Mosport 2003 Canadian Nationals


Ari and Chris made the 2700 mile journey in about three days, not bad, considering they probably played MotoGP3 for 2 days. I'm sure they have a lot of stories to tell, but because I'm Chris dad, they never tell me any of the good stuff.
Most of my stories are about the drive, so this will probably be a short story.

I met them at Mosport on thursday, after taking the red eye from Calgary. We found a nice little quiet spot near the bathroom and the Honda tent.

We brought out the 125 for the CanAm challenge, so Chris would try his hand at 125 racing again after a 10 month sabbatical.

The bikes were prepped at Laguna for Mosport by Uncle Bill, so we were ready to go again.
The first practice Chris was running in the top 5 and stayed in that zone for most of the weekend.
With Robbie Baird, out with injuries and Kevin Lacombe crashing in saturday practice, that left Honda with Mike Talyor as the only factory rider. Kevin Graham asked if Chris would be interested in riding Robbie's bike. The only difference would be Pirelli tires, Chris has never raced or practiced on Pirelli's before, we were a little nervous about racing on them without any practice. Chris went out and bettered his times on Robbie's bike but didn't feel very comfortable on the Pirelli's. I know Pirelli's are a great tire and are winning the world supersport races, you still need a little time to get comfortable on them, unfortunately we didn't have the time.
Chris went out and and improved on his times from his bike, so we thought everything would be OK.
Unfortunately, on the next practice Chris crashes Robbie's bike and the Honda factory experience came to a end. Chris wasn't hurt, so we went back to our own Honda's.
By now, Jim from Bow cycle joined us again, he was trying to get by without us seeing him, but I saw him and put him to work immediately.

During the qualifing session, I was in the pit area working on the 125 and over the loud speaker, I hear Chris is running in tenth place, I find that unusual and start thinking about what we had done to the bike. I realize we had changed the tires for qualify and I wasn't sure if anyone had checked the tire pressure. I run up to pit lane and ask Ari, if he checked tire pressure. He says "NO" we pull Chris in and his front tire has 50 pounds of pressure instead of 30. We take the extra air out and he's running top 5 again.

On saturday, we had our first 125 race in the double round Can-Am challenge. Chris stayed with the group till about the 5th lap and then left the field and finished in first place. He's still riding the 125 like a pro, from what everyone said, he was in a class of his own.

The next race on saturday was the 1st Superbike race, we were all ready and set and just waiting for the 5 minute warning. Remember that quite spot we had? Well, a Dyno had moved in on friday night and believe it or not we missed the race along with 10 other people. The race was to start at 3:15 and at 3:18, I went up to the track to see what the delay was. They were on their 2nd lap. Races never start on time. Never stay near a Dyno.

The next race was the final, 125 race on sunday.
Sunday race day was one of those sunny, rain, cloudy, everything kind of days.
The 125 race was called a dry race so, we went out on slicks and Chris had a great launch and was in first place the whole race till, it started to rain then Chris and 7 other people crashed. We didn't bring many spares so we failed to make the restart, to bad, Chris would have done well in that race.

The next race was the 600 race, also called a dry race. Chris had a great launch again and was running in 2nd place behind Frank Trombino with Pascal Picotte at Chris back tire, after 3 laps the race was called, because of rain. The restart was not going to be favorable for Chris. He went out on cold rain tires and lost the front end, we found out afterwards that his rain tire had been mounted backwards and instead of the tire dispersing water it acted as a water collector and probably caused the crash.
We decided to miss the next Superbike race, because of the weather and Chris was feeling very uncertain about the rain tires. I think only about 15 people decided to race in those conditions. The problem wasn't the rain, it was the uncertain conditions, if you put on rain tires it would get dry, if you put on dry tires, it would rain. That's racing, and we just decided that was enough. If, I'm not mistaken, there were 3 red flags and only 8 people finished the race.

One of the really good things about the weekend was, Max from Traxxion Dynamics was there and he helped us set Chris bike for the rest of the season., along with giving us a DVD on suspension.

Mosport, was the kind of weekend that takes a few days to really appreciate.
I have to admit, the day of the races, I was not very happy, but overall it was a learning experience.

Now were off to Mid-Ohio