"very nice vids i watch them all man a++" grego10r. "Thas gotta be one of the best write ups ive seen!! awesome!. cant beat those pics either. the mud spraying up is definatly a cool picture!!" Crash277

"Gambling is racing and Racing is gambling" Cali-Utah 2012 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 04 June 2012 10:50

Thunderhill Raceway Park, May 12-13, 2012 & Miller Motorsports Park May 19-20, 2012
Marcel Irnie’s preparations for the 2012 Canadian Superbike Championships took another turn into the United States in May. This time he was traveling further than the usual regional races in Washington and Oregon. In his effort to build speed and become battle-hardy, Irnie ventured to Northern California for an American Federation of Motorcyclists (AFM) event at Thunder Hill Raceway Park near Willows, California. Followed by the WERA West Nationals event at Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City, Utah. The notoriously fast competition and technical race courses would be very helpful in advancing his 2012 program.

En route to Thunder Hill, Irnie stopped off in Tacoma, Washington to see dyno guru Nels Byersdorf at Redline Motorsports Dyno location. Nels worked his magic by tweaking the tuning of Irnie’s BMW S1000RR on the dynamometer.
Irnie arrived at Thunder Hill for Friday practice. The Thunder Hill race course offers a mix of blind corners and numerous elevation changes which gives it the reputation of being one of North America’s most technical race tracks. Irnie would have to work hard in the allotted practice sessions to gain speed and dial-in his set-up. Through the Friday session, Irnie was able to round the circuit in 1:55. On Saturday, he refined his braking points and attempted to get smoother on worn rubber. Although his times did not improve, he did feel much more comfortable on the track.

Irnie’s first race would be on Sunday in the Open Superbike class. Irnie worked his way from the last row of a 22 rider field to a 8th place finish. In the process, he managed to shave almost 3 seconds off of his lap times.

The second race for Irnie was the Formula Pacific class. Irnie finished in 8th place in a field with some seasoned AMA pro racers.

The final race for Marcel was the Open Production class. Starting from the last row of a 24 rider field, Irnie executed an outstanding start and slipped into 4th position in the first corner and then moved into the lead by corner 5! Irnie was starting to feel his oats on the legendary race course and managed to stretch out an eight second gap on the field. But disaster struck on lap 4 as Irnie entered the corkscrew turn. His front wheel locked up under braking, causing the bike to low-side just meters from a large curb surrounding the apex of the turn. As Irnie and his BMW hit the curbing, both were launched into the air. Irnie managed to escape the crash without serious injuries, but the BMW wasn’t so lucky. It flew into the air and flipped end-over-end down an embankment. On just its third race weekend, Irnie’s new BMW sustained extensive damage.
With a motorcycle to piece back together and no camping at Thunder Hill, Irnie was graciously offered a place to regroup at the home of Chris Martinez in Roseville Sacramento. Fellow racer and 2010 BMW S1000RR rider, Edwin Chung offered any spare parts that he had on hand. Edwin was able to provide a throttle assembly, control mode module and a spare set of forks. The Armour Bodies body work fared exceptionally well.  Irnie ordered a new sub-frame and fairing stay from Yoyodyne. Everything arrived just in time for Irnie to depart for the WERA event in Utah.
Marcel Irnie is eternally grateful to Chris Martinez and Edwin Chung for all of their help and selfless generosity.  "Thank you so much."

Irnie arrived at Miller Motorsports Park on Thursday night with the intention of participating in the Friday track day. The session was per-empted by a lightning storm, but the wet course was opened to the competitors later in the day. The Utah Pirelli rep mounted Irnie’s rain tires and he was able to make his way around the circuit for the first time. Testing a bike after a major chassis repair under wet conditions was less than ideal. Once Irnie got up to speed, he soon realized that the BMW’s power output was way down. Irnie mentioned this to some of his pit neighbors and many suggested that the high altitude was the cause. Irnie consulted Matt the local dyno operator and he was quite helpful. On the dyno, the bike pulled normally up to 10000rpm, but then power output was limited. Irnie diagnosed that the bike was stuck in "limp mode", which hampers power output to 155hp max and increases dtc and abs interference similar to rain mode. He surmised that is may have been due to the different model year control module borrowed from Edwin Chung.
Irnie’s first race was the Open Supersport class. Irnie started from the last row and as he left the starting line, he noticed that the engine sound increased. The exhaust note had definitely changed pitch and fearing an impending engine failure, he opted to forfeit the race and make his way back to the pits.

