LACOMBE GETTING ON TRACK WITH NEW TEAM TORONTO, Ont. (June 9) Motorcycle road racer Kevin Lacombe finds himself in a familiar situation early in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship season getting to know a new bunch of guys. The...
LACOMBE GETTING ON TRACK WITH NEW TEAM
TORONTO, Ont. (June 9) Motorcycle road racer Kevin Lacombe finds himself in a familiar situation early in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship season getting to know a new bunch of guys.
The 26-year-old from Granby, Que. is with his sixth different team in the past six years. Although he continues his relationship with Toyota Team Yamaha the factory team is now run by OTSFF (Ocean Transportation Services Freight Forward Inc.) with technical support coming from Texas-based Evan Steele Performance (ESP).
And as if that wasn't enough to keep him busy, Lacombe is also adapting to a radically different Superbike from Yamaha, the latest YZF-R1.
But despite all the changes Lacombe is quickly settling in, and he comes to the second round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Circuit ICAR in Mirabel, Que. June 12-14 third in the point standings behind Jordan Szoke and Brett McCormick.
"I was impressed with our first weekend," admitted Lacombe, who placed third in the season opener at Calabogie Motorsports Park last month. "We were still getting some parts for the bike on Friday night and Saturday night. We made a lot of improvements from Thursday to Sunday and if we can do that again we'll be right there in the race."
Lacombe is looking forward to racing in his home province for the first time since 2007. The Moto Journal-sponsored event will be run on a 3.45km (2.144-mile), 14-turn layout on the airport facility.
"It's pretty good to be back," he explained. "It's nice and close to Montreal and I think there will be a lot of people there. It should be a good show."
Lacombe will be one of the few riders not to have turned laps on the Mirabel track. Although the national series held a test day there last August, Lacombe was unable to take part because he had just broken his wrist in a racing accident. He then had to miss the warm-up regional event on May 30-31.
"I don't know anything about the track," he conceded. "Hopefully we can get some good track time on Thursday because we need to get better and win races quickly if we want to win the championship."
Despite the constant changes to his race team, Lacombe has grown into a consistent front-runner on the Parts Canada Superbike tour. His best season came in 2006, when he won the final two races and finished second to Szoke in the point standings.
Last year he was third in points riding for the Toyota Team Yamaha / Fast Company squad. He qualified on pole for two races and finished second in the season finale despite riding with his broken wrist.
This year Lacombe thinks he has a very potent weapon in the new R1, which has a unique engine design that provides smoother power delivery exiting corners.
"It's got a lot of potential," he explained. "We learned a lot at Calabogie and if we just get some more traction out of it we'll be in good shape."
And Lacombe has also quickly grown comfortable with the new team around him.
"I've got some really good mechanics," he said. "Evan is very good with people and even though I've only been working with the guys for two weeks it feels like three years."
The team around Lacombe may look different this year, but one thing stays the same he's right at the front and battling for the win. Some things never change.
The second round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship takes place June 12-14 at Circuit ICAR.