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Kelowna  

Racer has need for speed

A Kelowna motorcycle racer had a strong showing at the inaugural MotoAmerica race in Austin, Texas, this past weekend.

Marcel Irnie finished eighth in his second Superstock 1000 race of the weekend after crashing in the rain during the first race on his Irnie Racing/Team MobiBuff/World's Best Motorcycles BMW S1000RR.

"We survived race two, finishing eighth in Superstock 1000," Irnie posted on his Facebook page.

"With practice cancelled in the early morning, we were unable to test ... following yesterday's rain crash. On the warmup laps I discovered we had a serious problem with power. The bike was down 15 horsepower, I estimate, which hampered my corner exits and holding position on the long straights. I had to be a demon on the brakes to reclaim my running position almost every back straightaway," Irnie said in an Inside Motorcycles report.

Irnie, 30, was born and raised in the Central Okanagan and is a graduate of Mount Boucherie Secondary and Okanagan University College.

He first swung his leg over the saddle of a dirtbike when he was in Grade 5 and has been racing street bikes since 2007.

He started out amateur racing in Calgary before moving up to superbikes in 2012. Last year, he was named WERA U.S. champ in the super stock class.

This season, he's running the entire MotoAmerica series.

We caught Irnie on his way to Road Atlanta, where he'll be competing this weekend.

He says the racing bikes hit top speeds of about 290 km/h on the straightaways.

"At first it's a big blur, but once you get used to it, everything slows down," he says.

Learn more about this local boy's need for speed in this YouTube short film:

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