Pre-season news 2007-03-23

THUNDER STICKS WITH FORMULA TORONTO, ON -- When you find a winning formula you stick with it, and that is the philosophy of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship and its Thunder twins class for the 2007 racing year. Coming off an extremely...

THUNDER STICKS WITH FORMULA

TORONTO, ON -- When you find a winning formula you stick with it, and that is the philosophy of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship and its Thunder twins class for the 2007 racing year.

Coming off an extremely close and competitive 2006 season for the twin-cylinder national support class, series organizer Professional Motorsports Productions is sticking with the 3.8:1 weight to power ratio it introduced last year. According to this formula, a motorcycle is allowed one horsepower for every 3.8 pounds of weight, so for example a bike weighing 380 pounds is allowed a maximum of 100 horsepower.

Unlike revisions announced in other classes, bore and stroke is not restricted. As with the other Parts Canada Superbike classes, horsepower is measured after qualifying sessions and races on the series' official Dynojet Dyno.

"It's been a great experience for the racers and the fans. Competitive brands, dedicated racers and the right formula should make the Thunder series a lot of fun this year," said Ric Marrero, marketing and communications director for Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada.

BMW Motorrad Canada, Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, through its Buell brand, and Ducati Canada are the three main manufacturer participants in the Thunder series. Starting in 2007 Yamaha will join the series with its MT-01.

Although Buell rider Darren James claimed his second straight Thunder national title in 2006, the battle for the crown went down to the wire between James and BMW's Oliver Jervis.

Four different riders scored wins in the seven races, with Jervis claiming three of those victories aboard BMW's new R1200S. James took two wins on his Buell XB9R.

Ducati grabbed three podium finishes, and two of those came from the striking PS1000LE replica. The bike is inspired by the 1972 Imola 200 winner ridden by the legendary Paul Smart.

"I think we've got a magical formula for the series," said Kevin Davis, national sales and marketing manager for Ducati Canada. "The 3.8:1 rule is perfect. It's pretty amazing considering how different these motorcycles are."

The 2006 season also saw the successful introduction of spec Pirelli tires.

"The tires were fantastic, better than I'd anticipated," said Chris Duff, marketing manager at BMW Motorrad Canada, who in addition to managing BMW's race effort also rode an R1200S and finished third at Mosport. "I was pleasantly surprised."

One of the few rules changes for the 2007 season will be the addition of quick shifters, which should help reduce wear and tear on transmissions and engines.

North Vancouver's James is expected to try for a third straight series title with his Ruthless Racing Buell squad. Fellow B.C. rider Olivier Spilborghs will also be returning for another season with the Ruthless Racing team.

Two-time Canadian Superbike champion Michael Taylor of Toronto is lined up for a full season with BMW. He will be joined by series newcomer Michael Ferreira of Kitchener, Ont.

Ducati Canada is expected to finalize its riders before the end of March.

-credit: www.cdnsuperbike.com

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Series CSBK
Drivers Paul Smart , Darren James