Calabogie casualties


Peris & McBride exit corner 1 …

Calabogie, as wonderful a layout as it is, proved itself to be as dangerous as many feared for the opening Parts Canada race of the season.

Guardrails and lack of run-off  in key areas (the track was designed with cars in mind) were a big concern ahead of time, compounded by poor lines of sight due to the hilly nature of the track. 


Dale Wood launches his Buell in corner 16 but walks away.

Rob MacLennan

While this of course adds greatly to the fun of riding, nearly every corner is blind coming in for riders, and marshalls have similarly restricted sight lines. In fact, the main marshalling group in Ontario, CRCA, refused to attend the race on safety grounds.

The weekend’s casualty list is scary: Rahul Dua, suffered a compound break to a femur and broke his jaw in a test two days before the racing started. Joey McRae broke his back and fractured his ankle hitting a guardrail while trying to avoid the fallen Jodi Christie’s head after a spectacular accident that saw bikes high in the air. Rob Cousineau suffered a broken pelvis, broken hip, and two broken wrists. Jake Tyler has a broken rib and concussion.

Two top Pros, Matt McBride and Chris Peris (team-mates on the Blackfoot Suzuki team), were extremely lucky to get off lightly when they came together at a high rate of speed; both bikes went into and over a guardrail but the riders missed it.

Not an auspicious start. 


  1. Because in Northern Ontario it’ll take millions of years to create natural gravel traps. :grin Blasting out rock and trees for runoff gets awfully expensive.

  2. As an owner of a corvette I would love to do a track day but I surely don’t want to contact a wall or armco after falling off a bike I also don’t want to bounce my car of it either! I don’t understand why you would ever design a new track without proper run off.

  3. Calabogie was never designed to be a race track for cars and certainly not for motorcycles. Check out the CMP web site at,en/
    where this line was taken from “The typical track user is considered to be the driver of a road going sports car (Porsche, BMW, Corvette and Ferrari being prime examples) driving amongst small groups of similar performance cars in low intensity competitive or non-competitive conditions.” Using it for professional events is asking for trouble. Right due to a lack of car club events bikes are paying the bills.

  4. Designing a single purpose race track (cars only, no spectating areas) is a short sighted move.

    It’s sad because I’m sure if allowances were made at the beginning of the design that it wouldn’t have been hard or expensive to make it motorcycle safe.

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