A native of North Bay, Ont., Desmarais was a factory rider with the Honda Canada team and won the 1996 national Open Sport Bike title riding a CBR600F3. He was a protégé of Michel Mercier’s FAST Racing School at Shannonville Motorsport Park and was a top Canadian Amateur in 1994.
Most recently Desmarais had made appearances at Parts Canada Superbike Championship rounds with privateer Suzuki efforts.
“This is extremely sad news for the Canadian motorcycle racing community,” said Colin Fraser of Professional Motorsports Productions, which runs the Parts Canada Superbike Championship. “Mike was a tremendous talent and enjoyed great success. More importantly, he was a popular competitor and very well-liked in the paddock. He leaves behind many friends in Canadian motorcycling and motorsport.”
A funeral service is scheduled for St. John’s Anglican Church in North Bay on Saturday, March 7 at 11:00 a.m.
Donations in Mike’s memory can be made to the Toronto General Hospital Transplant Unit (checks only).
He is survived by his parents Peter Desmarais (Susan) and Linda Smith, sisters Cindy Desmarais and Jennifer Desmarais, and grandparents John and Letitia Smith, and Simone Desmarais.
To Mike’s family and friends everyone associated with the Parts Canada Superbike Championship offers their most sincere condolences.