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Irnie Pulls Off Stunning Win in Portland PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 25 July 2011 19:48




OMMRA Round 4, Portland International Raceway, July 16-17, 2011

In the week preceding Round 4 of the Oregon Motorcycle Road Racing Association (OMRRA) series at Portland, Marcel Irnie had no intention of even attending the event. The motor in his 2005 zx6rr was blown and his chronically under-powered 2008 zx6 was going up for sale. Marcel was looking forward to dirtbiking after the recent rain storm in Kelowna BC.  When he finished editing his video from OMMRA round 3 (Trail Blazers), he sent it over to David at Redline Motorsports.  When David heard that Marcel would not be making the trip out to Oregon for round 4, he made an offer that soon turned into an exciting opportunity for Irnie. Redline had a 2008 CBR1000RR available and offered it to Marcel for the weekend. Irnie had never ridden a 1000cc Superbike, not to mention a Honda, but he was anxious to take Redline up on the offer. His 600cc machines were not only uncompetitive; they were also becoming increasingly unreliable. This would be Irnie’s chance to prove himself on competitive machinery.  

Irnie made his way out to Redline headquarters in Tacoma to pick up the bike and then to Portland for the Friday test session. Track day was a real eye opener as the Redline Motorsports / 2wheeldynoworks / Seattle Tool Honda proved to be a real rocket ship. The bike pulled so hard, that Irnie had trouble keeping the handlebars in place. By the third session, Irnie had eclipsed his previous best lap on his 600’s by 3 full seconds. As the day unfolded, the front brakes started to develop a serious vibration. The problem became worse toward the end of the day, so Irnie scoured the pits for a spare brake rotor. Mark DeGross was gracious enough to lend him a front wheel.

Irnie’s only event on Saturday was the Formula Ultra class. This would be initiation by fire as this class had the fastest bikes, fastest riders, and determined the #1 plate holder.  Starting from the last row, Irnie got off to an outstanding start; slicing his way up to 4th position as the field entered corner 1. Irnie held onto 4th until the entrance of corner 7, when Kevin Pinkstaff made a "sneak attack" inside pass. Irnie regained the position on the next lap, but now a bigger issue is becoming apparent. The front brake problem re-emerged to the point where he could no longer slow down the big Honda at 290km/h.  He went in the grass on lap 2 and re-entered the track in last place. A determined Marcel Irnie was disappointed, but was certainly not giving up. His rear brake would have to handle the majority of the load for the remainder of the race. Irnie then proceeded to lay down some blazing laps; picking off riders left and right in the process. He finished the race in 7th place, ahead of Kevin Boisvert with a fastest lap of 1:08.2.  He looked forward to getting into the 1:07’s with working brakes.
After the race, the borrowed wheel was removed and Irnie decided to try some EBC Extreme Pro brake pads. The theory was that the problem stemmed from the Brembo pads. It turned out that brake pads were misaligned and applying brake pressure near the very top of the brake rotor.  The pads were then properly aligned and the problem was fixed.
Sunday arrived and with it came rain clouds. The single practice session prior to the Sunday Formula Ultra race would be Irnie’s only opportunity to get acquainted with the Honda in the rain. With no traction control, his brain and throttle hand would have to be on the same page. Despite a tentative pace, he managed to achieve the fastest lap of the session at 1:23.005
The wet weather continued at race time. Starting from row L3, Irnie adeptly got the Honda to hook-up and make up an astonishing 18 places to enter the first corner in 2nd place. Irnie settled in behind series champion Alan Schmidt for several laps, observing his lines and measuring his pace. Irnie had devised a strategy to stay close, but not do anything to get Schmidt’s back up. Irnie noted that he was able to reel Schmidt in on the brakes, and corners, while Schmidt was a mad man on the back "straight".  The two riders were moving at a torrid pace relative to the conditions; sometimes braking near the dry brake markers. On lap 9 Irnie decided it was time, passing Schmidt on the outside of turn 2. Irnie then proceeded to lay down the fastest laps of the race in each of the final 3 laps, crossing the finish line in first place for his first Pro win. With this being his first weekend on a 1000cc machine and with one practice under wet conditions, Irnie had stunned the field with the win and the fastest lap at 1:19.105. A jubilant Marcel Irnie reacted, "haha, that was a blast....what a fun race... things are finally on the up and up!"
An hour later, Irnie was on the line for the Open Superbike class. Irnie got off to a fantastic start once again, entering the first turn in 3rd position just behind Lenny Hale and Alan Schmidt. Hale passed Schmidt quickly for the lead in turn 3, but gave too much throttle exiting turn 4 and he was pitched into the mud hole that had developed on the outside of the course. Ironically, this was the same mud hole that Irnie made an excursion through last September (See video "Keep OMRRA Weird"). Mark DeGross took advantage of this situation by grabbing 2nd spot. Irnie soon re-passed DeGross and the pair pursued Schmidt for the remainder of the race. Irnie was content to take second in what has turned out to be a very auspicious start to his career on the 1000cc machines.
The Redline Motorsports / AMSOIL / GoPro / Flyin' Miata CBR1000RR was dyno-tuned by Nels from 2wheeldynoworks.com. The 1000cc machine delivered a respectable 178 Max horsepower at the rear wheel, and 83 Max torque.
Buyredline.com is now title sponsor for Irnieracing.com. The next event for IrnieRacing will be round 6 of the WMRRA series at Seattle. Irnie will be competing on an improved CBR1000RR as well as a new R6 unit for the 600cc classes.
Team IrnieRacing would like to thank Ryan Phillips (threesixtyphotography.com) for external race photos.  Irnie's GoPro Race Video Documentary is available at vimeo.com/irnie/pacificwonderland.

Global Canada TV News interviewed Marcel Irnie following his surprising win in FU.
 
Irnieracing Buyredline.com is sponsored by:  Impact Canopy Impact On-Site Event Solutions, Advanced Motorcycle Gear Falco Italy Apparel, OneOnOneDesign Graphic Designer, Classified Motorsports Okanagan Import Car Performance, World Gym Kelowna Sports Personal Training, Seattle Tool Strength. Precision. Style., RedlineMotoParts.com Cdn Powersport Parts,  AMSOIL Synthetics First in Synthetics, GoPro Camera HD Hero Sports Camera, KFG Racing MC Suspension/ Dunlop Tires, Pinnacle Physiotherapy Your body's worth it, 2WheelDynoWorks Nels Mobile Dyno Tuning, Flyin' Miata Miata Performance,  EBC Brakes Extreme Pro Brakepads
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 07:51
 

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