Royce at the final Stratotech round 2013.
Royce headed to Stratotech Park at Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta for the final time in his racing career. The track is being sold this fall to be used in the rapidly growing oil field industry in northern Alberta. Royce first started riding, training and racing at this local Alberta track when he was 9 years old. The owner Dan Beith and staff have been great to Royce over the years. Royce has tested and set up all of his race bikes for every season of his 10 year career at this facility. It brings back many great memories.
This final weekend was a double header, with races on Saturday and Sunday. Royce only had enough budget after his Miller AMA round to do one race day. The local EMRA club would be using practice times from Friday and Saturday to determine qualifying positions for both Supebike races. Royce used Friday to try to resolve the suspension chatter issues after the changes that Ohlins had made at the Miller AMA round. On Saturday, with the bike switched back as close as possible to his Stratotech geometry and with European NTEC Dunlops mounted. Royce laid down some quick laps in the final practice session to qualify in 2nd place for both superbike races. Royce has not raced at Stratotech this season and many of the riders have been running some fast lap times. Royce was looking forward to the challenge.
Fast 25 Race (Open Superbike)- Royce on his Yamaha R6 started on the front row with Jason Kolmatycki riding his KTM 1000Cc Superbike, and multi time Western Canadian Superbike Champion Justin Knapik on his Kawasaki 1000cc Superbike. Royce had a good start, tucking in behind Jason, with Justin hot on his tail. Royce rode hard, taking the lead before the ½ way point. With the severe chatter issues at the Miller AMA round, it had had destroyed both his lap timers from the severe vibrations, so Royce did not have his usual on board method of keeping track of his race pace. Royce maintained his lead keeping an eye on his pit board and crossed the finish line in 1st Place.
Pro 600 – This race qualifying is based on season points, so Royce would start on the back row. Royce was boxed in off the start that leads into corner one. While Royce was fighting his way through traffic the leader checked out opening a 3 second gap over second place. Royce, caught the leader and monitored his pit board to safely maintain his lead, crossing the finish line in 1st Place.
Superbike – This is the final big race of the day, the stands were packed and it was the last race of Royce’s career at Stratotech Park, the best track in Canada. It was a historical moment, Royce knew that his competitors Jason and Justin would be pushing hard to beat him at this final race. Royce was determined to end this era with another superbike win. When the light changed the battle was on, Royce tucked in behind Jason. Within a few laps Justin made a pass on Royce and then Justin passed Jason. Royce decided it was go time and put the hammer down. Royce passed Jason and then traded positions with Justin a few times before he started to pull a gap on Justin. Royce monitored his pit board to maintain his lead and crossed the finish line in 1st Place.
It was an exciting end to his racing career at Stratotech Park. Royce won all three of his races, set the fastest lap time for the weekend, and he will forever hold the overall fastest lap time set at Stratotech Park. Royce will really miss the great support from Dan, Jeff and all the great staff at Stratotech. Thanks to them all for making his time at Stratotech such an amazing experience.
Royce will send out a final season report, with more photos and videos to be released.
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Royce would like to thank his following sponsors:
Yamaha Canada, Dunlop Tires, Arai Helmets America, Pilot Leathers, Evans Trucking, Sports Science Institute, D.I.D Chains, Ferodo, Brakes, Full Bore Marketing, Yamalube, Armour Bodies, Kustom AutoBody, Friesen Plastics, Bickle Tire Warmers,Vass Performance, Progressive Fighting Academy, Kaltire, Boss Lubricants, Silver Automotive, StopNGo, Coaldale Food Market, Steve Dick Trent McLean, Karl Sinnott, Rhonda and Jerry Prins