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Ulises Lope

Irnie Treads Lightly in Washington PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 17 May 2010 21:32

Pacific Raceways, Kent WA May 8-9, 2010 

For a couple of reasons, Kelowna BC’s Marcel Irnie went into round 2 of the Washington Motorcycle Road Racing Association (WMRRA) series at Pacific Raceways with some trepidation. First, a recent knee injury suffered in a dirt bike crash left Irnie wondering whether he was fit to ride. Second, fresh in Irnie’s mind was a spectacular 130 kmph crash that ended his last race at Pacific Raceways just four weeks earlier. April was not exactly a banner month for The April 3rd race-crash left Marcel scrambling for replacement parts for his damaged 2005 Kawasaki zx-6rr. The April 25th dirt bike training accident had Irnie spending many hours with his physiotherapist and personal trainer as they performed intensive therapy on his injured knee. Before his departure for Washington, Roy from Pinnacle Physiotherapy left him with the stern admonition. 

"No wipe outs...    Definitely no wipe outs!"   Roy Gillespie

This did little to help Marcel's confidence.  For this event, Irnie mounted two GoPro HD cameras on his bike and one on his helmet. As usual, he has produced an HD video chronicling the weekend.

Irnie gingerly rode the first Saturday morning practice session. The goal was to gain confidence back and get a feel for the knee. Irnie also limited his pace in the second practice session, recording corner speeds that were 10 kmph lower than fellow competitors.

As Irnie finished fourth in the previous 750 Supersport race on April 3rd, he earned a spot on the front row for this event. Irnie opted to ride his 2005 zx-6rr for this race. As first gear hesitated violently, making it unusable, Irnie rolled off the line in second gear. Two riders passed him in the opening straight and he cautiously settled into 6th position. Riding on used tires from 2009, Marcel was extra cautious in the corners.  He was careful throughout the race not to spin his rear tire, which is normally a routine occurrence.

"I looked behind me after two laps to discover a large group of riders right on my tail. I could her them buzzing away like bees attacking an Ant Colony.   I wish had my GoPro tail camera facing backwards for this race...  Doh!"  Said Irnie

Irnie eventually relinquished 6th spot to Ryan Sutton, closely followed by Allister MacKinnon.  On the final lap, Michael Tobin passed Irnie to claim 8th position leaving Irnie to finish in 9th out of 22 riders.

Irnie was quite surprised to find that despite his ultra-conservative riding style, his best lap of 1:31.00 during the race was actually 0.75 seconds faster than the previous race weekend. Ironically he had slowed down to go faster. With something new to learn at every event, this race illustrated how a smooth riding style can ultimately lead to better pace. Irnie felt that a healthy knee, fresh tires and improved confidence will lead to greater results in the future.

On Sunday morning, Irnie again rode a very conservative practice session. As his knee was quite sore, Irnie chose to skip the 600cc Superbike race and instead enter his 600cc bike in the 750 Superbike race which was starting later in the afternoon. This would give his knee a full three hour break. Marcel used this downtime to ice his knee, and take his 2008 zx-6r forks over to his technical consultant Dave Alexander from Fluid Suspension Science. Dave is also the crew cheif of AMSOIL-sponsored AMA Superbike racer Larry Pegram.  The AMSOIL Shock Therapy Oil was changed, and the air gap was adjusted to suit Marcel’s weight and riding style.

Later in the afternoon, Irnie took to the line on his 2005 zx-6rr. As he had never ridden the 750 Superbike class, he was relegated to the back row. The Superbike class is faster then the Supersport class as more modifications are allowed as well as slick tires. With Irnie riding a 600cc bike on last years DOT tires, he had his work was cut out for him. A bad start left him in 22nd spot on the first lap. Irnie again settled into a very conservative pace, but was able to slowly pick off riders as the race unfolded. As the checkered flag fell, Irnie finished up in 16th spot out of 25 riders. As the race was only six laps long and the competition quite tough, Irnie was pleased with this result.

Considering the difficulties that came with him to Washington, Irnie was pleased to go home with some reasonable results and no further damage to his bike or body. While it may have been easier to stay home and recuperate further. A determined Marcel Irnie chose to make the trip to Washington to work through the adversity and make further strides in preparation for his ultimate goal for 2010: The Parts Canada Superbike Amateur National. Irnie certainly left Washington with more confidence than when he arrived, so he feels that much better days are ahead. would like to thank the following people who made this weekend possible. Thanks to Jeff Comello of Kawasaki Canada for providing a free titanium exhaust for Marcel’s 2005 Kawasaki zx-6rr. Irnie’s April 4th crash demolished his exhaust system and Marcel was having great difficulty sourcing a replacement unit. Marcel would also like to thank Pinnacle Physiotherapy for their invaluable work on his injured knee. Thanks also to World Gym and trainer Ryan Brown, who help him train through and around his injury.

Irnieracing’s next event is Spokane Washington on May 29-30. Marcel will be racing in a brand new "X-TWELVE" helmet provided by Jeff Vanderzalm of Kreater West. is supported by:  AMSOIL Synthetics, Blue Streak Racing, British Columbia Trailer, EBC Brakes, Fluid Suspension Science, GoPro, Kreater, Magna-Tech Services, Muller Motorsports, Munro Cylinder Heads, Pinnacle Physiotherapy, World Gym Kelowna, and Valley Moto Sport.

Last Updated on Thursday, 20 May 2010 11:12


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