Painting Canadian Dirt Track In A Sea Of Green
August 21, 2009
Four years ago hardly one Kawasaki motorcycle could be found on the Canadian Dirt Track scene; today that picture is rapidly changing. There are currently three Kawasaki-mounted riders found in the top-five of title hunt for the CMA Pro Nationals Dirt Championship. Heading this impressive list is multi-time champion John Parker of Winona, Ontario.
In addition to Parker, Doug Lawrence of Mississauga, ON and Colin Heggarty of London, ON are also Kawasaki-mounted in the battle for the Pro Nationals No.1 plate. Colin’s brother, Nigel, also riding Kawasaki, is currently holding 11th place in the pro division. But these riders are just the tip of the iceberg in a Canadian Dirt Track sea of green. Kawasaki is represented from the 85ccYouth class all the way up to Pro.
Every year more riders are modifying Kawasaki’s championship winning motocross KX250 and KX450 racing bikes to compete on the ¼ and ½ mile oval circuits…not just in Canada but the U.S. as well.
Not surprisingly Parker, who took over the points lead at the double-header weekend in Leamington and Wheatley on July 18/19, has spearheaded this Team Green invasion since he first signed with Kawasaki Race Team in 2005.
“For the dirt track and TT forms of racing, John Parker is a natural fit. John has dirt track history with Kawasaki dating back to the ’70s and he remains very active and competitive in the sport today,” said Claude Gagne, Canadian Kawasaki Motors National Sales & Distribution Manager. “However, for CKM, the most important attributes are the professionalism portrayed and respect John and the whole JPR team commands within the sport. John has a positive influence on the dirt track community, on the spectators, and particularly on the young upcoming dirt track riders.”
In addition to winning numerous heat races, Parker has consistently placed in the top-three in Pro 450cc and Pro Open feature races aboard Kawasaki machinery; the amicable veteran has also consistently claimed top-three in the national series the past four seasons.
“It’s been very satisfying for me to see riders, both veterans and kids who are just starting out, coming to dirt track events with Kawasaki bikes on their trailers. I’ve been racing dirt track since 1973 and have ridden my share of brands. That I’ve been with Kawasaki Race Team for the past four years speaks for itself, I believe we’re a good combination,” said Parker. “I know that I’m in the twilight years of my racing career, but with support from Kawasaki Race Team I’m still able to be competitive. I’m proud to ride green and delighted with the results I have achieved with Kawasaki. If I have made some kind of contribution to the upsurge of Kawasaki bikes on the dirt track circuit, I consider that an honour.”
John would like to thank the following people for their continuing and loyal support: Len Shpeley, Jake Vanroon, Connie Vanroon, Dawn Parker; and his valued sponsors who help to make it all happen: Canadian Kawasaki Motors, Inglis Cycle Centre, Scorpion Helmets, 26 Twenty Six Suspension, Hot Cams – Pivot Works, IM Leathers, Bickle Racing, Extreme Measures Kustom Paint, Saddlemen, Ron Wood Racing, A&A Racing.