Paul Macdonell Round 3 Report

Macdonell earns career-best finish at home round

A return to RAD Torque Raceway produced a career-best effort for Paul Macdonell and the PMR/Vass Performance BMW team this past weekend, as the series raced at Macdonell’s home track for the first time in his Canadian Superbike career.

The Grande Prairie, Alberta native had been looking forward to his home round, located just south of Edmonton, after winning the EMRA Open Superbike championship in 2021.

However, a Wednesday crash on his electric bike proved to be a difficult challenge, as Macdonell battled a few minor injuries throughout the weekend.

After beginning the event 14th in practice one on Friday, some setup changes helped Macdonell and the team find over a full second in Q1, climbing to ninth and advancing into the top-ten Q2 shootout for the first time this season before ultimately qualifying tenth.

That strong form would lead excellently into race one, as Macdonell avoided drama and carved his way through a midfield battle to finish sixth. The result would prove to be the best of his career, surpassing a pair of seventh place finishes from his rookie campaign in 2023.

Most importantly, the sixth-place finish would also move Macdonell into fifth in the overall GP Bikes Pro Superbike championship and just two points behind David MacKay in fourth.

Unfortunately, Macdonell would wake up on Sunday feeling even more effects from his Wednesday incident, an ailment that would limit him in race two. The BMW rider would find himself in a spirited battle with local youngster Philip DeGama-Blanchet but could only salvage ninth, slipping to sixth in the feature class standings.

“That crash wrecked me harder than most Superbike crashes have, so I couldn’t quite get up to speed in qualifying like I hoped to at my home track,” Paul admitted. “I wanted to give it everything I had for Saturday, and it was nice to get a strong result out of it, but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling 100% in race two.”

Despite the unfortunate circumstances that prevented Macdonell from riding at full strength, the team will be pleased to exit their home round with a career-best finish in the bag and more data collected in their first season with BMW machinery.

While Macdonell was unable to attend the series’ Monday test at Rocky Mountain Motorsports due to immediate work commitments ten hours north, crew chief Matt Simpson was able to ride in his place and collect valuable information on both the machine and potential future venue.

The PMR/Vass Performance BMW team will now get a few weeks to prepare for the fourth round of the Bridgestone CSBK season, scheduled for July 12-14 at Atlantic Motorsports Park in Nova Scotia.

Paul would like to give a special thanks to JP at Muse Autosport for flying in from Vancouver to help, as well as Vass Performance Cycle, Rebel Fit Nutrition, GB Racing Covers, Flexiglass, DP Brakes, Bickle Racing, FÜSPORT, C. Moore Realty, Stringam LLP, Speedpro Signs, Speedy Glass Grande Prairie, WolfRam Forestry, and AP Carbonline for their support throughout the 2024 season.

From a press release

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