Montreal – “Unusually, I would like to start this press release by sharing with everyone that without the encouragement, support and expertise of James Collins of Mako Performance, and my step-father Serge Riel of Town & Country Ceramics and Slate, I would have been forced to forfeit the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship a long time ago. I am very grateful that this irreplaceable team has assembled all the pieces of the puzzle necessary for our presence of the few rounds that we have been able to compete in over the past two seasons. Each of these races has allowed me to evolve significantly as a rider.’’ Says Raphael Archambault.
Raphael and the Mako Performance/Town & Country team showed up on Thursday ready to start the final weekend. Friday morning was unseasonably cold and wet, so the team decided to skip the first Hindle Pro Sport Bike practice session and wait for the track to dry.
Fortunately, the track had dried in time for the Pro Sport Bike qualifying early in the afternoon and Raphael was hungry to get on the prestigious Canada Tire Motorsport Park circuit for the first time of the weekend. After a couple of laps it was apparent there was a problem with the power of the GSXR. It was apparent the bike was running leaner and leaner causing a serious loss of power. With only a 20 minute qualifying session there wasn’t the time to fully diagnose the problem. Raphael went out on track to put in a lap for a decent position on the grid without causing damage to the motor. The bike was remapped late Friday to resolve the loss of power.
Saturday began with another cold morning, but thanks to Patrice Goyette of Mobile PG, Raphael was quickly comfortable in the short 15 minute warm-up leading into race 1 later in the afternoon. Raphael topped the leader board by 1.045 seconds over the competition.
The challenge of race 1 was to start from the third row without losing ground to the race leaders. Fortunately, Raphael got a good start and safely worked up through the field to find him in third place after only two laps and was quickly catching the two leaders who had broken loose from the rest of the field. With the cold weather track conditions were less than ideal and the race was red flagged for an incident in turn one. The restart would see Raphael starting on the front row alongside the Factory supported riders of Honda’s Jodi Christie and Triumph’s Kenny Riedmann. Raphael, Kenny and Jodi quickly broke away from the rest of the field but once again the race was red flagged, this time it was the Honda mounted Christie. On the final restart it was clear the race would be decided on the final lap. With Raphael following the plan to perfection he allowed Kenny to lead the last lap with a plan to draft himself into the lead up the long Andretti straight away.
“With the weather it was risky to push and try to break free from Kenny. I just tried to control the pace of the remaining 6 laps. Everything was working great and I was able to draft past Kenny on the back straight with only 3 turns to go. I was trying to protect the inside line into the final turn when I made a mistake that cost me the race!” said Raphael.
Heavy rain fell through the night and by Sunday morning the track was green and still wet in a few spots. After Race 1 the team had some new things to try with the suspension to turn up the pace for race 2. Unfortunately during morning warm-up Raphael was caught by some standing water and high sided in turn 10. Although uninjured there was lots of work to do to repair the Suzuki.
“I felt bad for the team to wreak the bike like that on race day. I can’t thank everyone enough for the hard work to rebuild the bike before Race 2.” continued Raphael.
With the repairs finished the team was ready to start race 2. Once again Raphael got off to a great start and this time was able to work his way to third place after the first lap and quickly made a pass in turn three to secure second behind Christie on just lap two.
“I felt the same loss of power as qualifying. I didn’t want to take any chances of damaging the motor so I came in and parked it.” Said Raphael.
Soon after the race Patrice found the fuel pump had cracked from the morning high-side which allowed air to enter the fuel system which caused the bike to lose power.
“Riding motorcycles as hard as I can is what I’ve done my whole life and it’s what I love the most. This is why I keep investing so much time in myself physically and mentally riding motorcycles every day to be a better rider and be as ready to win as possible for the few rounds that we are able to make each year. All this to be among the best riders in Canada until factory teams come back in the series again! Finally, as a professional road racer, there are riders who have influenced me and inspired me throughout my career, riders such as Pascal Picotte, Francis Martin, Brett McCormick, Kevin Lacombe, Clint Mcbain and a few others. Some of these riders have worked with Patrice Goyette (Mobile PG) and his expertise over the years; some even won the coveted number one plate with his services. This past weekend I was fortunate to have his help and support and I can’t thank Patrice enough for that!” finished Raphael.
Watch the exciting action on the CSBK.ca YouTube Channel.
The Team would like to thank the following for their support throughout the season and would like to remind everyone to support those who support the sport!
Town & Country Ceramics and Slate
Venhill Brake Lines/Cables and Quick throttles
MWR Race Air Filters
Moto-Tron Tire Warmers
All the CSBK Staff, corner marshals and volunteers who keep our series running!
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From a press release