Last summer the Keene, Ont. rider scored his first career national Superbike win in the feature race, edging Jordan Szoke in a thrilling duel around the storied 2.56km (1.6-mile) 11-turn circuit, and with that victory propelled himself into contention for the national title. Although Szoke ultimately secured his ninth Canadian Superbike crown at the end of the season, Christie proved at AMP he could beat the master in a head-to-head duel.
The 21-year-old Christie finds himself in a similar situation coming into this weekend’s event. The Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR rider has finished second to Szoke in the first two rounds of the 2014 season and trails the 35-year-old from Brantford, Ont. by 22 points in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings.
With a race win worth 50 points and a second place finish worth 42, plus a two-point bonus for leading the most laps at play, a second straight victory for Christie at AMP would put him in a threatening position heading into the season’s doubleheader finale at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park next month.
But beating Szoke is no simple matter, as Christie knows all to well. His victory three weeks ago at Autodrome St-Eustache gave the Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Mopar Express Lane BMW S1000RR rider 45 national successes in his sparkling 16-year national career and he has won six times at AMP, just one short of the all-time mark established by Steve Crevier.
And there is no guarantee Szoke and Christie will have things all their own way in the victory fight. Second year Pro Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont. continues to show strong form and is coming off a great comeback ride to fourth at St-Eustache on the ProStar Motorsports / One Speed Chop Shop Honda CBR1000RR.
Longueuil, Que.’s Sebastien Tremblay placed a career-high third at St-Eustache on the MotoNation / Laval Moto Kawasaki ZX-10R and has moved up to fourth in the Mopar Pro Superbike standings, just five points behind Daley.
Fifth in points is Kristopher Garvie of Caledon, Ont. on the Honda Canada / Fast Company / Platinum Painting Honda CBR1000RR, last year’s top rookie on the national tour.
This weekend’s racing also includes rounds for the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike, Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike, Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike and Honda CBR250R National Race Series.
Christie is chasing a fourth straight Pro Sport Bike title on his Honda CBR600RR but trails Belfountain, Ont.’s Kenny Reidmann, riding the Reidmann Racing / Castrol Triumph 675, by five points in the class standings.
Raphael Archambault of Terrebonne, Que., round two winner on his Mako Performance / Town & Country Suzuki GSX-R600 should also be a contender for the race win, along with 18-year-old local star Austin Shaw-O’Leary. The Falmouth, N.S. star missed the first two rounds of the national series due to injury but is expected to be back on board his O’Leary Brothers / Pro Cycle-backed Honda CBR600RR at AMP this weekend.
The points battles are tight in both Amateur national classes, with Honda CBR1000RR rider Pedro Sousa of Mississauga, Ont. leading the Superbike standings by just six points over St-Lazare, Que.’s Stacey Nesbitt on the OCM Motor Sports / FTR / Honda Canada Honda CBR600RR. In Amateur Sport Bike Peterborough, Ont. racer Tomas Casas, riding the OCM / Peterborough Cycle Salvage Yamaha YZF-R6 leads Nesbitt by seven points.
There is also a close fight for the Honda CBR250R crown, with Eric Quintin of Notre Dame d’Ile Perrot, Que., Oakville, Ont.’s Cameron Walker and Jacob Shaw-O’Leary, Austin’s younger brother, separated by 22 points heading into this weekend’s pair of races.
Action at Atlantic Motorsport Park opens Friday with a full day of practice. Qualifying for all five national classes, including the Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Pro Superbike division, will take place Saturday. Saturday’s action also includes the opening race for the CBR250R series. Feature races in all five national classes will run Sunday.
For ticket information call the track at (902) 758-2237 or the Atlantic Roadracing League at (902) 499-3610. Fans can also visit www.atlanticmotorsportpark.com or www.atlanticroadracing.com for more details.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race video coverage of Saturday’s round of the Honda CBR250R National Race Series, as well as Sunday’s Hindle Pro Sport Bike and Mopar Pro Superbike feature events.
--From Professional Motorsports Productions