record to 1:42.16 and took the win four seconds ahead of Pemberton.
He may have crossed the line more than 20 seconds after winner Walker, but third place was as good as a victory for the humble but focused Minnett.
"Coming in, I said I would be happy with a top ten," said Minnett after the race. "Of course that was an outright lie, because even second place is only first loser, and we all want the top spot. The reality is that I had no idea what the competition was and whether or not I could make it to the top 5. Let's just say it was a very nice surprise to get there."
CMG Online's JP Schroeder finished in sixth, while Black finished tenth. Due to his "guest" status Minnett wasn't given the third place trophy, which went to Quintin.
Minnett stalks Eric Quintin and Patrick Pelletier exiting turn 3. He would eventually surpass both riders to take third place on Saturday.
On Sunday Minnett backed up his third-place finish the day before with a solid fifth while Walker, Pemberton and Quintin took the three podium spots, respectively. The race was red-flagged on lap seven when Autotrader.ca's Black lost control coming out of turn 10 and blasted into some hay bales at a high rate of speed. Black received a few bruises and cuts from the crash but was seen walking around trackside shortly after. CMG's Schroeder wound up sixth, giving Minnett a sweep of the media portion of the Ninja 300 Race Series doubleheader.
Minnett, a veteran of the track but mostly on vintage machinery, was impressed by the track capabilities of the Kawasaki Ninja 300. "It's quite impressive, really. Once the suspension was set for my weight (thanks John Sharrard), it handled quite well. There was still room for further development though, as I felt it wouldn't turn in as quick as I liked. But the Dunlop tires are surprisingly good and I never felt I was outriding them. After a couple of brisk warm-up laps to get some heat into them, they were always confidence-inspiring. The engine is surprisingly good for it's size and pulls very smoothly all the way to redline. The power shift feature is so convenient, especially when you want to maintain streamlining in the tucked position - no gear shift wrangling required!"
As far as commenting on the series itself, Minnett was even more impressed than he expected at the fun and competitiveness of the Kawasaki-only spec class. "Wow, what an awesome little machine and series to go with it!" said a smiling Minnett post-race. "This is a relatively low cost way to go racing. A set of tires will last two weekends, maybe more... the fuel is cheap, and because it's a spec class, the fun factor is just as high as on something far more expensive to maintain. Because it has modest power, the only way to decrease lap times is to stay off the brakes and stay on the throttle. I'm sure that a weekend on the baby Ninja has improved my cornering skills - just because there is no other way to make it go faster.
"Who knew 38 hp could be this much fun!"
Minnett was impressed by the track capabilities of the Ninja 300 and the fun competition the spec class offers.
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 Race Series continues in 2017 in conjunction with the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship national tour. For full results and final points standings, visit www.csbk.ca. For more on the Ninja 300 Race Series, visit www.kawasakiracing.ca
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 17:20 Published in Reports, Results & Points
SPRINGFIELD, IL. (May 29, 2016) - Bryan Smith proved his dominance at the Springfield Mile I on Sunday, taking home his third consecutive Mile victory of the 2016 AMA Pro Flat Track season. This Mile win didn't come as easily, as the Michigan native had to fight to the finish with a pack of riders every lap, topping second place finisher No. 1 Jared Mees by a margin of 0.119 of a second at the conclusion of the race.
Smith, who pilots the third-generation No. 42 Crosley/Howerton Kawasaki Ninja 650, wrestled tirelessly with Harley-Davidson-mounted riders, Mees, eventual third place finisher No. 6 Brad Baker and No. 2 Kenny Coolbeth, Jr. and was officially scored with leading 16 of the 25-lap Main Event. The win was also Smith's third consecutive Springfield Mile victory, having won both of last year's contests at the historic venue.
"It feels pretty awesome," Smith said. "To have three Miles back-to-back and win them all. I don't care what kind of track it is, it's awesome. But to win the Miles that I love, obviously to have three in a row at a historic venue like Springfield, is great. There's not just one thing that was going through my mind through the last lap. There was a million thoughts of what to do, what not to do, go fast, not too fast, spin the tires, just a million thoughts. I was able to get just enough of a draft off of turn four in that last lap and just barely squeak by Jared."
Three-time and reigning Grand National Champion Mees expressed his desire to win the coming races over the "Mile Specialist" but shared his appreciation for the bar-to-bar racing that went down during Sunday's race.
"It's definitely getting old finishing second on the Miles to the same guy," Mees said. "But hats off to those guys. They're working hard and that thing is fast. It's hard to get it before the finish line but the team is working really hard and we're trying to find more and more power and reliability. I felt like we had a little bit more than last year but you know, it is Mile racing at its best and a close finish is normal at the Springfield Mile."
