shatters previous best E.T. becoming the first Canadian
to run in the 6's on a Street Tire!
The TS Signs Printing & Promo backed rider Ethan
Barkley set his sights on racing against the best in the world
this season. To do so he needed to venture back to the USA one
more time this season to race with the Xtreme Drag Racing Association
(XDA) at the inaugural Bike Bash
Motorsports Park (VMP) August 23-25th. XDA events always draw
the top Pro Street racers from all over the globe as the track
prep at an XDA event is second to none. This was a long haul for
the Calgary, Alberta based racer who logged
After 3.5 days and 4400+ kms, Ethan arrives
at Virginia Motorsports Park!
Friday tech inspection featured far more scrutiny
than back in Canada or other US sanctioning bodies. The riders
are meticulously weighed and measured, in
Ethan's case he
lbs in only shorts
and a t-shirt without shoes
or anything extra on his body. In order to allow up to 73" of wheelbase
he and the bike
including all gear must exceed
Over the last several months he has worked hard on his physical
training and monitoring the bike's components to be as
close as possible
order to gain the most
advantage. All that hard work and attention to detail paid off
as Ethan weighed in at 154 lbs and the combined
weight including his Alpinestars gear and HJC Carbon fiber helmet
tipped the scales at a near perfect 590 lbs. To compete at this
level racing the best of the best, nothing can be left to chance.
Barkley checks out the facilities at VMP!
Ethan entered the Friday test session in order to
get a feel for the surface at VMP and work on his tune-ups. The
session went well with a total of three runs, the best being a
respectable 7.18/195 on a low boost tune. Friday night round 1
qualifying was at 7pm, the temperature had cooled off dramatically
compared the test passes during the day. Ethan had a good idea
of where he needed to be with his tuning and was eager to make
a good pass. Unfortunately that's not how it went, Ethan wasn't
in the correct body position when he bike left the start line harder
than it's ever left before, Ethan was caught off guard found
himself being in the uncomfortable situation of being pulled backward
to chop the
at the top of first
gear which hurt the times considerably posting a miserable 7.60
@ 185 mph. This was not how Ethan wanted to start his weekend and
set his sights on doing better in the three rounds of qualifying
Barkley poised to set records on the immaculate
Saturday morning's weather was cool and wet forcing
XDA officials to cancel the 1pm round of qualifying
Pro Street. This meant Ethan only had two chances to make the
very competitive 16 bike field, one at 4 pm and the last at 7pm.
In all 19 riders were entered in the Orient Express Pro Street
Class and if you didn't make the top 16, you were going home
extra time and spent hours reviewing the data from the earlier
runs as well as watching video in order to improve his
chassis and riding position. In the 4pm session Ethan was more
determined than ever and had a much better
body position but the bike was slightly lazy leaving the line.
The scoreboards flashed 7.04 @ 206 mph, a new personal best in
both elapsed time and speed! For round three Ethan made a slight
in his tune-up trying to resolve
the soft launch. Unfortunately the launch still wasn't corrected
but Eleanor pulled harder than ever and posted a new career best
of 7.016 @ 200.62 mph! It was a near perfect run with Ethan
knocking on the door to the elusive 6 second club! This run
qualified him 13th position, which is truly a feat in itself
considering the caliber of racers in attendeance.
Pro Street XDA start line is a busy place!
In round 1 of Sunday's eliminations Ethan was paired
up with Ryan Schnitz who qualified 4th with a career best 6.61
@ 215 mph. Ethan knew he was the underdog but he was confident
he was on
the right track with his tuning and was eager to improve
on his previous elapsed times. As the pair left the start line
they were close on reaction time, but Ethan continued to have
than average acceleration in 1st gear and Ryan pulled ahead about
3 bike lengths. As Ethan shifted to second he was now keeping
pace with Ryan. Ethan
in second to but he knew it was a good pass since he was
able to keep Ryan in his sights. The time slip showed that all
of Ethan's hard work and perseverance paid off ... 6.964
@ 205.26 mph! Ethan just made history as the first Canadian
to run a 6 second elapsed time in Pro Street!
He was now a full-fledged member of the exclusive "6 second
club" and was ecstatic with the result: "This number 6 has been
a long time coming, I always knew myself and the bike were capable
of it but never had the traction up to now, the pass felt super
smooth and now I'm on the right track to keep going quicker".
Barkley tucks in for a 6.84 second ride at
nearly 208 mph!
Never one to be satisfied,
Ethan was charged up and wanted more passes on the perfect VMP
surface. "I didn't drive all this way to watch" he said as he
was doing his between round maintenance. After speaking to XDA
director Jason Miller, Ethan would be allowed to run test passes
after the pro's finished their runs. This was an opportunity
of a lifetime and Ethan took full advantage. His first test pass
was another record setting run, 6.926 @ 200.00 mph! The bike
was on rails, with a super clean start with improved acceleration
in first gear. For his last test pass Ethan added
even more power earlier
in first gear while
maintaining the same overall peak power he's run all season.
The bike left the line with unbelievable speed and acceleration,
posting a career best 1.15 second 60 foot time and continued
to accelerate harder than ever before. Ethan shifted into 6th
finish line and posted a jaw dropping 6.847 @ 206.99 mph! (click
here to watch) This is not only his third 6 second pass
in a row, but more importantly he is now in the league of the
"It has been
an amazing few days down here and I'm pumped to be running
so quick while knowing there is much more left in the bike" Ethan
said after the record setting run.
Barkley with XDA Director Jason Miller after
the record setting pass!
It truly was an epic weekend of racing for Ethan.
Not only did he qualify against the quickest riders in the world,
he proved that the 15 years of hard work and dedication to his
GSX-R1000 program paid off in spades! Running a 6 second pass
is an amazing
feat that only a handful of riders get to achieve. The icing
on the cake is that he shaved off over a tenth of a second
on only his third ever 6 second
pass, just imagine thr outcome with more track time. His 6.84
second run places him firmly into the 6 second club and he
just the tip of the iceberg!
The time slip that tells the story of years
of hard work!
Ethan's next event will be back in Canada with
the CMDRA in Medicine Hat, Alberta September 7-8th. Stay tuned
to all of Ethan's social media for updates at the event.
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