The name Vieira might be synonymous with speed in Guyana but that does not mean Steven Vieira sees himself as the favourite in the Super Bike category come tomorrow at the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club’s (GMR&SC) Race of Champions meet at the South Dakota circuit. Not in the least. In fact he’s positive that Canadian speedster Kevin Graham is the favourite. “Kevin is the man to beat, no doubt about it,” Vieira told Stabroek Sport in an interview yesterday. The young daredevil will take to the track tomorrow looking to take top honours for himself and country but is realistic that it’s a tall order.
“Never mind what Kevin is saying about big bikes not being suited to the South Dakota circuit. In the end there is no substitute for power and his 1000cc bike has plenty of power, enough to compensate for any mistakes on the turns,” Vieira said.
He alluded to one practice session during which Graham’s and his bike sent out an ominous warning to all comers. But that said, the young rider was emphatic that he was up to the challenge. “My bike is working really well, not like last year. In fact if I had known Kevin was using a 1000 cc bike I would have gotten one of those but it’s too late now but my bike is still working really well and I am looking forward to doing great on Sunday,” he declared. Vieira will be straddling a 2003 Yamaha 600 R6 which is sponsored by CellSmart, authorized Digicel dealer. He says he will also be keeping an eye out for Canadians Rahul Dua and Craig Atkinson in his quest for victory. Like almost every competitor interviewed for this meet, he stresses the importance of qualifying ahead of the field today. “It is not like years ago when there were only four or five bikes on the grid. With over fifteen bikes taking part it is important to qualify ahead of the field which will make your race much easier,” he said. Already Dua has thrown down the gauntlet to all racers with his cryptic warning “elbows out,” while Atkinson has tagged himself as one of the favourites and Graham playing it relatively low key, just promising to give it his best shot.