With the introduction of lightweight, high-performance twins like the KTM 990 Super Duke and the Buell 1125R, change had to come to the Canadian Thunder racing series.
This year, the series that has been an air-cooled BMW-Buell-Ducati support series in the Parts Canada Superbike Championship gets split in two and invites a host of new brands.
Canadian Thunder will now be run as a class for twins making up to 122 hp and weighing a minimum 380 lb – but now not just limited to air-cooled motors. This opens the racing series up to the new Buell 1125R, KTM Super Duke, as well as the Ducati 848 and BMW’s HP2 Sport.
Bikes like the air-cooled Buell XB-9R and XB-12R and Ducati Super Sport models are now eligible for a new secondary racing division called Canadian Sport Twins. This class is open to air-cooled bikes of up to 95 hp but will also allow liquid-cooled models of up to 90 hp such as BMW’s F800, and Kawasaki’s Ninja 650. All bikes must have a minimum weight of 370 lb.
Both series will run at national Superbike rounds, starting May 22-25 at a location that is being kept under a tight blanket of unintentional security – that is, they haven’t figured it out yet.
new rules bring the Canadian series closely in line with the U.S.
Suntrust Moto ST endurance series that started in the U.S. last year.
The changes are hardly a surprise for a couple of reasons:
manufacturers were eager to see their bikes raced, but they didn’t qualify under the
old air-cooled-only Thunder rules … oh, and PMP, the series manager, also manages the Moto ST
big new player in the sandbox promises to be KTM. While the Austrian
company has road raced in Europe for several years, this will be its
first time in Canada. KTM Canada race marketing director Andy White
promises a team of 990 Super Dukes and said he is "anxious to find out more about this model and how competitive it is."
CMG Online was actually instrumental in forming the Canadian Thunder series back in the day, but it has lately been shepherded along by none other than Colin Fraser, who also runs the Parts Canada Superbike Championship.