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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Taylor takes dirt track double

By Frank Wood

WELLAND, ON -- Donald Taylor of Port Colbourne, ON won both the 450 Expert and 600 Expert main events in round four of the CMA National Dirt Track Championship at Niagara Raceway last Saturday night to add to his points advantage in his quest for the 2011 number one plate.

Riding for Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada on the Jim Sehl-prepared motorcycles, Taylor holeshot the Expert 450 race final, then led the 10-lap contest unchallenged.

“With the lightweight bike, we’ve run it since round one; we got it dialed in early after practice,” the six-time National Champion explained. “I’m very comfortable on that bike; we’ve won three in a row on it now. The track tonight was really dry and slippery so that was a challenge but I rode at 110 percent and was actually riding a defensive line, I didn’t want somebody stuffing me. Then at the finish I looked back and there was no one there.”

Taylor’s ride in the Open Expert race was pretty much the same but with some extenuating circumstances

“We had to change the motor on the 600 before this race," Taylor explained. "The motor we used last week was pooched, it’s a wonder it finished the race. We had a fair amount of work to do but got everything sorted out early in practice and it was really good in the heat race. In the main event, it was bang on.”

Taylor was again first off the line in the 15-lap championship final and for the second time that evening rode to the checkered flag unchallenged.

“Never saw a wheel,” he enthused post race. “This win was very important to us. We won the first round (on the 450) then slipped back a bit while we were sorting out the bigger bike. I placed second in one race and third in the next so it was nice to win one again.”

With the Open class win Taylor pads his points lead towards his goal of retrieving his number one plate that he forfeited due to injury last season.

“The main thing is that no one has been consistent," Taylor pointed out. "[Chris] Evans, [Doug] Lawrence and [Jon] Cornwell have all been there but no one regularly so I’ve been able to gap them a bit.”

The CMA season continues at Welland this weekend and then swings onto the half-mile at Leamington for the July 16 race.

“That one I’m really looking forward to, it’s my favourite track.” said Taylor of Leamington. “I won there on the Deeley XR in 2008 and 2009 and I tried again last year but it was too soon after my crash and I just didn’t have the strength back and was in a lot of pain. I rode practice then parked it. This year will be different.

“I’m not quite 100 percent but I’ve been seeing a sports doctor, Dr. Mark at the Scap Center and he has made a huge difference for me, the pain level is way down and I’m almost back to full mobility with my shoulder and I’m feeling more confident with every ride.”

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