Alex Welsh and the Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team showed their speed at the fourth and fifth rounds of the Parts Canada Superbike Championship at Mosport International Raceway last weekend.
Unfortunately that didn’t translate into podium results for the team. The 22-year-old Welsh crashed out of fourth place in Saturday’s opening event of the doubleheader weekend, then came back to finish sixth on the Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja on Sunday after running second off the start.
“We have the speed, that’s for sure,” said the Uxbridge, Ont. rider. “We’re just missing the consistency right now. I think I’m riding well, and I know the Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team is working hard.”
Welsh wound up sixth on the starting grid for the weekend’s races after Pirelli SuperPole qualifying was cancelled on Friday due to the weather. That forced Parts Canada Superbike Championship officials to revert to Thursday afternoon’s practice times to set the grid. Welsh had turned a lap at 1:23.493, at the back of a group of five riders within just over a second of each other.
The 2008 HJC Pro Rookie of the Year got a rocket of a start in Saturday’s 20-lap race and had the ZX-10R Ninja in third place at the end of the opening lap. Even though he dropped to fourth he was in the fight for the lead when he lost the front end and crashed spectacularly in turn three on lap eight.
“I couldn’t get a good feeling in the front,” Welsh explained. “I was catching people on the brakes, running it in hard, and I really had to push the front and ask a lot of the front tire.”
Despite injuring his back in the crash and being forced onto his back-up Kawasaki, Welsh again showed pace on Sunday. He was second off the start this time but slipped back to sixth as he battled with the consistency of his motorcycle.
Nevertheless, his fastest lap of 1:21.653 was the third fastest of the race.
“I was having the same sort of problems as Saturday,” he admitted. “I got away with the leaders again but I wasn’t able to pull a gap. I didn’t want to bin it again so I played it safer.”
The Parts Canada Superbike Championship now heads to Atlantic Motorsport Park in Shubenacadie, N.S. for its season-ending doubleheader Aug. 6-8. Welsh is seventh in the point standings, just six points out of sixth.
“We’ve only got three weeks before the end of the season so we’ve got to go hard and make the most of it,” Welsh said. “We need to go in with a positive attitude, more than anything this is a mental game.
“Right now it’s about getting a result. The team deserves it and I think I deserve it. We’ve got to be focused on getting a decent result so we can go into the off season holding our heads high.”
The Competition Systems Kawasaki Race Team is sponsored by Canadian Kawasaki, Parts Canada, Noco, Akrapovic, Dynojet, Motul, DID, Vortex, Zero Gravity and Pirelli.