BUELL JOINS SUPERBIKE RANKS TORONTO, Ont. -- Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada will step up to the feature class of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship in 2008 with a team running its new Buell 1125R. Six-time Canadian Superbike champion Steve...
BUELL JOINS SUPERBIKE RANKS
TORONTO, Ont. -- Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada will step up to the feature class of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship in 2008 with a team running its new Buell 1125R.
Six-time Canadian Superbike champion Steve Crevier of Maple Ridge, BC is expected to lead a two-rider squad, which will likely be run by the Picotte Performance team headed by Pascal Picotte.
The Buell Superbike program will be independent of its entry in the recently revamped Thunder class for twin-cylinder motorcycles.
"Adding the Buell and Harley-Davidson names to our headline class is obviously a huge step for the Parts Canada Superbike Championship," said Colin Fraser of Professional Motorsports Productions, which organizes the national series. "This should increase interest in the series significantly and with Steve Crevier aboard one of these bikes there is no telling how competitive the Buell could be."
This will be the only Superbike-class program for the Buell 1125R anywhere in the world. The bike, which was launched last summer, is powered by an 1125cc liquid-cooled engine built by the Austrian Rotax concern, a division of Bombardier Recreational Products.
Former road racer Erik Buell is celebrating his 25th anniversary as a motorcycle constructor, and has distinguished himself through the years with his innovative and sometimes off-beat designs. Harley-Davidson acquired a majority interest in his company in 1993.
"We've had ongoing discussions with Buell and they told us that they can develop the horsepower of this bike to be respectable in the Superbike class," said Ric Marrero, Marketing Programs and Events Director for Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada. "Another factor in our decision was the fact that there are several good riders available, one being Mr. Crevier, who we fully intend to put on this Superbike."
Crevier is the most successful racer in the history of the Canadian Superbike series. In addition to his record six titles he has won 26 races in the feature class, more than any other rider. Last season he finished second in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship behind Jordan Szoke, winning the final three races of the year on the Toyota Team Yamaha / Fast Company Yamaha YZF-R1.
A second rider for the program is expected to be confirmed in the next couple of weeks.
The twin-cylinder Buell will be at a horsepower disadvantage to the more potent four-cylinder motorcycles of Japanese rivals Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha. While that may handicap the bike at a high speed circuit like Bowmanville, Ont.'s Mosport International Raceway, it will prove less of a disadvantage at some of the tighter tracks on the Parts Canada Superbike tour, such as Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, N.S.
"Obviously, this bike has never been raced at this level so we have to be realistic in our expectations," Marrero said. "But we wouldn't be getting into this program if we didn't think the Buell could perform respectably."
As with all motorcycles in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship, the Buell 1125R will run on Pirelli spec tires. Pirelli is entering the third year of its deal to develop spec tires for the Canadian national series.