Raphael Archambault didn’t go to bed late Friday night. Rightly so, because you have to be up early when you race with the pros. Luckily, the Granby native knows how to put his stress to good use. By making sure everything is properly organized, he gives himself a better chance to perform. Which can come in handy, especially when the conditions are tricky, as they were this weekend.

For the first round of the Canadian Superbike Championship (CSBK), at ICAR in Mirabel, he and his family kept a careful eye on the weather reports all weekend. Saturday morning’s free practice was run on a damp but drying track. In the afternoon however, a shower forced the organizers to cancel qualifying. The starting grid for Sunday’s race was going to be determined by experience.

This meant Raphael would be starting sixth, aboard his family prepared Suzuki GSX-R600. And right out of the gate, under a drizzle that would soon stop, he grabbed fourth. “A dry line was starting to come out’’, he realized. But the big puddles didn’t dry as fast and caught out some riders. Raphael took advantage of the situation. As the white flag announcing the last lap was shown, he was hanging on to the final podium spot when a charging Sean Huffman put a move on him. “I braked very late’’, remembers Raphael, “but Sean was there and he braked even later, so I couldn’t turn in where I wanted to’’. At the finish line, Raphael found himself fourth.

Raphael will certainly build on the experience at round 2 of the CSBK. “I learned a lot!’’, he says. Next race is at Shannonville, Ontario, July 2nd and 3rd.

For the full results of round 1 and the CSBK schedule, visit www.csbk.ca.