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Mount Tremblant 2003

Mount Tremblant 2003

The trip to Mount Tremblant was a quick flight to Montreal, where the motorhome and trailer were waiting for us at the airport..... It was still there, I was very nervous about leaving the motorhome, after all this is Montreal. Things go missing in Montreal.

The ride to Mount Tremblant was beautiful, the scenery was some of the best you could imagine, lakes mountains and good roads. It doesn't get any prettier.

We found a pit area right in front of a lake, we could go swimming whenever we wanted.
Ari and Jim and I set up the pit area while Chris socialized.

We were on track on Thursday and unfortunately Chris was not feeling well, so thursday was a very slow day, but Chris did get an opportunity to get familiar with the track. He was running in the top ten despite feeling sick.

Friday morning Chris was feeling much better and had a better day, till someone went into the air fence and canceled the rest of the sessions. They couldn't get the fence back to normal in corner one. Corner one was where Trombino was injured and the air fence was hit quite a few times and finally gave in.

On Saturday we were still having trouble with the bike steering, it wouldn't hold the line through the fast corners and we had to get it fixed before qualifying that afternoon. We worked on what we felt was the problem and through group discussions, Ari, Jim and Chris and myself finally, raised the rear to help it steer. We would have done this earlier except, we felt the bike was already to raked and we felt it would be at the point, where the front could start to fade under braking.
Anyway, as a last attempt it worked out just great. Suspension is still the most critical part of racing and although were getting much better, we still have a lot to learn.
Every track is a little different and adjustments are always difficult. Chris was about 2 seconds behind the top 5 and he had to find those 2 seconds before qualifying.
Chris didn't let us down, he qualified 5th with a time of 1:43.4, in 4 laps, his best time all weekend. We also changed his gearing from 43 to 44 in the rear.
Before we went down to the pit lane we hadn't filled the tank up with gas and during qualifying we decided to add a bit more gas to the bike. Chris had only done 4 laps and had given us our 5th place qualifying, when I started to add gas we were disqualified. We didn't realize you can't add gas during qualifying.
It makes sense once they explained why you can't. The class is a horsepower class and as result you could cheat by putting in a super gas of some sort and then top it off with low grade gas and not blow over, on the dyno.
It makes sense it just never entered our minds to cheat. As a matter of fact, I did the re-fueling in front of the official. The unfortunate thing was I never did re-fuel, but it was obvious that was my intention. There's only about five rules for qualifying and we never read any of them. We appealed the decision on religious grounds.
We noted a passage that clearing should have exempted us, " The sins of the father can not be blamed on the son" Unfortunately, they pointed out, they did not believe God was referring to motorcycle racing when he said this. I think he was. That sucks.

Chris didn't get upset but if you look at the photo gallery there's a picture of Chris on the wall just after they told us and he's not happy. To add insult to injury , Baird and Kipp blew over on the Dyno and that would have put Chris 3rd in qualifying. When you blow over on the Dyno you get pushed back 5 spots, but if you get disqualified you have to start on the last spot on the grid.
In our own defense, in The AMA you can re-fuel because it's not a horsepower class, that's not an excuse, well I guess it is, but we got used to doing it that way.

In the 125 qualifier Chris was stunning, he got on pole by over a second 1:49's and it appeared as though this was his race.
The next qualifier was the superbike and this time we had enough gas, to last the whole time.
Chris rode well but was probably still a little upset with the 600 qualifier.
He qualified in 11th spot, considering the other riders were on 1000's and Chris was on a 600 that was great.

We went out for a nice supper and forgot about the 600 qualifier.

Sunday morning, Chris cousins and sisters came out to the track and helped cheer Chris along, by sunday everything looked great, the bikes were running and handling well and Chris seemed in good spirits. The weather was great and no chance of rain.

The first race was the 600 and Chris grided up to the last spot 23rd instead of 3rd.
OK, I still haven't forgot.

The green light came on and Chris had a great start from 23rd to 12th in the first lap, the next few laps he had to try and get his way up to 10th. He was able to get to 9th by about the 8th lap and by then the other riders were already to far away to catch. He was in 8th and 9th place for the balance of the race and was not able to hang on to 9th on the last lap, as he was passed by a very fast Yamaha. Well, from 23rd to 9th is not a bad race. Chris unfortunately wasn't as happy as I was.

The 125 race was a shocker, Chris launched well and was running in the top three, his strategy was to just hang with the group till the 9th lap and get to the line first. Chris felt that he could pass at will and why get the race pace faster than was necessary. Bad idea, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
As the 6th lap came around, the pace picked up 1:50's to 1"51's still under Chris's qualifying times but faster than he thought. Chris now decided it was time to try and leave the group. Unfortunately, when he decided to leave, he had a mid corner collision with another rider and they both went down. Chris was unhurt except for his ego. One lap after, a rider highsides and cause a red flag.
If we had another 10 minutes we could of repaired his bike but we didn't. Chris missed the restart.

Superbike, the last race of the day.
Chris is still on his Honda 600rr. Most riders are on 1000's.
The riders went out for there sighting and parade lap and everything looked good.
On the grid just seconds before the race, it starts to rain. There was no chance of rain.
I think God was telling us, he didn't like the disqualification in the 600 race. I told them. (the officials)

Anyway, now we have to mount rain tires. Thanks Diablo. Shows you what a great group of people at these races, Diablo is a competitor and not a Honda team and they still changed tires for us.
It was a panic because no-one thought it was going to rain. We did it on time, with 30 seconds to spare.
Once again a great launch, Chris launches are getting so good. Chris went from 11th place to about 8th and worked his way up about 6th before falling back to finish in 9th spot. Half way through the race his Knee Brace was starting to really hurt, in a rain race, you really have to hang off your bike and the extra shifting got the best of him and he slowed down.

All in all a good race weekend at a one of the most beautiful tracks in Canada, a few to many cement walls for safety, but still a great spot.
Once again, thanks for all the help, Ari, and Jim (Bow Cycle)