On Saturday the weather was volatile all day, mixed conditions at best. Warm up in the morning was dry and then it started to rain a lot, making tire choice tough and Brad was pulling what’s left of his hair out. By the time the Women’s race came around it was dry ... for three laps, and then it rained again. I was gridded with Formula 112. I started off in second position for the Women’s race and managed to maintain first place before the race was red flagged. I knew I wasn’t really riding to my potential during the first Women’s race and this became the TSN Turning Point of my season. Brad was honest and said I wasn’t racing I was just riding around. He’s always so positive with me and we work on my riding at all times but this was the first time he wasn’t happy with it. “You’re not racing babe, just riding around at 60% of your talent. Race the bike!” He was right I wasn’t racing and it was time to start racing. Not to worry about lap times or anything else that’s going on; just to go out and race my bike. The second race of the day was Intermediate Open Sport Bike. It was a dry race and I finished in seventh place with a personal best. I had a lot of battles and fun while doing it. Open Superbike was up next I started in tenth and finished in fifth. I had one of my best results with a 1:27.0. I was chasing Xavier and tried to make a clean pass in the north end of the track he managed to fend me off and I finished close behind him. Such a good race and finally riding like I wanted to and how Brad always believed I could. We finished a great day with a good meal with my parents who showed up to watch. Brad and I always go to the Den in Leduc on race weekends. So tasty!
Sunday weather was much better and with a good night sleep and great results from Saturday I was happy and so excited to for the second day of racing on the double-header weekend. I love the bike and nicknamed her the ‘Couch.’ It works good so smooth and Brad keeps the bike running well. He loves GSXRs. Women’s open was up first and it was wild. Women’s open is always gridded at the back and there was a lot of passing. My teammate Shane Fraser and Graham Lynch were both in the Formula 112 race. Shane and I made a run to the front together, passed 23 people and had so much fun. In that race I broke the ladies lap record held by Lorna Stelmack who came with Tricia Reese and told me that I did and congratulated me, which meant a lot to me. Crazy, but awesome!
The intermediate races were after lunch and I wanted to replicate Saturday’s results again and I did. Another fifth, a new personal best lap time (1:26.5) and another great result. I’m only a couple seconds from the front with my lap time. I’m going to get there and I’m pretty stoked to be going this fast but there’s way more left in me and the bike. But with all this riding the tires are starting to move a bit now and I had one race left and it was hot! It was a good race; not the result I wanted, but a solid race and good points with a ninth place finish after making a pass on the last lap.
That was a lot of riding and I can’t wait for round 4 in August. I truly believe that rounds 2 and 3 were the turning point of my season. Now I’m going to step up my training and get out on two wheels as much as possible whether it be cycling, dirt biking or any sort of riding. I’ve stepped up my training with lots of cycling including a very fun day at Canada Olympic Park doing downhill mountain biking. I didn’t realize how much fun downhill is and it’s great because it incorporates timing, balance and fitness. I’ve also been road cycling way more. Brad hates going with me because every time we go he says it’s always a race! No competition between the two of us, we push each other further. But the best day we had out was dirt biking at McLean creek. What a workout! Dirt bikers are seriously fit! Hills, mud, rocks and managed to drown the motorcycle twice but had a great time. You can get some really amazing views when dirt biking. After a long hot day of off road, beer tasted so good.
Recently I was lucky enough to get asked by Justin Knapik, the owner of On Track Performance, to help with a women’s only track day put on by Girls ‘N Gear. They ran this last year and it was a huge hit and this year I got a chance to help instruct. It was a really cool experience, it made me remember a couple years ago when I was where these ladies were and just starting out doing my first track day. It is a learning experience that never stops. My students progressed during the day even though the weather was mixed with rain and showers, but everyone had a good time. It was beneficial for me listening to Justin and Brad talk about riding, and riding properly more specifically. I brought my CBR1000rr street bike and being a Dunlop sponsored rider I put on a set of Q3+ tires. It’s a 2006, but it still has quite a bit of power and handles extremely well. I like how well the bike enters corners. It’s smooth and responds well to input. I bring my street bike for track days because it helps me to be smooth while I’m working on skills and I don’t have to manage tire warmers. You don’t need to have tire warmers to do a track day, all you need is a solid street bike with sticky tires.
With all the fun stuff behind us, now round 4 is here and it’s back to work at the track. Brad made a few alterations to the bike and I have a semi private track day with OTP to work on some things that need improving. I need to work on my transitions, getting on the gas sooner and standing the bike up at the exit of corners. A day or two before race weekends I take it easy with training so I’m good to go. The goals I have for this weekend are to ride well, drop my average lap times, be consistent, be focused and have a fun weekend.
Should be fun! Come out to the EMRA if you’re in Edmonton and say hi. My bike is blue and yellow you can’t miss it.
Bronti Verbeek Red No. 93
Thank you to all of my sponsors that help make this possible: Motology Riding School, Pro am Motorsports, GW Cycle World, Motovan, Dunlop Tires ( Mike Zottman), Vortex, Rob Jessop , Adam Gregory and my team mates Graham, Shane and Lonny, and biggest supporter Brad Gavey for all of the hours working on my bike, coaching, being my biggest cheer leader and my most positive supporter.