Rounds 5 & 6 Report: Amateur rider Aaron Burns

My week leading up to rounds 5 and 6 of the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship started Monday with a Pro 6 Cycle track day at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park that went awesome and I had the opportunity to ride with a great friend and soon to be National Competitor Mariusz. Was given the chance to ride the Pro 6 Cycle BMW S1000RR. What a blast. 

Thursday I was supposed to ride the Riders Choice track day for the morning to sort out gearing and get set for the weekend. 4 laps into session 1 coming into turn 2 I tried to grab 4th gear to pass a rider and the bike got stuck between gears locking up the rear as I crested the hill. I pulled in the clutch and rode wide and kept the bike upright. 

Knowing that bike pick up wasn't until noon and that it was only 9:30 I started my nature walk back to pits from Turn 2. Did I mention black leathers are quite warm in direct sunlight? After fixing the issue (shift star bolt backed itself out) it was too late for track time. 

I went into Friday with a lack of confidence in the bike with all the mechanical issues we had been facing this year. I managed to be 17th fastest in practice and was hoping to improve in qualifying. The 2001 Suzuki GSX-R600 was holding up great to the abuse I was throwing at it. 

Shoei Helmets Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying came and I managed to get behind a quick rider and pull some fast laps but there was an issue with timing and the red flags came out until timing was back up. After 5 laps in the first qualifying session we were given 18 minutes to go and set our hot laps. I managed 5 laps before I had to pull off due to the chance of running out of gas. I qualified 18th with a 1:33.6. I was not overly impressed with my time but I now had my task at hand. 

Come race start Saturday afternoon I was in the zone and excited to get out and perform in front of the huge crowd that Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship brings to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. I got an awesome start and rocketed ahead many spots into turn 1. I made a few more passes through turn 2-5 and my first run down the back straight truly showed me the disadvantage I had as at least 8 bikes blasted past me on the long straight. The whole race went about the same as I would make passes through the turns only to lose spots on the straights. What can you do when your bike weighs over 400 lbs (class minimum is 350 lbs) and only has 98 horsepower to the wheel (class limit is 118). I believe I fell out of the top 20 as the laps wound down. The last lap came and I missed the final lap flag altogether. Coming into the final corner I thought I heard a bike right behind me so I grabbed an extra downshift to get a good drive onto the front straight. As I tipped into the corner and rolled onto the throttle the bike popped out of gear into a false neutral. The bike snapped itself straight and pointed me directly at the wall. I got onto the brakes but knew I wouldn't get stopped in time. The back tire lifted and the bike went sideways and as I settled it back down the bike snapped straight and jerked my body causing a full front brake lock up. I pitched myself off the front of the bike and came down hard on my right arm. I bounced and got jostled by my bike before going hard into the air fence backside first (I might add, those air fences are pretty soft). I bounced off the air fence and landed on my feet walking away relatively unscathed. The bike tumbled and landed perfectly up against the wall as if someone had leaned it there purposely. I have to offer a big thank you to the trackside medical staff for checking me out and making sure I was okay. No broken bones and just some soft tissue damage all throughout my arm. The bike appears to be a fairly easy fix and shouldn't be out for too long. 

Due to the condition of my arm I was unable to race on Sunday thus forfeiting my 6th place standings in the Shoei Helmets Amateur Sport Bike championship standings. I am bummed about this but it's just going to push me that much harder to come back next year even more competitive. 

A highlight of Sunday was being the recipient of the Tough Luck Award which is awarded to someone who had some tough luck the day before (fitting award). I received a fairing hardware kit from the amazing series sponsor Motovan. 

Not a great way to end a Mopar Canadian Superbike National Series run but it was an amazing learning experience and I cannot wait to dive back into it head first next year. The road to an amazing 2017 program starts now and I am more than excited to be a strong competitor in the amateur sport bike division. 

I need to start by thanking my dad for being supportive of me 100% this entire season regardless of the outcome. Couldn't have even began to get where I am right now without him. The experience he brings to the table is an asset to my accomplishments this season. I also have to thank the Walker family (Dave, Kimi, Jared, Cameron and Shadow) for making life at the track better and always keeping the pit atmosphere positive. A big thanks goes out to my new friend Adolfo whom I met through racing and was always around to crack a joke during trying times. You made the track an even better time and I always look forward to seeing you at the track. The track family I have made from this Mopar Canadian Superbike National season will definitely go beyond the track and I'm glad to have made the friends I have. You all rock!

A special thanks to my girlfriend Desarae for staying tough this weekend for her first time ever at the track and getting the full experience of my crash. Can't wait to have you around at the track more.

If you'd like to be a part of my 2017 program do not hesitate to get in touch with myself as I'm always looking to expand my connections and work hard to promote and work alongside the amazing people that choose to support me in chasing my dreams of becoming a professional motorcycle road racing and future Mopar Canadian Superbike Champion. 

 

Aaron Burns

Burns Racing

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