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Jul 11, 2018

Ian Wall Wins EMRA Superbike Races On Busy Weekend At Castrol Raceway

Ian Wall (911). Photo by Alana Hill, courtesy of EMRA.

Ian Wall Takes Double Superbike Wins, Torin Collins Breaks Lap Record

July 6-8th were Rounds 2 and 3 of the Edmonton Motorcycle Roadracing Association’s, a double-header race weekend at Castrol Raceway. With nearly one hundred riders entered to race two rounds of racing over the weekend, this would be the largest motorcycle road-racing weekend in Western Canada. Championship contenders have had this weekend circled on the calendar as the one to get as many points as possible to take into the second half of the 2018 season.

Conditions for Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions were scorching hot; temperatures would rise quickly all morning, reaching a track temperature of 42°C. With the hot temperatures in mind, Superbike points-leader Ian Wall focused his efforts on the morning sessions, putting in his fastest pole position time in just 7 laps. By the end of the day, no other riders would be able to beat the time set that morning and Wall would claim his second consecutive pole position of the season.

Saturday morning Mother Nature greeted the track with dark skies and thunderclouds on the horizon. As the racing got underway, a thunderstorm rolled in and brought with it large amounts of lightning. With safety in mind, Race Direction made the call to delay the proceedings 30 minutes. Strong winds and the hard work of corner workers had the track returned to nearly completely dry for the first Formula Thunder Race of the weekend. The Formula Thunder class is one dedicated to bikes with Single, Twin, Triple, and V-4 engine configurations. A large grid with a variety of different bikes always makes for an entertaining race, this one being no exception. From his start in second position, Owen Baba on his Echo Cycle backed MV Augusta F3 was able to nail the hole shot and take the lead of the race on lap one, followed closely by points-leader Corey Svatos on his Echo Cycle Triumph Daytona 675R. The two racers would pull away from the rest of the grid, and Baba was able to fend off Svatos for the majority of the race. On the fifth lap, Svatos would pass Owen Baba on the outside of Turn 6; the two would then drag race the length of the back straight and enter two wide into Turns 7 and 8, with Baba finally able to retake his lead. Lining up a drag race to the line, Svatos fell just short of making the pass for the win and settled for second, 0.096 seconds behind Owen Baba – a near photo-finish race and what would be the closest of the weekend.

The day rolled on under dry conditions, but the constant threat of rain was in the air. The Expert Superbike grid formed with the fastest riders in Western Canada eager to get the dry race under way. The red lights went out and from third position on the grid, Jason Kolmatycki on a Riverside Motosports R1M took the lead into the first corner. That lead would be short lived, however, as Ian Wall on his Argyll Motorsports BMW S1000RR struck back immediately and took the lead by the third corner. A battle for second place between Ryan Boddy on his Echo Cycle ZX10R and Kolmatycki allowed Wall to build a gap he was able to maintain for the remainder of the race. The battle for second place would be settled on a desperate last lap Turn 4 pass attempt by Kolmatycki. Sensing the pass attempt, Boddy would brake late, resulting in both riders diving to the inside of the corner and running wide, narrowly avoiding an incident. Boddy was able to collect the exit of the corner best and hold onto his position for the reminder of the race.

With the first half of a massive double-header weekend of racing completed under mixed conditions and several close races coming down to the wire, Sunday’s racing started with a warmer track, sunnier skies, and the promise of even faster racing. This promise came to fruition during the Middleweight Twins and Lightweight Open race; EMRA rookie sensation Torin Collins broke the Lightweight Open class lap record with a 1:29.6. Collins would battle a number of bigger, faster middleweight twin bikes throughout the race in a classic David versus Goliath battle of big bike horse power versus small bike handling and corner speed. After taking the win, Collins would say, "I knew I had good pace after Friday’s practice, but the chain came off the R3 in Saturday’s race and I ended up with a DNF, so this win and lap record is a good end to the weekend. Thanks to the Calgary Cycle Works, GFF Motoproducts, Bickle Racing, JP43 Training, Minimob Racing, and Hustlehard Racing – they have all helped me along my journey, and to the EMRA for letting me race! Winning the Lightweight Superbike races both days was nice too."

The grand finale of this weekend racing would be the Expert Superbike race and it did not disappoint. Again, from third position on the grid, Jason Kolmatycki would take the lead, this time maximizing his hole shot and maintain first place for a number of laps. Ian Wall and Ryan Boddy were following close behind. Boddy and his ZX-10 were trying hard to get past Wall into second place, pulling hard on the straights. Boddy was able to get past Wall at Turn 5, but unfortunately crashed a lap later, bringing out the red flag. After a short break, the riders lined up for the restart without Boddy. This time Wall got the better start and was able to slowly pull away from Kolmatycki and a distant Brain Worsdall on his BMW S1000RR. From second place on the podium, Kolmatycki would say, "The restart didn't quite go as well, as Ian and myself went into the first corner side by side, and with Ian on the inside, he won that battle. I tucked in behind Ian, but ultimately couldn't muster the speed to make a pass and eventually he inched away. I settled for another second. Thank you to my main sponsor Riverside Motosports for being a huge part of this race weekend for me." On the top step of the podium, Ian Wall would say, "Its been a great weekend of racing for me; thanks to my dad, Argyll Motorsports, and Vortex Racing for all their support this weekend."

The second half of the 2018 EMRA race season gets underway August 4th and 5th with Round 4 at Castrol raceway. For more information check out www.emra.ca.