Szoke turned a lap at one minute, 5.132 seconds on his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad / Mopar Fast Lane BMW S1000RR, but Christie was only 0.032 secs. back on the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR with a time of 1:05.164.
Szoke’s averaged 136.523km (81.914 mph) around the 2.45km (1.53-mile) Shannonville ‘Pro’ track.
“This is a new bike for us with a lot of upgrades so it’s been a real learning curve today,” said Szoke, who won last year’s Mopar Canadian Superbike season opener at Shannonville to begin his run to a third straight national title. “I’m really happy with how everything has been going. The track was quite slippery this morning but in the afternoon the grip was there and we were able to improve the feel of the bike a little.
“It’s a short track so you can only do so much around here. A lot of it is about getting a comfortable set up for the race and being able to do a lot of laps at a consistent pace.”
Christie finished third in last year’s Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings and is considered one of Szoke’s prime challengers for this year’s title. He was runner-up to Szoke in last year’s season opener here.
“We were working on the front end, corner entry stability,” Christie said. “We seemed to go faster with each change and we collected a lot of info. We’re still open-minded about what way we want to go with set-up.”
Matt McBride had the third fastest time of 1:05.505 on the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR. The Mississauga, Ont. rider had been fastest in the morning session but was troubled by an overheating issue in the afternoon.
“It was hard to put a lap together,” said McBride, who qualified fourth and finished fifth at Shannonville last year. “The bike handles well when it’s working. We’ll be all right tomorrow.”
Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont. was fourth fastest with a time of 1:05.775 aboard the Trombino Racing / Royal Plumbing Aprilia RSV4 and Mississauga, Ont.’s Trevor Daley placed on his OneSpeedChopShop.com / Z1 Cycletech Suzuki GSX-R1000 with a time of 1:06.162.
In other action at SMP, three-time defending Hindle Pro Sport Bike champion Christie had the fastest time on his Honda CBR600RR. The Keene, Ont. rider turned a lap of 1:06.620 right at the end of the afternoon practice session to edge the Riedmann Racing / Pro 6 Cycle Triumph 675 of Belfountain, Ont.’s Kenny Reidmann, whose fastest lap was a 1:06.891.
Elie Daccache of Newcastle, Ont. set the third best time of 1:07.236 on his Yamaha YZF-R6.
Mississauga, Ont.’s Pedro Sousa had the quickest time in Magneti Marelli Amateur Superbike practice with a 1:09.647 on his Honda CBR1000RR.
Rob Cousineau of Aurora, Ont. was fastest in practice for the Bell Helmets Amateur Sport Bike class with a time of 1:11.354 on his Suzuki GSX-R600.
Falmouth, N.S.’s Jacob Shaw-O’Leary led the Honda CBR250R National Race Series competitors with a time of 1:23.819.
Action at Shannonville continues Saturday, with qualifying for all five national classes, including the Magneti Marelli SuperPole in the Pro Superbike division. Saturday’s action also includes the opening round of the CBR250R series. Feature races in all five national classes will run Sunday.
For ticket information call 1-800-959-8955 or 613-969-1906, or go to www.shannonville.com.
The official Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship website, www.csbk.ca, will have full race coverage of Saturday’s opening 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