A quick visual inspection determined that an exhaust header had backed off of the cylinder head. With just 30 minutes until his next start, fellow pit mates helped Marcel remove body work and his entire exhaust system. Everything was reassembled with just moments to spare before his race start.
Starting on the third row in the Heavyweight Superbike class, Irnie launched into second position on the brakes into turn one. Irnie measured the leader for the first lap, knowing that he could easily match his pace. As he was about to strike for the lead, Irnie's streak of bad luck continued. The engine made a popping noise and the exhaust note changed pitch once again. Irnie immediately knew that the exhaust header had separated from the cylinder head once again.  He knew he had to leave the race or risk melting an oil cooler line on his BMW. To prove a point, he made the pass for the lead in turn 6 and then exited the track.
Again Irnie worked quickly to make the necessary repairs to race again. This time he secured the exhaust header with hi-temperature gasket sealer, safety-wired headers one and two together, and then to the motor.
Irnie lined up on row 17 grid position for the Formula One class. Irnie started well, but some 30 riders separated him from the lead. He passed several riders and eventually finished 9th out of 35 riders. His fastest lap was a 1:58.02, which was 6th fastest of the race. Irnie stated, "if only we had more laps... I caught another three racers on the last lap, so 6th place was within sight."

After contending with a spectacular crash (pics), numerous mechanical gremlins and DNF’s sustained while leading races, to say that Irnie’s racing adventures in California and Utah were met with difficulties would be an understatement. Hopefully some positive aspects can be gleaned from this trip, but it will take some time for Irnie to sort out the series of misfortunes. Suffice it to say, that most race weekends should be easier from here on in.
Irnie now had five days to relax before the FIM World Superbike Series, hosted by Miller Motorsports Park combined with AMA Pro racing May 26-28th.  WSBK TV granted Media passes, which Irnie took full advantage of. Check out Irnie's Video Documentary (Also available at and the complete Photo Album.  Enjoy. 

Following the fun filled WSBK/ AMA weekend, Irnie drove North and stopped in to visit OMRRA legendary Tech inspector and Hooligan Artist Ingo Wedde.  Ingo inspected the 'underpowered, vds code throwing BMW,' and found a wiring issue. 

A quick joyride/wheelie session confirmed the good news.  Ingo fixed what nobody at the track could.    "Thx bud."

Irnie is now home, safe and sound, working 18hr day/nights to prepare the bikes for the Canadian Superbike Championship.  Marcel leaves Kelowna BC for Shannonville Ontario June 15th, and will return home August 31.  To contact Marcel Irnie, call 250.869.2515 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Special Thanks to BMW Motorrad Canada for helping with crash parts.   "Cheers" is supported by AMSOIL Synthetics, Graves Motorsports, Bentley Motorrad, Advanced Motorcycle Gear, Yoyodyne, Idol-Fit, Dave Alexander, KFG Racing, World Gym Kelowna, Pro-Bolt USA, 2Wheel DynoWorks, EBC Brakes, GoPro, Oneononedesign, Woodcraft Technologies, Heroic, Nu-Life Hearing Center, Moto-D and Armour Bodies.    Please support those who support the sport. 

uber cute


A La beautfiul Tazsha

 great smile

A lovely racing fan

Cool trick.

who dat doing the dangle?

Nice picture indeed

Photo By Ryan Phillips..    

Wheeling over the crest into turn 2 at T-Hill..  love this section

Jose Herrin and his beautiful fiancee.    check out the ring!


Checka wins World Superbike Race one.


the wave of shame..   doh!..  we all done it.. part of racing uberbikes

tall girls!

my biggest fan.


AMA Pro outdoor windy hotpit..   WSBK took the garage hotpit.  lol

Larry Pegram..  nice guy

Chris Siglin - AFM Champ uberbike competitor

Thunderhill AFM racer bring your girl to the track day.  :)

Edwin Chung.   AFM Fastguy

Dave Alexander prepping Pegrams bike

Jake Holden was rockin his first World Superbike.   Great to see this WA local on track..  Sucks Jake had a lowside mid race.

and.... Fight!   lol

See the entire Album "Gambling is racing and Racing is gambling" at Marcel's Athlete page

Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 June 2012 08:40


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