Baker officially led three laps during the Main by using the all-important draft to push past his competitors. The Washington native took home the final spot on the podium.
"It feels really good," Baker said. "I've had the speed the last three races or so but it feels good to be here on the podium. It was a really fun race and the end of the race was an all-out battle."
Baker's Factory Harley-Davidson teammate No. 67 Davis Fisher had a lot to prove with the competition debut of the next generation Harley-Davidson XG750R, and the rising star did not disappoint. Fisher experienced a mechanical issue in his Heat race but earned his Main Event starting spot thanks to a photo finish in his Semi race for the final transfer position. After picking off riders throughout the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines Main Event, Fisher earned the new machine its first Top 10 result with his eighth place finish.
"Davis is doing a great job of developing the new bike and moving forward with it but we know the XR is proven and capable of winning," Baker continued. "Now we know the XG is capable of getting into the top 10 and now we have to see if it is capable of getting on the podium and winning. Until it gets to that point, I'm going to keep on the old, faithful XR750 that's been around for 44 years and then eventually going to be jumping onto that thing when it's ready. I want that bike to get better because if it gets better than the XR that means I'll have a weapon to try to get on the top spot or the box on these Miles instead of always nipping at the heels of the Kawasaki."
Smith now leads the Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines point standings by 16 points over No. 69 Sammy Halbert, 110-94.
In the GNC2 class, No. 94B Ryan Wells was unrelenting as he duked it out for his first Mile win of the 2016 season with second place finisher No. 99J Kevin Stollings and third place No. 23F Jeffery Lowery.
"It's my first Mile (win) and it's awesome," Wells said. "Especially at the Springfield Mile, the biggest Mile you could win, and for it to be a typical Springfield Mile ending, winning by half of a tire, it's cool. I would have liked to win by more but it's awesome. I wish I wouldn't have seen a red flag with two laps to go but it all worked out and I'm happy. I knew I had a fast bike but I was drafting Stollings earlier in the race, and the kid's real small and lightweight, so I knew if anybody could get by me before the line it would be him. I came out of turn four and I heard somebody; I peeked down underneath my handlebars and I saw the red bike and I knew it was him. I got as small as I could and was watching our front wheels go across the line and I was pretty pumped about it."
Wells now leads the GNC2 point standings by 18 points over No. 14A Dalton Gauthier, 103-85.
Up next, 20 of the top AMA Pro Flat Track riders head to ESPN's Summer X Games in Austin, Texas for the Harley-Davidson Flat-Track race on Thursday, June 2 at Circuit of The Americas. Be sure to purchase your tickets in advance at http://www.xgames.espn.go.com/xgames or tune in to ESPN on Thursday at 10:00 p.m. ET (7:00 p.m. PT).
Harley-Davidson GNC1 presented by Vance & Hines:
• Harley-Davidson Pole Award: No. 42 Bryan Smith
• McElroy Packaging Lucky 13 Award Winner: No. 1 Jared Mees
• MotoBatt Hard Charger Award Winner: No. 67 Davis Fisher
• Öhlins Fastest Lap Award Winner: No. 73 Doug Lawrence
• Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award Leader: No. 65 Cory Texter (197.5 miles completed)
• Larry and Judy McElroy Rookie of the Race Award Winner: No. 99J Kevin Stollings
• Westside Truck Parts "Just off the Box" Award Winners: No. 27U Jamison Minor (4th), No. 16S Tristan Avery (5th)
• Sunoco "Go The Distance" Award Leader: No. Dylan Morin (136.75 miles completed)
How to Watch:
FansChoice.tv is the official home for live streaming coverage of AMA Pro Flat Track events. The site also provides coverage of IMSA's development and single-make series, and NASCAR's touring and weekly series. Catch all the action at http://www.FansChoice.tv.
About AMA Pro Flat Track:
AMA Pro Flat Track is the world's premier dirt track motorcycle racing series and one of the longest-running championships in the history of motorsports. Sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing in Daytona Beach, Fla., the series is highly regarded as the most competitive form of dirt track motorcycle racing on the globe. For more information on AMA Pro Flat Track, please visit www.amaproracing.com/ft/, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook or live stream the on-track action on FansChoice.tv.
About AMA Pro Racing:
AMA Pro Racing is the premier professional motorcycle racing organization in North America, operating a full schedule of events and championships for a variety of motorcycle disciplines. Learn more about AMA Pro Racing at www.amaproracing.com.
Monday, 30 May 2016 09:53 Published in Reports, Results & Points
To celebrate the start of the 2016 CSBK season, enjoy this onboard video of the full Ninja 300 exhibition race #1 from Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, August 2015!
