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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Gauthier wins CBR125R thriller

By John Hopkins / Photo by Neil Cameron (www.csbk.ca)

ST-EUSTACHE, QC -- Ottawa’s Shay Gauthier won his second straight Honda CBR125R Challenge event at Autodrome St-Eustache on Saturday after a dramatic battle over the 12-lap race with Stacey Nesbitt from St-Lazare, QC, who finished second and Falmouth, NS’s Austin Shaw-O’Leary, who placed third.

Gauthier’s margin of victory was 0.525 secs. and the top three were covered by just 0.712 secs.

As many as five bikes disputed the lead early in the race but by the closing laps it had settled down into a three-rider fight. Nesbitt led at the start of the final lap but, as he had done through most of the race, Gauthier steamed by her in the dogleg that precedes the final turn. The 16-year-old Gauthier had shown a tremendous ability to carry speed through there throughout the race.

"That race was so much fun," Gauthier said. "Stacey would manage to draft me on the backstright but I guess I was pretty fast through the dogleg. I figured Stacey would try to get back by me [after the final pass] so I just tried to keep it hammered to the finish."

Nesbitt enjoyed her best finish since winning round two of the series at Circuit ICAR in May. She admitted she is still feeling some pain from a wrist injury sustained in the previous event at Shannonville Motorsport Park last weekend although x-rays have revealed no broken bones.

"Near the end of the race it was starting to bug me," she admitted. "I was able to get Shay into the Carousel [turn 3] and I also got good drives coming onto the backstraight and could draft past him."

Shaw-O'Leary tried to nip past Nesbitt in the final run to the line but got a poor drive onto the frontstraight, something he vowed to improve for Sunday's second race of the doubleheader.

Nevertheless, the Nova Scotia rider continues to lead the CBR125R Challenge point standings with 189 points, thanks to four podium finishes in five races. Nesbitt moved up to second with 167 points and Gauthier's win propelled him to sixth with 112.

David MacKay qualified on pole and led the first two laps before a fall in turn two ended his race on lap three.

Eric Green of Richmond, ON was part of the lead battle for the first half of the race but lost touch and settled for a fourth place finish.

Scott Lingelbach of Wellesley, ON completed the top five but slipped to third in the class standings with 162 points.

Honda CBR125R Race Results
1.Shay Gauthier, Ottawa, ON 12:52.158
2.Stacey Nesbitt, St-Lazare, QC +0.525 secs.
3.Austin Shaw-O'Leary, Falmouth, NS +0.712
4.Eric Green, Richmond, ON +9.675
5.Scott Lingelbach, Wellesley, ON +26.417
6.Costa Mouzouris, Montreal, QC +27.486*
7.Pascal Bastien, Laval, QC +32.573*
8.Cedric Martineau, Ste-Catherine, QC +38.286
9.Karolina Pelc, Guelph, ON +46.778
10.Matt Chandler, Richmond Hill, ON +1 Lap
11.Lauren Hill, Halifax, NS +1 Lap
Did Not Finish
Leah Vignale, Kemptville, ON 11 laps
David MacKay, Stoney Creek, ON 2 laps
Fastest Lap: 1:03.473 by Shay Gauthier on lap 12
* -- Media Entries; ineligible for points
** -- All riders aboard Honda CBR125R motorcycles

Point Standings
1.Austin Shaw-O'Leary 189
2.Stacey Nesbitt 167
3.Scott Lingelbach 162
4.Eric Green 130
5.David MacKay 117
6.Shay Gauthier 112
7.Leah Vignale 110
8.Lauren Hill 99
9.Seth Van Dongen 94
10.Karolina Pelc 94
11.Matt Chandler 92
12.Cedric Martineau 89
13.Timothy Kennedy 68
14.Brian Alexander 59
15.Sean Smith 36
16.Kyle Mistibachner 29
17.Sam McManus 27

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