The Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada supported Ruthless Racing Inc. Team came away from the fourth and fifth rounds of the Parts Canada Superbike series with some strong results.
Practice for the double-header weekend was held on the Thursday, with qualifying scheduled for Friday, but unfortunately a torrential downpour followed by steady rain caused the organizers to rate the Friday as a practice day only and the dry track practice times were used to establish both the qualifying times and the National Championship grids.
In the Pro Sport Bike class, Dave Estok, riding a Buell 1125R bike, had recorded the fourth fastest time and would start from the front row of the field of nineteen riders. Olivier Spilborghs rode the #77 X9BR to the second fastest position in K&N Filters Sport Twins qualifying - just 0.776 seconds behind Buell XB12R rider Robert Busby. Team owner Darren James debuted the new Harley Davidson XR 1200 motorcycle in competition and qualified the brand new machine in eighth place in a group of fifteen competitors.
In the races, both Dave Estok and Darren James displayed their very experienced riding skills, and the sound of the Buell 1125R motorcycle contrasted with the high-revving Japanese brands. In Saturday’s race, Estok scored a fourth place and James followed in fifth. On Sunday, the team captured fifth and sixth, as Estok slipped one position in the finishing order, and once again James followed suit. Estok commented on both days: “Saturday was great. I wasn’t happy that I almost threw it away in turn ten, and I could’ve been closer to the leaders, but I’m real happy with the results. It’s the best race I’ve had here.” Estok was not so enthused after his fifth place in the Sunday final. “I feel like I owe the team an apology. I don’t know what happened, ’cause I’m usually really good on the start, but they caught me sleeping. My hat goes off to Rod Matechuk for doing such a great job on the bike. He and the team deserved better – I should have made it to the podium.”
Spilborghs placed second in both of the Canadian Sport Twins finals but was closer to the win on Saturday. “It was close,” Olivier confirmed. “I was strong in areas and could close on him, and then he [Busby] would pull me where his bike was strong. I had a chance at him in the final turns, but couldn’t get it done.” On Sunday, an inspired Spilborghs tried once more, but to no avail. “I passed Busby early, ’cause I didn’t want him to gap me, but then I screwed up down in Moss’ and he got by. Then I missed a shift and that was all he needed. I guess if I’m going to get beat, it’s okay to get beat by a Buell [bike],” he said laughing.
Ruthless Racing Inc.’s Darren James summed up his Sport Twins experience: “The bikes are really coming along, and I went faster on Sunday than I did on Saturday, so that’s good. It was actually a very good weekend for us. David is strong in the points and showing real well against the Japanese sport bikes, and Ov still has a real chance at the championship in the Twins class. I’m happy that we’re getting beat by a Buell [bike]; Busby is really riding well this year.”
James showed sadness as he reluctantly confirmed that race technician Dave Murphy would be leaving the team, after many years of service. A clearly emotional Murphy also confirmed the news and commented, “I’ve been doing this for half my life. You gotta hang it up sometime, and the time has come. I’ve worked with the greatest riders in Canada over the years, and I think that to end my career now, on a high note working for Deeley, is appropriate. I’ll miss it for sure. Like I said, half my life has been spent doing this. It’s time for some R&R.”