Nickerson Retakes Points Lead, Millson Rebounds after Engine Failure HAMILTON, ON. CANADA -- July 22, 2009 - Hamilton, ON's Steven Nickerson regained the points lead of the Honda CBR125R Challenge with a win on Sunday and a second place...
Nickerson Retakes Points Lead, Millson Rebounds after Engine Failure
HAMILTON, ON. CANADA -- July 22, 2009 - Hamilton, ON's Steven Nickerson regained the points lead of the Honda CBR125R Challenge with a win on Sunday and a second place finish on Saturday at this past weekend's Parts Canada Superbike doubleheader round at Mosport International Raceway. Pro Superbike racer Ross Millson rebounded after a blown engine during qualifying with a solid effort in both feature races.
RMP Racing's Nickerson got his first taste of Mosport's high-speed 3.9km road course during a mid-week trackday. In addition to getting up to speed at Mosport, Nickerson was also on hand for Wednesday's Parts Canada Superbike Doubleheader Weekend media conference at the Hard Rock Cafe in Toronto.
Nickerson's ability to adapt to unfamiliar tracks was once again evident during Thursday afternoon's practice session where he posted the fastest lap time of the day with a 2:03.796. He would better this time with a 2:03.047 in Friday morning's prequalifying practice session and would eventually earn pole position during Friday afternoon's qualifier.
Round 6 of the Honda CBR125R Challenge was an entertaining battle from start to finish. Bodhi Edie of Warman, SK got an excellent start off the line. By the first corner Nickerson was in hot pursuit and challenged Edie for the lead.
The top two riders in the class would take turns passing each other for the lead for the remainder of the race and would eventually come down to a thrilling photo finish at the line. Edie would take the win by 0.020 seconds over Nickerson. Ryan Appenrodt of Quesnel, BC came out on top of a battle for third.
"Bodhi and I had no idea who won," said Nickerson. "We found out that Bodhi had won once we got back on the front straight."
Edie would now lead Nickerson by 11 points going into Sunday's second half of the doubleheader weekend.
Sunday was originally forecasted to be sunny however rain would present an additional challenge for the 7th Round of the Honda CBR125R Challenge series.
Sunday's start and opening laps were almost a carbon copy of Edie's and Nickerson's spectacular duel on Saturday. The top two riders in the title chase once again battled at the front in Sunday's race however just past the half way point Edie went down when he lost the front end in turn 9 in the partially wet conditions.
"I had passed Bodhi in corner eight" Nickerson commented. "I couldn't hear him anymore and when I looked back he wasn't there. I was really glad to see that he was okay."
Aboard his #661 Canadian Motorsports Expo / Inside Motorcycles / Motovan supported Honda CBR 125 R Nickerson crossed the finish line 5.854 seconds ahead of Quesnel, BC's Ryan Appenrodt while Karl Robitaille of Ste-Julie, QC placed third. With the win on Sunday Nickerson now leads Edie by 39 points.
Weather and variable track conditions were not the only challenge the RMP Racing team faced this weekend.
RMP Racing's Millson put in some outstanding lap times during Friday's Pro Superbike qualifying session when the engine in his #39 Canadian Motorsports Expo / Inside Motorcycles / Tri-City Cycle Suzuki GSX-R1000 decided to let go.
Before the engine went south Millson was charging hard to secure a top ten spot for the Pirelli SuperPole.
"I just can't seem to catch a break this season" said Millson. "One of the series officials put it best saying '...some years you're the windshield and other years you are the bug.' "
Millson and his crew immediately began calling around for an engine and was able to secure a last minute replacement. Hours on the road and a late night were ahead of the dedicated RMP Racing crew to be ready for the Saturday morning prerace practice session.
Exhausted, yet relieved that he could still race, Millson ventured out onto the legendary Mosport road course for Saturday's morning practice session. Millson opted to bring the bike back in after only a few laps to address a minor issue with the clutch.
As race time approached for the 4th Round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship so did the clouds. From 12th on the grid, Millson launched off the line and immediately jumped into the eleventh spot.
Millson made the most of the power available from his replacement engine. However the lack of time to test and tune became apparent as he began to fall back. The skies opened up just after halfway through the race triggering a red flag. Due to concerns over the safety of the competitors the race was called complete with Millson having to settle for a hard fought 15th place finish.
On Sunday, the second half of Mosport's Doubleheader weekend, Millson once again launched his red, white and black #39 Suzuki GSX-R1000 off the line from the twelfth spot on the grid. Millson challenged Jodi Christie and Royce McLean for 15th spot for a number of laps and would eventually cross the finish line in 17th.
"We were able to compete in both rounds this weekend and I put in the fastest lap time I have ever run on this track" said Millson. "I have to congratulate Steven on his two podiums and I can't thank Mark, Blaine, Sabrina and Evan enough for going way above and beyond the call of duty this weekend!"
The RMP Racing paddock was very busy throughout the weekend. Many sponsors dropped by to wish the team well including; Jesse Lauder from Motovan, Derek Rockel from Inside Motorcycles, Adrian Baird from GMD Computrack plus representatives from Infinet Designs and the Turn 2 Sportbike School.
Team posters and temporary Inside Motorcycles tattoos were a big hit with spectators who also picked up the Parts Canada Superbike Championship Official Series Program and the latest issue of Inside Motorcycles magazine.
Up next for the RMP Racing team is Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, NS Aug. 7-9.