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RUTHLESS RACING INC. STARTS STRONG

Season Opener of 2010 Parts Canada Superbike Series in Mirabel, Quebec


The road racing team of Ruthless Racing Inc., supported by Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada, made its first appearance on the 2010 Parts Canada Superbike Series schedule with a visit to the first round of competition, staged at the new Circuit ICAR track just north of Montréal, Quebec from May 27 through May 30.

This year, the Ruthless Racing Inc. squad consists of Olivier Spilborghs, Dave Estok, and Darren James. James and Estok are riding Buell 1125R bikes in the Sportbike class, and Spilborghs is competing on a Buell XB9R motorcycle in the Sport Twins division.

With the demise of the Buell brand, some track pundits were wondering why Deeley has chosen to race this year with the Ruthless team. Team owner and former Canadian Thunder champion Darren James explains, “Deeley’s history in racing goes back over seventy years and [has] supported many great riders. […] Also, as many people are aware, we have been talking about a Harley-Davidson XR1200 spec class for Canada. It’s working well in other countries and the AMA is just starting it this year, so we want to stay involved. We feel it will work well here. What we’re doing this year keeps the Buell name out there, and there are still some brand-new bikes available that are very well priced and come with a two-year warranty. This year’s effort is toned down from last year, but Ruthless Racing Inc. is still here and we owe that to the senior management at Deeley; they are astute business men who understand the value in racing.”

On the race track, both Darren and Dave worked with the Ruthless Racing Inc. crew, headed up by Thomas Morin, sorting out handling and power issues through the Sportbike practice sessions, and both were able to lower their lap times substantially. “We’re just off Steve’s [Crevier] time from last year,” enthused Dave Estok. Likewise, Darren James was given cause to smile. “I found something,” he beamed after placing fourth in the pre-race warm-up on Sunday morning. “We made some changes to the front end and I’m really comfortable.”

On race day, the Ruthless team’s riders’ goals would be tested. Both James and Estok were aiming at top-ten finishes and both voiced his desire to beat his teammate. “I’d like to win obviously,” said James, “but realistically, top ten for sure, top six would be nice.” Estok had similar expectations stating, “I’m going to be running the whole series, so grabbing some points is really important. I won’t be happy if I don’t get top ten. I’d like top five.”

Upon completion of the twelve-lap National Championship race, both riders achieved their goal of a top-ten finish, James with a secure ride to eighth place and Estok in seventh. Estok’s ride was not an easy one, as he was one of four riders involved in a fierce dice for fourth position. Veterans Estok on the Buell bike and Frank Trombino (Honda) swapped positions and paint with rookie sensations Cody Matechuck (Suzuki) and Kenny Reidman (Triumph) for much of the race, much to the delight of the large Quebecois crowd. Estok was just 0.243 seconds behind Reidman at the finish. “There was a point where I thought I could be fourth, but hey, it was a real good race; the kids are fast. I’m happy with my ride, I got top ten, I beat my teammate, and I got some points… and I didn’t fall down.”

Meanwhile in the Sport Twins class, Olivier Spilborghs had qualified his Buell XB9R bike in third behind Brent Strong (Suzuki) and Rob Busby (Buell XB12R model), but in the post-session dyno run, he produced too much horsepower and was penalized with a back-row start for the National Championship race. Unfazed by the handicap, Olivier executed one of his textbook hole shot starts and rocketed the Buell motorcycle into third place as the pack entered turn two off the start. That was as far as he would get in the race, as Busby on his Buell bike reeled in fast starter Strong to take the race lead just past the halfway mark, a lead he would not relinquish. “I got a good start, and that’s what you gotta do,” Spilborghs explained after the final. “There’s lots of room out there, so there was no problem passing. I couldn’t make up the difference on those guys, so I just rode my own race and yeah, I’m happy with third. I told you I want this championship, so these points are important.”

At the next two rounds of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship in Calgary (June 24 to June 27), Dave Estok and Olivier Spilborghs will represent the Ruthless Racing Inc. team each in their respective championship chases. Team owner Darren James will be racing in England and Scotland on a Harley-Davidson XR 1200 bike in the support class for the British Superbike series. He will return to Canada in time for the Mosport double-header (July 9 to July 11), at which venue he is hoping to debut the XR 1200 model in Canada’s Sport Twins class.

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