Coming off his recent win at Northern Lights Raceway two weeks ago, Ethan Barkley had high hopes for even better times at the Blackjack’s Roadhouse Prairie Nationals held at Castrol Raceway, Edmonton, AB. The event started off on the right foot as Barkley cruised to a smooth opening pass of 7.64/180 mph on the EB Speed turbocharged Suzuki GSX-R1000.
The next pass was equally strong and the data looked good so it was decided to turn it up a bit for the next run. Unfortunately the new clutch tune didn’t appreciate the extra 100 hp and slipped a fair bit and the times reflected it with a modest 7.62 @ 183. The third qualifying pass provided excellent data but the run wasn’t particularly noteworthy in regards to the scoreboards. That evening there was an opportunity for one last test pass, and the new clutch tune worked great with a very strong 7.47 @ 194 mph. This would stand as the fastest speed ever posted by a Pro Street motorcycle at a CMDRA event.
Sunday morning was cold and overcast with the low lying clouds on the verge of spitting rain at a moment’s notice. The opening test pass wasn’t particularly great, with a soft launch in order to feel out the mere 19 C (67 F) temperature track. It was hit and miss with a very narrow groove, but it was decided to go for broke in the opening round of eliminations since Barkley had a bye run. The team was ready to make the pass but then mother nature stepped in as the skies opened up and rain engulfed the track.
After a few hours, the teams were back and ready to go make some runs. In Round 1 eliminations, Ethan elected to leave the tune up the same and see if the track would hold the power. It was a great call; he leaped off the line and lofted the front tire though second gear! The rear tire chirped soundly with every shift as he ripped down the 1/4 mile as the scoreboards flashed 7.346/186, a new personal best and the quickest Pro Street pass in CMDRA history! Click HERE to watch a video of the pass! The entire EB Speed team was celebrating the new benchmark just as the rain stepped in again, this time ending the event.
The cancellation of the event wasn’t helpful for Ethan’s championship points hunt since no points would be awarded for the elimination rounds. Not one to be discouraged, after the event Barkley stated, “Finally all the pieces of the puzzle are starting to line up and this is just the tip of the iceberg; we still have lots of power left at our disposal. We can’t afford to hold anything back for the finals if I want a chance at the national title.” In order to take the No. 1 plate, Barkley will need to win and to set at least one of the two records available. Barkley shows no signs of slowing down as he heads to the CMDRA Season Finals in Medicine Hat Sept 27-28.
— From EB Speed