By John Hopkins
ST-EUSTACHE, Que. – Steve Crevier of Maple Ridge, B.C. maintained his perfect record in the 2012 Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup with his second victory of the season at Autodrome St-Eustache on Sunday.
The rider of the MotoSport Plus / Dominion Lending entry took the lead on lap two of the 16-lap race when John Ross MacRae fell and controlled the pace from there to win by 3.194 secs.
Toronto’s Michael Taylor was second on his Mackie Harley-Davidson XR1200 and Darren James of Deep Cove, B.C. completed the podium with the Ruthless Racing / Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada-backed machine.
“I was making some mistakes in the Carousel and screwing up the Esses early in the race,” admitted the 47-year-old defending class champion. “Then I calmed down a little, saw I had a cushion and just relaxed and got into a groove. I like to race but it’s too hard for me now at my age. I need a cushion.”
Crevier’s success has come without the assistance of longtime tuner Pete Snell, although he is now getting support from former racer Dan Thomson and onetime Superbike mechanic Sergei Roubine.
The early star of the race was Calgary’s MacRae, who grabbed the holeshot on the Ruthless Racing / Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada bike and held off Crevier for the first lap before crashing unhurt in turn two on lap two. That left Crevier with a cushion over the battling Taylor and James. Although they were able to eat into the lead a little they were unable to challenge the six-time Superbike champion.
“I thought about chasing Steve but then a couple of lappers didn’t work out for me,” admitted Taylor, himself a two-time national Superbike champ. “After that catching him would have taken a superhuman effort, and I can’t do that anymore.”
For most of the race Taylor had his hands full with James as the pair staged an entertaining battle.
“I think I had a big advantage coming onto the front straight and he was not as strong there, not as hard on the throttle,” Taylor said. “Coming into the weekend I thought I’d have a cornering advantage but not a speed advantage on the Deeley bikes, but I think our bike is as fast as the Deeley bikes now, and that bodes well for the next rounds.”
James thought he could have snatched the runner-up spot from Taylor were it not for lapped traffic a couple of laps from the end.
“I thought I had Mike covered off the backstraight,” James said. “But it was a fun race and when you’re riding with a world class rider like Mike you have a lot of trust and confidence in them. It’s a pleasure riding with both Mike and Steve.”
James also had praise for his young teammate.
“I’m proud of JR, he just made a rookie mistake,” James said. “But he had the measure of me all weekend.”
Multi-time national flat track champion Donald Taylor of Port Colborne, Ont. finished an impressive fourth on the Harley-Davidson of Niagara / Clare’s Cycle entry and Blaise Fougere was fifth for the Maritime Harley-Davidson Retailers.
Elie Daccache held down fourth until lap 12 when he crashed in the Bowl, although he was able to remount and complete the race in ninth. Before that the rider of the Harley-Davidson de l’Outouais entry had not been far off the pace of Taylor and James.
Crevier now has a perfect score of 112 points heading into round three of the series at Atlantic Motorsport Park in two weeks. James is second with 84 points and Taylor third on 76.
1.Steve Crevier, Maple Ridge, B.C., 12:37.648
2. Michael Taylor, Toronto, Ont., +3.194
3. Darren James, Deep Cove. B.C., +4.742
4. Don Taylor, Port Colborne, Ont., +25.455
5. Blaise Fougere, Dartmouth, N.S., +38.717
6. Costa Mouzouris, Montreal, Que., +51.311
7. Eric Trudel, Ste-Thecle, Que., +1 Lap
8. Gump Harrison, Ailsa Craig, Ont., +1 Lap
9. Elie Daccache, Newcastle, Ont., +1 Lap
Did Not Finish
John Ross MacRae, Calgary, Alta. 1 Lap
Fastest Lap: 50.015 by Steve Crevier on lap 11
1.Steve Crevier, 112
2. Darren James, 84
3. Michael Taylor, 76
4. Don Taylor, 57
5. Blaise Fougere, 56
6. Elie Daccache, 52
7. Eric Trudel, 50
8. Gump Harrison, 44
9. John Ross MacRae, 42
10. Patrick Chartrand, 21