June 06, 2014 - 4:00 PM
KELOWNA – A local rider tearing up the tracks on the American Superbike race scene taught himself to ride on the infamous Westside Road in Kelowna.
Marcel Irnie of Irnie Racing is a professional Superbike racer who trains and races out of Las Vegas. A fourth place finish in a recent national event combined with five club wins in a single weekend have sport bike writers taking note of his gutsy performances.
“I couldn’t be happier. It’s all coming together this season.” says Irnie, who last year finished second in a club race while he was sick with salmonella poisoning.
“I came too far not to race,” he says.
Superbike Shootout is a brand new three-race series that pits professional riders in tank-to-tank racing on tracks across the U.S. Irnie says although the league is very advanced, this has been his best season of riding since he started only eight years ago.
The 2014 series was held at tracks in California and Utah over a one-month period starting in April.
“My first race in Fontana I qualified tenth and finished twelfth, which is kind of disappointing,” he says. “But I finished fourth in the final Shootout and won five club races in one weekend. I was killing it.”
The accomplishment is made all the more impressive considering Irnie only started riding in 2006.
“My dad used to ride a street bike when he was younger and he never wanted us to ride them growing up,” he says. “He always said the day I came home with a street bike I was out of the house but I worked for a year and bought a brand new 750 cc and put on 18,000 km in four months. All on Westside Road.”
He says the dangerous and winding Westside Road is where he taught himself to put his knee down, a technique riders use to turn as sharply as possible.
“That’s pretty crazy because I wouldn’t do that now," he says. "Now I have a sense of crashing.”
The Superbike Shootout is broadcast live on MAV TV.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014