Finally, a chance to get to the race track! The Ducati Owners of Canada (DOCC) regularly holds days at both Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP) and Calabogie Motorsports Park. Since my home club (VRRA) has cancelled all racing until September, there has been no chance to ride. I could do something on the street, but that fails to bring me joy anymore... so unchallenging.
We arrived at beautiful Calabogie Motorsports Park on Friday night, July 31st, for set up. There were at least 15 or 20 VRRA friends there and it was really good to see them all again.
DOCC had a good system in place on Friday night for registration, helmet checks and tech. Physical contact was kept to a minimum, clear screens were in place for the staff and
pens and paper were handed out, filled out by the racers and not returned to the staff.
Saturday, August 1, 2020, turned out to be a beautiful day to be on the track; however, it was a warm one. By 2 p.m. it was 33 degrees with a humidex of 36. Some suffered, but personally I love the heat and enjoyed the day very much.
Lots of people felt the same need to get out and ride because it was a sellout crowd and the pit area was quite full with everyone parked at an appropriate distance from each other.
The morning sessions were good although there were a few early mishaps. Ironically, the first crasher was #13. Then this pretty Ducati got scraped up by the loader tractor.
I was riding Heather's street bike – a Kawasaki 650R and by 11 a.m. there were some good wear patterns happening on the new Michelin Power Cup Evos. They are great tires, very sticky and, most importantly, very predictable.
The 70 hp parallel twin runs around the track pretty quietly and, because of that, I could hear the tires reacting on the asphalt. Later in the day, when I started to push the front a little harder, there was a noticeable difference in the sound going into the corner. The tire started a little shudder/scrape noise warning me that I was close to the limit. Not quite chatter and not quite giving up, just a gentle warning. Who knew a quiet bike could be so educational!
I will add that this little bike is just a pleasure to ride on the track! It’s absolutely stock and I simply had the lights taped up and the antifreeze swapped out for water.
There is something so pleasing about riding a bike with limited horsepower and then always pushing it to its limit. I feel like I am getting my money’s worth every lap. No trick parts, no
slipper clutch, no 200 horsepower with electronic wizardry, just a parallel twin, two wheels and some budget suspension.
The day was thoroughly enjoyable. This 2020 year has re-adjusted us all and forced us to forgo many of the things we have taken for granted in the past... like track days…
This was a great “reset” for me and now I can’t wait to get back to racing.