By John Hopkins
ST-EUSTACHE, Que. – “Better late than never” is the popular idiom, and Jodi Christie lived by that motto at Autodrome St-Eustache on Saturday.
With time running out in qualifying for the K&N Performance Filters Pro Sport Bike class the Keene, Ont. racer calmly went out and snatched pole position for Sunday’s second round of the season with a lap at 46.088 seconds on the Jodi Christie Racing / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR600RR.
His effort was just over half a second better than points leader Frank Trombino could manage on the 725 Sports / Acme Slate Suzuki GSX-R600, and the Kleinburg, Ont. rider settled for second with a 46.600. Despite a crash at turn three Raphael Archambault of Terrebonne, Que. qualified third with a 46.754 on the Team Archambault Racing / Picotte Motorsports / G Suspension Suzuki GSX-R600.
Christie admitted he actually thought he had more time left to turn his fast laps in the session, which was shortened from 20 minutes to 15.
“I didn’t realize the session had been shortened but I was still able to bang off four or five quick laps,” said the defending class champion. “I’m definitely comfortable with where the bike’s at. We had a good set up from last year.”
Christie finished second to Trombino in last year’s race and acknowledged a good start will be key on the tight 1.93km (1.2-mile) St-Eustache circuit.
“I want to lead off the start and not have to catch Frank like last year,” Christie said.
Trombino also turned his best lap late in the session.
“We’ve come a long way this weekend,” he said. “We were tearing up tires like crazy but now the bike’s good.”
Archambault was able to ride his bike back to the pits after his fall but was nursing a sore back.
“We tried something new at the front and it didn’t work,” he said. “I just lost the front and I wasn’t able to react.”
Michael Leon of Beaconsfield, Que. completes the front row for Sunday’s race after turning a time of 47.706 secs. on the Royal Distributing / Elka Suspension Honda CBR600RR.
Philippe Masse of St-Hyacinthe, Que. qualified on pole for Sunday’s Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike race at Autodrome St-Eustache with a record time of 47.386 secs. on the Racingphil.com / Pete’s Superbike Kawasaki ZX-6R.
Hugo Fournier of St-Eugene de Lamartin, Que. was second in qualifying with a time of 48.509 secs. on a Yamaha YZF-R6 and Sarnia, Ont.’s Will Hornblower will start third on the gird after turning a lap at 48.727 secs. on another Yamaha YZF-R6.
Qualifying for the Bazzaz Amateur Superbike class was postponed until Sunday morning after a red flag for a crash involving Honda CBR600RR rider Daniel Moffet. The St-Marthe Sur Le Lac, Que. racer was taken to hospital with a suspected concussion and possible back injuries.
Opening round winner Trevor Daley had been quickest in Amateur Superbike practice Saturday morning with a time of 48.303 secs. on the One Speed / Riders Choice Suzuki GSX-R1000.
Pro Sport Bike Qualifying Results
1.Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR600RR, 46.088
2. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, 46.600
3. Raphael Archambault, Terrebonne, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, 46.754
4. Michael Leon, Beaconsfield, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 47.706
5. Amzy Nawaz, Thornton, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-6R, 47.908
6. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 48.381
7. Laurent Feuiltault, Cookstown, Ont., Kawasaki 650R, 50.769
Amateur Sport Bike Qualifying Results
1.Philippe Masse, St-Hyacinthe, Que., Kawasaki ZX-6R, 47.386
2. Hugo Fournier, St-Eugene de Lamartine, Que., Yamaha YZF-R6, 48.509
3. Will Hornblower, Sarnia, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 48.727
4. Jean-Francois Aubin, St-Jerome, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, 48.727
5. Simon Hamel, Rosemere, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, 48.813
6. Austin Shaw-O’Leary, Falmouth, N.S., Honda CBR600RR, 49.155
7. Luke Bauer, Guelph, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 49.252
8. Riley Dawe, Toronto, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 49.666
9. Alex Coelho, Longueuil, Que., Kawasaki ZX-6R, 49.673
10. Martin Richard, Victoriaville, Que., Yamaha YZF-R6, 49.675
11. Dominic Dupont, Montreal, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 49.749
12. Nuno Almeida, Newcastle, Ont., Triumph Daytona 675, 50.016
13. Marco Sousa, Schomberg, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R600, 50.058
14. Daniel Moffet, St-Marthe Sur Le Lac, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 50.110
15. Eric Fiset, St-Constant, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, 50.132
16. Luc Labranche, Mirabel, Que., Kawasaki ZX-6R, 50.567
17. David Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, 50.747
18. Eric Joly, Longueuil, Que., Kawasaki ZX-6R, 51.255
19. John Parkin, Kitchener, ON, Triumph Daytona 675, 51.573
20. Michel Boule, Rawdon, Que., Yamaha YZF-R6, No Time
21. Stephane Leduc, St-Colomban, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, No Time
22. Philippe Bonin, St-Dibure, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, No Time