The trip started with a late night Tuesday departure from 613 Motorsports with the plan to drive straight on through. The trip went smoothly with an arrival of 12:45pm at the track. We began to set up for Canadian Superbike Championship and get ready for the weekend as the rest of our track family arrived to do the same. We snuck in a track walk with our tag along Vivian to get a feel for the track and get back into the east coast swing of things. The track was just as I remembered: tight, technical and intimidating.
Thursday was an optional track day that majority of racers opted to register for to learn the track and find the pace. I rode in the morning to shake off the cobwebs of having a year away from the track and to get comfortable, the new bike was a handful to guide around the hills and crests but it felt like it was coming together. The afternoon was wet and miserable so I opted to stay dry and focused.
Friday brought some fog and warm weather and I continued to turn laps and get familiar with the track, but was still struggling with making the bike operate smoothly around the track. I was also learning that an injury from St. Eustache was proving to be a factor with my right elbow swelling up and causing my hand to lose feeling as I put together laps.
I was still three seconds off the pace of what I had been running at that track last year.
Qualifying on Saturday for the Shoei Helmets Amateur Sportbike Class was the only time I got into the 1:14s, which was what I was running at this track last year, but after four laps my hand went entirely numb and I was struggling to hang on to the bike and figured the safest bet was to pull off in case something bad happened.
I was starting the Sport Bike race from eighth place, on the third row. Magnetti Marelli Superbike qualifying was pushed back until Sunday after delays and crashes bringing out red flags. We adjusted suspension and installed Forsaken Motorsports Clip-ons trying everything to improve the set-up on the bike in hopes for better results Sunday.
Sunday morning qualifying in Superbike I managed to net myself a tenth place start in that race on the fourth row.
The bike felt better but the confidence and pace just wasn't there and it showed in the races as I just went backwards. I came out with a pair of 11th place finishes on the weekend and it definitely made the long drive home a bitter one. I had much higher expectations in myself heading to Nova Scotia so it was a tough pill to swallow with how my races went.
Reflecting back on the trip, it was still a fun time as I can say I got to take a nice vacation with my two biggest supporters by my side, with my father and girlfriend taking the time to allow me to do what I love and go racing. Getting to visit Halifax and surrounding areas while there is always fun and having a nice Lobster dinner at the track graciously organized by the Nesbitts and Walkers.
The next and final round at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park is sure to be a good show for racers and spectators alike as it's one of the best tracks in North America. Lots of Championships are on the line and I'm more than excited to get to be a part of the racing that takes place. Hope to see you there!