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Canadian Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup builds up momentum


Atlantic Motorsports Park

Ruthless Racing Inc. rider, Darren James, was ecstatic after winning his first pole position of the season. Not because of the achievement of besting Steve Crevier, but more for the pride of meeting his commitment to crew chief, Dave Murphy. “I told Dave I was gonna get him a watch,” (the Tactical Products Canada Luminox watch for winning the pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session). “Dave has been with me for 11 years now, and the team has had such a tough time; I think he really deserves this,” James added.

Series leader and MotoSport Plus of Kingston rider, Steve Crevier, qualified for second position, only 0.201 of a second behind James, with Privateers Harley-Davidson-sponsored Cody Matechuk a close third.

Sunday morning was welcomed by slate grey skies, but the mood in the Shubenacadie paddock could not have been brighter. The stage was set for the final, and Ruthless Racing Inc. rider, Darren James, could not have been happier. He had not only set the track record in the Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup, but he had also managed to place his Buell 1125R bike onto the Pirelli Tire Superpole in the Superbike Class, a first in his years of trying.

As the day progressed, the skies cleared, and the big Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles were staged for the final on the challenging 2,560-km Atlantic Motorsports Park track. With the start lights darkened, Crevier and Matechuk had shot off, jostling for position going into the first corner with Crevier gaining a slight advantage. James was hot on their heels with J. R. McRae, Chris Harmon, and Samuel Proulx in a three-way battle behind the lead trio.

Crevier held on to a narrow margin in the lead, and Matechuk hounded the veteran at every corner; showing him a wheel at every turn. James continued his solid run in third, and had the best seat in the house to watch the battle in front of him. Behind them, a long train of Harley-Davidson XR1200 bikes had their own war.

By lap five of the 16-lap event, Vision Harley-Davidson rider, Chris Harmon, jumped ahead of McRae and Sherbrooke Harley-Davidson rider, Samuel Proulx.

The battle for the lead waged on for another six laps, with Crevier and Matechuk banging through the corners, until Matechuk’s race came to a sputtering halt as he pulled the Harley® bike to the side of the track, the victim of an electrical problem. With Matechuk out, Crevier romped to the win with James taking second and Chris Harmon finishing a brilliant ride to take third. Samuel Proulx managed to hold off Ruthless Racing Inc. rider, J.R. McRae, for the fourth spot, while Trev Deeley Motorcycles-sponsored Ov Spilbourghs took sixth. With his podium finish, Chris Harmon was the winner of the Performance Under Gear Performer of the Race Award.

After the race, Crevier commented, “I have to thank Pete Snell for all his hard work to make this happen, I don’t let him out from under that canopy all weekend, and he just works so hard to keep me going.” He added, “I made a bit of a rookie mistake on the start line [by] leaving my visor up, but I wasn’t letting go of the handlebars for nothing.”

With this win, Crevier holds a solid 21-point advantage over Matechuk: 208 points to 187.

The next round of the Harley-Davidson XR1200 Cup will be a doubleheader weekend. This final contest of the season will be held at the Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, on August 20 and 21.

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