Elation and Frustration for RMP Racing at Calabogie CALABOGIE, Ont. (CANADA) - May 26, 2009 -- RMP Racing's development rider Steven Nickerson (Hamilton Ont.) won a hard fought last lap shootout to take the Honda CBR125R Challenge win at this...
Elation and Frustration for RMP Racing at Calabogie
CALABOGIE, Ont. (CANADA) - May 26, 2009 -- RMP Racing's development rider Steven Nickerson (Hamilton Ont.) won a hard fought last lap shootout to take the Honda CBR125R Challenge win at this past weekend's season opener at Calabogie. Pro Superbike racer, Ross Millson (Hamilton Ont.) battled throughout the weekend to find the grip he needed with his day ending prematurely in the second half of Sunday's Superbike race.
The team arrived at Calabogie Motorsports Park for Thursday's practice excited to begin the 2009 season. Both Millson and Nickerson found the Calabogie long-track layout beautiful yet challenging.
The team worked hard to get Millson's new Suzuki GSX-R1000 set up for the new long track configuration however; having a wet Friday morning practice ate away at valuable track time to refine the dry setup.
On Saturday, Nickerson turned some impressive laps around Calabogie Motorsports Park's 5.05 KM long track during the morning Honda CBR125R Challenge practice session posting a 2:51.198. During Saturday afternoon's qualifying Nickerson was able to improve upon his time to secure pole position for Sunday's race with a 2:50.153.
Millson struggled to find the traction he needed to get the drive out of key corners of the track and managed to qualify 14th out of the 28 rider grid for Sundays feature race. Millson had hoped to be in a position to better his personal best of the sixth place finish he enjoyed in last year's season opener at Calabogie.
Following Saturday's qualifying session series announcer Frank Wood interviewed Nickerson along side fellow Honda CBR125R Challenge guest rider Greg White and was later joined by Millson. SPEED TV's motorcycle analyst and AMA pit reporter Greg White dropped by the RMP Racing paddock to tape a segment with Nickerson to air at a later date on SPEED.
After his qualifying session Nickerson and his father took a tour of the Turn 2 Sportbike School's new home at Calabogie Motorsports Park. At the end of the day Turn 2's owner George Budacki dropped by the paddock to spend some time with the entire team. Budacki has been a supporter of Millson since 2006 and continues the tradition of assisting with the development of up-and-coming riders through his support of Nickerson.
Sunday morning at Calabogie was picture perfect. Clear blue skies, sunshine and a light breeze greeted spectators as they began to file in for a great day of racing.
The Honda CBR125R Challenge race was first up on the schedule for the RMP Racing team. Nickerson on the number 661 Inside Motorcycles supported machine started from the pole.
After a great start Nickerson, Bodhi Edie and Karl Robitaille began to break away from the rest of the pack. Maximizing the draft, Nickerson, Edie and Robitaille traded positions numerous times throughout each lap. The battle for the win went all the way to the finish line where it briefly appeared that it was too close to call. Upon review of the timing and scoring system the series officials confirmed that Nickerson had his first win of the season.
Rolling out on to the grid for Sunday's Superbike feature race, Millson was relaxed and eager for the first race of the season.
Millson fell back slightly on the start but worked past several riders in the opening laps. Just prior to the half way point of the race Millson began to battle with a group of riders for eleventh.
Millson entered the carousel pushing hard to close the gap when he lost traction and started to slide. The front end eventually broke lose sending Millson to the ground and he slid off the track.
"We were having a good race just outside of the top ten and I guess I just got a little eager and ran in a little too deep," said Millson "The rear started to come around, I thought I could save it but as I got things back in line I lost the front and that was it --our race was over."
Millson was uninjured and there was minor damage to the bike. The right side handle bar was broken, preventing him from rejoining the race.
"It's not the way we wanted to start the season," said Millson. "Mark, Blaine and Accelerated Technologies John Sharrard worked so hard to get the bike race ready. Race Tech's Lenny Albin also flew in from Infineon Raceway to help set up the new Race Tech forks".
"Overall it was a great weekend for the team" said Millson. "Steven was very impressive and we all had a great time at the track. It was nice to reconnect with some of our fellow racers, sponsors, and meet a lot of new people"
RMP Racing is grateful for the support from team sponsors; Inside Motorcycles, Infinet Designs, Turn 2 Sportbike School, Essential Image, MotoConcepts and CRC Racewear. Additionally Ross Millson would like to thank; Tri-City Cycle and Sport (Suzuki), Zox Helmets, Motovan, Race Tech, Vortex, Hindle and Niagara Powersports.
Up next for RMP Racing is Round 2 of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Circuit ICAR near Montreal June 12-14.