AMSOIL-sponsored motorcycle road racer Marcel Irnie spent 6 weeks out east in the latter part of the summer to compete in the final two rounds of the Armour Bodies Amateur Sport Bike class of the Parts Canada Superbike Series. A hard crash ended his race on August 9th in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia. He then made his way back to Shannonville, Ontario and lived in a tent until the race weekend of September 3 – 6! Such is the life of a privateer! Unfortunately Marcel didn’t have much better luck in the final round. There’s no question that Marcel was very competitive this year, but poor luck and mechanical issues robbed him of valuable points. With the proper financial backing and competitive equipment we see Marcel vying for the series title in this class next year. Here is Marcel’s press release from the Shannonville event.
Irnie Lowsides to 17th at Shannonville- September 3-6, 2009
West Kelowna’s Marcel Irnie looked to finish up the last round of the Amateur Sport Bike class of the Parts Canada Superbike Series at Shannonville, Ontario on a positive note. After crashing out of the latter stages of the previous round in Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia (while battling for second place), Irnie was anxious to find redemption in the final event. With four long weeks separating the final two rounds of the season, Irnie had to camp in Shannonville; using the time to prepare for the race and heal the bumps and bruises sustained in the Maritime crash.
Irnie attended three track days and used these sessions to make some suspension changes. As the event approached, Irnie was still struggling to sort out his 2008 Kawasaki ZX6R. He acquired this bike at the end of last season and while it handled exceptionally well, it has been chronically down on power. While his competitors’ bikes are putting out the maximum 118 rear wheel horsepower allowed in his class, Irnie’s Kawasaki has been delivering just over 100 horsepower. Innumerable hours were spent searching for the solutions, but to no avail. Despite this handicap, Irnie has been putting up very impressive lap times all season and has been a serious contender at every event he has attended. A silver lining to this malady is that Marcel has had to brake later and drive harder into corners, which may ultimately make him a stronger racer in the future.
As the race weekend finally arrived, Irnie’s impressive pace continued. Irnie rattled off scorching lap times in Friday’s and Saturday’s practice. Irnie then proceeded to beat the lap record in qualifying with a 1:07:456, finishing behind series leader Cody Matechuk who pulled off a 1:07:051. Considering Irnie’s engine woes, he was quite pleased with this result. Irnie topped the timesheets in Sunday morning practice, making for a very promising final.
Starting from the front row, Irnie had a mediocre launch off the line and quickly settled into fourth place. He spent much of the race chasing Matechuk, Sebastien Tremblay and Efram Ellenbogen. Irnie worked hard to keep the top 3 riders within striking distance. He would brake hard into the corners to catch them, but his low horsepower output would allow them to pull 4 to 7 bike-lengths on the straightaways.
This cycle repeated itself for 9 laps until Irnie pushed too hard into a switchback and his bike low-sided. Marcel picked up his bike, but the engine refused to start until he reset the “tip over” switch. This allowed all 29 riders to pass. Irnie finally got his bike started and was able to gain back several positions, but finished the race in a disappointing 17th position.
The summation of many thousands of kilometres of cross-Canada driving and 6 weeks of tenting netted Irnie a DNF in Nova Scotia and a crash hampered result in Shannonville. He would have the long six day drive back to British Columbia to deconstructed his season and consider his future in the sport. His best finish in 2009 was at the Calgary National where he rode to a strong second place on his 2005 zx-6rr. In retrospect, he felt that it was a mistake to race his better handling, but under-powered 2008 bike over his tried and true 2005 unit.
To finish up his season, Marcel travelled to Seattle to get in one last race on October 4th. Irnie rode his 2005 race bike and was turning lap times that were a massive 3 seconds per lap faster than previous Seattle efforts on his 2008 bike. Starting from the last row (6th row), Irnie finished 11th in 600 Supersport, 7th in 750 Supersport, and 9th in 600 Superbike. In his words, “I could not have asked for a better end to a very difficult season.”
Despite the demoralizing outcome of the protracted Eastern swing, Irnie has high hopes on competing in the entire Amateur National series in 2010. The major stumbling block will be financing. Marcel says he will work hard to gather funds and garner sponsorship. Despite numerous hardships and mechanical gremlins in 2009, Irnie showed many flashes of brilliance, being highly competitive on under-powered equipment. A wiser and battle-hardened Marcel Irnie looks to emerge stronger than ever in 2010.
Irnieracing.com’s Marcel Irnie is sponsored by AMSOIL Synthetics, Arrow Truck Caps, Magna-Tech Services, Munro-Cylinder Heads, Kreater Custom Motorcycles, Tyrsox Tire Warmers, and Valley Motosport.
Marcel Irnie is also an AMSOIL Dealer in Kelowna BC.