CREVIER LOOKS FOR MORE MAGIC CALABOGIE, Ont. (May 21) -- Steve Crevier has fond memories of his first visit to Calabogie Motorsports Park last May for the opening round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship. In the debut of the Buell...
CREVIER LOOKS FOR MORE MAGIC
CALABOGIE, Ont. (May 21) -- Steve Crevier has fond memories of his first visit to Calabogie Motorsports Park last May for the opening round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship.
In the debut of the Buell 1125R the Maple Ridge, B.C. racer scored an unexpected third place finish behind Jordan Szoke and Kevin Lacombe. It was the best result the twin was to achieve all year against its four- cylinder opposition and added to the 43-year-old Crevier's impressive motorcycle racing legacy.
"Last year we were a mile high," said the six-time Canadian Superbike champion as track action got underway for the opening round of the 2009 Parts Canada Superbike season. "That felt like a win for our team. That bike was very stock and to have the result we had was a real accomplishment."
That finish also remains the best finish for a Buell in Superbike competition anywhere in the world.
Crevier admitted it will be hard to duplicate that performance this weekend on the Deeley Racing Powered By Buell entry, despite a year's development on the bike. For one thing the Superbikes are using a different track layout than last year, the 5.05km (3.05-mile) Long Track instead of the 2.81km (1.74-mile) Stadium layout. According to Crevier the shorter track suited the Buell better.
"I feel like on this track you're laying the bike over a lot and it's hard to get on the gas with the bike laid over," he explained. "We have so much rear grip we're chasing the front end a lot, and that's a big, big problem. A point and shoot style track like last year is better for us. Tracks like this are a real handful; lots of work."
Crevier also had a rough start to his weekend when he was stuck out on the track with an apparent engine failure during Thursday's Superbike test session.
"It scared the hell out of me," Crevier admitted. "It locked up three times. The engine just died as I was going into turn one flat on the gas."
Crevier ended the session with the sixth fastest time of two minutes, 6.513 seconds.
Last year's Calabogie race winner and three-time defending Parts Canada Superbike champion Jordan Szoke of Brantford, Ont. led the way with a time of 2:02.236 on the Canadian Kawasaki Motors Kawasaki ZX-10R. He was just over two seconds quicker than the next best rider, Brett McCormick aboard the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000. The 17-year-old from Saskatoon turned a 2:04.265.
Local star Andrew Nelson of Kars, Ont. set the third fastest Superbike time of 2:04.606 on his Nelson Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.
Crevier was frustrated with his Thursday performance and has high expectations for the season.
"We can't wait for rainy days or to get a little lucky like we did last year," he said. "We've got to be more competitive. At the end of last year we were looking pretty strong and we've got to be able to carry that into this year.
"Jordan's on fire right now and it's going to be hard to touch that. He's got so much confidence. But I thought I was going faster and I'm not happy with where I am."
In addition to his Superbike commitments Crevier will be leading the Deeley Racing Powered By Buell charge in the Yoshimura Pro Sport Bike class this season. Crevier is a four-time champion in the division but admitted the competition will be fierce this year.
"There are a lot of good young riders in Sport Bike and I think we're going to have our hands full," he said.
Szoke was also fastest in Sport Bike testing on Thursday with a time of 2:04.357 on the Canadian Kawasaki Motors team's brand new Kawasaki ZX-6R. That was over three seconds better than Nelson aboard the Nelson Racing Yamaha YZF-R6, who turned a 2:07.585. McCormick was third riding the Team Suzuki / Blackfoot / Picotte Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R600 with a 2:07.701 and Crevier's Buell was ninth at 2:10.399.
Running two classes will be a lot of work for Crevier, who is still feeling the effects of a car accident he suffered in November, 2007.
"I still have some neck problems," he explained. "I have a pinched nerve and I'm not able to train off-road. It makes things kind of hard. I'm trying, but when you're prevented from riding bicycles and dirt bikes it's a big deal. My cardio's good, but it's hard work riding these things."
Crevier is joined on the Deeley Racing Powered By Buell team by Darren James of North Vancouver and New Smyrna Beach, Fla.'s Dave Estok. James and Estok are focused on the Pro Sport Bike class this weekend but expect to join Crevier in the Superbike division before the end of the season.
In other action at Calabogie Motorsports Park on Thursday, Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. was fastest in testing for the Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike class with a time of 2:10.281 on his Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Philippe Masse of St-Dominique, Que. led the way in Suzuki SV650 Cup with a time of 2:17.351 and Richmond, Ont.'s Vicki Schouten was fastest among the Pro Honda Oils Women's Cup Challenge field with a time of 2:15.156 on her Kawasaki ZX-6R.
The Honda CBR125R Challenge session was topped by Karl Robitaille of Ste-Julie, Que. at 2:54.054.
There will be a full day of practice at Calabogie Motorsports Park on Friday with qualifying in all classes set for Saturday. Racing goes Sunday afternoon.
The opening round of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship takes place May 22-24 at Calabogie Motorsports Park. For ticket information visit www.calabogiemotorsports.com.