Saturday morning was very cool and the MHDRA staff did an admiral job with the surface considering track temperatures were a mere 15C / 60F. The opening pass showed promise with a solid 7.62 / 187. The goal of the team was to set a record during the upcoming three rounds of qualifying. Unfortunately that didn't work out and the tricky surface proved a bigger challenge than initially anticipated.
By the end of the day Barkley sat atop the qualifying ladder with a 7.51 / 191.49 but hadn't secured any records.
Sunday morning was equally as cold and the team looked forward to making two test passes in the hour long session prior to eliminations.
The opening pass was good but the team decided to make a slight change in gearing and in the clutch to calm the bike down and keep the traction the whole track. It was clearly the right call as the turbo GSX-R1000 "Eleanor" leapt of the line with a stout 1.22 second 60' time but under braking in the shutdown area the front tire took out the radiator!
With coolant leaking out and only 60 minutes to get the bike back in race condition the team had to work very fast. In lieu of a radiator a crossover line was quickly fashioned and the coolant system filled and purged. An entire new clutch was installed; the data downloaded from the Motec and Barkley was back up at the line in time for the opening run in eliminations.
Since he qualified first the day before, Barkley had the bye in the opening round of eliminations; it was now or never to put up a record. The bike left the line great but the tire spun just a bit around the 60' mark yet that didn't deter Barkley as he quickly blipped the throttle and kept his head down. The scoreboards flashed 7.45 / 192.81; a new speed record backed up with the 191.49 from Saturday.
The final matchup would be points leader Rob Aston vs. Barkley, one run to decide the entire championship! Barkley had Aston covered in E.T. and speed all weekend so it was important not to red light and or spin in the final. As the lights on the tree came down, Barkley let Aston leave first but quickly came around him and went on to take the win 7.65 / 187.
Barkley started off the season with a 30 point deficit but he and his team were able to rise to the occasion and come out on top for a record 14th time! This amazing comeback didn't go unnoticed by his peers within the CMDRA as Barkley was awarded three very distinguished awards:
The Dave White Memorial "Wrench of the Year" Award, The Dennis Mark Memorial "Outstanding Achievement" Award, The Trev Deeley Memorial Award for "Contribution and Dedication to Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing."
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From: EB Speed