December 10, 2014- After finishing second overall in the Canadian Motorcycle Drag Racing Association’s Championship standings, Ethan Barkley packed up his trailer and headed south for one last event of 2013. The Manufacturer’s Cup World Finals is the biggest all motorcycle drag race on the planet with teams from all over converging to the newly resurfaced track at Bradenton Motorsport Park, near Tampa Bay Florida.
Ethan was backed by his EB Speed crewmembers Chris Klassen, Skyler LaForest and Tom Bodrovics.
Ethan arrived at the track on a day prior to the actual event to participate in a closed track test session. It was a good opportunity to gather some data and prepare the bike for the upcoming event. The test session went good but the “Eleanor” was more difficult to ride as the sticky track was upsetting the chassis more than usual. The day was spent trying to sort out the launch, but there was little in the way of success with the best pass of the day being a 7.7 second elapsed time.
The first qualifying session took place on Friday November 8th, with Ethan getting a shot at making the world class field. The bike left the line strong, but it was a little too strong resulting in an uncharacteristic wheelie that forced Ethan to abort the run.
The next morning was spent looking over the data from the previous runs and a game plan was hatched to make substantial changes to the clutch. Ethan had two more attempts to make the field and prove that he was capable of running with the world’s top teams. In round two qualifying, Ethan made the right call with the setup on “Eleanor”.
Leaving the starting line smoothly the power started to come in perfectly and the scoreboards lit up with a 7.400 @ 192. This was Ethan’s second quickest pass ever! Some minor changes were made for the third and final qualifying session, but Ethan couldn’t improve on his previous run. After the qualifying session was complete, Ethan found himself in 16th position.
The morning was spent looking over every detail of the bike. Making sure things were perfect going into the finals “Eleanor” received fresh oil, a fresh set of clutch plates and a new tire. Ethan was in tough for round one, facing #9 qualifier Jose Valencia but he was determined to leave nothing on the table.
The two racers left the start line evenly, but Ethan lost grip in second gear. That slight setback would put Ethan back a full tenth of a second but the rest of the run was text book perfect and resulted in Ethan’s best pass to date 7.366 @ 193 mph. Even though it was an awesome run, Valencia ran his new best ever and took the win.