Parker scores fifth Medina TT Flat Track Scrambles Championship
July 27, 2016
John Parker claimed his fifth TT Flat Track Scrambles Championship at the fifth and final round of the points chase in Medina, NY on July 17th – Parker’s title run started when he won the series in 2009. He grabbed his second win in 2010. Although he was leading the series in 2011, he missed the final round due to a conflict with his Canadian flat track campaign. Immigration issues prevented his presence in Medina in 2012 and a serious injury ended his season early in 2013.
Parker made a comeback in Medina in 2014, nailing his third TT Flat Track Scrambles Championship, again juggling that series with his Canadian Nationals and Ontario Provincial Championships campaign. 2015 was another banner year for Parker south of the border, when he garnered his fourth title, deftly following that up with his fifth crown this season.
“Medina has always been a favourite series for me because it combines flat track with scrambles. My motorcycle racing roots go back to motocross so the TT Flat Track Scrambles Championship has always been a fun, no stress points chase, more or less a busman’s holiday,” Parker said. “But that never meant I go there for a Sunday cruise. No matter where I race, I race for the podium and to claim five championships in Medina has been very gratifying, in addition to having a good time.”
Before heading to Medina for the final round, Parker raced there on June 19th, winning his heat and the final aboard his potent Kawasaki KX450 DTX. The multi-time Canadian flat track champ basically put on a clinic for an enthusiastic crowd while extending his lead in the title hunt.
Parker stayed stateside to take in the AMA Grand National in Lima, Ohio on June 25th. The seasoned veteran was not there to bang handlebars with the current crop of American Pro stars, however, but to wrench for and mentor his young protégé, David Pouliot.
The up-and-comer Quebec native qualified fifth in the 52 rider GN2 class to then nail a solid third in his heat race on the Parker Racing prepped Kawasaki 450 flat tracker. A poor start in the final saw Pouliot having to play catch-up, but by the end of the race he had worked his way into fifth. Although he had reeled in fourth, time ran out for Pouliot and he had to settle for a still noteworthy fifth place at the checkered flag.
“This was only David’s second Grand National in the U.S. and he made big strides since his debut in Lima last year. He still needs to hone his starts, but the speed is there and he proved that by slicing his way from an eleventh place start into fifth on a track that saw very little passing. One would have to say he did very well considering the company he was in,” Parker said.
On July 10th Parker was back in Medina for the track’s big Memorial Races, which drew many Grand Nationals riders from New York and neighbouring states. A record crowd was also on hand to take in the action.
A back row start in his heat race – on a slightly over-watered track – saw Parker struggled to connect with the frontrunners. By the end of the race, however, he qualified in third place. Although he started the final on the second row as well, this time out he was in the up-front mix within a few laps, made a pass for the lead and went on to take his fourth win of the season.
On July 16th Parker was back in Canada to campaign the Leamington half-mile in Leamington, Ontario. Unfortunately, the hand of fate dealt Parker a cruel blow, which left him at the event as a spectator. A blown ignition at the start of the practice session saw to it that Parker never got to ride even one lap.
“It was just one of those things, one that rarely happens and one I wasn’t prepared for. To my dismay I didn’t have the replacement part needed to fix the problem. I guess I just wasn’t meant to compete in the event,” Parker said philosophically.
Although the opportunity was there for Parker to ride Pouliot’s 450, Parker declined, as he didn’t want to possibly undermine Pouliot’s agenda for the night, which was to compete in both the Pro 450 and Open class points races on the Kawasaki 450 flat track bike.
For his part, Pouliot snared third in his 450 qualifier and third in the Open class. He finished off the night with a pair of top finishes in the final. Official results were not available at time of writing.
Parker’s disappointment in Leamington was quickly forgotten the next day, after 2 hours of sleep he was back in Medina to grab his fifth TT Flat Track Scrambles Championship. As the old adage goes, “all’s well that ends well,” Parker noted at the end of the day.
Above picture: David Pouliot, Steeve Pouliot, John Parker and a pair of potent Kawasaki’s at the AMA Grand National in Lima, OH.
John Parker Racing 2016 Sponsors: Canadian Kawasaki Motors, Inglis Cycle Centre, 26 Suspension, Hot Cams, Pivot Works, Vertex Pistons, Garrtech Mfg., IM Leathers, Bickle Racing, Extreme Measures Kustom Paint, Saddlemen, Ron Wood Racing, A&A Racing, Garrett 64, DeCal Works, G2 Ergonomics, WDC Media Relations