We spent most of Thursday and Friday working on finding the best setup for the track layout at GBM. By Friday night we had it figured out (thanks for helping us to understand ITALIAN, Willie!), but we were losing daylight rather quickly and needed to get a lot done ASAP. It was a late night in the Acme pit, but we went to bed feeling confident that Saturday would be better.
After struggling in qualifying on Friday afternoon, Paul had to start at the back of the grid for the 1st final Pro Superbike race of the weekend. However, now seeing lap times in the 1:05’s, Paul had great pace, battling with Phil Leckie for 8th place. We were confident that he would make his way to the middle of the pack until we lost sight of him at the end of the back straight. Turns out, the rear tire lost grip half way through the carousel, forcing Paul to make an EPIC save… the “almost highside” sent him tank surfing into the infield! Now in considerable pain/discomfort, Paul regained control of his R1 superbike, put his head down and continued until the 22 lap race was completed! #superhero #honoraryhardcharger #truegritanddetermination
Sunday morning, we woke up to on and off rain, which is oftentimes a very tricky and incredibly stressful situation in motorsports. We initially installed rain tires, then dry slicks once it started to dry up, then back to rains after a collective last minute open tire rider vote and CSBK Officials kindly giving Pro Superbike teams extra time for rain setup before heading out for the 2nd final race of the weekend.
Once again, Paul started at the back but this time things went a lot differently. We watched him gain several positions in the first 12 laps of the 20 lap rain race (his 2nd rain race EVER and 1st rain race at GBM)! He was on his way to 4th place when he suddenly slowed dramatically. We initially thought his tires may have cooked as the track surface had started to dry up again (sigh), but he later reported that his visor had fogged up so badly that he couldn’t see anything! No longer able to keep up with the front of the pack, Paul made an executive decision for the sake of everyone’s collective safety. Once again, he stayed the course (just a little behind everyone else) and didn’t give up until the race was over. When it was all said and done, Paul mentioned that he’s never been so bummed/disappointed in his life! But what we saw this weekend was an athlete who refused to give up when faced with some pretty wild obstacles!
Shout out to our Team Yamaha brother Tomas Casas who, after leading for several laps, crashed out of 2nd position but quickly picked up and finished the race, despite having a rather mangled bike.
Huge thank you to all of our supporting partners, to Willie and Nadine Vass, as well as Jon Cornwell, and last but most certainly not least, ACME crew chief Craig Atkinson.
We’d also like to take a moment to send our love and condolences to our Shannonville/Super Series family and, most especially, Kana and her children. Jose was a lovely human being and we are so sorry that he’s gone.
Sights now set on Bridgestone CSBK Round 3 at Atlantic Motorsports Park with a points lead in the Rookie of The Year Championship!
- From Acme Motorsports Superbike Team