wins his 16th National Championship!
had to remain focused on performing well at the final
event of the season if he wanted to take home
the #1 plate. Leaving
nothing to chance a complete teardown of his turbocharged GSX-R1000 "Eleanor" was
completed prior to arriving at Mission Raceway Park for the 2016
CMDRA Finals. Always one to watch the scales, Ethan was also
sporting the yet to be publically released ultra-lightweight
HJC RPHA11 Pro Riberte helmet for the finals courtesy of Parts
Things got off to a soggy start as constant drizzle
Saturday morning kept the event in a holding pattern. By 11 am
the clouds parted and the track staff worked for a few hours
the surface prepared for the opening
test session and subsequent qualifying passes in the early afternoon.
received a complete makeover only days before the final race!
wasn't too happy with the way the track looked for the opening
pass; the constant rain in the days leading up to the event began
to lift the existing rubber from the track. With that said he
but to go for it if he wanted to get that #1 plate. So he
put a relatively strong tune in the bike in
work the staff had done, there wasn't nearly enough
grip and the rear wheel spun instantly when Ethan let go of
the clutch lever. Since the rain put the entire schedule behind,
the test session was cut very short and that would be the only
Ethan would get before qualifying. Going into qualifying totally
blind isn't ideal so Ethan elected to
try something more conservative in hopes of making it down the
track and gaining some useful data.
The first pass was good but not good enough as he ran about two
tenths off pace with a 7.83, not the number the team was looking
for. In round two it all
together and the bike left the line smoothly and the modest tune
up kept the tire planted and the scoreboards flashed 7.43 / 188.
In the final round of qualifying the heat of the day was gone
and track cooled significantly and there was very little grip
left and the bike spun right at the starting line. At the end
of the day Ethan qualified in the number #1 position and gained
a few valuable championship points.
the rear tire warmed up prior to making a pass!
a long night of wrenching on the bike, Ethan was poised to get
down the track and make a decent showing for the final event
of the season. Morning rain had once again delayed the start
and subsequently shortened the test session, so the team would
only get one pass. With a modest tune up Ethan left the start
line cleanly but the bike spun the tire on the 1-2 shift, killing
the elapsed time. Heading into eliminations the goal was to make
a clean passes under modest power. The times were not good but
things were going in the right direction and mid 7's were within
reach. Ethan found himself In the finals he lined up against
Rob Aston who had been in the upper 7.4's
the weekend so Ethan couldn't go with too soft of a tune or he
would watch Rob pull away.
chassis transferring the weight
to the rear tire!
gambled to add a bit more power for the final in hopes of posting
a low 7. As Ethan left the line the front tire lifted a couple
thus transferring all 570 lb's of bike a rider on the rear tire.
Even with the chassis working perfectly the rear lost grip just
a few feet into the run, Ethan worked the throttle instantly
in an attempt to get the rear hooked up again and managed a great
recovery of 7.67 / 187 but lost to Rob's 7.45 /186.
takes home the #1 for an unprecedented 16th Time!
wasn't the way Ethan wanted to end the season, but overall 2016
was very successful. A host of personal bests as well as three
event wins, two runner-up finishes in five races. Combine that
elapsed time records including the amazing 7.24 second run from
Edmonton. All of this added
up to Ethan winning his 16th CMDRA Championship!
results of a highly successful 2016 CMDRA Season!
every rider is a group of supporters who help make
it all happen. Ethan would
like to thank his 2016 sponsors for all their support; Parts
and Controls Ltd. and Gas
Analytical Systems Ltd.
Ethan would also like to thank his
2016 corporate partners: Alpinestars,
HJC Helmets, VP
Racing Fuels, McIntosh
Machine and Fabrication,
Racing Shocks, Seven62 Media, Energycoil, Dragbike.com, Class4
Engineering, and Brocks
Photos by: Seven62
Follow Ethan on Twitter @ethanbarkley
And on Facebook Ethan