Motorcycle Mojo – September 2019

(C. Jardin) #1


For additional photos of the

Canadian Tire Motorsport Park


excellent opportunities to ride the latest


Davidson. The roads around CTMP are


curves that hug the small hills and take

you through picturesque towns.

I am very impressed with how

full-sized the CRF250 Rally feels and it

is really begging to be ridden off-road,

but this is an asphalt-only ride.

Movie Night

Saturday evening, I have time for

a track walk before the Toronto

Motorcycle Film Festival’s award-

winning movies are shown at an

outdoor movie theatre set up in the


me with memories of travelling over

this tarmac 10 years ago at speed.


metre-wide, 10-corner, four km-long

road course with steep elevation changes

that allow more energy for gentle turns

and exhilarating corner speed with your

knee planted on the ground. Racing

here is a real rush. I still describe the joy

of racing through Turn 2 as turning left

with your knee on the ground at about

160 km/h as you descend by about six

stories from the top of Turn 2 and you

do it again in Turn 4, going left and

dropping by about four stories before

rising sharply into Turn 5.


during 11 years of racing, but never at


As I’m walking along the back

straight in the fading sunlight, a

grandfather and his granddaughter

go whizzing by me on a skateboard at

about 30 km/h. She is squealing with

delight. They make it safely to the hair-

pin and she’s giddy with excitement of

doing it again with Grandpa.

After reaching my camping area, I

end my track walk and retreat to the

palatial accommodations of my old tent.

It’s been a great day, but I’ll have to take


but wiped.

Demo Rides Between Races

I get up Sunday morning and imme-

diately walk to the lower paddock

to sign up for more coveted morning



a bit. They symbolize vacations for

me; I just want to load up the bags

and head out cross-country for a week

or two months on one of these bikes.

The 800GS rides like a dream, but I

am begging for some off-road riding.


on the road, however.

Right after that, I have the pleasure

of riding a Harley full-dress touring

bike. In my 30 years of being a

motorcycle enthusiast, I’ve never had

the opportunity to ride a Harley or

a Ducati. The Harley’s paint has a

gorgeous sheen and this bike’s seat feels

like a pillow. The ride is a smooth one.

I certainly could be comfortable on this

torquey baby for a month on the road.

Sunday is a day to watch the races

from different areas of the track. I watch

another amazing Pro 600 race from

Turn 2. I love watching the start of a

race. The racing pack taking off from

the start and dipping into the turns

like a ferocious pack of wolves running

through the woods sends a tingle

right down my spine. I remember the

excitement of racing – and I want to be in

that pack.

CTMP is the last CSBK race of the

year. Tomas Casas wins, with Mitch

Card and Sebastien Tremblay in hot

pursuit. They put on a great show in the

race and afterward put on an equally

good smoke show at Turn 2.

After the Pro 600 race, I cross over

to the outside of the track to watch the

Amateur 600 race at Turn 1.

I compliment a spectator who is


those “small world” stories, he ends

up being Billy Shields, formerly an

amateur racer at Shannonville in the

mid-2000s. Billy and I were familiar

names at that track.

Big Bike Excitement

I begin packing up my tent right before

the big Pro Superbike race begins.

There’s more packing to do, but I

take a break to soak in the Superbikes

rocketing past at almost 300 km/h on

the warm-up laps. Two minutes later,

we can hear a muted roar through the

trees. The race has begun and the pack is

coming within hearing range. The noise


in every bone in my body as the entire

pack roars up the back straight toward



helicopter chasing the leaders around

the track on each lap à la MotoGP.

The race is excellent, with Jordan Szoke

chasing Ben Young and Kenny Riedmann

for the entire race. Riedmann takes the

win, with Samuel Trepanier working

his way past Szoke. Szoke, a multi-time



0.6 seconds together. I expected Szoke to

pounce and take the win on the closing

laps, but he ends up having mechanical

issues and is happy just to stay within

range of the leaders. His placing is enough

to wrap up his 13th CSBK championship

with his accumulated season’s points.

Good consolation prize for not winning

this time.


ride out of the park right after the rac

ing ends. It has been a fantastic week-

end at the CTMP Superbike Nationals.

Lots to see, demo bikes to ride, free

movies at night, great atmosphere with

a riding stunt show between races. The

racing itself has been second to none.

On the ride home, a freight train

parallels the highway and the setting

sun has hit it just right with a golden

orange glow painting the entire train.

It’s then that I’m struck with the

realization that I completely forgot to

buy a CTMP T-shirt.

Former racer Billy Shields relaxes with a beverage

by his bike. Shields and writer Pat Boyd were familiar

names at Shannonville back in the day.


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