CONCORD, Ont. – It was with weighted hearts that the Deeley Harley-Davidson® Canada racers took to the track for last Sunday’s XR1200 Cup finale after the devastating loss of the series’ youngest competitor, 24-year-old John Ross MacRea. Ruthless Racing’s MacRae lost his life in a qualifying session accident at the Mont-Tremblant racetrack on Saturday.
When the lights flashed signaling the start of the final round, MotoSport Plus rider Steve Crevier and Ruthless Racing’s Darren James elbowed towards the lead, but it was Mackie Harley-Davidson® rider Michael Taylor who took advantage and slipped into the early lead. The lead trio was joined early on by Harley-Davidson® de L’Outaouais and Freedom Harley-Davidson® of Ottawa rider Elie Daccache in a four way battle for the lead.
Close behind, Blaise Fougere, riding for the Atlantic Harley-Davidson® Retailers, and Jean-Pascal Shroeder, riding for Harley-Davidson® Montreal, enjoyed the best seats in the house for the battle raging in front of them.
By lap five of the 12-lap contest, Taylor was being hounded by Crevier as the repeat champion pushed to the limit, twice passing Taylor only to lose the advantage in short order. As the two tested the limits, James closed the gap, and then it was Crevier who was under pressure.
On the penultimate lap, Crevier bobbled slightly and James was perfectly positioned to make the move into second. James closed in on the lead rider, Taylor, but when the checkered fabric was aired out, Taylor took the win, his second of the season. Crevier finished in third, only 16 points ahead to take his third Canadian Harley-Davidson® XR1200® Cup Series championship.
At the conclusion of the race and prior to an emotional podium, all the XR1200® series competitors took a slow lap of honour in memory of a brilliant young man and fellow motorcycle racer, MacRae.
On the podium, champion Crevier acknowledged race winner Taylor saying, “Mike rode really hard and certainly deserved the win, he rode 110 percent.”
Second place finisher James added, “I want to thank the Ruthless Racing team who stood by me all season, especially this difficult weekend. It’s been a tough up-and-down season, and this weekend we lost a great individual in John Ross MacRae.”
Race winner Taylor commented, “this is the most important trophy for me to win and it’s also the saddest.”
–From Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada