Motomike Canada Round 2 Report: Podiums and Tumbles
Calabogie Motorsports Park hosted the CSBK crew for the second round of the 2022 season. Two races were on the schedule again for both Harvey Renaud (#28 Pro-AM Lightweight) and Mike Maguire (#613 Amateur Lightweight).
Our team was excited to return to our home track where we hoped to do well against some other competitors with less experience at this 20-turn circuit, twisting through the trees just outside of Calabogie, Ontario southwest of Ottawa.
After a mistake in practice that almost ended his weekend, Harvey Renaud shook it off for qualifying setting the time to beat of 2:21.053 - obliterating his own previous lap record from 2021 by a second and a half, and allowing the Richmond, ON rider to start from pole position for both PRO-AM Lightweight races.
Race 1, Saturday was hot and fast, with the lead pack of bikes duking it out around the 5 kilometer course for 8 laps, at a blistering pace. The top 3 riders broke away from the pack, swapping positions and lap records in the process. When the checkers came out, the results were as follows: Jared Walker #94 in 1st, with Ryan Vanderputten #27 in 2nd, followed by Harvey Renaud in 3rd place; Renaud set yet another lap record in the process with a time of 2:19.992 - the only lightweight rider to push under the 2:20 barrier.
Race 2 Sunday was much of the same high-excitement racing as the Saturday race, but the lead pack was joined this time by the number 9 bike of Gary McKinnon, who turned 70 a few weeks ago during the first round at Grand Bend. The top four riders crossing the line less than a second apart, and all running in the low 2:20 lap times. This time, the order was slightly revised: Jared Walker again coming away with the win 0.379 seconds ahead of Renaud , and Vanderputten in 3rd, just 0.175 seconds behind.
Podium chats revealed the respect and admiration each rider had for one-another, being able to run so closely and cleanly for the entire race while swapping positions and fighting hard for the win. "I didn't have the best start, but I saw an opportunity on the brakes into turn 5 and took it - I think that lit the fire, and then we were passing each other all over the place." Renaud said in his post-race interview with Frank Wood. "Just trying to keep up with Jared (Walker) and keeping Ryan (Vanderputten) behind me was a difficult task! They're super fast. It was probably the most fun I've had racing, just being able to dice it up with these guys".
In Mike Maguire's first time back at the Calabogie track since being crashed out of the 2021 season, with a broken collarbone and ruptured vein in his hip in the second race of that season, he was looking for a return-to-form with hopes of a top-5 finish or even a podium if the opportunity presented itself.
The competition seemed to have gotten quite a lot faster for the '22 season, and Maguire's personal-best lap time of 2:25.018 was only good enough for an 8th place grid position for both of his races.
Race 1 of the Supersonic Roadrace School sponsored Amateur Lightweight class was pushed off the schedule Saturday, replacing Sunday morning practice due to an incident in a previous session. Getting a good start from the third row of the grid, Maguire tried to latch on to the back tires of the bikes that qualified ahead of him for the first part of the race. He managed to climb a few positions, and catching a fading Jacob Black on the 707 machine, passing him late in the race to finish 4th, 9 seconds adrift of the podium but with another personal-best time of 2:22.6 (one-tenth slower than Renaud's 2021 record, but off the pace of the lead pack's 2:20 lap times).
Feeling confident for race 2, Maguire again managed to get a good start from row 3, but the lead pack grew to encompass 9 riders, all swapping positions and lines, some blocking and diving, and none able to break away from the rest. This culminated in an incident exiting turn 2, a short uphill section, where the leader high-sided his bike, crashing in front of the pack. The yellow flag was quick to come out, with the rider and bike sliding and rolling across the track in front of the 613 bike of Maguire, who was running in third. Maguire slowed and moved left to avoid the incident but was piled into from behind by another rider who was unable to slow down enough to avoid him, knocking both riders from their bikes, sending them tumbling through the grass over the crest of turn 3. Bruised but not broken, Maguire was able to pick up the bent and damaged Kawasaki and continue the race, passing one rider on his way to salvage a 14th position finish.
CSBK Round 3 from Atlantic Motorsports Park runs July 21-24th, if you're in the area come out and support your local track and watch some of the closest motorcycle racing in our lightweight classes!