By John Hopkins
SHANNONVILLE, Ont. – Defending Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup champion Steve Crevier proved his mastery of the class with a start-to-finish win in round one of the 2012 season at Shannonville Motorsport Park on Sunday.
Having beaten his own track record to claim pole in qualifying on Saturday, the Maple Ridge, B.C. rider took the lead from Darren James on the opening lap and went on to score a 6.677-sec. victory over the North Vancouver rider in the 16-lap race.
“I wanted to try and jump out front immediately and build up a cushion,” explained the rider of the MotoSport Plus entry. “I haven’t been working out through the off-season and I tried a race distance Saturday, and I was so sore afterward.”
James had grabbed the holeshot on his Ruthless Racing XR1200 but by lap four he was already 2.9 secs. behind Crevier, and had the attentions of his teammate John Ross MacRae to worry about.
“JR’s been keeping me honest all weekend,” James admitted. “Steve got this one but we’ll have something for him at the next round.”
James managed to get some space between himself and MacRae in lapped traffic on lap 10, but sprinkles of rain in the last couple of laps caused James to take things a bit easier. MacRae still wound up almost three seconds back of James at the end, although he was still pleased with the result.
“This is really special, because we put in a lot of hard work in the off-season,” the Calgary rider said.
Michael Taylor finished fourth on the Mackie Harley-Davidson entry, but he spent the first 10 laps running behind an impressive Elie Daccache, who picked up fifth at the finish.
Blaise Fougere of Dartmouth, N.S. was sixth on the Atlantic Harley-Davidson Dealers-backed XR1200 after running in the company of road race rookie Don Taylor almost all race. The multi-time flat track champion settled for seventh, but distinguished himself in his debut with a rocket start from seventh on the grid that saw him lying fourth before the field hit turn one.
Crevier takes a perfect score of 56 points to the next round of the series at Autodrome St-Eustache on July 6-8. James is next with 45 and MacRae has 39.
1.Steve Crevier, Maple Ridge, B.C. 19:00.073
2. Darren James, North Vancouver, B.C. +6.677
3. John Ross MacRae, Calgary, Alta. +9.318
4. Michael Taylor, Toronto, Ont. +11.390
5. Elie Daccache, Newcastle, Ont. +21.655
6. Blaise Fougere, Dartmouth, N.S. +1:02.736
7. Don Taylor, Port Colborne, Ont. +1:04.450
8. Eric Trudel, Saint-Pierre, Que. +1 lap
9. Patrick Chartrand, Mississauga, Ont. +1 lap
10. Gump Harrison, Ailsa Craig, Ont. +1 lap
Fastest Lap: 1:10.527 by Steve Crevier on lap 7
All riders aboard Harley-Davidson XR1200 motorcycles
1.Steve Crevier, 56
2. Darren James, 45
3. John Ross MacRae, 39
4. Michael Taylor, 33
5. Elie Dacchache, 29
6. Blaise Fougere, 27
7. Don Taylor, 25
8. Eric Trudel, 23
9. Patrick Chartrand, 21
10. Gump Harrison, 19