Friday, 27 May 2016 10:43 Published in Multimedia
2015 Flat Track Canada reigning overall National Champion Doug Lawrence doesn’t mind the interruption on a Saturday night – the first period was not kind to the Leafs on “Hockey Night in Canada.” Lawrence took a break from pre-season preparations, and Pro team sport frustration, to discuss his plans for the upcoming season.
“I’ve been busy, lots of logistics, getting ready for the season opening in Daytona for the Grand Nationals in March,” started the 30 year old Mississauga, ON-based racer.
“Before that, I’m heading to California to ride for a few days. I’m going to Paris Speedway, nothing is really like the Daytona Short Track but Paris is something like that, and of course it is just important to ride. One of my main sponsors, John Briggs out of Santa Barbara got a bike for me to ride, it’s like my current Honda, and I’m flying out with Bryan Smith to get some work in the sun.”
“Then I will ride two test days before Daytona, in South Carolina and near Tampa, I’ll use my regular CRF450 bike in the Nationals and take my older Honda to thrash in practice,” continued Lawrence. “The older bikes doesn’t’ have all the nice little trick bits, but it works just fine. We’re also aiming to do some Dynojet Dyno work at Brooklin Cycle Racing with Rob Egan before we head south.”
“After that, well I have six bikes to get ready for the season, Canada and the U.S., and I don’t want to rush – it’s a lot of work, lots of details. It’s stupid really!
“Regaining the Canadian title is our first priority, then the X Games, then the AMA rounds. I don’t know anything yet about the American Superprestigo (slated for the fall), and the rumor has it we are going to start something similar in Canada – that sounds like a good start.”
When the AMA Pro tour gets to the bigger tracks, especially the Springfield Mile events, Lawrence will revert to his Harley-Davidson XR750 twins, provided by an existing sponsor in Indianapolis.
However, prior to the April AMA National rounds at the Circuit of the Americas, Lawrence aims to start testing a brand new bike – a Kawasaki 650 twin, currently coming together under his father’s care.
“We’ll have the Harleys for CotA, but we should have everything we need to run the new Kawasaki,” confirmed Lawrence. “There are so many little things to work on, sometimes I really would prefer I didn’t know the things I know!”
“The Kawasaki is actually pretty easy to build, even though we haven’t had any help from Kawasaki. Briggs got us the engine, we had the wheels and forks, and we bought the frame and triple clamps. Aaron Humphrey in Pennsylvania built the frame, he was recommended by Joe Kopp and Mike Hacker.
“The frame has the same kind of linkage set-up as the old Honda 750s,” explains Lawrence of his new chassis. “Steve Beattie will do the forks and the shock, and then we’ll start testing. Once we have some feedback, our aim is to get to the point where the Kawasaki as good, or better than our Harleys.
Lawrence hasn’t done any riding on the ice this winter, explaining that “the ice isn’t always such a good idea, it can teach you some bad habits – there is really too much traction, so it isn’t that helpful for flat track.” Meanwhile Lawrence might make one ice appearance in Canada this winter, indoors in Kitchener next weekend, if time permits.
Another activity that is on Lawrence’s mind is roadracing, following his brilliant debut at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park last summer, winning the inaugural Kawasaki Ninja 300 Cup series.
“I want to put something together, maybe ride a Mopar CSBK round or two, probably on a 600,” explains Lawrence. “It depends on a few things, but that is for sure another goal. I want to be in good shape if I do that, do some pavement practice, and I might try to get some riding in when I am down in Texas at CotA. I talked to Jason DiSalvo about his School, so that is certainly an option.”
Sponsors for the 2016 Lawrence Racing campaign include Town Moto, Parts Canada, American Harley-Davidson, OneSpeed, Klotz Canada, Alpinestars, HJC, Thor, Saddlemen, Motion Pro, K&N and Brooklin Cycle Racing.
Saturday, 06 February 2016 21:57 Published in News
The long road to recovery: endless doctor appointments, scans, tests, and readjusting life to allow for as much recovery as quickly as possible. With a head injury, the recovery time varies and it is near impossible to predict how long you will be unfit to ride. I spent days and days inside a hyperbaric chamber to increase the oxygen flow in my body and speed up recovery.
Wednesday, 28 October 2015 12:27 Published in Dan Kruger
By now, most people know I had a serious accident at the Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance Event in Japan back in July. I high-sided my Superbike coming onto the front straightaway, which was targeted to be my fastest lap ever around the Suzuka Circuit. I was pushing hard and still had a heavy fuel load, with tires that were still not fully up to temp. Although I don’t remember any part of the accident, a photo sequence (see later in the story) along with onboard data allowed my team to piece it all together.
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 10:38 Published in Dan Kruger
@KawasakiUSA • Kawasaki hosted the North American debut of the 2016 Ninja ZX-10R on Thursday, October 15 inside their newly redesigned display area at AIMExpo.
Monday, 19 October 2015 16:00 Published in Products