"Nice, got on the podium!"  Luke Patterson.
That was a pretty awesome and you were pulling away it looked like. 
Evans Tomassini

Marcel Irnie Injured in WMRRA Opener PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 10 April 2011 14:54

WMMRA Rd 1, Pacific Raceways, Kent WA, April 2-3 2011

After a long winter sabbatical, Irnie Racing got back to competition at round one of the Washington Motorcycle Road Racing (WMRRA) series at Pacific Raceways. This past winter was a busy one for Irnie Racing as Marcel worked hard to secure partnerships with sponsors and refurbish his racebikes. A big change for the 2011 season is the introduction of a teammate for Marcel with Aaron Holmberg of Pacific Washington coming aboard. Aaron brings a Suzuki GSXR 750 to the team. 


As Marcel’s engines were being rebuilt at the shop of new sponsor Fuzimoto, Marcel traveled to Washington early in the week to finish up reassembly. He arrived in Seattle on Tuesday March 29th. He and Aaron worked through the week to get bikes ready. Due to an ECU connection issue, Marcel’s 2008 zx6r would not be ready for the weekend. His 2005 zx6rr was ready and would be put into service. Aaron’s forks and shocks were brought to Barry Wressell of KFG Racing for a rebuild. Afterwards, they worked until 2am Friday morning to reassemble the suspension and then complete the final touches with Irnie Racing decals.  

Marcel and Aaron arrived at the circuit on Friday morning for track day to set up their pit in rainy conditions. The exciting new tent from Impact Canopy withstood the stormy weather, unlike many of the neighboring pit canopies. As the conditions were simply too stormy and wet, they felt that nothing could be gained from taking part in the session and hoped for better conditions for Saturday morning’s practice.   

Rainy conditions persisted on Saturday morning, but it was time for Irnie Racing to get to work. Marcel and Aaron installed wet weather tires and put in some careful laps. The rain stopped for the second practice session and the track was slowly drying. Marcel switched to the Nel's dyno-tuned / Falco GSXR 750 for practice two. Marcel was impressed with the power of Aaron’s 750cc machine and the suspension work by KFG Racing delivered excellent handling. The track soon became too dry for rain tires, so Irnie pulled off and got ready for racing.  

The first race for Marcel was the 750 Supersport class in which Irnie would be riding his AMSOIL / Fuzimoto / GoPro 2005 zx6rr. Track conditions had all but completely dried, so Irnie would have to adapt his cornering speed very quickly. This was the first time Irnie rode in the dry for 2011. Irnie got off to a poor start and settled into 9th position. He progressively improved his lap times throughout the race, eventually finishing in 8th spot.  

The next race for Marcel was 600 Supersport. Starting from the second row, he got off to a strong start and quickly claimed 5th position. By lap 7, Irnie was pressuring Wendy Leber for 3rd, with Chris Sarbora directly in tow. The three riders diced it out for the balance of the race. At one point, the three riders almost came together in turn 9 as they entered the bus stop. Sarbora attempted to pass both Irnie and Leber, but ran way wide to the curbing. Irnie had to jump the bus stop curbing to avoid him. In the latter stages of the race, Sarbora would crash while following in Irnie’s draft at 265kmph; destroying his bike in the process.  This crash brought out the red flag, leaving Irnie in 3rd place which was a new career high finish for him in WMRRA completion. This was all for naught as Irnie was accessed a 30 second penalty for jumping the bus stop to avoid Sarbora, and not giving up the position. He would be demoted to 8th place in the official standings. His fastest lap time of 1.29.3 was the second fastest of the race finishers.  Race winner Aaron Gwin's fastest lap was 1.29.2.  :)

Aaron Holmberg competed in the Saturday Novice class event, also his first time riding in the dry. An early crash in turn six ended his day, but he came away unhurt and his bike was repairable. He would re-group for Sunday.  

A wet track would greet the riders once again on Sunday. For practice, Irnie employed a new riding style that he had been considering over the winter. Irnie tried the “Rossi leg dangle”; a cornering style attributed to MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi. Irnie explained, “I stuck my leg out on the brakes entering turn two and fell in love with superbike racing all over again. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was. It felt like I was floating or hovering with my leg in the air, skipping along the pavement. Just as the corner entrance gets close, the inside leg goes back in.” 

Sunday’s first race was the Advanced Motorcycle Gear 600 Superbike class. Irnie started on the front row and got a good launch. He quickly claimed 4th spot behind Brad Delong, Ryan Sutton, and Aaron Gwin. Irnie applied his new cornering style early in the race, passing Delong for 3rd. Irnie then set his sites on Sutton, who Irnie knew was on rain tires with a rapidly drying track surface. As the two riders tore down the back straight toward turn five, chaos ensued. Irnie downshifted and started to apply the brakes, but quickly discovered that he had no stopping power. The front brakes had failed and Irnie attempted to avert disaster by locking up his rear brake. The bike pitched sideways and he pushed Sutton, sending both riders flying off their bikes and into the gravel trap at 160kmph.  

Both riders were injured in the crash as Sutton injured his shoulder and Marcel broke the metacarpal in his right hand. Irnie later discovered that the brake failure was due to a brake-pad-pin falling out, which allowed one of the front brake pads to back out. Irnie later found out that he was not the first victim of this type of mechanical failure. He plans to lobby both the WMRRA and OMRRA to establish a rule stipulating that these pins be safety wired in place. While the accident did result in injuries, Irnie felt that it could have been far worse.  

While this incident put a depressing end to Irnie’s weekend, he was buoyed by the fact that he was able to comfortably keep pace with the leaders. While he may have to spend seven weeks healing, he intends to pick up where he left off as soon as he’s able.

Aaron Holmberg brought another positive to the Irnie Racing pits on Sunday. He held down 3rd place for most of Novice event, ultimately capturing a 2nd place finish.

Irnie Racing would like to welcome several new sponsors for 2011: Impact Canopy, KFG Racing, Fuzimoto, 2WheelDynoworks, Redline Motoparts, Flyin' Miata, and Classified Motorsports.

Thanks to returning sponsors, AMSOIL Synthetics, Seattle Tool, Advanced Motorcycle Gear (Falco), GoPro Cameras, Pinnacle Physio, Valley Motosport, Kreater, Oneononedesign, World Gym Kelowna, and EBC Brakes.

Thanks also to Darren Beatty for the amazing external crash photos, and Bob Edwards for the external racing pics.

The next event for Irnie Racing is OMRRA Rd. 2, May 20th at Portland International Raceway.  

Lower Brake-pad-pin is missing, along with the lower right pad.  Several riders have come forward to say this has happend to them.  This brake-pin failure should be added to many roadracing rule books, requiring safety wire, or shoe glue.  Please pass this info along...


External Crash photos by Darren Beatty

Photo by Bob Edwards.

Photo by Bob Edwards.

Last Updated on Saturday, 09 March 2013 15:12


AMSOIL Synthetics
Buy AMSOIL Factory Direct
Armour Bodies
Race Fiberglass Bodywork
Optimum Performance
Motorcycle Service Shop
Access Patron-only Series
EBC Brakes
Extreme Pro Brakepads
KFG Racing
All your suspension needs.
Woodcraft CFM
Premium Motorcycle Protection
Warrior Nutrition
Preworkout Drink
World Gym Kelowna
A Gym for Everyone
Expert Dyno Tuning
Rad Guard Australia
Radiator Protection
Seattle Tool
Strength. Precision. Style.
original solarflare design by rhuk
lunarized by joomlashack